Hab-it Exercises Forums Ask Tasha! New to pelvic floor workout

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  • #630
    Nahed BouJaoude
    Guest

    Dear Tasha, i just bought your DVD Hab-it pelvic floor and i need to know when should i move from workout 1 to workout 2 and so on? i mean should i practice workout 1 for many times before moving to workout 2 and 3 …. or i can choose any time any workout i want.
    Thank you!

    #633
    Tasha Mulligan
    Guest

    Workout frequency and progression:
    To get the maximum benefit from our Hab-It workouts, it is recommended that at a minimum, you complete 3 workouts/week. It is beneficial, but not required, to complete the workouts more than three times per week if your schedule allows. However, I do want to caution you not to perform more than 8-10 two-step Kegel exercises per day. Doing so can over-fatigue your pelvic floor.
    The workouts have been designed with a progression of difficulty from workout 1 through workout 4. Therefore, the speed with which you progress through the workouts depends on your fitness level and your core strength as you begin the program. Do not move on to the next workout until you have completed the previous workout without difficulty. Once you have mastered all 4 workouts, it is a great idea to rotate through all of the workouts to challenge specific muscle groups with different exercises on different days.
    The Hab It Team

    #881
    Jennifer
    Guest

    I just started doing the Hab-it DVD and I am a little confused when you say not to perform more than 8-10 two-step kegel exercises per day. Can you please clarify this? Do you mean up to 8-10 tkegels ( + quick flicks) per day which would mean 1 exercise session OR do you mean one could do 8-10 sets/day. My confusion primarily stems from past recommendations by health professionals to do at least 30 kegels 3 times per day. Thanks for your program I am optimistic after 10 years of trying to improve my cystocle and not really getting anywhere.

    #884
    Tasha Mulligan
    Guest

    Jennifer,
    I believe the recommendation to perform up to 100 Kegels per day is much too high. Just thoroughly working through my instruction from one workout, which will guide you through 8 two step Kegel contractions, is a great workout for your very thin pelvic floor muscles. I have often told women – it is your pelvic basket that you need to strengthen. Your pelvic floor is just a piece of the puzzle and it is dependent on co-contracting with a strong transversus abdominus, multifidi, deep hip rotators, and inner thighs. So work JUST 8 two step kegels each day, but also work to get in exercises for all the other muscle groups I have listed and you will make more progress…guaranteed!!!

    Tasha

    #887
    Jennifer
    Guest

    Dear Tasha,
    Thanks for the reply & the encouragement, wish these resources were around when I was diagnosed with cystocele 17 years ago! After years of reading about improving pelvic floor tone there is alot of conflicting advice out there, probably due to new info (as with # kegels/day). One other thing I was wondering about is I have often read that increasing intra-abdominal pressure can be damaging to the pelvic floor, do the exercises on your DVD that advise pulling the abdominal muscles in & up increase the pressure? Also, is there any benefit, in your opinion, in using a vaginal e-stim device in addition to the Hab-it exercises?
    Thanks so much for being so willing to share your knowledge with all of us who are dealing with pelvic floor issues.

    #893
    Tasha Mulligan
    Guest

    Jennifer,
    You are right on the conflicting information and that is why it is important for everyone to read, read, read. You can read through my blog, other blogs, and http://www.prolapsehealth.com and take in the information. But the key is that you have to try things out and feel for yourself.

    Your concern on avoiding increased intra-abdominal pressure is spot on. You want to avoid any type of valsalva maneuver where pressure is forced down on your pelvic floor. Any activity with your rectus abdominus (RA) will do just this, BUT your TA or transversus abdominus does just the opposite, forcing pressure upward, expanding our chest and lifting our pelvic floor. You can read more about this through my blog, but a good starting point would be at http://hab-it.com/blog/?p=95.

    Finally, I know the ladies at http://www.prolapsehealth.com have talked extensively about the Kegel 8 electric stimulator. I will refer you to that site for information on that device. Many have noted significant improvement with this assistance to get the maximum number of muscle fibers activated again!

    Tasha

    #986
    Joanna
    Guest

    i also started the hab it last week. I have a bladder and bowel prolaps stage 1 and uterus and cervix stage 2 after delivery (almost 6 weeks ago). the fist DVD seems easy to me so i moved to the 2nd after 3 days but also seems to be easy . the only issue that i have is lower back pain after completing the 2nd one. Does this mean that i am not ready to move to the 2nd DVD or it me using wrong positioning?
    I really liked the 1st DVD and I am thinking about alternating 1DVD with the 3rd. I feel thightening of my vagina in standing so it makes me think that I can do it. Am I right?

    #991
    Tasha Mulligan
    Guest

    Joanna,
    Remember these exercises are designed to isolate each of the muscles of our pelvic basket. If you have low back pain following the second workout then I would reduce the reps of all of the exercises to 6 reps on each set. Try this approach and see if your back ache following the exercises is relieved. It may be that you have a significant weakness of your low back muscles and this will cause problems down the line if you don’t slowly build the strength up. I would continue to alternate workouts 1, 2, and 3 for 3 or 4 weeks and see if we can strengthen your low back with consistent exercise.

    Tasha

    #994
    Joanna
    Guest

    Thank you. I will do that. I am also wondering why is it important not to fatique the pelvic floor?

    #995
    Tasha Mulligan
    Guest

    The pelvic floor itself is actually a relatively thin layer(s) of muscle. It is designed to work as part of a basket weave of muscles that support our pelvic floor and stabilize our pelvis and lower lumbosacral spine. It is not designed like a quadricep or biceps. It won’t bulk up…it can only do so much due to its design and size. Unfortunately we often try to work our pelvic floor like a big dynamic muscle instead of the stabilizer it is. Working it more for endurance and progressing the coordinated efforts of your entire pelvic basket will take you much further in supporting your pelvic organs and establishing a solid anchor at the root of your core.

    -Tasha

    #1032
    Joanna
    Guest

    I have been doing workout 1,2 and 3 complete workouts without difficulty and lower back pain I think I am ready to start workout 4. I have been very active and fit prior pregnancy and I think that is why those exercises are fairly easy to me (but I am trying to complete well each workout). I have hard time to keep the pelvic basket and abdominals pulled in throughout the day, but then again I am not sure if I should as the pelvic floor is still not strong. Can you tell me what is better?
    I also have a hard time contracting the pelvic floor before laughing, coughing and sneezing. Maybe you have some suggestions how to make it doable?
    Thank you

    #1039
    Tasha Mulligan
    Guest

    Joanna,
    I want you thinking more about posture throughout your day than your pelvic floor. Neutral spine posture will carry over into perfect length/tension of your pelvic floor. Review the posture section on the dvd every now and then to remind you of the dynamic positioning of neutral spine – (I also have several blogs on posture). Your thoughts should be with keep your chest up, your tail bone lifted and your belly drawn up and in.

    As far as learning how to draw your pelvic basket tight before a sneeze, laugh, or cough. It is tough, but can be done. It will take conscious training to pull your TA tight before these ballistic actions, but if you do this enough, it will become your automatic response in time. You have done a great job of patiently allowing your body to go through workouts that seem easy to you. This allows each muscle to “wake” up and do its part of supporting your entire pelvic basket. Continue to be patient and consistent with your workouts as you move forward and you will note continued improvement.

    Tasha

    #1238
    Joanna
    Guest

    Hi Tasha,
    With the use of Hab-it DVD my symptoms improved just a little bit at 11 weeks post delivery. I return to work where I walk a lot and lift (occupational therapist), Being a single mom and working full time job, pumpting and being simply exhausted, I did not have much time to exercise, so I did maybe 1time. I maintain the principles of pulling my stomach in and tightening my pelvic floor muscles. However, at 4-5 weeks my symptoms got much worse. With panic, I new I had to find the time to exercise even few min a day. So I did. I mix exercises between 1-3 workouts. On top of it I started using abdominal belt (the ones that you can buy on internet to stimulate with electrical current the abdominal muscles) I place it on the lower part with tolerable contractions. My symptoms improved.
    I have few questions.
    1.With exertion, lifting, bending or squatting. I realized that it is better to tighten the pelvic floor muscles and then lower abdominal. The upper portion of abdominals is best not to contract because it pushes the cervix lower instead of up. Is it only my situation or there is a reason for it? Do i need to train transverse abdominals?
    2. I also noticed that kneeling with upright position causes the cervix to lower despite of me trying to tighten the pelvic floor. is there anyting I can do to change it?
    3. Any recomendation for the use of the abdominal electrical stimulation, short pulses vs longer 5-7sec?
    Thank you so much
    3.

    #1239
    joanna
    Guest

    I forgot to tell you that I have 1.5 fingers of diastases recti throughout that made me think of the abdominal electrical belt

    #1248
    Tasha Mulligan
    Guest

    Joanna,
    To answer your questions:
    1. Your first question re: transversus abdominus vs. rectus abdominus. I want to direct you to several of my blog entries on this topic. You have discovered for yourself exactly what each muscle does. The transversus will squeeze like a snow cone, re-directing pressure up under your ribs and off of your pelvic floor, so this should be your focus muscle (just be sure you don’t tuck your tail bone under while contracting it!) Your rectus abdominus is bad for your pelvic floor. It’s primary role is to curl your ribs closer to your pelvis. This will only serve to force more pressure down on your pelvic floor, which is exactly what you described above – so great job feeling your bodies response! (Read more on TA vs. RA in my blogs)

    2. Kneeling in upright position increases your symptoms because you have tight hip flexors. Tighteness in your hip flexors combined with this upright kneeling position will pull your pelvis into a posterior pelvic tilt position, tucking your tail bone under. This shortens your pelvic floor muscles (with your tail bone moving too close to your pubic bone) and leaves them unable to fire because of the approximation of these two attachment sites. Remember, to support your pelvic floor, your tail bone must always remain lifted! Try bringing one leg forward so you are on a single knee for some relief when you are working on the floor with a patient.

    3. I don’t have a recommendation for your abdominal elec stim device. You are the first to have reported relief with this. I would steer clear of your RA and would think that it would be difficult to stimulate your TA because it is a deeper muscle, but if you report improved symptoms with it then more power to you. I would, however, like to see you transfer from an outside source of TA stimulation to a voluntary muscle contraction of your own through plank exercises. You can find a steady progression of TA exercises through hands and knees work on the Hab It dvd to more advanced plank exercises on the Advanced 7 day Stabilization program also available on our site.

    Good luck, you are on the right path!

    Tasha

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