Fitness

Beginners Exercises to Tone and Strengthen your Core & Pelvic Floor in 10 minutes

This is the first in a series of posts to tackle strengthening your core and pelvic floor. The following exercises are for beginners and new mums, but look out for subsequent posts for progressions and more challenging exercises.

Buzymum - Beginners Exercises to Tone and Strengthen your Core & Pelvic Floor in 10 minutes

The summer holiday is looming and we all want to look good in that bikini!! Spend 10 minutes a day doing these simple exercises to tone up your middle and strengthen your core. A toned middle body and better core-stability will improve posture, prevent or even eliminate back pain and get you into those jeans that you haven’t worn since BC (before children)! Add them on to your powerwalk back from dropping the kids at school, to the end of your usual gym session or just when your little darling is taking a nap (you’ll still have time for a nap yourself afterwards!)

These excercises incorporate the whole middle area, not just the abdominals (the muscles at the front) and are designed to tone and strengthen from the inside -out, in order to support the spine and enable good posture. How many of you carry your little one around on one hip? Correct that imbalance before it causes you problems!

Before we start, it is important to have your pelvic floor pulled in during all of these exercises. If you have birthed children, I’m sure you know all about your pelvic floor but if not, to get the feel of how to tighten your pelvic floor muscles, the next time you pee, stop mid-flow. The muscles you use are your pelvic floor muscles, think of them like a canopy, hanging lose down there, if they are left lose, they get lazy and weak, allowing occasional leakage when the muscles are stressed. If you find that when you sneeze, cough or jump, a little bit of pee comes out, that’s stress-incontinence, one in three women suffer with this condition, so don’t be embarrassed if this includes you! Strengthening up your pelvic floor can solve this in weeks and it only takes a few minutes a day! Don’t just buy ‘Tena-Lady’, strengthen the muscles and stop the leak!!

Perform these exercises in the following order (see full description below), to allow for recovery of muscles between sets without wasting time, as I know ‘a lady’s time is precious!’

1 x set of alternating leg extensions

1 x set of hip hitches on each side

1 x set of alternating leg lowers

1x set of hip hitches on each side

Alternating Leg Extensions
  • Lye on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and your spine in a neutral position.
  • Place your fingers under your lower back (palms on the floor) and keep your back pressed gentle onto your fingers throughout the exercise. This encourages a good position of the spine, allowing the correct muscles to be working.
  • Pull in your pelvic floor and tighten your abdominals by thinking of pulling your belly button towards your spine. Hold.
  • Slowly and without allowing movement in your torso, extend out one leg until it is straight and flat on the floor (or as far as you can without your body moving), to a count of 5 seconds

Keep back pushed onto fingers ⇒ Buzymum - extend leg while holding torso

  • Slowly return that leg to the bent position, to a count of 5
  • Repeat on the other leg
  • Try to keep hold of your pelvic floor during both leg extensions
  • Repeat 5 times on each leg
  • Increase the repetitions one at a time, until you can manage 10 on each leg
Hip hitches

To get the feel of this movement, stand straight and try to lift one foot off the floor by drawing your leg up into your hip. Your leg shouldn’t move out to the side, just directly up. You will only manage to pull your foot a couple of inches off of the floor. If you place your hands on your hips during this motion, you will feel the hip moving up towards the rib-cage. If you can remember ‘Bod’ (showing my age here!!), this movement reminds me of the way they used to walk!!

Buzymum - lifting leg from the hip

  • Lye on your side with your head resting on an outstretched arm, the upper arm supporting and preventing rolling
  • Pull in the pelvic floor
  • Hitch the upper most hip in the same movement described above, the leg only lifts a few inches as shown below

Buzymum - exercise for the waist

  • Hold for 2 seconds
  • Return to start position but immediately go again without relaxing your pelvic floor
  • Repeat 10 times

You will probably find, when you first try, that by the time you get to 10, you have relaxed your pelvic floor without realizing it. Don’t worry, it will strengthen quickly and if you do it every day, after a couple of weeks, you will be able to hold it!

  • Once you can hold in your pelvic floor for 10 on each side, begin to increase the number of repetitions 2 at a time until you can do 20. You should only allow a 10 second rest between sides.
Alternating Leg Lowers
  • Lye on your back with your knees at a 90 degree angle, feet off of the floor in line with hips
  • Place your hands under your pelvis to keep it stable throughout the movement
  • Pull in your pelvic floor and tighten your abdominals by thinking of pulling your belly button towards your spine. Hold.
  • To a count of 5, take one foot down to the floor, maintaining the 90 degree angle at the knee, then return to the start position to another count of 5

Buzymum - lowering the leg ⇒ Buzymum - Lowering leg

  • Repeat on the other leg
  • Try to keep hold of your pelvic floor during both leg lowers
  • Repeat 5 times on each leg
  • Increase the repetitions one at a time, until you can manage 10 on each leg
  • Take the legs to a 135 degree angle when you are ready to make the exercise harder still (return to 5 repetitions and build up to 10 again)

Whether you suffer from stress-incontinence or not, pelvic floor exercises are a good habit to get into. When you’re in the car or sitting anywhere, get into the habit of doing a few sets of pelvic floor squeezes, you can literally do them anywhere!

Follow the blog to be notified of subsequent posts and progressions to tone and strengthen your core and pelvic floor.

Let me know if you found this post useful and please contact me with any questions xx

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11 thoughts on “Beginners Exercises to Tone and Strengthen your Core & Pelvic Floor in 10 minutes

  1. I really need to do more on my pelvic floor. I think I left mine in the birthing pool somewhere? I’ll be back to try some of these out as my current technique of “buy some kegel weights and leave them in a drawer to gather dust” clearly isn’t working for me. Great advice hon. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why has no one ever mentioned concentrating on pulling in my pelvic floor while doing ab work before?!? It’s been four years since my last baby and while my abs have recovered I think my pelvic floor is still sagging! I’m going to keep it in mind from now on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Very informative. Thank you.
    I do pelvic floor whenever I am sat doing nothing like a long car journey or I’m lying in bed!
    The alternating leg lowers are fab! They really work the core. We use them in LBT and body conditioning class! X #momsterslink

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just started back up with my workout regimen again yesterday. I enjoy going to the gym because I like the energy of other people working out but I refuse to lay on the floor there lol. I have thought of investing in my own mat to take as I always tell myself that I will do my floor exercises when I get home and of course never do. Thanks again for linking with #momsterslink and good luck with your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

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