Shhhh! Don't Mention The Pelvic Floor!

shhhAs Pilates instructors we understand the importance of teaching correct activation of the pelvic floor muscles to our clients. We know that the pelvic floor musclesare an essential part of spinal stability, working interdependently with the other trunk stabilisers (Sapsford 2033). Yet in spite of its fundamental importance in spinal health, posture and every day functions there can be a tendency to be vague about how exactly to activate the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is shrouded in mystery, for some it can be embarrassing, for others non-existent and not only for our clients but for ourselves as well. Surrounded by women in a group session, does the one man really want to be told to "draw up his testicles?" Also if we can not feel or see the muscles working it seems to be a blind act of faith to just believe it's working whilst quietly questioning " Am I doing this right?" So how can we effectively activate and train the pelvic floor whilst sparing the blushes? The answer could be in changing our cueing from isometric contractions to dynamic training, by using myofascial tracks and the co-contraction with the diaphragm.Try these examples and see if you feel the pelvic floor activate.

  • When standing, lift up the inner arches of the feet.
  • Before lifting into the 100 imagine squeezing a small ball between the knees without reducing the space.
  • In the Shoulder Bridge hover the heels off the floor.
  • On exhalation sound gently sound "HHHHHHHH"

More ways of cueing the pelvic floor through dynamic movement will be explored on the Pilates-The Next Step workshop. For more information on our courses and workshops please visit or contact us at

References: The Female Pelvis Blandine Calais-Germain Pelvic Power Eric Franklin                                                                                                 Image form