WHAT IS ‘THE KNACK’?
You’ve probably heard about Kegel exercises for strengthening pelvic floor muscle (PFM) but have you heard of the Knack exercise?
‘The Knack’, also known as Counter Bracing Technique (CBT) is a strong and well-timed contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. It involves the pelvic floor muscles contracting immediately before and during any increase in downward pressure on the pelvic floor. ‘The Knack’ exercise is actually a strong well-timed Kegel or pelvic floor exercise.
What is the purpose of this exercise?
This preventative exercise can help you control bladder leaking which aids to close the urinary tube (urethra) more effectively. When you do the Knack exercise, you will need to contract/squeeze PFM before and during any increase in pressure from within the abdomen activities, such as during a coughing, sneezing and lifting.
Some women often lose the ability to automatically contract their pelvic floor muscles due to pregnancy and childbirth, after some types of pelvic floor surgery, or with repeated straining to empty the bowels. By actively contracting their PFM, women can often overcome the bladder leakage that occurs with weakened pelvic floor muscle.
This strong well-timed pelvic floor muscle contraction also may help to reduce downward movement of the pelvic floor (and prolapse) helping to decrease prolapse symptoms during events or activities that increase pelvic floor pressure. If you have a prolapse or previous prolapse surgery, this technique is definitely worth knowing for long-term pelvic floor support and protection.
When to do ‘The Knack’?
Whenever you feel you are about to:
- Blowing your nose
- Rising into standing from sitting
- Stepping down heavily.
How to do ‘The Knack’ Exercise?
The Knack’s technique is similar to the Kegel exercises. You still need to contract your PFM (imagine you’re holding urination) but you need to contract the muscle immediately before and during any activities that put stress on your bladder as mentioned above.
The Knack is a quick and simple exercise technique that can help women to minimise urine leaking and also protect and reduce prolapse symptoms. Simply remember to lift and squeeze with every cough, lift or sneeze.
For further information or if you need guidance from our Women’s Health Physiotherapist regarding the Knack exercise, feel free to reach us at Vibrance Pelvic Care Centre. Free Consultation is available, book an appointment today.
Vibrance Women’s Health Physiotherapist
Laurie B (2008), Pelvic Floor Exercises Reduce Female Urinary Incontinence. Retrieved from https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/582869
Michelle K (n.d) How to Control Bladder Leaks – Get ‘The Knack’ and Stay Dry. Retrieved from
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Tammy Elizabeth (2018), Kegels and the knack pelvic floor exercise ,
Focus on incontinence and mastering the knack-pelvic floor control for cystic fibrosis https://www.pactster.com/blog/post/incontinence-pelvic-floor-control-cystic-fibrosis-the-knack
The Knack, Women Continence Centre. Retrieved from