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The Pelvic Drop to Relax Your Pelvic Floor

pelvic pain pelvic tension
The Pelvic Drop to Relax Your Pelvic Floor

Please note, I am not a Kegel hater. In fact, Kegel exercises (pelvic floor contractions and relaxations) are described in detail in my book, and they are a fantastic way to improve pelvic floor coordination and motor control for many — but not all — women and men when done properly.

However, individuals who hold chronic tension in the pelvic floor and/or experience pain during sex should AVOID Kegels until they have been evaluated by a pelvic floor physical therapist and have mastered the ability to release/relax the pelvic floor muscles completely.

The pelvic drop, on the other hand, is like a vacation for your pelvic floor! It's a great relaxation technique that can benefit almost EVERYONE. Use it to release pent-up stress, relax the mind and body, and unwind excessive tension in the pelvic muscles.

TENSION in the Pelvis

People normally hold tension in their shoulders and neck. However, the next time you feel stressed, hone in on your pelvic region. You'll probably notice that your butt muscles are clenched, and via "overflow activation," your pelvic floor muscles will be tight and clenched as well.

Just like unchecked shoulder and neck tension can contribute to headaches, unchecked pelvic tension can contribute to pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction. This is of particular concern for women with underlying issues such as constipation, interstitial cystitis, and dyspareunia (pain during sex).

I refer to the pelvic drop as a "reverse kegel," and I explain the technique in Chapter 21 of my book, Lady Bits.

A reverse kegel or a “pelvic drop” is the opposite of a Kegel contraction. It is just as important to know how to relax and release the pelvic floor muscles as it is to know how to contract them.

  • Women who are pregnant need to know how to “let go” in order to give birth.

  • You need to be able to “let go” in order to have pain-free intercourse (and for men to be able to ejaculate effectively).

  • You need to “let go” to fully empty your bladder.

  • You need to “let go” in order to have a bowel movement!

  • "Letting go" during sex can take your pleasurable sensations — and your orgasm — to the next level!

So you see? The release is very important.

Give it a try by following along with the video below. I explain three visualizations that can help. 

If you don't have time to watch the video, see below for a written explanation of the elevator visualization.

Pelvic Drop Practice: Elevator Visualization

  1. Empty your bladder and get in a comfortable position. Many people find this easiest to do lying down (on your back), but you can also do it seated or standing.
  2. Imagine your pelvic floor as an elevator that starts in the lobby of a building or a hotel. This "pelvic floor elevator" can go up, or it can go down to a light-filled, completely non-threatening basement. Your baseline level of pelvic floor tension (i.e. no contraction and no relaxation) is the “lobby.” Start here.
  3. Imagine the elevator doors sliding closed as you begin your pelvic floor muscle contraction. Gently bring your pelvic floor elevator up to the first floor by gently squeezing and lifting your pelvic floor muscles just a little bit. Do not fully contract; in other words, do not allow your "pelvic floor elevator" to go all the way up to the second (or third, or fourth) floor. Just go to the first floor.

  4. Next, relax fully and visualize your pelvic floor elevator lowering down past the lobby and going all the way down to the basement. Go down, down, down (it's a high-ceilinged basement!). Really, fully, and deeply let go.

  5. Now completely release any holding/tension that's still in your pelvic floor as you imagine the elevator doors sliding open to reveal a light-filled basement. Open and relax your pelvic floor muscles so completely that you stop just short of urinating*.

    *Note: If you feel like you might actually urinate while practicing the pelvic drop, then remember to empty your bladder beforehand so that you feel more comfortable and more able to fully RELEASE the pelvic floor muscles. 

Repeat 5 to 10 times. 

Want more?

  • If you’re experiencing chronic pelvic pain and/or pelvic floor dysfunction, check out my 12-week course, Overcome Pelvic Pain

  • If you’re looking for a playlist of my YouTube videos that are dedicated to stretching and releasing the pelvic floor, go here.