How to do pelvic floor exercises

Pregnancy-related incontinence issues are common during and after pregnancy, but exercising your pelvic muscles is an easy way to help avoid potential problems. Even time spent sitting at your desk can be used to strengthen your pelvic floor and reduce the risks. Emma Brockwell, Senior Physiotherapist with an interest in Women's Health at London Bridge Hospital, explains how to do pelvic floor exercises the right way.

The Technique

  • Sit comfortably with your knees slightly apart
  • Pull up the muscles surrounding your back passage, as if you are stopping yourself from passing wind
  • Now add a squeeze towards the front around your vagina and bladder, as if stopping the flow of urine
  • Hold the squeeze while you count to four seconds, remembering to breathe normally. Rest for a few seconds, then repeat your long squeeze
  • See how many good quality squeezes you can do before the muscles get tired


You may find that holding for four seconds is too easy, or for some women it is too hard”, adds Emma, “if this is the case, try holding for more or less time, concentrating on getting a good quality squeeze.”


“Once you know how long you can hold a good squeeze, you can work to build this up over time. When you find this exercise becomes too easy, try holding for a longer count, up to or beyond 10 seconds. You should also gradually increase the number of repetitions you do in each session – practise these exercises several times a day.”