3 Ways To Strengthen An Underactive Pelvic Floor

3 Ways To Strengthen An Underactive Pelvic Floor

When you have an underactive pelvic floor, the goal is to strengthen and balance the muscles of that area. 

(If you’re asking…how do I know if my pelvic floor is underactive? Head over to this post for our guide. If your symptoms sound more like an overactive pelvic floor, check out this post!)

If your pelvic floor muscles are not working as hard as you need them to, you can use several techniques to increase the level of engagement and activity in this area. 

3 Techniques To Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles


You’ve heard of Kegels.  Kegels are a great way for people with an underactive pelvic floor to increase the level of strength in those pelvic floor muscles. 

*If you have an overactive pelvic floor, Kegels can make things worse. 

But most of us haven’t been taught to Kegel properly.

Typically, you are taught to squeeze the muscles as if you are shutting off the flow of urine.

But, if you only shut off the flow of urine, you are doing an incomplete Kegel! 

The pelvic floor is a set of big, broad muscles that go from the pubic bone all the way to the tailbone. If you’re only thinking of shutting off urine flow, you’re missing some big parts of that muscle. 

So how do we do a proper Kegel? 

Step 1: Engage Properly 

Pelvic floor muscles are responsible for squeezing AND lifting the pelvic floor. We want to find both these actions when doing a kegel. 

As you Kegel, think about squeezing to shut off the flow of urine.

Now also visualize a diamond underneath your vagina. As you squeeze, imagine pulling that diamond up within you to lift the pelvic floor. Done correctly, you might feel the engagement deep inside the lower abdomen. 


Step 2: Engage the entirety of the pelvic floor

We can access the full set of muscles by changing our pelvis position. 

To begin, find the muscles in the front of the pelvic floor. 

Start by untucking the pelvis and coming to sit more in the front of the pelvic floor (more toward the vaginal opening). From this position, take a deep breath in, then as you exhale engage, squeeze (like you are shutting off the flow of urine) and imagine drawing the diamond up inside of your vagina.  

You just engaged the front of the pelvic floor! 


Next, find the muscles in the back of the pelvic floor. 

To access the back of the pelvic floor, tuck your pelvis under you so you are sitting more toward your tailbone. Inhale, let the muscles relax. As you exhale, squeeze the muscles like you are shutting off the flow of gas from your anus. Also, imagine drawing a diamond up inside your anus to find the lift of those muscles. 

That’s the back of the pelvic floor! 


Now come to a neutral pelvis position, sitting directly on the sit bones. 

Inhale, let the muscles relax. Exhale and squeeze like you are shutting off the flow of urine AND gas, while also imagine drawing diamonds up within you. 


You’ve found your entire pelvic floor! 


You may find that either the back or front is weaker. This is totally normal. The more work you do on this, the more you can create balance through your entire pelvic floor. 


Strengthen Abdominal Muscles 

Our pelvic floor and our core are designed to work together. 

And sometimes it can be easier to get the pelvic floor muscles to turn on by also contracting the muscles of the abdominals.

The inhale naturally relaxes the core and the pelvic floor. The exhale naturally engages the core and the pelvic floor. 

So to begin, we will use the breath and inhale to allow everything to relax. As you exhale, imagine that you are engaging the pelvic floor like I just described in the kegel section. 


Next, think about bringing that engagement into your belly. Engaging your low belly, mid-belly, and upper belly.  You can use your hands as a guide to move the engagement up the body. 


Remember, engagement is a subtle action. You shouldn’t be clenching or crunching, simply allow the engagement to move up. If you’re having trouble, try taking the hands and wrapping them around from the back to the front to help your body find the action (see the video for an example).

As you do this, you should feel tall and long if the correct muscles are firing. Remember to use the exhale whenever you are exerting yourself to help this engagement when you pick up your kids, sneeze, or cough. 


Strengthen With A Pelvic Floor Trainer

A pelvic floor trainer is a piece of smart technology.  Inserted into your vagina, it gives feedback to your phone or computer on how your muscles are working as you practice engaging. 

The trainer will give you cues to engage your pelvic floor and it will help you work on overall strength (e.g. how strong the muscles are) and the muscles’ ability to work quickly (e.g. to protect you as you are about to sneeze).  We will be releasing a more detailed post about pelvic floor trainers very soon. Stay tuned! 

These are three simple ways to help increase strength in an underactive pelvic floor. By doing so, you can improve pelvic floor function which will allow you to get back to your active lifestyle without limitation!  

Want to learn more about strengthening your post-baby core/pelvic floor with yoga? Click below to join my free masterclass.

Best Pelvic Floor Massager

Best Pelvic Floor Massager

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out our top pick for best pelvic floor massager, we recommend the Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand.

Pee-Sneezes Suck!

Did you know? One in four women struggle with pelvic floor disorders, and research shows, as women age, this percentage increases. 

The common advice for women struggling with pelvic floor issues is to “do Kegels”. 

BUT…this assumes that all women with PF issues have underactive pelvic floor muscles (a.k.a muscles on permanent vacay). 

This is simply untrue. 

Many women who struggle with pelvic floor issues have the opposite issue – overactive muscles.

Traditionally, women with overactive muscles would have to seek the help of a physical therapist to release those muscles. But today, there are a number of Pelvic Floor Massagers available so you can release your pelvic floor muscles from the comfort of your own home.

We’ve rounded up the best pelvic floor massagers on the market and include our top pick. 

Here are the pelvic floor massage tools we reviewed: 



Hyperactive pelvic floor muscles are muscles in a constant state of contraction. 

The constant activity of the muscles leads to weakness and difficulty contracting fully. 

It can lead to a number of issues including incontinence, pelvic or tailbone pain, pelvic instability, and hip pain. 



The best way to confirm overactive pelvic floor muscles is by seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist. 

However, there are indicators that can help you know whether or not your pelvic floor is overactive. In general, individuals with overactive pelvic floor muscle tend to experience one, or more, of the following:

  • When trying to kegel, they don’t feel much engagement (because the muscle is already engaged!),
  • Difficulty taking a deep, full breath,
  • Peeing with exertion (a.k.a. pee-sneezes),
  • Pelvic pain or tailbone pain,
  • Pain with intercourse, or
  • Trouble emptying bladder fully.

These individuals may also be more of a “type A” personality. 



Women struggling with hyperactive pelvic floors, often have trigger points in their pelvic floor. These trigger points are areas of muscular tension or fascia constriction that prevent the muscles from working properly. They often feel tender to the touch and result in muscles that don’t work effectively.

Internal pelvic floor massage relaxes and lengthens the muscles and fascia of the pelvic floor to change how they work and reduce pain. This is done internally through either the vagina or rectum. 

It can be done manually with a finger (as is typically done at a pelvic floor physiotherapist) or with the use of a tool, like a pelvic floor massager. 

Pelvic Floor Massage helps the muscles relax and the body feel better in two ways: 

  1. By lengthening the muscles through physical manipulation, and
  2. By changing the way that the brain is interacting with the muscle (similar to when you have a headache and distract yourself from the pain by pinching your arm). 

The end result: Better working muscles and less pain and discomfort.

We share additional ways to release overactive pelvic floor muscles in this blog post.


Most pelvic floor massage tools are small, curved wands. They come in a variety of materials. 

Image Source: Intimate Rose

These wands are inserted into the vagina or anus, about an inch deep, with the help of lubricant. 

Once inserted, you gently press the wand into the internal muscles of the pelvic floor.



For vaginal insertion, you will want to be lying on your back, with your knees bent. 

This guide provides visuals/explanations for the areas you will want to target. 

Visualize the pelvic floor like a clock, with the pubic bone at 12:00 and the tailbone at 6:00. Once inserted gently massage the areas from 6:00 to 1:00 (Starting from the anus, along the right side of the pelvic floor, ending to the right of the urethra). And then return to 6:00 and massage from 6:00 to 11:00 (along the left side of the pelvic floor). 

Avoid the area from 11:00 to 1:00 (the area directly behind the urethra). Direct pressure on that area is uncomfortable and can cause injury. 

This video gives a nice explanation of the pelvic floor and how to use a pelvic floor massage tool.  

Once you are finished, wash the tool with soap and water and store it in a clean location.



A wide range of women (and men…but that’s another post for another day) can benefit from pelvic floor massage. 

You may benefit from pelvic floor massage If you: 

  • Experience the signs of overactive pelvic floors, mentioned above.
  • Experience unexplained pelvic pain that is unrelated to infection or gynecologic conditions like endometriosis or fibroids, or
  • Hold chronic tension in your deep hip rotator muscles (e.g. piriformis and obturator internus).

If you suspect that you have overactive pelvic floor muscles, it’s always a good idea to get confirmation from a pelvic floor physiotherapist before beginning any treatment. 



When using a Pelvic Floor Massage Tool make sure you follow all usage instructions from the manufacturer. 



When using a PF massage tool, it is common for it to feel very intense at the beginning. These muscles can hold large amounts of tension. Releasing that tension can feel similar to foam rolling tight muscles.

You may also experience MORE incontinence issues at first. As the muscles release, they must re-learn how to engage properly. In the interim, you may find that you are leaking more often. This should resolve over time. 



We’ve reviewed the majority of the available pelvic floor massage tools on the market (there aren’t that many!). Take a look through the pros/cons of each to find your best Pelvic Floor Massage Tool.


Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand

The Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand is a beautiful product designed by a doctor of physical therapy and a certified pelvic floor rehabilitation specialist. 

A strong feature of this product is its design. Its unique shape allows you to reach both superficial and deep pelvic floor muscles. Many users noted that they could tell the tool was designed by someone with a good knowledge of pelvic floor muscles. And many reported that the tool reduced their pelvic floor tightness symptoms quickly.

One user indicated that they could not reach the piriformis muscle with the tool, but others did not report that issue. 

This product also has the lowest price of the tools we reviewed, making it a great value for the money.


  • Designed with BPA-free, medical-grade silicone, so that it feels soft and smooth
  • Designed with a unique shape that helps the tool reach both superficial and deep pelvic floor muscles. This helps to better relieve pelvic pain deep within the pelvis.
  • It has two different sized/shaped ends, to suit your particular anatomy.
  • Both ends can be used vaginally or rectally to reach many of the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Easily cleaned with soap and water.
  • Most affordable of the tools reviewed (at the time of this writing).



  • Silicone coating can be damaged if left in a heated environment
  • Must avoid using silicone-based lubricants. Water-based lubricant is recommended to ensure the silicone doesn’t get damaged. 

 – Click here to Check Current Price On Amazon –



Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand with Vibration

The Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand With Vibration is the exact same size and shape as the Original Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand, with the added feature of 10 speeds of vibration.

Like the original wand, the vibrating pelvic wand is a beautiful product designed by a doctor of physical therapy and certified pelvic floor rehabilitation specialist. It has the same unique design so that you can reach both superficial and deep pelvic floor muscles.

The vibration feature is designed to improve circulation in the pelvic floor, vaginal, and vulvar area. This makes this tool particularly useful for women who can benefit from increased blood flow to the area. This includes women who: 

  • Experience chronic long-standing pelvic pain, 
  • Are recovering from vaginal surgery, 
  • Are post-cancer treatment (both pelvic and breast cancer)
  • Experiencing menopause
  • Experienced a significant tailbone injury



  • Designed with BPA-free, medical-grade silicone so that it is soft and smooth to the touch
  • 10 speeds of vibration
  • Designed with a unique shape that helps the tool reach both superficial and deep pelvic floor muscles. This helps to better relieve pelvic pain deep within the pelvis.
  • Has two different shaped ends, to suit your particular anatomy
  • Both ends can be used vaginally or rectally to reach many of the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Easily cleaned with soap and water.
  • Rechargeable with a USB wall charger



  • Silicone can be damaged if left in a heated environment
  • Must avoid silicone-based lubricants. A water-based lubricant is recommended to ensure the silicone doesn’t get damaged. 
  • Higher price because of the vibration feature.

 – Click here to Check Current Price On Amazon –

Therawand V-Wand

The TheraWand V-Wand was created with direct input from leading pelvic floor therapists. Made from high-quality acrylic, the wand includes two different shaped ends so that you can massage both broad areas and more targeted trigger points. 

Although this wand can be used both vaginally and rectally, the manufacturers recommend their LA Wand for rectal massage.

This product seems to work well for pelvic floor massage, with a few users indicating they no longer need to see a physical therapist for manual treatment. One user mentioned that the acrylic material is quite hard, so it is important to use gentle pressure while using it. A few users mentioned that they did not receive instructions with the tool. 



  • Designed with input from pelvic floor therapists.
  • Two different sized ends so that you can massage a broad area or more targeted trigger points. 
  • Easily cleaned with soap and water.
  • Designed to allow you to control the exact amount of pressure and location of the massage



  • Some may find it too large for rectal usage (the company recommends their LA Wand for this).  
  • Can not clean with alcohol.
  • Harder material (acrylic) might provide too much pressure for some.

  – Click here to Check Current Price On Amazon –

Our Choice For Best Pelvic Floor Massager

When it comes to pelvic floor massage tools, there are only a few high-quality tools available to choose from. 

Of the three products we reviewed, the Intimate Rose Pelvic Wand is our choice for best pelvic floor massage tool for most people. 

With a beautiful design that gets the job done, many users appreciate this tool. It helps users relax and release their pelvic floors resulting in less pain and better functioning muscles.

And, at the lowest price of the tools reviewed, it is an excellent value for money. 

Looking for more guidance on creating a healthy, balanced, pelvic floor? Join me in my Pelvic Floor Pick-Me-Up System!

4 Ways To Release An Overactive Pelvic Floor

4 Ways To Release An Overactive Pelvic Floor

If your pelvic floor is overactive, your goal is to find ways to release and relax those muscles. 

(If your asking…how do I know if my pelvic floor is overactive? Head over to this post for our guide. If your symptoms sound more like an underactive pelvic floor, stay tuned!)

 In an overactive pelvic floor, the muscles are chronically active. Often, they are overworking to create stability in your pelvis. This can lead to dysfunction that includes pain, poorly functioning muscles, leaking urine and a variety of other issues. 

These four simple exercises can relax and release those pelvic floor muscles to create balance and reduce discomfort. 

Happy Baby Breathing. 

This simple breathing exercise starts by laying on your back in happy baby yoga position. Take your feet up and grab the outside of your feet with your hands, if possible.

If this position is challenging for you, just bend your knees and grab behind your thighs. This position naturally stretches the pelvic floor muscles. 

From your desired position, allow your back and the back of the pelvis to settle down into the floor. Focus on the breath, particularly the inhale, which naturally expands the pelvic floor. 

Begin deepening the breath and try to feel the inhale expand and stretch the pelvic floor.  Let the exhale be passive (don’t worry about anything happening in your pelvic floor). Don’t worry if you can’t feel the breath in your pelvic floor at first. It can take some practice to get it to work!

Try to do 5-10 of these breaths per day to naturally relax those muscles.

Myofascial Release With A Ball.

Using a ball for myofascial release is another way you can begin to relax and release these muscles. Using a racquetball, tennis ball, or another small ball you have around the house (play with the size and firmness to find what’s comfortable for you), place the ball to the inside of one of your sitting bones

(Not sure where your sitting bones are? bend over slightly and you will feel two bony protrusions in the center of your butt. That’s them!!)

In this position, the ball will be on one side of your pelvic floor.

If this feels too intense, place a towel or pillow underneath you to reduce the sensation. 

With the ball under you, begin to take deep breaths, imagining you are breathing your pelvic floor into the ball. This will massage the muscles, breaking up some of the tension in the pelvic floor. 

Stay there for a few breaths, then move the ball slightly forward, still on one side of the pelvic floor, to just behind your vagina.

 Repeat the deep breaths. 

Repeat on the second side to get into all the deep muscles in this area.

Internal Massage with a Pelvic Floor Massager 

An internal pelvic floor massage tool is a device that you insert into your vagina to release both the superficial and deep muscles of the pelvic floor and deep hip.

It simulates the manual release that occurs when a  pelvic floor physiotherapist manually releases your PF.

This is a very direct, and effective way to release tension that is chronically held, and difficult to access, in your pelvic floor. 

We have a complete guide for Pelvic Floor Massage, including a review of the top pelvic floor massage tools. Click here to read


Meditation is also an effective way to address pelvic floor overactivity. Typically, women with overactive pelvic floors tend to be more type-A, in general. 

Implementing a regular, 10-15 minute daily meditation practice in your day can help reduce the level of tension in your body in general, including the tension in your pelvic floor. 

These are four simple ways to help reduce activity in an overactive pelvic floor. By doing so, you can improve pelvic floor function which will allow you to get back to your active lifestyle without fear of pain or incontinence!  

Postpartum Issues You Are Tolerating (That You Don’t Need To!)

Postpartum Issues You Are Tolerating (That You Don’t Need To!)

So many painful and uncomfortable postpartum body issues are considered normal. 

They are chronic issues. And society tells women they are  a normal part of “becoming a mom.”

Well I call BS. 

There is a difference between issues that are common, meaning many women experience them, and issues that are normal, meaning they are a necessary byproduct of the birth and delivery process.

Many of the COMMON issues women are experiencing CAN and SHOULD be corrected by proper rebalancing of the postpartum body.

Check out our list of postpartum issues that are COMMON..but not normal.

Pelvic floor dysfunction… in other words, you are leaking pee:

We hear this all. the. time. This has become a joke in our culture. Many moms will say it’s just a ‘normal’ part of postpartum life. “Oh, you had a baby? Well…have fun on the trampoline!” Leaking urine during the course of daily life isn’t a joke. In fact, it is a sign that your body isn’t working properly. It’s a sign that your body is not handling the load you are putting on it and is in fact a warning that your pelvic floor is not working properly. So while this is a common issue, it should not be a normal way of living once you are out of the immediate postpartum, healing, phase. Learn more about this issue (and ways to minimize leaking) right here

Weak Vaginal Wall Muscles…aka your tampons are falling out:

If you have the sensation that your vagina can’t hold tampons or your menstrual cup in, or if they feel unstable or just ‘not right’, this is a sign that the musculature in this part of your body is weak and needs to be strengthened. Pelvic floor physiotherapy is commonplace in some counties (bonjour, France!) as a way of retraining these muscles to work properly so these annoying issues go away. 

Unstable core making you feel like Raggedy Ann or a limp noodle:

When I first went back to work after having a baby, my boss, and friend, noticed that I was always collapsed in my chair, leaning over the office table. I looked and FELT like Raggedy Ann because I was incredibly weak in my core. If you just had a baby, this is normal. Those muscles will take some time to recover. But if you are a few months or even years out from baby being born and still feel like a limp noodle when sitting upright or have a hard time staying upright for any length of time, this is a sign that that you haven’t recovered your deep core strength. The Heal Your Core With Yoga program can help you with this!

Tight back muscles…feeling old before your time:

Nothing like a chronically achy back to make you feel old and creaky. The paraspinals, back muscles that line the spine, become overworked and tight when the core is weak. The back muscles start doing the work for the core when it slacks off. Retraining and strengthening the core lets those  back muscles relax a bit and release their iron grip. Back tightness and the sense that you always need to stretch those tense muscles will ease as we bring the core back into balance. P.S. If you wake up every morning with back pain, check out this quick video tip.

Neck and shoulder discomfort:

The tightness and discomfort you feel in your neck and shoulders may not seem related to the changes of pregnancy, but there are chain reactions occuring your body that creep all the way up to the top. Think about nursing, rocking and holding a baby in the post-partum period. Now, add to this the fact that most women are not breathing properly after having a baby, and have muscles compensating for the weakness in their noodly core. Together, these lead to tension and tightness. For three simple ways to reduce neck and shoulder tension, head here

If you are struggling with any of these issues, know that you are NOT alone. We work with women everyday to help them strengthen and rebalance their postpartum body.

We’d love to help you heal too. If you are interested, check out our free trainings here

Pelvic Floor Weakness: Under or Over Active Muscles?

Pelvic Floor Weakness: Under or Over Active Muscles?

An extremely common issue for postpartum women is pelvic floor weakness. This is a main contributor to the common postpartum complaint of leaking pee.

Jumping on the trampoline, sneezing, or even laughing can all cause urine leakage with a weak pelvic floor.

So how do we correct this?
Unfortunately, the solution that gets the most press is…kegels.

However, kegels are NOT always the solution. And, for some women, kegels can actually make the situation worse.

So let’s dive a little deeper and uncover the root cause of your pelvic floor weakness.


This first point can be a little hard to understand, but it’s important!

Pelvic floor weakness does not necessarily mean that your muscles are underactive (a.k.a. On permanent vacation).

For many women, pelvic floor weakness is caused by OVERactive pelvic floor muscles (a.k.a. Muscles that are working really hard all day long).

What you need to remember: Whether the muscles are not engaging enough, or are holding on for dear life, both of these scenarios cause weakness in the pelvic floor.

What happens in an underactive pelvic floor?

Underactive pelvic floor muscles are weak in the same way a muscle that never gets exercised is weak. If you never strengthen your bicep, that muscle will be weak. If I place a 10 lb weight in your bent arm, that arm is going to immediately drop to your side. Your muscle doesn’t have the strength to contract against the load of that 10 lb weight.

The same thing can happen with your pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor muscles are underactive, they have trouble contracting fully and/or holding that contraction. So when you sneeze, and put a large amount of pressure on the pelvic floor, the muscles can’t hold the contraction and you likely end up pee-ing yourself.

Underactive pelvic floor muscles do not have the strength to contract fully. This means that when you sneeze, they don’t have the strength to protect you from leaking.

What happens in an overactive pelvic floor?

Overactive pelvic floor muscles are weak because they are trying to contract all the time.

Imagine your bicep again. If I ask you to bend your arm and squeeze your bicep for the entire day, that muscle is going to get TIRED because it is working so hard.

Then when I place a 10 lb weight in your hand, the arm will, again, drop to your side. In this case, it will happen because the muscle is so worn out from the work it has been doing that it has become weak. Weak from overactivity.

This is similar to what happens in an overactive pelvic floor. Overactive pelvic floor muscles are weak because they are being held in a constantly contracted position. So, when you sneeze, those pelvic floor muscles can’t contract fully because they are worn out from being in a constant state of contraction. The end result…you pee yourself!

Do You Have An Underactive or Overactive Pelvic Floor?

How do you know what is happening in your pelvic floor?

First, it’s helpful to see a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floors. They will be able to assess you internally and tell you exactly what is happening in your muscles.

However, that isn’t always accessible or possible. Luckily, there are some other ways you can get a sense of what is happening in your muscles.

Signs of an underactive pelvic floor

If you have an underactive pelvic floor, you likely feel that, when you kegel, it is hard to hold that engagement. You likely feel quivering in the muscles and that the muscles stop engaging relatively quickly.

You may also feel like tampons don’t stay in as well as they once did. Or you may feel that you have less sensation during sexual intercourse.

Also, the muscles often reflect the personality of a person. So, if you are more of a relaxed, Type B, person in general, it’s likely your pelvic floor muscles are underactive.

Sound like you? You’ll want to check out this post on strengthening a weak PF. 

Signs of an overactive pelvic floor

If your pelvic floor is overactive, you might feel that you can’t kegel. Or that nothing happens when you try to do a kegel. This happens because your pelvic floor is already contracted!

You may experience pain during intercourse or find it difficult to insert tampons.

You may find it difficult to take deep, full breaths. This happens because the tightness in your pelvic floor prevents the diaphragm from dropping down, which makes your breaths more shallow.

You may find that after you pee, you feel you haven’t emptied your bladder completely and you have to pee again.

Also, odds are you tend to be more of a Type A personality that tends to hold tension in her body, in general.

If this sounds like you, you’ll want to check out our post about how to relax an overactive pelvic floor.

How to Properly Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

I’ll have more posts coming on these topics soon but, in general:

Underactive Pelvic Floor

If you have an underactive pelvic floor, you want to get your muscles back in the game.

Practicing kegels, and other core strengthening exercises, can be very helpful for you.

This post gives three ways to strengthen a weak PF

Overactive Pelvic Floor

If you have weakness caused by an overactive pelvic floor, your priority is to first get your pelvic muscles to relax.

The best way to do this is by focusing on deep breathing that reaches all the way to your pelvic floor.

If you are getting a nice deep breath, you should be able to feel that when you inhale your pelvic floor relaxes and expands.

For more tips on releasing an overactive pelvic floor check out our post here.