New Year’s Resolutions for your Pelvic Floor: Don't Squat and Hover to Pee!
- Written by Nancy Hoi Wong OTD, OTR/L, RYT200
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Don’t hover over the toilet seat to pee
Sit down and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
Ok, ok so this tip is always met with some pushback, but to those of you who prefer to hover rather than sit should be aware that this habit is not good for your pelvic floor! Sit down and relax!
Why is hovering so bad for you?
When you are in a partial squat, hovering over the toilet, the muscles of your glutes, legs, abs, back, and pelvic floor are activated and cannot fully relax. For urine to flow easily and fully, the pelvic floor muscles and the muscles surrounding your pelvis have to relax.
If you are hovering and your muscles are tense, chances are that you will have to bear down to initiate your urine flow or make your pee come out faster. This is not good and can contribute to issues like pelvic organ prolapse, urine retention, and a greater risk for bladder infections. All in all, a good reason to take a seat and relax!
But what about the GERMS?
Use a toilet seat cover if you’re worried about germs, or use toilet paper to line the seat. Or get creative, carry some alcohol spray and spray down the surfaces that freak you out (honestly the door handles and toilet seat handles have more germs than the toilet seat).
And what about coming to a FULL SQUAT?
I am a big fan of using a foot stool or top of a small trash can to put the body into a full squat position for bowel movements and urination alike. Why? Because resting in a full squat is much different than a squat and hover because your muscles can fully relax in a full, restful squat.
Stop Straining in the Bathroom
Constantly straining to make a bowel movement or to empty your bladder in a hurry is not only pushing your waste out, it is also pushing your organs downward.
Don’t strain! Avoid straining, no pushing your pee out or holding your breath to force out a BM. Take your time and visualize the pelvic floor getting soft and heavy. Deep breathing, when done correctly, is much more efficient at emptying the bladder and bowel than straining and pushing.
Getting into an ergonomic toileting position will help you go without straining.
The best position to sit on the toilet:
- Always sit on the toilet seat. No hovering!
- Feet firmly planted on a step stool
- Legs are separated to hip width’s distance or wider, elbows resting on thighs
- Lean forward with your knees higher than your hips
- Allow belly to get soft, floppy, and relaxed
- Stay relaxed on the toilet; relax your breathing and practice deep breathing exercise as outlined above.
- Allow yourself time. Don’t rush. Don’t strain.
- Don’t ignore urges to use your bladder or bowel.
Taking the time to sit and pee will make a difference on the strain that your pelvic floor muscles are taking and can help you regain some muscle coordination and strength to help with your bladder control issues.
Call us at Femina Physical Therapy to set up an appointment to get you back to doing the things you love, symptom free.
**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.