Pelvic Floor – One of the Secret Weapons to Core Activation


Pelvic Floor – One of the Secret Weapons to Core Activation.

Written By: Maree Frawley

In 1997 I attended a conference in Melbourne, where some big names of Sports Conditioning were discussing the role of the Pelvic Floor when it comes to core activation (abdominal strengthening). This was the key theme at the conference and included a whole host of experts talking about the benefits, not only from a conditioning perspective, but also from rehabilitation with pelvic floor related concerns and conditions.

If you had been with me back then, my experience with abdominal work and back strengthening certainly all came from a perspective of Jane Fonda’s ‘feel the burn’ 🙂 ; (overloaded hip flexors; herniation patterns & digestive toxity). My education in the early days of my career in the fitness industry involved role modeling fellow fitness instructors and reading popular magazines to expand my knowledge. – You have to start somewhere!

I am sure you can understand how this seminar was mind expanding for me and certainly was a catalyst in moving into sports science knowledge. This all came to catapult my knowledge with sports conditioning and understanding biomechanics and I have never looked back or stopped learning. Somewhere early in that process due to the incredible mentors I had, I very soon become the mentor of hundreds of other instructors and thousands of clients.

I still have hilarious & outstanding memories listening to Anna Louise Bouvier (at the time the Wallabies Physiotherapist), talk about Pelvic Floor Exercises and the unforgettable activation techniques. Techniques, which I have now been teaching and expanding on for 18 years. Initially, when I learnt these techniques I was terrified with the responsibility that knowledge brings.

Here I was just a young instructor in a world caught in a time warp, teaching group fitness classes to groups varying in size from 20 through to 80. Part of the group fitness timetable included 15 minute crunch classes, which sometimes attracted numbers of 100+.

I was so nervous the day I decided to confront the beliefs and limited knowledge (which I was responsible for) of the people who attended my crunch classes. But, it was awesome! By the end of 15 minutes, participants had experienced a new concept of core activation. Over the following weeks there was massive expansion and enquiry as to how to utilize breathing and muscle activation and apply it to their high performance or social endeavours of sport, fitness and simply protecting their back.

I used my platform to help people understand how to engage their core muscles with simple muscle awareness and breathing. Then from there we added all the layers of ‘fancy’ exercises. We can talk about ‘the fancy’ some other time J.

Overtime, these basic activation techniques have became more mainstream. Yet, as close as they become to being common knowledge, there is still this undercurrent of amazingly poor exercise selection. I would often get asked questions such as, “how come other instructors don’t teach this?” I think that this potentially is a more macro problem of poor examples in the media and a gap between sports science and popular fitness knowledge and also pre-choreographed fitness programs. Also submitting to what groups and clients demand of their trainers is also a common pressure. For you as a devoted trainer, I encourage you to think about what is the outcome of this exercise and who is this exercise potentially going to harm or enhance?

In life, I am sure that you would agree, we can certainly over-complicate things. Pelvic Floor activation like any skill requires a bit of practice and an essential sense of humour, but each breath gets you closer to mastery. There will always be an element of confusion – without confusion, how does our brain expand? Like all mastery, there are specific steps within the technique. Start with the mantra of “do no harm & allow yourself to learn”, then refine and practice.

For me here in 2015, 21 years into my fitness and health career, these techniques have helped me overcome and manage significant back pain post a car accident and then chronic back pain due to ridiculous activity choices that I would make. I have been able to complete marathons, live a very active lifestyle, carry twins to 39 weeks gestation and today have an amazing quality of spinal health and energy. With athletes, I have seen their strength and stability improve exponentially, for women struggling with pelvic floor and looking at surgical options, find strength and a quality of life. For men post prostate, reclaim confidence and improve their recovery. For people in pain, find a sense of activation, release and stability.

This technique is important! It may not save your life, but it will certainly enhance the quality of your life.

The technique in written form:

(If you a visual or kinesthetic learner – video will be posted soon).

For the refined anatomy experts out there, relax into the simplicity and remember the necessity of a sense of humour:

Serious Step One: Understand the muscles.

3 parts – For the girls / ladies – pelvic floor:

The part you wee out of.

The part you could potentially have babies out of.

The part you pooh from (because ladies never break wind :-).

2 parts – For the boys / men – pelvic floor:

The part you wee out of and other stuff – here on referred to as the crown jewels

The part you pooh out of and break wind from 🙂

Step Two:

Remember if you do not get this straight away – it does not define you as a person 🙂

Step Three

For the boys / men

Breath in naturally and as you exhale over a count of 6

Lift your crown jewels up of a cold plate & have the sensation that you are stopping yourself from breaking wind

Important points:

Relax your face


Keep your bottom checks relaxed and maintain postural alignment

For the girls / ladies

Breath in naturally and as you exhale over a count of 6

Have a complete sensation of trying to stop yourself from weeing, lifting up through the middle part and stopping yourself from breaking wind.

Important points:

Relax your face


Keep your bottom checks relaxed and maintain postural alignment

Step Four:

Relax – breath – smile – read this technique again and understand there is more to it, but this is a great starting point.

Over the years, I have had many important discussions about ‘this bit’ should be relaxing and ‘that bit’ should be not engaging. Rather than think of right and wrong, move into a personal evolution of discovery and not only receive the obvious benefits of pelvic floor, but enjoy moving to a more balanced awareness of your body.

Have an evolution. There are many professionals and practitioners out there to support this technique

In Conclusion:

Relax – have fun – enjoy strengthening and activating your Pelvic Floor, your secret weapon to core strength!


Maree Frawley

MBA, B Comm, RYTA 500, (plus more), 21 years experience in fitness industry, 14 years as a business owner and a lifetime commitment to learning…..

Maree is a rejuvenation specialist who believes that every person can live an inspired life full of vitality with the balance of support and challenge.

As a Rejuvenation Specialist she utilises, high performance coaching, mind set techniques, superior implementation of biomechanics, yoga and over 21 years and diversity of expertise in the fitness & health industries.

As a mum of twins & business owner/manager she understands the necessity of having optimal health to thrive and live with inspired purpose. Maree is no stranger to pain and adversity and her experience with over thousands of clients will have you on your way to inspired vitality.

She provides simple pathways and outstanding nurturing support of how to find clarity amongst the confusion, how to decipher the best options for your personal vitality including nutrition, exercise & emotional management.

For information about Programs, Retreats, Mentoring, Meditation, Yoga Sessions & Key Note Presentations, feel welcome to email

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