Strategies for Easing Tension in a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor

Simone Muller


  1. Understanding Hypertonic Pelvic Floor and its Symptoms
  2. When Kegels can Exacerbate Your Symptoms
  3. What to Do When Your Pelvic Floor is Tight But You Have Pelvic Floor Symptoms
  4. Incorporating Yoga Stretches into Your Routine to Relieve Symptoms
  5. Getting Started
  6. FAQs

A hypertonic pelvic floor can be a challenging condition to manage, often leading to discomfort and pelvic floor symptoms. In this post I will show you how to effectively ease tension in the pelvic floor and manage your symptoms so that you can do more of the things you love with greater freedom and confidence.

Understanding Hypertonic Pelvic Floor and its Symptoms

To effectively manage pelvic floor tension, it's important to understand the nature of hypertonic pelvic floor and its associated symptoms. A hypertonic pelvic floor is a pelvic floor that is too tight where women have been consciously or unconsciously tightening their pelvic floor. It is often associated with tight glutes and/or a tucked pelvis. Symptoms include pain during sex, incontinence and pelvic tension.

When Kegels can Exacerbate Your Symptoms

Contrary to popular belief, Kegel exercises may not always be the go-to solution for pelvic floor issues, and they can potentially worsen hypertonic pelvic floor symptoms. If you are doing too many Kegels or only focusing on the contraction and not the release you can create a holding pattern of tension that can create dysfunction in your pelvic floor.

What to Do When Your Pelvic Floor is Tight But You Have Pelvic Floor Symptoms

For those dealing with a tight pelvic floor and experiencing symptoms, it's essential to adopt a two-pronged approach; Yoga for stretching and releasing tension and Hypopressives for regulating tone in the pelvic floor.

Incorporating Yoga Stretches into Your Routine to relieve symptoms

Stretching is a crucial component in relieving tension in the pelvic floor muscles. Here are some effective stretches that can help release tension and promote flexibility in the pelvic region:

1. Child's Pose (Balasana) - Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Then sit back on your heels, extending your arms forward on the floor. Lower your chest towards the floor, reaching your arms as far as possible. Relax and breathe deeply, feeling the stretch in your lower back and pelvic area.

2. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana) - Lie on your back and bring your knees towards your chest. Hold the outside edges of your feet with your hands. Gently pull your knees towards the floor, opening your hips and stretching the pelvic floor.

3. Butterfly Stretch (Baddha Konasana) - Sit with your back straight and bring the soles of your feet together. Hold your feet with your hands and allow your knees to drop towards the floor. Feel the stretch in your inner thighs and pelvic area.

4. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) - Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Hinge at your hips and reach forward towards your toes. Keep your back straight and feel the stretch along your hamstrings and pelvic floor.

5. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) - Start in a plank position and bring your right knee towards your right hand. Extend your left leg behind you, lowering your hips towards the floor. Feel the stretch in the outer hip and pelvic area. Repeat on the other side.

6. Cat-Cow Stretch - Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Inhale as you arch your back, dropping your belly towards the floor (Cow Pose). Exhale as you round your spine, tucking your chin to your chest (Cat Pose). Repeat these movements to release tension in the entire spine and pelvic area.

7. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) - Lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to drop towards the sides. Support your thighs with cushions or blocks to prevent strain.

Remember to perform these stretches gently and listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop the stretch and consult with a healthcare professional or a pelvic floor specialist. Additionally, incorporating pelvic floor-specific exercises, such as Hypopressives techniques, can complement these stretches in promoting pelvic floor health. Always consult with a healthcare provider or a qualified instructor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have specific pelvic floor concerns.

For more information, I have written an article on the Effectiveness of Hypopressives with a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor.

Getting started with Hypopressives

For the Hypopressives classes it is important that you learn the Breathing/Apnea technique properly so that you can get the most out of the classes and the time you invest in yourself. Each week Simone runs Fundamentals sessions on Zoom where she explains the technique and guides you through all the steps.

She will also give you feedback to make sure that you're doing it correctly. For some, the technique may come more quickly than others. Some of her clients, who are tighter in the ribs and thoracic spine do tend to take a little longer. And here's the golden rule - for impactful change, Simone recommends at least three 15 to 20-minute workouts per week. Consistency is your best friend on this journey towards wellness.


Pilates is an excellent technique for bringing stability back to a destabilised postpartum body, but a lot of the traditional Pilates exercises, specifically curl ups (used often in mat-work repertoire) can be detrimental if pelvic floor dysfunction and diastasis recti are present. Unfortunately, at the 6-week postnatal checkup these issues are not properly assessed, and many women may not even realise they themselves are affected by these concerns.

There is a general acceptance of pelvic floor dysfunction with mothers often accepting that they may leak when running, sneezing or coughing. Also, the term “mum-tum” leads many women to unwillingly accept their new relationship with their bodies. LPF is a completely safe way of working a postnatal body and many of the women I work with have managed to reverse prolapse and drastically improve a diastasis.

I did the LPF training before having my second child and started practising postpartum after my second child. The difference in my recovery after my first labour where I only did Pilates was markedly different to when I practised LPF with my second. Within a few weeks my core was stronger than it had been before being pregnant with my second, and my pelvic floor was as strong as it was pre-kids!! If I hadn't seen the change with my own eyes or felt it in my body, I wouldn’t have believed it. It literally felt like the more I practised the more internal strength I developed. This was something I hadn’t felt since I was a professional dancer. I also loved that the technique doesn’t require hours of training. Only 10-20 minutes, three times a week will get visible results.

It is recommended at least 6-8 weeks after a vaginal delivery and 12 weeks after a c-section.

You will start to see results by practising 2-3 weekly sessions of 10-20 minutes. It is safe to practise daily once your body has adjusted to the practice which will take around 2-4 weeks.

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Hypopressives is an effective technique toward relieving symptoms related to Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Diastasis Recti and Urinary Incontinence. Hypopressives also improves poor posture, pelvic floor weakness and back pain. I offer a flexible approach to memberships and a 14-day free trial.


About the Author

Simone Muller is the founder of re-centre and has over 22 years of teaching experience across Pilates, Low Pressure Fitness and Yoga.

She launched the online platform to make Low Pressure Fitness and Hypopressives more accessible to more women around the world so that they can become the strongest and most functional versions of themselves.

Originally from South Africa, Simone's dance and Pilates career evolved when she faced post-childbirth challenges, prompting her to explore Low Pressure Fitness in Spain.

As the first level 3 instructor in London, she has witnessed transformative postnatal rehabilitation results in clients, addressing issues like Diastasis Recti, prolapse and incontinence.

Simone has written articles for the re-centre blog 'Kegels not Working?', 'The connection between menstruation and prolapse symptoms' and 'Why I love teaching postnatal rehabilitation?'.

Simone has also written guest posts for The Shala 'What is Low Pressure Fitness', Yana Active 'Prioritising your Pelvic Floor Health After Giving Birth and Nurturing the Core' and for The Pelvic Academy 'Empowering Women's Health - The Power of Collaboration Between Hypopressives, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths'.

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