Callanetics: How To engage The Pelvic Floor
In this thread is information on the pelvic floor if you are having problems finding/engaging it or simply don't know what it is.
I hope this will be of help to everyone.
For anyone who is new to Callanetics and who have started with 10/10 and will go on to Callanetics Evolution will hear "engage your pelvic floor" and not know how to do so properly.
Agnes Nady a Certified Callanetics teacher in the UK made a wonderful video on the pelvic floor and how to engage it.
It provides a visual so you can SEE how it is done.
The following article entitled "The Pelvic Floor" was written by Joanne Freeman a Certified Callanetics teacher, the only one in Canada at the time.
Joanne died of cancer a few years back, but what she wrote demystifs what the pelvic floor is and its benefits when engaged properly.
The Pelvic Floor - For Health & Well-Being
originally published in Jan/Feb 2002, Rising Women Magazine, Canada
Pavarotti sings from there, Elvis Stoyko manages his jumps from there and dancers call it the
trampoline. It's the VERY wonderful, and often overlooked, pelvic floor!
I didn't even know I had one until April 2000, and am so thankful I made the discovery. Now
you might ask yourself, what is a pelvic floor and why should I even bother reading this
article? I would urge you for your general health and feeling of well-being to please read on.
By toning your pelvic floor, you can assist with eliminating excess fat, get relief from chronic
pain, and even rid yourself of incontinence and constipation. Many people would gain relief
from 'pelvic organ dysfunction' if they were able to tone and exercise their pelvic floor.
The travesty in this age of "exercise and body awareness", is that many women will spend
hours each week exercising their legs and abs, lifting weights and a myriad of other exercises
to 'keep in shape'. However the pelvic floor, one of the most important muscles groups, is
not considered mainly because so few of us even know we have it!
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that form a hammock shape across the opening of the
pelvis. The first layer is the pubic bone to tail bone, the second and third layers are hip to hip
layer, and between the sit bones. These muscles, together with their surrounding tissue, are
responsible for keeping all of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus/prostate, and rectum) in place
and functioning correctly.
Women may start to lose their pelvic floor tone in their teens when the wearing of high heels
becomes obligatory - I was there for the platforms the first time round, so believe me, I
know! During my pregnancy, I encountered incontinence, I leaked when I laughed hard,
sneezed or coughed. I used to have to cross my legs when sneezing and hope for the best.
To be honest, it was embarrassing. Had I known about the pelvic floor, I would have been
able to quickly and safely rectify this situation. Urine leaks are most likely to happen when
there is a sudden, increase in abdominal pressure. This includes jumping, lifting, or making
Other factors that may contribute to pelvic floor muscle weakness include persistent heavy
lifting, chronic cough, being overweight, lack of general fitness and/or other anti-gravity
consequences [most commonly the strains of immobilized labor and obstetrical extraction
techniques during childbirth - Mary Ceallaigh].
Pregnancy is not the only time when people become incontinent. If you suffer from
incontinence, you are not alone. The problem occurs in women and men of all ages, and it is
thought to affect at least 1 in 10 of those age 65 and older in Western Culture [a culture
where we sit in chairs and do not maintain the good muscle tone of peoples who routinely
squat and sit on the floor, such as in Asia - Mary Ceallaigh]. Unfortunately, it is still seen as
embarrassing, so many try to hide the problem and limit their lives as a result. The largest
disposable diaper user population in North America is not babies, contrary to popular belief!
It is an every-increasing group of elderly adults. This certainly does not need to be the case!
The great news is that non-invasive exercise and toning can be very effective and produce
amazing results. It is effective, fast, easy and inexpensive.
What can be done ? Firstly, and very importantly, it is so vital to understand that it is never
too late to try. Men and women of all ages can restore their pelvic floor tone, with the added
benefit of improving their lives, posture and many, many, other positive effects. The three
muscle layers can be exercised individually, or as a whole. This is easy to do and can even be
started with visualization. At first you may not feel anything. Sometimes it takes three to four
attempts to actually feel any sensation.
I have seen several new mothers quickly and easily tighten their pelvic floor with exercise.
Those who have had a 'C-section' surgery or the vulva & pelvic muscle cut (episiotomy) can
You have most likely heard of 'Kegel' exercises as another term for pelvic floor exercises.
They are widely known, and although very effective, are only exercising part of the muscle.
In some cases, 'Kegel' exercises are not enough to correct a pelvic floor problem, such as
longstanding prolapse due to highly dysfunctional labor & birth some time previous.
If you are not sure about your pelvic floor and want to identify correct the muscles, try to
stop your flow when passing urine, then restart it. This is the first layer of several. There is
much to gain from empowering the tone of the pelvic floor!
Thank you for this CB! Engaging the pelvic floor is SO important. I did the lower back stretch of 10/10 and wondered why it felt a bit "strange". Then I realised I had not engaged my pelvic floor, and this made such a huge difference. It keeps my back feeling safe and protected.
Great article... " I used to have to cross my legs when sneezing and hope for the best" - :hyst:
So, thanks for starting a thread on a very important subject :)
Hour #3 (13 hours total..I think..?) of Callanetics. I used Super Callanetics, and I was very challenged, and invigorated. I don't know if I am 100% ready for SC, so, I think I'll get better @ 10/10 before I commit to SC.
Does anyone have any advice or insight for Cardio Callanetics? Do you love it/hate it/indifferent to it? I noticed that it was filmed in the same house/living room style set as Evo--is it similar to Evo? Is it worth doing? I briskly walk several time per week (5) with my dog for ~3.5-5 miles, would it be more beneficial to continue with 10/10 and my current cardio routine? Sorry for all of the questions, I love Callanetics and I just want as much as possible. :)
Psst IR, wrong thread love!
haha, thanks. I was wondering why I couldn't find it on the Callanetics challenge thread. Duh.
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