For the first time, USA Weightlifting is actively getting involved in educating their coaches and lifters about pelvic health. On Thursday, December 6, Tamra Wroblesky gave an hour and a half interactive seminar to coaches and lifters about pelvic health, pressure regulation, hip and thoracic mobility, bowel and bladder regulation, all to improve performance under the bar.
This will be an uphill battle as there is poor awareness and education about pelvic health. They have hired Tamra for their 2 international female camps (Barbados and Ohio) in 2019 due to the popularity of the first camp in Las Vegas last year. Check out Tamra's original Team USA article, Supercharge Your Pelvis, which has gained momentum in the weightlifting community and her latest report below!
This past Thursday, I found myself in cold Milwaukee for the American Open, a national championship meet by USA Weightlifting. I was invited by Phil Andrews, the CEO, due to recent colorful discussions on the internet about female weightlifters leaking during lifts. I enthusiastically accepted, unaware of the critics I would face. One of the problems is lack of education and awareness about pelvic physical therapy, something I know we all face in our clinics and communities. Once we get people through the door, they realize we're not going to teach them how to do Kegels cross-legged in a group circle for hours on end. But how do we convince them to show up in the first place?
I was eating breakfast at the hotel a few hours before my talk, and two female lifters were sitting across from me with their coach. When I invited them to the talk later, they sneered and joked about it being the "peeing lecture" and explained they would be too busy training to attend. I was not prepared to defend my profession so early in the morning and the best response I came up with was that the talk would be talking about incontinence very little and is more about the connection between your hips and pelvis which can improve your performance under the bar. They never showed up, and I found myself in front of the room with minutes to go before my presentation with only a few faces in the crowd. My heart sank, but I took a deep breath and began.
People began trickling in as I spoke, and to my delight it was both men and women, lifters, and their coaches. The room became loud and contagious as the presentation went on, with many more people joining in for the mobility and accessory work demonstrations. Even better, the female medical director for the Open was in attendance as well as a massage therapist, and they immediately began implementing things they learned at the medical center that weekend. People started talking about what they learned and I received many direct messages after the event from people all over the country who watched USA Weightlifting's Instagram story about pelvic health.
Change is not going to happen overnight, but I am so proud of USA Weightlifting for beginning this educational process and understanding our importance as pelvic physical therapists.