At Jelly Belly PT we’re passionate about Pelvic Floor Fitness and we’re not afraid to admit it! Our blogger Penny Stretton has previously written about her own pelvic floor strength and this year, feeling it could do with a further boost she tried out the much talked about trainer Elvie. So does it live up to the hype?
“There’s nothing like getting a shiny new bit of fitness kit, is there?
“New trainers bring the promise of more toned legs, get your hands on a resistance band and you instantly feel a flatter tummy is on the way, snazzy new leggings move your motivation up a notch and even a new water bottle has you feeling that yes, this is finally the month I’m going to get myself properly hydrated!
“So, what’s it like when a little pelvic floor trainer arrives in the post? Intriguing is the answer.
“Elvie has been making waves for a little while now – everyone is talking about her. She’s like that new best friend you meet through a mutual buddy and instantly feel you can spill your soul to.
“Because obviously, if you’re going to give Elvie a chance you’ve got to get pretty intimate.
“Her appearance hints at that straight away. It’s no surprise my husband thought I’d brought a sex toy when he clapped eyes on Elvie (he was quickly talked down).
“The fact is that Elvie is, well, really pretty and instantly looks like something you want to get your hands on.
“The phrase Pelvic Floor Trainer is a bit scary isn’t it? But the boffins who have created Elvie have done a really good job of making it user friendly and well, fun.
“This little soft (like, super soft, I don’t know how they have made this thing so smooth) pebble shaped trainer feels lovely in your hand as you pop it out from its posh cylindrical charging case.
“It’s definitely not meant for your palm though, as lovely as it feels sitting there.
“It is of course for popping inside and helping to train the all important pelvic floor.
“We’ve chatted about this one plenty, but the fact is, no matter how many time we’re told to exercise it, no matter how good our intentions are, most of us are just not great at doing it. We start out well, then forget after two days of good going, or we don’t do it right or we’re simply too embarrassed to ask for help about how to do it right.
“But we shouldn’t be. It’s just like training your abs to help support your back – this muscle is crucial to so many functions and we all know that we need to take better care of it and I really think the Elvie is a genius way of helping us do so.
“I’ve known for a while that my own pelvic floor could be stronger after two massive babies and lots of running and various high impact exercises. This time around it was taking up football again following many years away that meant I started feeling pressure on the pelvic floor with the hard kicks and big bursts of movements that the sport requires.
“I thought, OK, I’m going to give this Elvie thing a go that everyone is talking about.
“Straight off the bat what I’m going to say is this. The best thing for me about Elvie is that using it means you create a dedicated few minutes in which to exercise your pelvic floor and you actually do it without getting distracted and frankly, that’s the main objective isn’t it?
“But why don’t you get distracted, you’re asking right? Because in a stroke of genius those clever clogs who created it have made it talk to your smartphone and you play a rather fun game with your new little friend. You don’t just sit (stand, whatever) there squeezing and trying to count while your mind wanders and you give up after three goes.
“Nope. You pop elvie inside and you open your (pre downloaded) Elvie app on your phone.
“A really simple set of instructions appear and you squeeze, helping the two to connect via bluetooth.
“After that, the app gives you some sleek little games to play which involve you working the pelvic floor to help direct and move a ball around on the screen.
“For example, in one game, a line sits across the screen and after a period of relaxation the app asks you to squeeze the Elvie, moving the icon up and above the line and holding it there for so many seconds. In another game, you’ll do more quick fire squeezes to move the ball up and down rapidly in a bid to hit targets. It’s like Super Mario for your lady bits. Simple.
“And the more you do it, the more levels you unlock, giving you new games to try. It’s pretty addictive! It will set tailored targets for you, based on your strength which really helps you to build up, regardless of what level you start out at.
“It’s such a good idea! And aside from being really good fun, it works.
“I’ve been using Elvie for about 3 months now. At first, like any new routine I found it hard to stick to it. I popped her in the drawer and kept forgetting about her. (Sorry – I can’t help but call her “her” -you’ll totally understand when you meet her).
“So, I made sure I left her by the bed.
(Oh, but out of the way of the kids. I mean, I’m not embarrassed of Elvie in the slightest but, you know, I didn’t fancy my two-year-old finding it and wanging it about in front of, let’s say my brother-in-law, at the next family BBQ).
“So, I got into a good habit of doing the training three times a week. The app tracks your progress and so you know that your reactions are getting stronger and the exercises are working.
“But importantly, the consistency of using it means that you feel the difference day to day.
“After years of being hit and miss with my pelvic floor healthcare I can honestly say that I can feel the difference that Elvie is making.
“Football has become much more enjoyable and while I’m no Kelly Smith, I think a stronger pelvic floor has helped my confidence on the pitch.
“But – what about the ultimate test? Mums – you all know what it is…the trampoline!
“Most of us with kids have got one and they can be a bit of a, umm, peril can’t they?
“But I can proudly say (and don’t be jealous, just get an Elvie) that when the occasion presents itself I can bounce away on ours WHILST holding my two-year-old at the same time. I don’t necessarily recommend this if your pelvic floor is weak and it’s not something I like to do often. But my toddler cackles with delight when I pick her up and jump with her and it’s really lovely to know that I can and all it’s taken is a bit of fun with a phone app to help us be able to do that. Not to be sniffed at really – these small moments of joy do matter.
Elvie isn’t a magical cure all. It still takes time and dedication but it’s a massive help. If you invest in one then you need to see it as your coach because that’s what it is.
It focuses you into giving your all to that training session, reassures you that you’re training in the right way and basically says if you do what I’m showing you to do, you’ll see results. It’s like getting a gym membership – it’s only any good if you actually use it, but when you do, you wonder why it’s taken you so long.
Ps: Just in case you’re wondering. The Elvie is totally safe. It’s made with the highest grade silicone, is 100% waterproof and has passed vigorous testing. Find out more.