Did you know that over 50% of elite female athletes and elite dancers who have not given birth leak urine while training?
Shouldn't this cohort of females have the "strongest" pelvic floors?
Isn't leaking urine related to a "weak" pelvic floor?
Our pelvic floor is beautifully complex and fundamental for many functions.
It's not only responsible for supporting our organs/abdominal contents, and occasionally babies, it is the foundation of our core system and provides postural stability and control to our bodies.
Since it is a postural group of muscles it should naturally respond to our movements. However, like our breathing- it "should be" rhythmic and deep and complete- but we can "cheat" it. How many of you are holding your breath right now reading this?
I was when I was writing it! Phew...drop those shoulders... exhale.
Ok back on track here- pelvic floor weakness and leaking!
I really hate to classify the pelvic floor as "weak" or "strong" or "tight" or "tense" but I do use these terms.
It's a way to simplify a complex unit of muscles.
So here's my gross over simplification to help you determine if your muscles are "weak" or "tense"
you leak with "take off" or "push off" coming out of the bottom of the squat or rising up from a chair.
The muscles can release down- but they cannot generate the force needed to lift up and so urine is able to sneak out
You leak with "landing" when you come down from a jump or when you heel strikes the ground with running. Bending to pick up a toy or as you start moving down in a squat. It speaks to your ability to "shock" absorb and so if it cannot absorb the shock- it can be too much and urine can leak out
Do I know why female athletes leak with jumping (or landing), I have my thoughts on that for sure! But... as always The best way to determine what combination of tight/tense, long or weak your pelvic floor muscles are is to get a pelvic floor PT evaluation.
If that is not accessible to you at the moment try out some of the movements I posted in my latest REEL on Instagram- they should help you learn how to take the pelvic floor through a full range of motion!