As women become obsessed with developing their glutes, they started to experience considerable pelvic floor weakness.
Caution is needed when starting sports routines or activities in the gym as it is not common to evaluate clients through a specialized medical exam but a simple superficial assessment made by a fitness trainer is enough for signing them in.
Things start with a series of pre-established exercises that are usually standard for everyone equally. Personalized attention is practically non-existent despite advertising; client is given an initial brief induction and then supervision is very scarce as if assumed everybody knows what to do. If a more personalized attention is required, the trainer must be hired privately.
Referring to women specifically, standard training routines are not suitable as the condition of their pelvic organs is not necessarily the same for all of them.
For instance, those women who have had a recent pregnancy or childbirth, mild to moderate urinary incontinence or prolapses of some degree, require personalized routines and proper supervision by specialized staff that usually a gym does not have.
Sticking to standardized exercise programs such as those that require excessive and strenuous effort to develop the lower body, i.e., buttocks, abdominals, and legs, can contribute to the deterioration of the pelvic floor, i.e., the set of muscles that extend from the front of the pelvis to the coccyx, and that support the bladder, bowel, and uterus within the pelvis.
Lately there has been a lot of talking about hypopressive abs that would replace the very discredited crunches that cause injuries to the cervical vertebrae, lumbar and sciatic pain and also exert excessive pressure on the pelvic floor causing hernias in many cases. But then, when we want to practice these hypopressive abs correctly, we find that there is nobody around to train us properly but rather we have to hire special classes with a knowledgeable pelvic floor coach; all in all this entails extra effort, time and money to achieve the initial objective within our limited capacities.
So many additional requirements and needs undermine our initial purpose of developing glutes that meet today’s aesthetic demands. It is not that one wants to obtain Jlo or Kardashian’s look, but at least get definition, contouring and firmness; but unfortunately crashing against a wall of obstacles such as those just described, seems to fit perfectly gym demands, i.e. to follow their way to being pushed into their typical exhausting routines which can be highly damaging for our pelvic floor.
On the other hand it is worth referring to a large group of people with some level of overweight who seek improving and defining glutes, abs and legs who are driven by these standard routines to perform squats and lunges without taking into account that these exercises are difficult to perform and require great effort, especially for the pelvic floor for which their bodies are not conditioned. Their overweight adds an additional difficulty to the exercises, which is not properly taken into account.
Being the pelvic floor a set of muscles, keeping them in shape is essential. This musculature is necessary for the health and well-being of women, as the internal organs rest on it. A strong and toned pelvic floor will prevent future urinary incontinence and prolapses. It will also play an important role during pregnancy, helping to support the baby’s extra weight as well as contributing to the postpartum process.
Don’t take this as an excuse not to exercise. Workout is essential if you want to stay healthy, strong and toned but it is important to be aware that there are exercises that are not healthy and that we are not part of a herd that should be treated in a globalized way obviating the customization so important for each case.
Significant medical studies worldwide show that the pressure applied on the pelvic floor through high-impact and exertion exercises can cause urine leakage, known as stress incontinence and prolapses, i.e. the descent of internal organs through the vaginal tract as well as hernia development; however, 70% of women are unaware of this reality.
So what can we do?
Strengthening the pelvic floor is not only possible but a must. It is therefore imperative to be very aware of what we can do and what we should not do; we must better decrease the time we spend at the gym with its exhausting routines and prioritize classes with specialized coaches who instruct us in the techniques of hypopressive and Kegel exercises.