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Table 3 Self-care practices competitive women powerlifters engage in to prevent, reduce or contain leakage of urine

From: Urinary Incontinence in Competitive Women Powerlifters: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Bracing related
Brace against the belt
Bracing abs and pulling up pelvic floor
Bracing my core correctly helps
Change the way I brace with my belt
Correct bracing
Do a Kegel as part of my bracing
Focus on bracing with each heavy rep
Finding the right bracing in my lifts
Focus on bracing properly
I'm just starting Kegels and trying to brace better
Practicing bracing and breathing in a way so I don’t feel as much pressure on my pelvic floor
Proper bracing and core control
Re check belt position, ensure proper bracing technique
Tighten pelvic floor before bracing for lifts
Try to work on bracing and holding the tightness through the lift
Be aware of bracing technique
Working on bracing through entire stomach
I ensure that after a preparation and testing phase that I have a period of time training volume without a belt and with higher reps without breath holding and bracing
Kegel before lift. I have been experimenting with bracing, not taking in a full belly of air as is recommended. That second technique might be helping a little, though I worry I am not as effective at bracing as other women
Preparation/setup related
Blow before you go, use of my exhale
I learnt how to let out a bit of air (very slight) from my abdominal area during bracing, before I begin the descent of my squat, and that seems to help with the leakage
Pelvic floor lift prior to the lift and not trying to hold it too much
A dynamic warmup and a post workout stretching routine
Pelvic floor related
Active pelvic floor engagement before lift
Before a lift I try to "lift" my pelvic floor with the same movement you do when you close the zipper on a pair of tight jeans
I try not to do too intense of a PF contraction
Bracing pelvic floor
Control pelvic floor
Engage my pelvic floor as much as possible
Focus on tensing pelvic floor during the lift
I do pelvic floor, and brace correctly
I will concentrate on lifting pelvic floor, exhaling on effort and have a break from barbell work if needed to train and strengthen pelvic floor
I squeeze my pelvic floor muscles as hard as I can and I wear sanitary pads
Try to focus on pulling pelvic floor up instead of bearing down during lifts
Maintain focus on pelvic region during high volume sets
Being more conscious of engaging pelvic floor before anything else when I brace
Pelvic floor exercises
My coach has programmed daily core and pelvic floor engagement and strengthening movements
Including a proper pelvic floor warmup before training has vastly improved my bladder control
Engaging my core and pelvic floor before lifting
Pelvic floor holds
Technique/form/breathing related
Spreading the load when performing heavy lift
Breathing out on lifts
Breathing techniques
Exhale during concentric part of lift
Focus on technique, sometimes helps because I feel like I can control it on single lifts
I have several physio cues around ribcage positioning, bracing, and different vaginal muscle cues
Improving form on my lifts and bracing correctly is reducing the incidences of leakage
I'll concentrate on good form, breathing and bracing
Mindful lifting
Thinking about pulling my bellybutton in when lifting heavy
Other training related
Not wearing a belt
Train beltless if I'm feeling particularly leaky
Avoid wearing my belt until I have to
Going to the bathroom quite often/between sets during training
Drink less water on heavy days or during competitions
Train dehydrated on lower leg days
My trainer suggested kettle bell swings
Take spare underwear to gym and competitions
Always wear a pad
Wear incontinence underwear
Wearing a super tampon
Diva cup (pressure on bladder wall to support muscles)
Use a moon cup
See a women’s health physio
Deep/superficial core exercises
I try to observe good bowel emptying practices like not straining to poo
Reducing caffeine
I currently am using Birthfit training to work on my pelvic floor and stop to pee all the time
I try to not hold my pee in for long periods
I try not to not force myself to empty my bladder whenever convenient in anticipation of busy hours
Being well rested
Use tens
Stretching and massage
Researching what other women do
Not laughing
Avoiding sit ups/jumping
Learning how to relax pelvic floor muscles
Dead bug exercise
Using a pelvic weight
Menopause has helped