Rowing and pelvic health

Baz Moffat is the co-founder of the Well HQ, a community that promotes womens health in sport. She has a personal interest in pelvic health and is working to counter the mis-understandings about pelvic floor, bladder and bowel health.

Timestamps

05:00 The December Faster Masters program
CRASH-B training plan for 2k racing on erg is now available in ALL our programs (except Magazine).
CRASH-B 13 Feb 2022
Canadian indoor champs 30 Jan 2022
Irish indoor champs 22 Jan 2022

Baz Moffat – pelvic health expert

10:00 Baz Moffat from The Well HQ.
Interest in pelvic floor but it was “medicalised” as a topic. And hadn’t been re-interpreted into sport.
The team at the Well includes an exercise physiologist and a general practitioner (family) doctor.
16:00 The “Caught Short” kit of period products for your club changing room

90% of women will leave a venue if her period starts and they don’t have a product to use.

Baz Moffat, The Well HQ
Podcast with Baz Moffat on Faster Masters Rowing Radio

Pelvic floor for rowing

18:30 pelvic health for rowing
What is your pelvic floor? Its role is to hold everything up and keep you dry. Coughing, laughing, sneezing, jumping should not make you leak, wind or urea /faeces.
Athletes have higher levels of dysfunction than the population.
Upwards of 50% of masters rowers (women) have prolapse or stress incontinence issues.
We have normalised this and it should not be so.

Audio episode of Baz Moffat on Faster Masters Rowing Radio

23:00 Kegle exercises are pelvic floor drills which are OK for starting.
26:00 It’s taboo to mention because we are arrogant about our physicality.
Prolapse is when the vaginal wall is not strong enough to hold up everything inside. Level 1 or 2 feels like a drag and can be fixed with pelvic floor exercises and pessaries to protect the vagina during exercise.

Bladder & Bowel Health

30:00 Bladders.

Most people don’t know how many times a day they should go to the loo. You should be weeing 8-12 seconds around 5-8 times per day.
Healthy habits – we lose collagen as we age and this can cause a floppy bladder so it doesn’t retract.
Go every 3 hours or so. Respond to the urge.
Bladder irritants – sugar, caffeine, spices, cold temperatures, alcohol. We get more sensitive with age.

35:00 Bowel health – bowels are different from bladders.
Excreting waste product includes hormones.
In mid-life we have a lot of stress hormones. If you don’t go to the loo they get re-absorbed and stored around your middle. Stress, lack of sleep and constipation mean you cannot lose weight.
When you get the urge you have 15-20 minutes to go.
People prefer to go at home. You should respond to the urge, not wait.
As we age digestion slows.
Lack of oestrogen and more progesterone make you more likely to be constipated.
Complementary health therapies and naturopaths can help a lot.
Sit on the toilet with your knees higher than your hips is helpful if you are constipated. Lean forward, relax and let go.
Your menstrual cycle also affects your bowel health.

Strength and conditioning in midlife

43:00 Strength and conditioning in mid life
Evidence is from age 30 women lose muscle strength, muscle mass and bone density.
Counteract the rate of decline with exercise.
Lifting technique matters – learn this first. Function and form are your limitations.
Focus on the “big lifts” squat, bench pull, bench press and dead lift. Check you are breathing.
We do not need to hold the breath in order to stabilise the core if we are lifting 10-40kgs. Use a flowing breath.

49:00 In the Faster Masters subscription training programs we focus on do-able exercises and things you can do at home.

52:00 Keep your core long and ensure your stomach doesn’t puff out.
What should coaches cue when a female athlete sits in a rowing boat?
Do not tell her to “hold” her core.
Breathing in and out should move both the diaphragm and the pelvic floor – holding the core stops this happening.
Tell her to seek “length” because a long muscle is a strong muscle.

58:00 We have 3 arches in our body – feet, diaphragm and pelvic floor. All are needed.

Train Like a Woman webinar 8 December 2021- it’s free and also recorded so sign up