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 of weight lifting in relation to pelvic health.
Interested? Let’s get started!
Study 1 by Bo et al, 2015
“The Impact of Resistance Training on Pelvic Floor Function in Women” (Bo et al., 2015):
Bo et al. conducted a study examining the effects of resistance training on pelvic floor function in women. The results indicated that structured resistance training, including weight lifting, did not lead to a significant increase in pelvic floor dysfunction. In fact, participants who engaged in resistance training showed improvements in pelvic floor muscle strength and support.
Study 2 by Bo and Herbert, 2013
“Resistance Training for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: A Systematic Review” (Bø and Herbert, 2013):
Bø and Herbert conducted a comprehensive systematic review on resistance training and pelvic floor dysfunction. The findings suggested that well-designed resistance training programs, when supervised and adapted to individual needs, did not pose a risk for pelvic floor disorders. The key was proper guidance and customisation to ensure that exercises were performed with correct form.
Study 3 by Nygaard et al, 2016
Clinical Trial: “Effect of Weight Lifting on Pelvic Organ Prolapse” (Nygaard et al., 2016):
Nygaard et al. carried out a clinical trial specifically investigating the impact of weight lifting on pelvic organ prolapse. Surprisingly, the results indicated that weight lifting was not associated with an increased risk of pelvic organ prolapse in the studied population. The authors emphasized the importance of proper technique and gradual progression in weight lifting programs.
SUMMARY: Contrary to common beliefs, and the restrictions currently told to women. Current research challenges the assumption that weight lifting is detrimental to pelvic floor health. The studies mentioned highlight that structured and supervised resistance training, including weight lifting, can even have positive effects on pelvic floor function. It’s crucial to approach weightlifting with proper guidance, ensuring that you’re following a personalised programme that considers your pelvic health as well as experience and strength. As always, consulting with healthcare professionals and pelvic health experts is recommended before starting any exercise programme, especially for individuals with pre-existing pelvic health concern
Beth Davies is a highly experienced personal trainer and coach specialising in female pelvic health, pelvic organ prolapse and exercise. Her programmes educate, empower and support women back to training or their active life, eliminating symptoms and building strength and confidence. She has been featured in publications such as Stylist, Marie Claire UK, Woman & Home, and Metro