My mission is quite simple. Making sure that all women have a body that works right! I enjoy empowering you with these resources so that you can always be in complete control of your body and feel good in it too! Please believe me when I say that this piece of the puzzle cannot be skipped! Building that strong foundation first is a must and before you move on to ANYTHING else you must first have a body that functions. Function first and the rest can wait! You will get much further this way,I promise!
Everyone talks about working out such as; what exercises to do to get killer abs, a nice booty, and what the best exercises are to focus on toning your arms and legs. Why doesn’t anyone talk about exercise to have a killer orgasm and a great sex life? We talk about all of the other muscles of the body, yet not often does anyone mention the pelvic floor.
When is the last time you went to a group class and the instructor said “ok now everyone together engages that pelvic floor.” Now I want you to dig really deep on this next breath and try and find your transverse abdominis muscle. No? No one? Really! Well then, you have never taken a class with me. Why in the world are we not talking about these powerhouse muscles of our core system and getting to know them well?
We hear over and over again “engage your core, engage your core.” What does that even mean and why is it so important? I’ll make sure you know by the end of this! Being in tune with your core as a system can be beneficial in many ways and it can enhance your sex life too!
The pelvic floor is a muscle just like any other muscle in the body and a very vital part of the core. You strengthen it and you will feel results. Your core is made up of diaphragm, ab muscles, multifidus (spine stabilizers), and the pelvic floor. You can start to see why I’m not loving the universal “engage your core” cue! This system is made up of many parts. Let’s learn a little about the pelvic floor before we move on.
The Pelvic floor
1. Location: the floor of the pelvis works like a hammock and attaches from the pubic bone all the way back to the coccyx (tail bone)
2. Functions: for women, the PF is responsible for keeping organs (bladder, uterus, and rectum) in place in an upright position, urinary and fecal control, and sexual function.
3. How to find it: my favorite cue is to imagine that you are drinking a smoothie with a straw through your vagina. Feeling anus lifting in the back is important too during these engagements. Remember the location from the front (pubic bone) all the way to the back (tailbone).
I am a personal trainer, but no ordinary one to say the least. You will most likely not find me in the gym training women, but rather with them in a classroom educating them about their bodies before they make their way to that workout class or the gym.
I want to make sure that women completely understand their core and how it works as a system. That’s why I ensure they have the education, resources, and tools to be in complete control of their bodies. I teach women exactly what it means to engage their core and how to be in control at all times during both low and high-intensity activities which include; getting your groceries at the store to lifting heavy at the gym and everything in between. The most important tools I want women to walk away with are ensuring that they have a complete understanding of their core system and most importantly how it works.
Your core is so important because it is incorporated in almost every movement of the human body. This is why I don’t take the cue “engage your core” lightly. When you know how to use it, you will be in control of your entire body! You will move pain-free, run faster, lift heavier, and possibly even have a better orgasm. You can also perform everyday activities with ease because remember we use our core all of the time!
Put it to practice and get to know your core!
- Cues for Pelvic floor – think smoothie
- Cue for transverse abdominis muscle – imagine bringing your belly button to your heart or drawing the hip bones to the center of your belly button if they moved – NEVER sucking in.
These engagements will always be done on the exhale. This is so important and must be done correctly to fully benefit from the exercises.
Sit and close your eyes. Be aware of your breath, that you are inhaling and relaxing and exhaling and engaging. Imagine drinking that smoothie through a straw and bringing your belly button to heart on the exhale and then on the inhale letting that belly rise nice and high letting everything relax. Engaging is important but so is relaxing! This may not come naturally to you at first and that is OK. It may even feel like you are breathing backward or in a way, you never have before. Again, it’s OK! How are we supposed to know how to do something no one ever taught us? It’s very important to become in tune with your pelvic floor, but it’s also good to be familiar with that deepest core muscle too (transverse abdominis muscle).
Think of these two as a team working together. They may not initially work together, but because they are all part of the same core system you can teach them to. Once you master how to breathe right and find those two powerhouse muscles, side effects could be a flatter tummy, better sex, and dry underwear. Many women I work with have been able to completely alleviate their leaking symptoms with the core exercises I teach them alone. Just like anything else in life practice makes perfect. Keep practicing until you start to feel more confident breathing and engaging right!
So today I challenge you to practice your breathing and engagements. Then I challenge you to try and shift your mindset and remember that more is NOT always better! You can learn more at www.mutustrong.com and dive a little deeper with more education and exercises here!
Ashley Gammon is a seasoned Army wife, mom of three beautiful girls, and a passionate military spouse on a mission. She has a background in health and is a certified personal trainer, MUTU Pro, and M.O.M.S. (Military Outreach Mutu System) Community manager. This program promotes pelvic floor and core health for women in pre and post-partum stages of life. Ashley empowers women to put their health first and improve quality of life in the process. When she isn’t busy with that, you can usually find her outdoors in the country, sipping hot coffee, while enjoying the calm of rural life in Michigan.