When it comes to strengthening any muscle group—abs, arms or legs—or improving at any particular workout regimen—running, riding or lifting—there is much more to it than just repetition. In order to improve at running, you have to work on strengthening your core muscles. And to strengthen your core muscles, you have to strengthen your pelvic floor, according to fitness influencer Katie Austin.
The 30-year-old is known for her fast and effective on-demand workout routines that walk users through a brief set, detailing every movement and the number of reps or amount of time to spend on each. Sometimes, rather than sharing a specific workout set, Austin posts specific moves meant to be added onto your existing workout. Her most recent featured the following four moves for strengthening your pelvic floor.
Bird dog crunches
Kneel on the mat on all fours. Extend your opposite arm and leg long. Bring your knee and elbow in to touch as you round your back. Place both back down on the floor. Repeat on the other side.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your fit hip-width apart. Lift your hips off the floor, bringing your lower body in line with your thighs, and squeeze your glutes. Lower back to your starting position. Repeat.
Lay completely flat on your back. Lift one leg into table top position and extend your opposite arm to meet it, pressing your hand into your opposite thigh. Lower back to the floor. Repeat on the other side.
Lift off of your mat into push-up position, ensuring your legs are hip-width apart and your hands are under shoulders. Squeeze your glutes and engage your core. Hold.
Austin recommended adding one minute each of these four exercises into your go-to workout routine. “Strengthening your pelvic floor is key for improved core stability and bladder control, benefiting your overall well-being,” she explained in a recent Instagram post. “Moms, this is especially for you – you’ll feel so much stronger!”