The Pfilates program is the only scientifically derived program for pelvic floor conditioning.
The Pfilates program was created in response to the epidemic prevalence of pelvic floor deconditioning as well as the historically poor compliance with prescribed isometric (Kegel) exercises.
The Pfilates program provides a “plyometric advantage”. Plyometrics is a form of exercise used by athletes involved in sports that demand muscular power (force + speed).
Plyometric exercise not only results in hypertrophy of fast twitch (type II) muscle fibers but also improves synchronization of motor neuron action potentials which results in more synchronous depolarization of motor units. While this technique has generally been applied to relatively large skeletal muscle groups (e.g. quadriceps) it is well applied to the pelvic floor and to the striated urethral sphincter in particular.
Plyometric exercise involves contracting, in rapid sequence, a muscle that is partially loaded.
The Pfilates movements induce partial co-recruitment of the pelvic floor through the use of certain lower body muscle groups (gluteals, transversus abdominis, thigh adductors, external hip rotators) With the pelvic floor partially engaged a series of very rapid, forceful, voluntary pelvic floor contractions are performed to provide this plyometric advantage.
The Pfilates program consists of ten movements in a routine that takes 10 minutes to perform.
This program can over the course of 4 - 6 weeks can significantly improve pelvic floor strength, endurance, and co-ordination.
These are the critical elements of pelvic floor performance necessary to maintain, or regain, bladder control, sexual function, and prevent pelvic organ prolapse.