Leaking pee when you lift is a daily occurrence in most gyms. While it’s nothing to be ashamed of, you should know that peeing when you lift something heavy isn’t automatically supposed to happen, not even if you’ve been pregnant before.
Why you’re peeing with deadlifts, squats, and other lifts…
1. Improper bracing
Instead of spreading the intraabdominal pressure out evenly into all sides of the core, you’re probably compressing your upper core and sending pressure straight down into your pelvic floor.
Learn more about bracing HERE.
2. You’re too tight
It’s important to brace and create tension in your core when you’re lifting, but the tension should match the effort of the lift. You’re not going to need to valsalva for every rep in all of your workouts. You’re also not going to need to kegel with every lift, not even if you have prolapse.
Try playing around with continuing to brace while slowly exhaling during the portion of the lift that’s making you leak.
3. You loaded your pelvic floor too much too fast.
This is especially true for a lot of people postpartum. That 6 week clearance isn’t the green light you think it is. You’re jumping back into your normal workouts too fast without progressively building your pelvic floor strength and capacity.
No, you likely don’t need to start over from scratch. But you may need to adjust your mobility, breathing patterns, positioning, and even accessory work to help support your body as you build core and pelvic floor strength and endurance.
Peeing with a 1RM (1 rep max) attempt
I’m not as worried about leaking with a 1RM attempt since you’re testing your body’s limits and probably going over your pelvic floor’s threshold for holding in urine.
Would I still look to see if you tweak form, bracing, load, etc? Possibly. Work to keep building strength and capacity like you would for the rest of your body, and if you start leaking (or experiencing other pelvic floor related symptoms) at other times, get yourself checked out and make some changes.
If you’re ready to start lifting heavy again without worrying about your core and pelvic floor, FIT for Women is for you. Get the mobility, core and pelvic floor progressions, and strength programming you need to help you navigate your symptoms.
If you want to take a deep dive on more core and pelvic floor topics, join my weekly Q&A email list. It may or may not also be the only place to snag a discount on programs. So run, don’t walk, to join.