Lift before you lift!

Do you pee during workouts?  If your answer is yes or feel like it could be, then you are right up there with a lot of women.  Yup it’s pretty common although no one will admit it.  Whilst it’s common and to some degree considered ‘normal’ in older women or women who have had children, what about the rest of us women who train.  You know, those of us who have lifted heavy at the start of a class only to get half way through the cardio section to suddenly think ‘was that pee!!’ How could that be? Well, according to an article recently published by the Canberra Times, we’re not alone! A recent study has found that urinary incontinence is three times more common among female athletes.

So why do we sometimes find ourselves in a little bit of a mess during exercise? Well it’s pretty simple really. The Canberra Times writes “The pelvic floor muscles, which are like a trampoline supporting the organs in our pelvis, control our bladder and bowels and help to keep the vagina and uterus in place. When pelvic floor muscles are weak, a little or a lot of urine can leak when we cough, sneeze, laugh, jump or exercise.”

Technique may also play a role in leakage being experienced during your workouts. A lot of people hold their breath when they lift, some do it unintentionally whilst others do it to lock in every muscle of their trunk to help get that extra burst of strength. The problem with breath holding is that instead of the intra-abdominal pressure being exerted outwards through the ribcage and associated muscles, it is exerted downwards onto the pelvic floor.

Do it long enough and you will find that the pelvic floor won’t function as well as it used to, yes men, this can happen to you too. Not only do you need to learn how to breathe correctly, you need to know how to switch on your pelvic floor before you lift. Lift before you lift! This goes with all other aspects of exercise as well.

If you’re not sure whether you are effectively activating your pelvic floor don’t be shy! Come in and talk with our Canberra Physio, Suzie (an avid CrossFitter) who will not only show you how to lift before you lift, but she will also show you some cheat techniques to get you through those skipping and jumping workouts!