Pelvic Floor Muscles Depend on Your Multifidi and Transversus Abdominus Muscles
BY tASHA MULLIGAN PT
If I could make a recording for you to play in your head throughout your day to help your pelvic floor symptoms, it would simply say, “Stick your buns out and draw your belly button up and in, stick your buns out and draw your belly button up and in.”
By following these simple instructions, you will set your pelvic basket to the best possible position. All of your key muscles will be at the perfect length and holding the perfect tension so that they can fire quickly and with optimal strength. These two cues will take you out of the “buns tucked under” position and will engage that loose belly pooch that a lazy posture can produce.
I can provide all the exercises in the world for you to work on to strengthen your pelvic floor and the many muscles of your pelvic basket, but the reality is that this strengthening only takes place within 20-30 minutes of our day. The remaining 16 hours that we are awake play a significant role in our pelvic floor function as well. So, the easiest way I can follow through with the progress I make through specific strengthening exercises is to hold optimal posture. A big part of optimal posture is the co-contraction of the multifidi muscles and the transversus abdominus (TA) muscle. I engage my multifidi muscles by sticking my buns out to assume a gymnast posture. I then soften my lumbar curve by drawing my belly button up and in, which engages my transversus abdominus. The co-contraction of these two muscles provides a stable lumbopelvic spine and solid anchors for my pelvic floor, my adductors, and my external rotators to pull on, offering optimal pelvic floor control!
So, set yourself up for success with these simple postural cues and consistent follow through throughout your day. “Stick your buns out AND draw your belly button up and in,” are two important steps to pelvic health.