Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Best Tips To Stop Leaking While Jumping

December 1, 2020


Do you experience urinary leaking with jumping jacks, double-unders, box jumps or while jumping on the trampoline? Maybe you’re avoiding jumping altogether for fear of leaking or pelvic heaviness. Jumping is a great exercise as it helps build muscle strength and power, while challenging the cardiovascular system. It requires coordination, agility, and can be beneficial for bone health.  From my clinical experience, jumping is also one of the most common activities that people report incontinence during or end up avoiding it completely. The following is a list of tips to try at home to dramatically improve your ability to jump without symptoms. 

  1. Soften your landing: Think “land quietly” or “get low” to encourage bending at your hips and knees. When jumping, we essentially want to start and end in the same athletic position/squat. I like to use the analogy of a plane landing on a runway. It is easier to land if we have a longer runway to slow down. Try to land in more of a squat position as opposed to vertical and ridgid by bending through the knees and hips to provide more shock absorption throughout the body, reducing the force on the pelvic floor. 

  2. Relax the pelvic floor:  So often when people experience incontinence, there is an automatic tendency to panic and grip, holding a constant tension through the pelvic floor, abdominals, or both. Holding abdominals and pelvic floor tight won’t help you prevent leaking. It may seem counterintuitive, but by relaxing your pelvic floor and abdominals prior to a jump or landing, your pelvic floor will have more range of motion to contract and generate more power to stop incontinence automatically. 

  3. Avoid holding your breath:  Holding your breath can increase intraabdominal pressure and put excessive pressure on your pelvic floor, bladder and urethra, ultimately contributing to incontinence. 

  4. Start small and build up:  If you mainly experience leaking with jumping jacks or double unders, scale back to a jumping activity that you are able to perform without leaking. For some, that may be jumping jacks with a more narrow stance, keeping arms by your sides, or alternating double unders with a single hop. Once you can get to 10-20 reps of a modified jump without leaking or pelvic heaviness, you can progress.

  5. Try doing something different: Everyone has different holding patterns, ways of compensating, or movement patterns that we tend to use. If the movement pattern you use to jump is when you experience leaking, try doing something different. “Something different” could be any of the steps above or some combination of them. If you continue to experience leaking or pelvic heaviness while jumping after trying these tips then schedule an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist to help identify other possible contributing factors.

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