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.

Exercise To Strengthen Outer Hips And Increase Pelvis Stability

Exercise To Strengthen Outer Hips And Increase Pelvis Stability

Many women struggle with hip pain and pelvis instability post-baby, including SI Joint dysfunction. One cause of this is weak outer hip muscles. Try the simple exercise in the video below called “the hip hike” to increase outer hip strength, make your pelvis more stable, and reduce pain and discomfort. 

Simple Exercise to Increase Outer Hip Strength


If you’re ready to learn how to create healthy, happy hips, join me in my free Happy Hips Masterclass!

3 Myths About Post-Baby Hip Problems

3 Myths About Post-Baby Hip Problems

If you’re like most people struggling with hip pain and discomfort, you’ve probably found yourself deep in the internet researching causes and cures and watching YouTube videos to figure out what, if anything, you can do to address your hip issues. 

If that’s the case, you’ve likely heard these 3 pieces of advice that are super common but, frankly, not helping anyone fix their hips. 

 3 Myths About Fixing Your Postpartum Hip Problems


Myth 1: Hip Problems Are Just Part Of Life After Pregnancy

We’ve all probably heard this, in some form or another, from some well-meaning, but uninformed individual. They say the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing is just par for the course in your post-pregnancy life. Which basically means…You are just supposed to shut up and deal with it. 

This line of thought does NOT help postpartum women.

Yes, of course, your body changes during and after pregnancy. 

But it is NOT true that you have to deal with pain, discomfort, tightness or looseness in your hips forever. 

All of these symptoms are simply signs that your body is out of balance. When you rebalance your body, you will feel better! 

Please, do not just accept physical issues as a necessary part of your post-baby life. 


Myth 2: If you have hip problems, you just need to stretch. 

The second myth you’ve run across says that your hip issues would be solved by stretching alone. Hip stretches and hip openers are incredibly common suggestions given to anyone experience hip issues. 

But if you are struggling with post-baby hip tightness, odds are that tightness is serving a purpose in your body. 

Those hip muscles are tight because they are trying to stabilize the pelvis because other muscles aren’t doing their jobs. (i.e. you have muscular imbalances!) 

Most often, your hips tighten up because the core, glutes, and pelvic floor are weak and aren’t properly stabilizing the body.  

If the hips are desperately holding tight to stabilize the body, you create even more issues by stretching. When you stretch you destabilize an already unstable system. Because of this, you will likely feel tight again very soon after you stretched (and you might even feel tighter than you did before you stretched!!). 

For this reason, hip stretches, alone, are ineffective. You need to make sure you are also strengthening the muscles that provide stability for the pelvis (core, glutes, possibly pelvic floor) so that the hip muscles can safely relax.


Myth 3: To fix hip problems, you just need to strengthen your glutes. 

Finally, the third piece of common hip advice is that you just need to strengthen your glutes

Admittedly, the glutes are very important for overall hip health. When working with women to heal their hips, we spend a lot of time on glute strength. 

But it isn’t just about the glutes. 

The glutes are one part of a larger set of muscular imbalances. 

We have multiple muscles that are underworking, and multiple muscles that are overworking. 

And to make things even more complicated, some of those overactive muscles actually shut down glute activity and prevent the glutes from working properly (!!)

So you could work your glutes all day every day. You might see some improvement. 

But until you balance out the entire system of muscles surrounding the pelvis, you’re not going to stabilize your pelvis and feel better. 


If you’re ready to learn how to create healthy, happy hips, join me in my free Happy Hips Masterclass. 

Why Pregnancy Hurt Your Hips

Why Pregnancy Hurt Your Hips

Pregnancy does not hurt everyone’s hips…but if pregnancy impacted your hips, you KNOW it. 


Your hips may feel loosey-goosey and unstable. 

You may feel chronic tightness and tension. 

You may feel like your SI joint is unstable or constantly hurting. 


Pregnancy can affect our hips in many ways….and it doesn’t matter if you had your baby three weeks ago or 30 years ago. If you haven’t done the work to rebalance your body, you’re still being impacted by the physical changes of pregnancy. 


Pregnancy creates massive imbalances in the body. 

Your core, a fundamental support system for your body, must get weak to create room for the baby. This key change creates imbalances all over the body and can particularly impact our pelvis. 

Here’s a pic of your pelvis.

It’s the gateway between your upper and lower body and is involved in every step you take. It’s also connected to, and impacted by, MANY muscles including the core, pelvic floor, back muscles, psoas, inner and outer hip muscles, adductors, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glute muscles. 

In a normal body, the muscles connecting to the pelvis are balanced. When properly balanced, they keep your pelvis from moving much when you go for a walk or run or do your favorite exercise. The body likes this because too MUCH movement in the pelvis can put the spine at risk. 


So for the pelvis…less movement = GOOD!


But pregnancy takes us out of balance. Certain muscles (like the core and glutes) get weak, and other muscles become overactive to pick up the slack for the weak areas.

 And many of these imbalances impact the pelvis.

We feel this as hip pain, tightness, and instability!

So what exactly are the changes during pregnancy that can affect your hips? 



First, as I mentioned above, your belly expands to accommodate the growing baby. Your core muscles have to lose strength to allow for that expansion. This is a big deal. 

Normally, your core plays a key role in keeping your spine stable. 

When the core can’t play the role of a spine stabilizer, other muscles will start working overtime to protect the spine.

Back muscles tighten to compensate for the weak core. This includes the paraspinal muscles and the quadratus lumborum (QL).

And even the hip muscle, the psoas (which connects to the spine and the legs).


End result above the pelvis? Tightness in the psoas and back, and a lack of stability for the pelvis from above! 



As the muscles of the back and the psoas are working overtime, the impact is also felt below your pelvis. The psoas is usually a hip flexor, but while it’s doing the job of stabilizing your spine it can’t move your leg effectively, so other hip muscles begin to take over the job of the psoas. 


One of those muscles, the Tensor Fascia Latae (or TFL) on the outside of your hip, ends up doing a lot of extra lifting to get your leg in front of you and it becomes overworked. For many of us with IT band issues, the TFL is likely overworking since they are directly connected.


As the TFL works overtime, it inhibits the glutes from working properly (a.k.a. it shuts the glutes off!). The glutes already lost some strength over the course of pregnancy, but the overactive TFL will reduce the glutes more, causing them to become even weaker.

Weakness in the glutes results in muscles deep inside the pelvis, like the deep hip rotators (e.g. piriformis) and pelvic floor muscles tightening up to try to create the stability that the glutes usually create!


End result below the pelvis? Overactive outer hips and deep hip muscles, and weak glutes mean the pelvis isn’t properly stabilized from below! 


So, as you can see, pregnancy creates imbalances in the muscles that stabilize the pelvis from both above AND below. 

This means that the pelvis is now more mobile. 


But, remember, for the pelvis, less movement = Good! 

More movement = Bad! 


The body doesn’t like a pelvis that moves around a lot. A pelvis that moves a lot can damage the spine. 



The body will do everything it can to create stability. This might mean your hip flexors, pelvic floor, inner thighs, or back muscles get even tighter to try and keep the pelvis from moving. 

But those muscles aren’t as good as stabilizing the pelvis as the core and glutes, so even though they are really tight, your pelvis is still pretty unstable. 

What this feels like is lots of tightness and discomfort, paired with instability.

Feeling like your hips are SO tight, but you still have one side “coming out,” or your SI joint getting locked up all the time. 


So how did pregnancy hurt your hips? It created imbalances that decreased your pelvis stability.

It’s normal! It’s predictable!

And, good news for you, it’s fixable! 


What’s the solution?

Very simply, we have to rebalance the muscles of the body. We have to get the weak muscles working harder and overworked muscles to relax. We need each piece of our body to be doing the job it was intended to do. 

We can’t pinpoint one muscle or area of the body and say ‘I’ll just make this stronger.’

Each muscle we use is impacted by those around it. We have to rebalance the entire system. 

Pregnancy changed your hips, but you’re not doomed to live with way forever. 

If you’re ready to learn how to create healthy, happy hips, join me in my free online Happy Hips 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!