by Nathalie Theran
Pelvic health isn’t always as openly discussed as other women’s health issues, but it doesn’t take much digging to find out there are tons of simple, accessible exercises you can do to take better care of your pelvic floor muscles and lessen leakage. Everything from rolling out tension in your hips to deep breathing exercises to stretching out your feet helps support your pelvic floor.
The relationship between your feet and your floor muscles might not be intuitive, but Lindsey Vestal, a pelvic health OT, explains that the pelvic floor acts as a shock absorber in the body throughout the day. The very first point of contact to experience that shock? Your feet, of course. Just like the muscles in your pelvic floor, your feet need to be pliable, supple, and flexible to accommodate the shock of moving around. If your feet are stiff or rigid, your pelvic floor has to absorb even more impact than it’s already anticipating— which is where the importance of giving your feet some TLC comes into play. A more grounded, balanced body is better able to perform day-to-day activities like walking, standing, dancing, and exercising with fewer or no leaks.
We’re sharing three super easy exercises (they can even pass for foot massages!) that can be done with a Franklin Ball. All of the exercises can be done standing or sitting—if you’re opting for standing, make sure you’re near a wall or other surface that can support you if you slip.
How it helps: Lubricates the joints in your feet and ankles.
Start by placing the ball of your foot and your toes on top of a Franklin Ball. Roll the ball from left to right while touching down on the big toe side to the pinkie toe side. Repeat on each foot about 10 to 12 times.
How it helps: Preps feet for uneven surfaces (i.e. most surfaces they’ll encounter throughout the day).
Put one Franklin ball under your heel. Using your heel only, move the ball from left to right. Repeat on each foot about 10 to 12 times.
How it helps: Relaxes feet to make them more pliable.
Place one Franklin Ball underneath your toes, but leave a little room for the ball to be in front. While taking a deep breath in, roll the ball vertically under your entire foot. Use the ball to massage the inside and outside of your arches. If stepping down for even more tension feels good, do it (the Franklin Ball will not burst, promise)! Repeat as many times as you want on each foot.
Incorporating these foot exercises into your weekly routine can help roll out tension in your body that negatively impacts your pelvic floor muscles. And hey, who doesn’t love a free foot massage?
Have you tried out Franklin Ball exercises? What did you think? Share your experience in the comments.
Posted: July 31, 2019