Since I started this blog, I’ve made a habit of talking to all my girlfriends about LBL. I was particularly curious to talk with my friend Aliesa George (owner of Centerworks® Pilates) because of her background as a wellness expert, and Pilates teacher-trainer. I wondered if Pilates might be a good exercise to help reduce LBL. Aliesa was quick to say, “Pilates is one of the best exercise techniques on the planet that actively concentrates on finding and using the muscles of the Pelvic floor. While these are not big muscles, they are very important for helping maintain good health.” Pelvic floor strengthening exercises are known to be helpful in reducing LBL. And of course, Kegel exercise is the one of the most popular. I asked Aliesa, “What’s the difference between Kegels, and exercising the pelvic floor with Pilates?” Aliesa explained that when you contract your muscles for a Kegel, the pelvic floor contracts, and everything gets sucked up and inside the body. This is great for strengthening the floor, and vaginal muscles, but not necessarily ideal for whole body support and movement during daily life activities and exercise. “From a Pilates perspective, we think in a bit more detail about finding and using the pelvic floor,” said Aliesa, “Pelvic floor strength is what provides the anchor for great movement for the entire body.” She then offered a list of facts and benefits of strengthening the pelvic floor with Pilates: • The pelvic floor is the base of support for your torso. • It provides the anchor to lift the spine to maintain good posture. • Good use of the pelvic floor helps free up the hip joints for better movement of the legs without gripping the front of the hips. • Proper use of the pelvic floor aids both stability and movement of both the spine and pelvis. • The pelvic floor assists with organ support and bladder control. Once you learn some helpful Pilates moves, you can put them to good use at any moment throughout the day by taking a few minutes to engage your pelvic floor. “It’s an opportunity to improve whole-body support and enhance your health,” said Aliesa. You never know what you might learn when you start a conversation about LBL. I added a new type of exercise to my arsenal. Next decision – do I get a Pilates exercise video or take a class at my local gym? How about you? Tell us about your experiences with pelvic floor strengthening exercises like Pilates, or Kegels. What works best for you?