Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

The Best Breathing Exercise For Your Pelvic Floor

April 14, 2022

Breathing has become an industry in this country. Books, apps, and countless health articles revolve around the various styles of breathing, all boasting the mental and physical benefits that can be unlocked with different techniques. As pelvic health physical therapists in Boulder County, we often assess a patient’s breathing pattern during our first evaluation and many patients have some form of breathing homework on day one. This is because of the close association between breathing mechanics and pelvic floor mechanics. Look back at our blog here to read more about the relationship between the diaphragm and pelvic floor. 

So what is the best pattern of breathing to optimize our pelvic floor mechanics? We will break down a pattern here that is ideal for anyone dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction (whether a weak OR tight pelvic floor) or anyone looking to prevent pelvic dysfunction. This style has two components of focus: deep belly expansion, and rib expansion.

The Inhale: take a deep breath in and with this inhale think of expanding that breath low and deep into your abdomen as well as thinking of expanding your ribcage outward

The Exhale: as you exhale you should belly your belly empty and your ribcage retract back inward as breath exits your body

Watch this video to ensure you are getting the correct motions and not performing any unwanted compensations:

Why is this ideal? A deep belly breath gets blood flow and expansion low enough that it should expand and relax our pelvic floor. Additionally, expanding your ribcage ensures a nice drop of your diaphragm that will also help expand your pelvic floor. This pelvic floor expansion will help those that hold too much tension in these muscles due to the relaxation that overflows into pelvic floor with the inhale AND will help those that have weakness in these muscles by using the exhale to help facilitate a natural lifting/contracting of these muscles.

At Mend, we recommend you see a pelvic health specialist to help get guidance on proper execution of this breathing technique, to learn if there is a breathing technique more tailored to your pelvic floor dysfunction, and to learn how to apply this breathing technique into exercise and activity.

Schedule an appointment with a pelvic health physical therapist at Mend’s Boulder or Lafayette location today!