Beth Davies Coaching

Blog about exercise and prolapse

3 ways to improve prolapse symptoms during deadlifts

Are you experiencing prolapse symptoms during your deadlifts? A recent client of mine was getting heaviness, pressure and dragging during her usual deadlifts. Having been recently diagnosed with a prolapsed bladder, we made the following changes to her deadlifts, so she could continue to deadlift without the prolapse symptoms.  Changing the range of movement 3

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Can I go to the gym with prolapse?

The short answer to “can I go to the gym with a prolapse” is yes! Pelvic organ prolapse is not a contra-indication for exercise or strength training.  But if you have pelvic organ prolapse and feel anxious about getting back to the gym, here are 3 things that can help.  Have a plan to follow

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Are squats better than pelvic floor exercises?

The idea of squats (or other functional exercises) being better than pelvic floor exercises is one that is often promoted on social media and as part of a prolapse or pelvic floor rehab programme.  And the idea that you can heal your prolapse or leaking without doing pelvic floor exercises is very potent. Many women

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Returning to Rugby Post Baby

Like many elements of women’s health, there isn’t a huge amount of literature on women’s rugby and the pelvic floor. However, I am citing 2 very new studies, both published in 2024 to illustrate the incidence of pelvic floor dysfunction. Plus, there is a need for more pelvic health education in rugby (and sports as

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The new definition of pelvic organ prolapse

You may have been given a prolapse diagnosis even if you weren’t/aren’t experiencing any symptoms. This often leads to feeling floored or blindsided because you had absolutely no idea there had been any change to the position of your organs.  A more recent clinical definition by the ICS (International Continence Society) uses the following 2

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Top pelvic health questions in 2024

These are the top 3 pelvic health questions I currently get asked (now in 2024) Should I be doing Kegels? You’ll find lots of mentions of kegels (or pelvic floor exercises) amongst my blogs because they can be super useful, but also have limitations.  Research still shows they are the first line of treatment when

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Will Kegels fix my prolapse?

Will Kegels fix my prolapse is a very common question. So, let’s look at the ways that Kegels (or pelvic floor exercises) might help prolapse. Plus, also the ways and reasons why Kegels won’t work, and of course, what to do instead!   What are Kegels? Kegels (we’ll also use the term, pelvic floor exercises)

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Pelvic floor dysfunction IS a fitness industry conversation

Recently, a client shared that the owner at her gym had never heard of pelvic organ prolapse. Even though stats show that it can affect up to 50% of women at some point during their lifetime.   Indeed, I have been told more than once by gym owners that “we don’t have that problem here”. Even

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3 ways your pelvic organs move

Let’s normalise the movement of pelvic organs! In fact many parts of our anatomy are always moving. They are responding to changes in pressure, movement, speech and many other “normal” things our bodies do.  Christina Prevett (a pelvic health physio and head of the pelvic division at ICE  ) talks about prolapse being about the

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3 mistakes you are making with your pelvic floor exercises

If you are experiencing pelvic floor symptoms such as leaking, prolapse, pelvic pain, or recovery from birth or gynae surgery, it’s likely that you have been told to do pelvic floor exercises. These squeezes of the pelvic floor muscles are the first line of treatment for pelvic floor treatment and strengthening the muscles.  However, if

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How to rehab and rebuild after a prolapse diagnosis

This blog outlines 2 phases of training after a prolapse diagnosis – rehab and rebuild!  The new definition of Pelvic Organ Prolapse according to the ICS (International Continence Society) includes the following 2 elements  The descent or departure of one or more of the pelvic organs away from their original position, along with  Bothersome symptoms

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What to avoid if you have pelvic organ prolapse

The world of prolapse is full of “avoid this” or “never do that” kind of advice. But, put simply, there are no blanket restrictions, nor can there ever be! Given how individual everyone is!  So, this blog is a slightly different take on the “what to avoid if you have prolapse” statements.  I hope you

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Mini Masterclass – is “just avoid” evidence based advice?

This was the title of a mini masterclass that I recently ran. The title comes from the fact you may have been given blanket recommendations for the things you can and cannot do if you have prolapse.  This video explores these recommendations and suggests questions to ask your healthcare provider. Plus a look at some

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4 deadlift variations for pelvic organ prolapse

Variations (in ths case for deadlifts) can be super useful if you have pelvic organ prolapse and a) you’re working back up to conventional deadlifts or b) experience symptoms with conventional deadlifts or 3) want to add some variety to your training.    What is a deadlift? The deadlift is a compound strength training exercise

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How to progress your glute bridges if you have prolapse

Glute bridges are often incorporated into a prolapse rehab programme. And for good reason! They offer a way of building core and pelvic floor strength alongside strengthening the glute muscles (besties with the pelvic floor!). Plus, if you are experiencing prolapse symptoms, being in supine (lying on your back) can be a great way of

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Why “safe” exercises aren’t helpful if you have prolapse

The word “safe” is often used alongside exercises that are recommended if you have pelvic organ prolapse. Safe can mean several things; safe in that they won’t give you symptoms, safe in that it provides certainty of NOT making things worse. But, here’s the thing, the use of the word safe isn’t that helpful, because

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What is making your prolapse symptoms worse?

Prolapse symptoms or the heavy and dragging sensations associated with prolapse can be more than a physical phenomenon. While we typically think of sensation as being purely related to what’s happening at a tissue level, we now understand, largely from studying pain science, that the experience of sensation is the result of more than just

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The power of active rehab for pelvic organ prolapse

If you have been diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse or have symptoms of prolapse such as heaviness or dragging, you may have been told the following:  To NOT exercise except for walking and swimming  To NOT lift anything and that incudes your toddler, baby or grandkids  To JUST do Kegels  This is not setting you

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Strength training for leak-free running

For many female runners, the joy of hitting the pavement can sometimes be marred by an unexpected and often embarrassing issue—leaking. Whether it’s stress incontinence or related to pelvic floor dysfunction, the good news is that there’s a powerful ally in the fight against this problem: strength training!  Why do I leak when I run?

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5 things about prolapse that don’t make sense

Many things about prolapse don’t make sense. But, through education, we can try and make sense of these things. This leads to a better understanding of our bodies, as well as how to navigate life with prolapse. This blog will describe 5 things about prolapse that don’t make sense.    1. Prolapse isn’t just an

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Can you correct a prolapse with pelvic floor exercises?

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common condition, particularly in women, where pelvic organs like the bladder, uterus, or rectum descend into the vaginal canal. As awareness of this issue grows, questions arise about the role of exercise in addressing or preventing pelvic organ prolapse. In this blog post, we’ll explore whether specific exercises can

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Menopause and the pelvic floor

Menopause is a natural biological process marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years. As the body undergoes significant hormonal shifts during perimenopause and menopause, various physiological changes unfold, impacting overall health, including the pelvic floor. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the hormonal fluctuations that occur during perimenopause and menopause and explore why

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Strength training principles to heal prolapse symptoms

When so many women have been told to avoid strength training, here’s how it can help heal prolapse symptoms. Strength training as a stand-alone activity is well-researched, with many benefits for physical health. These include; reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, maintaining muscle mass, and improving bone and joint health, alongside benefits for mental health. 

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Are pelvic floor symptoms a barrier to exercise for women?

let’s tackle a topic that many active women might find themselves grappling with – the challenges of exercising when faced with pelvic floor symptoms like leaking and prolapse. We’re going to take a closer look at insights from Jodie Dakic’s research, “Pelvic Floor Disorders in Exercising Women,” and shed some light on the barriers women

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Does stopping breastfeeding help prolapse symptoms?

Let’s dive into a topic that many postpartum women may find themselves contemplating: the connection between breastfeeding and pelvic organ prolapse. We’ll also explore some insights from a notable study by Iris et al. in 2020 and discuss what might help improve symptoms for those experiencing pelvic organ prolapse. First things first, what exactly is

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Does lifestyle affect the pelvic floor (spoiler: YES)

Pelvic health is a vital component of overall well-being, and its balance can be influenced by various lifestyle factors beyond exercise. In this blog, we’ll explore the intricate connections between sleep, diet and nutrition, physical activity, and pelvic health, shedding light on how these aspects collectively contribute to a healthy pelvic floor. Pelvic Health &

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Debunking myths – weight lifting and prolapse

Weight lifting has long been a subject of concern when it comes to pelvic health, particularly in relation to pelvic organ prolapse (POP). However, recent research studies challenge the notion that weight lifting is inherently harmful to the pelvic floor. In this blog, we’ll delve into 3 specific studies that provide evidence supporting the safety

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A framework for post-natal recovery and exercise

This is a summary of a talk I gave to expecting Mums at a The Mum Club event in Leamington Spa earlier this year. The aim of the talk was to provide education about the physiological changes that pregnancy and being post-natal brings. Plus, talking about how they can train for the season that they

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How I use personal training to help clients with prolapse

Being a personal trainer and helping clients with prolapse get back to the exercise they love is not your usual in the fitness space.  But it’s THE thing that I love doing. You see, personal training doesn’t have to be about pushing someone past their physical limit. Or, standing over them as they exercise counting

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2 positions to improve your pelvic floor connection

This blog showcases 2 positions to improve your pelvic floor connection. So often, we are told to do pelvic floor exercises in lying. Whilst this can be a good starting point, it’s great to progress to more functional movement. Or for some, it’s actually easier to feel connected to the pelvic floor and core in

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Lifting with prolapse? 4 breathing strategies and when to use them

If you are wanting to lift weights and have pelvic organ prolapse, you may have come across discussions about breathing. Here is a short blog about 4 different breathing strategies and when to use them.  But first, here’s a little bit about why we start with the breath. As you can see below, from the

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The impact of pelvic floor dysfunction on exercise in women

Another little dive into the research on the impact of pelvic floor dysfunction on exercise in women! This study by Dakic et al, 2019 examines the barriers to exercise for women experiencing symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. This study looks at the pelvic floor as a barrier compared to other (and perhaps more well-known barriers). 

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Research about lifting weights and prolapse

There are lots of opinions and ideas about lifting weights with prolapse. But we can’t equal this in terms of the volume of research! Given the amount of fear-mongering or talk of safe or unsafe (lifting being considered unsafe…) exercises, let’s dig into the research we do have!  What does it tell use about lifting

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3 things the fitness industry needs to do better for women

I love working in the fitness industry BUT there is a huge gap in knowledge, research and consideration to a woman’s life stages. So, here are 3 things I think, the industry should do better.  Education for personal trainers and coaches It starts HERE! With the education that personal trainers are given as part of

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Prolapse symptoms when you lift weights? Part 1

Do you lift weights and have a prolapse and feel symptoms during or after lifting? If so, this blog (and the next few to follow) are for you!  Lifting weights is awesome for the female body! We need to maintain our muscle mass as much as possible (particularly as we age). However, in the pelvic

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NEW Strength Programme for prolapse: LIFTED! Project Strong

Are you wanting a strength programme for prolapse but feeling confused and overwhelmed? You’re not alone if you’re wondering how you get back in the gym and lift weights once you’ve finished your prolapse or pelvic floor rehab. So many of my clients get in touch because they are wondering the same thing!  Strength training

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The mental load of pelvic organ prolapse

So many women feel the mental load of pelvic organ prolapse. And whilst pelvic organ prolapse is a physical shift and descent of the pelvic organs from their original position. I truly believe it can impact all aspects of a person’s life and being. From relationships to body image, mental health, etc. This blog will

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Can I go to the gym if I have prolapse?

The short answer is YES you can go to the gym if you have a prolapse! However, I also know that if you’ve been diagnosed with a prolapse, exercising might seem like a bit of a minefield. It might require new skills, strength and a shift in mindset, but you can absolutely move and train

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Tips for a symptom free deadlift

A hip hinge or deadlift is a fantastic functional movement because it works your glutes, hamstrings, back (all of your posterior chain). And because you use this movement ALL the time when you pick up things!  However, this can be a movement that provokes symptoms, particularly if you have a rectocele. Rather than banish it

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Should you avoid squats if you have prolapse?

You may have been told to avoid squats altogether if you’ve been diagnosed with a prolapse. However, there is no evidence that squats are “bad for your prolapse or pelvic floor”. In fact, done in a way that supports your pelvic floor, they can be more effective than Kegels (Crawford et al, 2016). But how

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Are Hypopressives more effective than Kegels?

Maintaining good pelvic floor health is crucial for both men and women. Over the years, Kegel exercises have been widely recommended as a means to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. However, a revolutionary approach called hypopressives has gained popularity, challenging the effectiveness of traditional Kegels. In this blog, we will delve into the realm of

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Can Hypopressives help pelvic floor issues?

Understanding hypopressives Hypopressives, also known as hypopressive exercises or low-pressure fitness, is a type of exercise method developed by Dr. Marcel Caufriez, a Belgian gynecologist, in the 1980s. Unlike traditional exercises that focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through contraction, hypopressives aim to restore and enhance pelvic health by utilizing a combination of postural

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How to exercise with a prolapse

How can I exercise with a prolapse is a common question I hear. This is often because a diagnosis may also come with a number of limitations. Such as, “don’t lift more than x amount”, or “avoid doing HIIT, or running, or CrossFit” or any other activity that may be considered harmful.  However, exercise isn’t

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Strength training and leaking

Strength training is a powerful form of exercise that offers numerous benefits, including increased muscle mass, improved bone density, enhanced metabolism, and overall physical fitness. However, if you are leaking urine during intense workouts, it can be hard to know what to do. Do you stop because of the leaking and miss out on the

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How to get back to exercise after a prolapse diagnosis

Whilst a prolapse diagnosis can feel disheartening, especially if you are a keen exerciser. I want to assure you that with the right mindset, knowledge, and support, you can reclaim your fitness journey and rediscover the joy in an active lifestyle. So, let’s dive in and explore how to embrace fitness again after a POP

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How to improve prolapse symptoms

Many women with POP, want to know how to improve prolapse symptoms. This can be to improve quality of life, to be able to move forward without prolapse dominating their life or to be able to exercise again without worrying about POP.  So, first things first, let’s have a look at some common prolapse symptoms. 

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Strength training with a prolapse

Trying to navigate strength training with a prolapse can feel a tad tricky. On one hand, you see the fitness industry recommending it for women. But you may also have been told, “don’t lift”, “don’t do weights”, “lifting weights is bad for your pelvic floor”.  Let’s take a step back and look at the benefits

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Why do I leak with exercise?

If you leak with exercise, this blog post is for you. I explain the reasons why you might be leaking and ways to exercise leak free.  How common is leaking with exercise? Incontinence (the leaking of urine or faeces) is very common and is said to affect around 1/3 of women. A study of pelvic

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Prolapse and Periods

Is there a link between prolapse and periods? Do you notice your prolapse symptoms are more prevalent during your period? Or perhaps around other times in your cycle? This blog discusses some reasons why prolapse symptoms “might” correlate with menstruation. Plus, 3 ways to better manage period driven symptoms.  Why do I feel more prolapse

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How to exercise with prolapse

A common question isn’t ‘how to exercise with prolapse’ but what exercises can I do with prolapse? Or which exercises to avoid if you have pelvic organ prolapse? Whilst, it would be great to have a list of those exercises, I find a more effective approach is to look at ‘how you can exercise with

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Why prolapse happens

Why prolapse happens is an interesting question.  Whilst it would be simpler to offer one reason, that often isn’t the case. In-fact, pelvic organ prolapse can be:  The result of something done repeatedly that gradually reduces the available support of the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments over time   An event (such as birth) on an

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Is a prolapse diagnosis always helpful?

If you have been diagnosed with a prolapse, it’s likely you’ve been given your diagnosis and told to do your pelvic floor exercises (and perhaps not much else!). You’ve heard the word prolapse (maybe a grade) but you have no idea what this means for your life. It may have come as a shock because

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I’ve done my rehab but still have prolapse symptoms

Still have some annoying prolapse symptoms even though you’ve done your rehab? On a recent Instagram poll, I asked those who had done their rehab and wanted to progress what was stopping them, a huge 80% said they still had prolapse symptoms. The other 20% weren’t sure how to progress.  So, what’s the deal? Surely rehab

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How to recover from prolapse surgery

As part of your prolapse approach, you may have been advised or chosen to have surgery. This short blog covers: different types of surgery how to prepare for surgery the benefit of pelvic floor muscle training pre-surgery movement prehab (and rehab) lifestyle factors  DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog is not medical advice and does

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Postnatal Exercise – where to start

Postnatal exercise – where to start! Exercising after baby can be confusing (and that’s coming from someone who has spent the last 8 years working with postnatal women). Of course, we’d love a textbook on exactly what to do, in the same way, we’d love a manual for motherhood ;) however, it doesn’t exist. But

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Are Kegels bad?

Are Kegels bad is a question I see frequently debated online and in pelvic health circles. If you’ve read my blogs on best exercises for prolapse or how to fix pelvic organ prolapse you’ll know it’s very rarely a definitive yes or no answer! Kind of annoying right?  But here’s the thing, bodies and pelvic

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NEW! Postnatal classes in Leamington Spa

Exercising in the postnatal period can feel a little confusing and overwhelming. There’s no shortage of advice online. The online ‘influencers’ are sharing their bounce-back and weight loss tips. And now your little one is here, you’re thinking that some exercise would feel good but you’re not sure what to do.  Maybe you’ve noticed some

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Welcome to Summer Shorts

Before you get bombarded by the September weight loss messaging saying:  you’ve eaten too much ice cream  not done enough workouts  let yourself down because you’ve had a few vino’s  By the way, I will have done ALL of those things! I am here to help you see through some of the fitness and diet

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Online programmes for prolapse

Online programmes for prolapse and personal training gained loads more popularity during the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. The fitness industry jumped online and personal training sessions were Zoomed into clients kitchen’s, offices, and playrooms.  In its purest sense, online personal training is less about “a PT session”. But more about accessing a personal trainer

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Strategies for exercising with pelvic organ prolapse

When thinking about exercising with pelvic organ prolapse, it can be easy to simplify exercises into safe or unsafe, good or bad etc. You avoid the “unsafe” or “bad” ones and do the “safe” or “good” ones. Using this language often means that you don’t progress (because something  like lifting weights is deemed bad for

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5 ways to improve postpartum prolapse

A study by Sze in 2002 found that over 80% of new mums had some prolapse present when assessed at 6 weeks. I’m not saying that this means postpartum prolapse is normal but is very common. Perhaps normal or abnormal (or dysfunctional) are the wrong terms (but so often get chucked around). Instead, it can

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3 words for Prolapse Awareness Month

Creating more awareness Prolapse was a term I’d never heard until a decade ago when a close relative went through prolapse repair surgery.  You may know lots about prolapse (many of my clients do). Or you may have never heard about it until you were given your own diagnosis.  I’ve linked to a blog which

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Here’s what’s wrong with “beach body” messaging

Summer is upon us which means the fitness industry wants to talk about getting a beach body! It’s usually marketing for a short-term weight loss plan, accompanied by a picture of someone wearing a bikini. Looking lean, tanned, and gorgeous, with the promise that you too can achieve the same look. As someone who struggled

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3 Reasons to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist

A pelvic floor physiotherapist is a must-see if you’re experiencing pelvic floor symptoms. You may also find it useful to see how you are healing after giving birth, hysterectomy, or prolapse surgery.  They have many, many talents but I’m going to focus on 3 reasons why seeing a pelvic floor physio is an awesome thing

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How does a personal trainer help with pelvic floor issues?

When I first started working as a women’s personal trainer in Leamington Spa, I didn’t foresee myself specialising in pelvic health.  I did however see that women were being trained the same as men. Without reference to their pelvic health, menstrual cycle, nutritional needs or relationship with food and their body.  As my business has

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How to fix pelvic organ prolapse

Many of the programmes, gadgets or blogs you may read about online, will focus on how to fix pelvic organ prolapse. For example;  “Here’s how I healed my prolapse and you can too!” “Best exercise program to naturally heal a prolapse” “This device has helped xx women reverse their prolapse”  I am in no doubt

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What are the best exercises for prolapse?

A super common question I am asked is “what are the best exercises for pelvic organ prolapse?”. Here’s the thing, it may not be a list of safe or unsafe exercises for prolapse. Instead, here are some different ways to think about the best exercises for prolapse which help empower versus fear-monger.  Do pelvic floor

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How to manage prolapse symptoms at work

Talking about your pelvic health or prolapse symptoms at work can be challenging. This blog is based on an Instagram live between Beth Davies and Sharon Oakley. Sharon shares her experience of talking about her pelvic health in her workplace. Plus some tips from Beth as to how to manage pelvic health and prolapse symptoms

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Can I lift weights with prolapse?

Can I lift weights with prolapse is such a common question! I get asked it so frequently that I thought I’d illustrate it with a client story.  This wonderful client was referred to me by the lovely, Nicola Mulkeen who is a pelvic health phyiotherapist in the Midlands.  The client is a Crossfitter who developed

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Can I run with prolapse?

A question I am often asked is ‘can I run with prolapse?’ I absolutely believe you can, and have helped many clients to get there. But here’s the thing, running with prolapse isn’t just about the pelvic floor, it’s about the whole body (and mind!).  Here’s my checklist to help you get back to running

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How to make progress with your ‘prolapse safe’ exercises

You’ve been working hard on your prolapse safe exercises but progress has stalled. You feel stuck between the safety net of what you believe to be safe and wanting to progress your exercises.  Here are 5 ‘prolapse safe’ exercises and how they can be progressed using the principle of progressive overload and a bit of

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Do pelvic floor exercises heal prolapse?

Do pelvic floor exercises heal prolapse is hugely debated. This is a huge question from those experiencing pelvic organ prolapse! And one that comes with an “it depends” answer.  Sorry! That old chestnut!  Pelvic floor exercises are a great starting point to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. However, they may not be appropriate for everyone. 

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Why gratitude can be hard when you have pelvic organ prolapse

Here’s why gratitude can be tricky if you’re experiencing prolapse symptoms.  Because the message you may have heard is…. “Feel grateful your baby is healthy” “Feel grateful it didn’t do more damage” “Feel grateful you didn’t need to push/have a c section” (delete as appropriate) It’s ok to feel conflicted around feeling grateful It’s ok

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How to own your 6 week post natal check with your GP

The 6 week GP check and sign off is often viewed as a green light for all pre pregnancy activities to resume.  Right? Not so fast…. This check up is often as vague as it gets. Which is why it’s a poor metric for you to be signed off for exercise. Are you feeling ok?

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Is your pelvic floor too tight?

Tight pelvic floor muscles are a thing! Are you doing all the squeezing and lifting for your pelvic floor and still finding one or more of the following symptoms? Leaking during exercise or sneezing or laughing Little relief from your prolapse symptoms Things are a little uncomfortable during sex Stiffness or tightness in your lower

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