In the "Getting the Knack of It," blog entry I discussed the importance of contracting the pelvic floor muscles in order to brace against internal forces (laugh, cough, sneeze, & lifting anything heavy). I mentioned how being able to let the muscles go after a pelvic floor brace was just as important (or arguably even more important).
I received quite a few inquires as to why this was the case.
Let's talk about range of motion.
The pelvic floor is just like any other muscle in the body. So let's use the bicep as an example. We need to be able to flex the bicep at the elbow in order to feed yourself, brush your teeth, etc. Likewise, you also need to be able to extend the bicep (straighten the arm) in order to relax the arm at your side. The pelvic floor also needs to be able to do both actions....flexion and extension.
In pelvic floor speak, flexion is a Kegel and extension is a reverse Kegel (or relaxation).
Just like you need to be able to flex and extend your bicep in order for your arms to function fully, your pelvic floor muscles also need to move through both ranges of motion.
We need flexion (Kegel) to maintain continence and keep organs protected inside our body.
We need extension to be able to have full evacuation of a bowel movement (read blog entry "A Proper Way to Poop?! Tell me More!). Both ranges of motion add to the pleasure experienced during intimacy and can enhance overall pain-free pelvic movement.
If you would like help making these concepts even more tangible, contact us at the Functional Pelvis. Curls and reverse curls aren't just for biceps :)