What You Need to Know About Working Out and Bladder Leaks

As if working out wasn’t hard enough, one study found that up to 49.3 percent of women have stress urinary incontinence (SUI) leak while exercising. It makes sense if you think about it: SUI is the term used when bladder leaks occur accidentally when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising. These simple movements put pressure on the bladder and, should the pelvic floor muscles be unable to tighten enough, will cause an involuntary leak.

Bladder leakage can affect your life in ways big and (seemingly) small. Some women might opt out of wearing white denim, while others stop exercising altogether. Skipping a sweat session once in a while for a Netflix binge is totally legit, but forgoing exercise due to incontinence can wreak havoc on your body down the line. Afterall, breaking a sweat is good for both your physical and mental health, especially as you age. So, instead of letting fear stop you from hitting the gym, arm yourself with knowledge so you can break a sweat AND stay dry.

First up, familiarizing yourself with the workouts that are most likely to cause leakage. Drumroll, please...



Pounding the pavement (or the treadmill, for that matter) is a great way to burn calories, but it’s not so great for an unsupported bladder. Every time your foot hits the ground, it sends shockwaves all the way up to your pelvic area—and if your pelvic floor is too weak to fully clench, you’ll likely leak.

Trampoline Class


Just like running, hitting the floor with impact each time you jump can make incontinence issues flare up. Again, every time you land after a leap, you’re putting pressure on your bladder. Strong pelvic floor muscles can handle that pressure. But if they’re weak, you won’t be able to hold that pee in.



One study found that 42 percent of women who do CrossFit experience leakage. Specific moves that are most problematic when it comes to pee: Box jumps, thrusters and front squats. They all involve moving in a way that could put pressure on your lower abdomen and bladder.

HIIT Sweat Sessions


There are a few reasons that high intensity interval training (HIIT) can be problematic for those with SUI. First, the intensity part can put added pressure on your bladder. The other reason: Certain moves within HIIT workouts may require you to bear down—sort of like you would while pushing out a baby, just with a lot less pain. It’s nearly impossible to bear down while also squeezing in pee.

So, what can you do if you want to exercise? While you’re still working to resolve leakage, focus on workouts that don’t put a ton of pressure on your pelvic area. Good options include:

  • Yoga: The gentle, slow movements give you a better chance at staying in control of your bladder. Plus, the meditative nature of a good flow may help you release some of the stress and anxiety that SUI can cause.
  • Pilates: Similar to yoga, pilates is low impact and slower in speed. It also engages your core, which could help you strengthen some of your pelvic floor muscles over time.
  • Swimming: Talk about low impact—this gravity-defying exercise provides relief for your bladder. Swimming has also been found to be an incredibly effective way to burn calories and tone your body. Who doesn’t want that?!
  • Barre: Small, controlled movements are at the heart of this type of exercise class. Because you’re not making any sudden or big movements, you’ll be able to focus a bit more and won’t have to worry as much about something sudden causing a leak.

While switching up your workout to avoid leaks is okay on a temporary basis, avoiding high impact exercise is not a permanent solution. Oh, and one more workout to try?

Kegel exercises. They may not rock your biceps, but they strengthen the pelvic floor to support your bladder. The only problem: 50% of women are unable to do a Kegel correctly.

Take The Guesswork Out of Kegel Exercises


INNOVO takes the guesswork out of those Kegel exercises and does them for you. It’s an all-in-one FDA-cleared treatment for SUI that is easy to use at home. Even better, it’s 100% non-invasive and does not require a prescription. In just 30 minutes you’ll get 180 Kegels delivered right to your pelvic floor muscles with every session. Use INNOVO for 30 minutes a day, five days a week for 12 weeks to eliminate bladder leaks.