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MORE on the Silent Epidemic....What Exercises NOT to Do!

Please go Here for  Updated Information on all areas of prolapse.I'm always adding new info:

I found this information on another website. It took some searching so I'm posting it here as well!  They really have some great information!

Exercises to avoid with prolapse and after prolapse surgery

exercises to avoid with prolapse
Training your pelvic floor with the wrong kind of abdominal exercises.
This expert physiotherapist article teaches you:
  • 12 unsafe abdominal exercises likely to worsen prolapse symptoms and contribute to recurrent prolapse after prolapse surgery.
  • How to identify unsafe abdominal exercises if you have pelvic floor dysfunction
  • The 3 myths you need to know about abdominal strength exercises.
If you intensely exercise your upper abdominal muscles (i.e. your six pack muscles), you will increase the downward pressure on your pelvic floor.
Recent studies show that when women with pelvic floor dysfunction do sit-up exercises, their pelvic floor is forced downwards. If you repeat this often enough, you will overload your pelvic floor and potentially worsen prolapse symptoms.
Avoid doing the following upper abdominal muscle exercises if you have a pelvic prolapse or when  exercising after prolapse surgery to minimise pressure on your pelvic floor

I did not know these exercises could cause more problems!
1. Abdominal crunch/curl or sit-up exercises (shown right)
2. Incline sit-ups
3. Abdominal curl machine
4. Oblique sit-ups
 Exercises to avoid with prolapse
5. Oblique machine
6. Ball sit-ups
7. Ball-between-leg lifts (shown above)
8. Bicycle legs
9. Double leg raise
10. Hanging knee raise
11. Pilates "Table Top" exercise Exercise to avoid after prolapse surgery
12. Intense core exercises such as "Plank" or "Hover" (shown right)

Michelle Kenway has a video actually demonstrating how to modify regular common place exercises so they do not cause prolapse to worsen and how to tone your tummy safely. 

 Here's her website with more information. I like having all these links here in one place so I can easily find them and go back for further reference. 
Inside Out Michelle Kenway
For much more information on safe abdominal exercise if you have a prolapse or after prolapse surgery refer to
Inside Out by Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway and Urogynaecologist Dr Judith Goh. 

(This looks like an AWESOME book to get!)

You'll need an exercise ball for many of the exercises.
How to fit the right size Body/Core/Exercise Ball for Seated Core Exercises.

Tip for how to identify unsafe abdominal exercises …

Try to avoid any abdominal exercises that involve raising both legs off the ground at once and/or exercises involving raising your head and shoulders off the ground whilst lying down on your back. Both these types of exercises will increase the downward force on your prolapse and your pelvic floor. These exercises require very good pelvic floor strength to counteract the downward pressure associated with them.

3 myths about abdominal core strength exercises

Myth 1. Abdominal exercises will flatten the appearance of my stomach

Unfortunately our society has a culture of abdominal strengthening. Women are often led to believe that the more abdominal muscle exercises they perform, the flatter their stomach will appear! We know that it is not possible to spot reduce fat – to flatten your stomach you probably need to lose fat. It does not matter how many sit-up or abdominal strength exercises you do, they will never flatten your stomach. The way to flatten the appearance of your stomach is to lose body weight by reducing your fat intake and increasing appropriate exercise.
For professional guidelines for how to lose weight with pelvic floor problems refer to Inside Out- the essential women's guide to pelvic support by Michelle Kenway and Dr Judith Goh.

Myth 2. Pilates exercises will strengthen my pelvic floor

In some cases women mistakenly believe that doing abdominal exercises including Pilates exercises will actually strengthen their pelvic floor. Abdominal strength exercises or intense core exercises will not strengthen your pelvic floor if you have a prolapse or pelvic floor dysfunction. In fact the more intense abdominal exercises women perform, the more downward pressure they place on their pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor is not working as it should, it will not be able to withstand the downward pressure of abdominal exercises and your pelvic floor (and your prolapse) will be forced downwards as shown here in the diagram below. This is potentially a huge problem for women who have had prolapse surgery in the past. If you have a prolapse including bladder prolapse (cyctocele), bowel prolapse (rectocele) or uterine prolapse, the wrong kind of abdominal strength exercise is likely to make your pelvic prolapse worse.
Abdominal exercises after prolapse surgery

Myth 3. I need to brace my stomach muscles (pull them in strongly) constantly when I exercise and as I walk around

Advice to brace your abdominal muscles strongly is not correct advice. If you constantly pull your stomach muscles in firmly, then you constantly increase the downward pressure on your pelvic floor and your prolapse. Your deep abdominal core muscles are designed to work gently all the time and this is how they should be trained. 


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What I've Learned

I've learned so much about this disorder ! It took some searching for sure.
Through First Aid for Prolapse DVD I've gotten great information that I've incorporated into some of my other exercises. 

When doing Leslie Sansone's Walking Videos, STEPPING OUT SIDE TO SIDE, I put my feet out like a PLIE', this turns the hip and accentuates pelvic organ support.  I don't feel that dropping feeling anymore.This information can be found in the Dictionary of Movements on the DVD.
Overall it's a great video with good technique tips.
I hope this helps!!

Make it a great day!


  1. Wonderful information Julie....I don't have Prolapse, but boy oh boy I learned a lot about how to properly exercise is SO important not to hurt yourself when you're trying to help yourself. Thanks for the great article!

  2. Great info Julie, and Micki said it "it is so important not to hurt yourself when you are trying to help yourselve"