Updated: Feb 12, 2021
The pelvis has many functions, including supporting the weight of the upper body, connecting the spine with the limbs via the hip joints and supporting and protecting the intestines, bladder and reproductive organs.
Aside from supporting our organs, the pelvic floor muscles control our bladder, bowel and sexual functions, and they facilitate birth in women.
Coughing, sneezing, lifting heavy items, running, jumping, skipping and laughing all require a healthy pelvic floor that can adapt to the increase of intra-abdominal pressure without any leaking.
BREATHING & THE PELVIC FLOOR
When we inhale, the diaphragm, which is located under the ribcage, flattens out and pushes our abdominal contents downwards to the pelvic floor. The abdominal muscles engage a little, and the pelvic floor lengthens to cope with the increase in abdominal pressure. When we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and arches back up towards the heart, the pelvic floor muscles engage and the organs move upwards with a decrease in abdominal pressure.
This is the ideal movement and breath rhythm pattern of the diaphragm and pelvic floor and is essential for an upright posture, dynamic movement, vibrational communication across your body, and for your core to support the spine and belly as the organs move up and down.
Bracing, tucking or holding for spinal support and stability create increased intra abdominal pressure (IAP). This is beneficial but imbalanced breathing patterns and excess IAP over time can lead to prolapses, hernias, incontinence, stiffening and over activity of muscles attached to specific joints. An increased IAP can also be the result of poor muscle recruitment when exercising.
Correct 3D breathing allows the digestive and elimination systems to work effectively. Restricted or poor breathing affects the gut, blood flow, organs, the connective tissue system and the heart.
You can learn more about correct breathing in everyday life and during exercise in one of our upcoming classes.