The pelvic drop is the “anti-kegel!”
Now please note, I am not a kegel hater. In fact, kegels (pelvic floor contractions and relaxations) are described in detail in my book, and they are a fantastic core strengthening exercise for many — but not all — women. Women who hold chronic tension in the pelvic floor and experience pain during sex, for example, should AVOID kegels until they have been evaluated by a women’s health physical therapist and have mastered the ability to release/relax the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic drop, on the other hand, is a great relaxation technique that can benefit ALL WOMEN. Honestly, I can’t think of anyone for whom the pelvic drop would be contraindicated… It’s simply a beautiful RELEASE that most of us could use.
Just like unchecked shoulder and neck tension can contribute to headaches, unchecked pelvic tension can contribute to pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction. This is of particular concern for women with underlying issues such as constipation, interstitial cystitis, and dyspareunia (pain during sex).
I refer to the pelvic drop as a “reverse kegel,” and I explain the technique in Chapter 21 of my book, Lady Bits.
A reverse kegel or a “pelvic drop” is basically the opposite of a kegel contraction. Remember, it is just as important to know how to relax and release the pelvic floor muscles as it is to know how to contract them.
- Women who are pregnant need to know how to “let go” in order to give birth.
- You need to be able to “let go” in order to have pain-free intercourse.
- You need to “let go” to fully empty your bladder.
- You need to “let go” in order to have a bowel movement!
- “Letting go” during sex can take your pleasurable sensations — and your orgasm — over the top.
So you see? The release is very important.
Give it a try by following along with the video below. I explain three visualizations that can help.
If you don’t have time to watch the video, see below for a written explanation of one of my visualizations (the elevator). And remember the pelvic drop “bonus:” it can help increase sensation during sex, and for some women, can enhance orgasm. Just sayin’…
Pelvic Drop Practice: Elevator Visualization
Imagine your pelvic floor as an elevator that starts in the lobby of a building or a hotel. This “pelvic floor elevator” can go up, or it can go down to a light-filled, completely non-threatening basement. Your baseline level of pelvic floor tension (i.e. no contraction and no relaxation) is the “lobby.” Start here. Imagine the elevator doors sliding closed as you begin your pelvic floor muscle contraction. Gently lift your pelvic floor elevator up to the first floor by contracting your pelvic floor muscles halfway. Do not fully contract; in other words, do not allow your pelvic floor elevator to go all the way up to the second (or third, or fourth) floor. Just go to the first floor.
Next, relax fully and visualize your pelvic floor elevator lowering past the lobby and going all the way down to the basement. Go down, down, down (it’s a high-ceilinged basement!). Really, fully, and deeply let go. Release any tension that’s held in your pelvic floor as you imagine the elevator doors sliding open to reveal a light-filled basement. Relax your pelvic floor enough that you stop just short of urinating*.
*Note: If you feel like you might actually urinate while practicing the pelvic drop, then empty your bladder before-hand so that you feel more comfortable and more able to fully RELEASE the pelvic floor muscles.
Repeat 5 to 10 times. You can do this technique in any position, although lying down might be the easiest (and most relaxing) way to start.
Pelvic Health Self-Help
~Dr. Bri, PT, DPT