Proper Core Training: How To Connect Your Core and Pelvic Floor

By Ann Wendel

What does it mean to "integrate the core" or to "connect" your diaphragm and pelvic floor? What is a Connection Breath? Why is this so important?

A strong, properly functioning core is the foundation to all healthy, pain-free movement. However, there is a lot of misinformation—and misunderstanding—on how to train the core for optimal function.

When I talk about the “core,” I’m talking about the deep central stability system, made up of the diaphragm, pelvic floor, transverse abdominus and the multifidus. These four muscles need to work as a coordinated system, along with the glutes, in order to provide a stable foundation for the body’s movements. In a nutshell, this system is not static. It’s dynamic.

The system is in constant motion as you inhale and exhale all day long.

The pelvic floor is one part of the system but doesn’t work in isolation, as I discussed here. The pelvic floor/deep central stability system turns on first, before you make any movement in your body.

When the system is functioning properly, it moves like a piston (a great image from my friend Julie Wiebe, PT). On inhale, the pelvic floor is relaxed and on exhale, it rebounds up to support the system. When your ribs are aligned over your pelvis, and you grade your pelvic floor contraction to the task at hand, you are setting yourself up for success.

I teach all of my patients how to connect their core and pelvic floor by first explaining the system, and then having them access it in different positions with different tasks. Today I’m going to talk you through the instructions in the video below, and have you try a few activities.

Note from GGS: We get a lot of emails from readers who are dealing with some level of pain or movement dysfunction, or who have been nursing an injury that's keeping them from fully participating in work, daily activities, and hobbies. While there isn't one uniform solution for everyone, including some injury prevention strategies (including practicing your core and pelvic floor connection) in your overall training plan is a good place to start.

Get in the best shape of your life—for good.

With Girls Gone Strong Coaching, you’ll get the support, accountability, and expert coaching to eat and exercise in a sustainable way — without restrictive diets or spending your life in the gym.

Whether your health and fitness goals are to…

  • Get stronger
  • Gain muscle
  • Lose body fat
  • Improve your pull-ups
  • Have a safe and healthy pregnancy
  • Return to exercise safely postpartum
  • Heal your relationship with food
  • Increase your confidence

... or anything else, we’ll help you achieve them. You can experience life-changing results while eating and exercising in a way that actually fits into your life — instead of controlling it.

Throughout our 12-month program, you’ll get a simple, step-by-step plan for developing nutrition, fitness, and mindset habits that will lead the way in reaching your goal.

Your coach is available 5 days a week to answer questions and help you navigate situations — like eating while you’re on vacation, exercise substitutions so you don’t aggravate your knee pain, or planning a workout with limited equipment options — so you always have support when you need it. And together, you'll find the best path toward long-term results in a way that works for you.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Improve your nutrition without giving up the foods you love
  • Exercise safely and effectively so you’re getting maximum results from your workouts without burning yourself out
  • Increase your confidence, love the way your body looks, feels, and performs — and enjoy your life more than you ever thought possible

And you’ll become the happiest, fittest, strongest version of yourself, one step at a time.

Interested in learning more? Join our free, no-obligation pre-sale list.

Twice a year we accept a small number of new coaching clients. Join the free, no-obligation pre-sale list below for the chance to enroll early and save up to 45% off the general public price.

Don't miss out!

Enrollment opens July 14, 2024.

Get on the GGS Coaching for Women pre-sale list today.

We'll send you more info about the program and give you the chance to enroll early and save up to 45% off the general public price.

The program opens only twice a year. Spots are limited.

GGS Coaching Pre-Sale (No Phone)

About the author:  Ann Wendel

Ann Wendel is an internationally-recognized women's health Physical Therapist (PT), a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), and a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist (CMTPT). In addition to owning and operating Prana Physical Therapy in Alexandria, VA, Ann writes, travels, speaks, and consults with other physical therapists and business owners. You can connect with Ann on Facebook and Twitter.

More Resources

envelope-oclosechevron-upchevron-downbookmark-otwitterfacebookchainbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram