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How to Do 5 Easy Pelvic Floor Exercises

Physiotherapists — and particularly those who specialise in women's health physiotherapy — think that pelvic floor exercises are a pretty big deal. If you have spent any time at all on our website or browsing social media for pelvic health topics, then you will definitely have come across discussion about how important it is to keep the muscles in this part of your anatomy supple and strong. 

Before we dive right into how to do pelvic floor exercises, let's look briefly at what the pelvic floor is and why it's so important to exercise it.

Learn how to do 5 easy pelvic floor exercises to treat pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence, prolapse and recover from giving birth. No equipment required.

What is the Pelvic Floor?

When you sneeze, when you cough or perhaps when you run, you might feel a little internal pressure against the top of your vagina or your perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the anus. That pressure you feel is your pelvic floor tensing up. 

Maybe you leak a little urine when you perform these actions or even when you laugh hard. If you find yourself tensing your muscles to keep from wetting yourself, or perhaps crossing your legs, that is also squeezing the pelvic floor muscles.

The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles that run from your pubic bone to your tail bone. Its function is to support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, bowel, uterus and vagina. That's why when you want to stop the flow of urine or passing of wind from your anus, for example, you squeeze the muscles there.

Why You Should be Doing Pelvic Floor Exercises

These muscles are part of the group that make up your 'core' muscles. Together with the support systems of the back, abdomen and diaphragm, the pelvic floor provides strength and stability for the whole body.

Just like your other muscles, this network should be exercised regularly to keep them in optimum condition. The benefits of pelvic floor exercises are:

  • Better control of your bladder and bowel. If you suffer from stress incontinence or urgency, then you would most likely find it beneficial to do pelvic floor exercises.
  • Less risk of developing prolapse. Prolapse is the term for when your pelvic organs slip from their normal location in your abdomen. You can find out more about this condition in Pelvic Organ Prolapse - What it is and How to Avoid It
  • Better recovery from childbirth or surgery. Giving birth or having gynaecological surgery puts an enormous strain on the pelvic floor. Making sure it's strong and supple will help you be ready to give birth and to bounce back quickly. 
  • Better sex. Yes, that's right! A strong pelvic floor can help intensify sensation for both you and your partner during intercourse. That means better orgasms that are easier to reach and a sexual experience that's more satisfying overall.

Let's look at some of the best easy exercises for strengthening this area and how to perform them. No equipment required!

5 Easy Pelvic Floor Exercises and How to Do Them


Maybe you've already heard about Kegel exercises. These are the squeezing exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They're called Kegels because they were named after the doctor who first made them famous in the 40s.  

How to do Kegel Exercises

  • Locate your pelvic floor muscles. They're the ones you feel when you're trying to hold in a wee and you should feel the contraction all the way back to your anus. It's not your belly or the cheeks of your bottom, though. 
  • Imagine you're sitting on a marble. Squeeze the muscles as if you are trying to draw the marble up into your vagina. Once you have identified the right muscles, you can get to work. 
  • Sitting or lying comfortably, tighten the muscles. Try to isolate them so you're not using your abs or your glutes. 
  • Hold the squeeze for a count of 3 to 5 seconds and as you progress, aim for 10 seconds hold. 
  • Release and relax for a count of 3 to 5 seconds and as you progress relax your pelvic floor for 10 seconds. 
  • Repeat 10 times.

Do these exercises: 3 times a day, in the morning, afternoon and evening.


  • Stand with your back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart and several inches in front of you.
  • Inhale, then as you exhale, engage your abdominal muscles and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles up to 50%.
  • Keeping your back against the wall, slowly lower yourself into a seated position until your legs are at about 90 degrees and your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  • Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds, or as long as you can. You can build up the length of time you're able to hold it.
  • Stand for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Do this exercise: 3-7 times a week.


How to do alternative arm and leg raises called the bird dog to strengthen pelvic floor female.

You might see this exercise called 'bird dog' because it's a similar movement to the shape a hunting dog makes when it's pointing out a bird! But we like to call it 'SUPERMAMA/SUPERWOMAN'

  • Kneel on all fours on a mat or towel on the floor. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. 
  • Keep your head straight and your chin slightly tucked in, looking at the floor below you.
  • Keep your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles engaged so that your back is straight.
  • As you exhale, raise your right arm forward with your upper arm almost next to your ear.
  • At the same time, raise your left leg straight out behind you, keeping your knee straight but not locked.
  • Hold your arm and leg straight for 2-5 second then lower them.
  • Do the same with your left arm and right leg.
  • Repeat the full movement of both sides 5-10 times then rest.

Do this exercise: 3-7 times a week


It sounds like a mouthful, but you may have heard diaphragmatic breathing referred to as ‘belly breathing’. That’s because this type of breathing fully engages the core muscles, including the abdominals and pelvic floor.

  • Sit or lie comfortably with one hand palm-down on your abdomen and one on your chest. 
  • Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 seconds. You should feel your lower hand move as your diaphragm expands. If you’re doing it properly, your upper hand should move very little or not at all. 
  • Hold it for 2 seconds, then breathe out through your mouth very slowly to a count of 6 seconds. 
  • Repeat for 5 to 15 minutes.

Do this exercise: 3-7 times a week


Find out how to do a bridge pose and other pelvic floor exercises, including plank and kegel exercises.

  • On a mat or towel on the floor, lie on your back.
  • Bend your knees and draw your feet close to your bottom.
  • Lay your arms straight by your sides with your palms on the floor next to your hips.
  • As you exhale, draw in your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor.
  • Pushing through your feet, lift your bottom off the floor, keeping your shoulders, feet and hands on the floor and your head still. 
  • Hold for 5 seconds, lower and relax.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

Do this exercise: 3-7 times a week

If at any point you feel discomfort doing these exercises, then stop and seek advice from a medical professional. A women's health physiotherapist will be able to assess your pelvic floor and give you a personalised plan to address any problems you're having.


For more information about how women's health physiotherapy can help with pelvic floor dysfunction, call Magdalena on 07877 017 936 or drop PelviCare an email. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online or find a full list of the treatments available on our website. 

PelviCare Women's Health Physiotherapy is located in Greenwich, London, serving women across South London, East London, Essex, Kent and beyond.  

Recommended Articles:

How Women’s Health Physiotherapy Can Help With Urinary Incontinence

Pelvic Organ Prolapse - What It Is and How to Avoid It

How Can Women's Health Physiotherapy Help My Pelvic Floor?