Sexual Response and Pelvic Floor Conditioning
It is interesting to note that the importance of pelvic floor conditioning in sexual response is becoming more of a mainstream issue. In this months issue of Women’s Health (p 72) 4 “sexercises” are recommended to strengthen “those little muscles” essential for an “excellent finale”. What four exercises do they recommend? Well three of them are Pfilates movements!
1. Samurai Squat (Second Pfilates Movement)
2. Bridge (Sixth Pfilates Movement)
3. Hovering (Eigth Pfilates Movement)
4. Stability Ball Jack Knife
The fact of the matter is that when we were doing the research that resulted in the Pfilates program we found that many of the movements previously recommended for pelvic floor strengthening actually did test well on our EMG recordings. Here is the thing…. the performance of the pelvic floor is not just about strength. Performance of the pelvic floor, and yes sexual response, depends on three critical factors: strength, endurance, and coordination. Getting the pelvic floor muscles to engage is essential but only one part of the process.
The Pfilates movements were studied by videotaping each movement during live EMG recordings. By doing this we were able to determine where in each movement “peak engagement” of the pelvic floor occurs. This is point in each movement where the “hold” and “pulse” phase is incorporated. While any engagement will enhance strength, the hold, and pulse facilitate endurance and coordination as well. Learning these movements correctly is essential. Remember: Each movement involves a series of reps, a “hold” at peak engagement (at which point a voluntary pelvic floor contraction is added), and a “pulse” at peak engagement (at which time the pelvic floor should be contracted and released rapidly).
Good for Women’s Health for getting the movements right. Now you know not just which movements to do but also how to do them.