Hi, what are the probabilities that poor saddle or bike fit exacerbate pelvic floor weakness? Is there anything one can do while on the bike to strengthen that area?
Male or female?
Female rider, mid 40s
I have very limited knowledge with this particular topic. But upon a superficial review, I would guess that it may be something that could be affected (good/bad) via poor saddle selection and/or position. Presumably, if you are properly supported on the sit bones, there should be minimal impact or pressure on the P.F.
Make sure that you have a proper saddle width (sized to support the location of your sit bones), and are sitting on the appropriate section of the saddle (sit bones over the wings at the wider part of the saddle) and not too far forward or rearward are some quick things to check.
Saddle shape and presence or absence of a center channel may be a consideration as well. I’m happy to try and help more with this despite my limited knowledge of the specific issue. Overall, I can help review current position on the saddle.
The strength of your pelvic floor can be improved by the appropriate exercises. My daughter was a ballet dancer throughout her youth, she just had her first child and the OB commented how strong her pelvic floor was, and wondered if she had been a dancer. I’m not a direct expert, but I suspect exercises like the old tried and true Kegel Maneuver and core excerises like Pilates would help.
I’ve had spinal surgery twice now, result of both is you basically have to re-train and re-strengthen your pelvic floor because the “girdle” gets cut during surgery. Different than effects of pregnancy, but similar overall result.
Bike fit/saddle shouldn’t fix it or make your pelvic floor worse, but it certainly will highlight if you are lacking “strength” for lack of a better term, through your pelvic floor and the girdle it creates in terms of strength through your mid-section.
As stated by others above, you need to (re)train the muscles, keigel exercises, abdominal strength, etc. all to create a strong core and girdle.