If you've been doing pelvic floor exercises for a while but aren't seeing much benefit then you could be one of the many people who are making little mistakes.
The pelvic floor is complicated and it’s easy to make a mistake without realising.
To keep you in the know here is a list of the 5 most common mistakes we’ve come across and how to fix them…
1: Bearing Down Instead of Lifting
Do you feel a downwards motion when you Kegel?
This is a really bad sign and could be causing you damage!
Bearing down will strain your pelvic floor muscles, overstretching them and making them weak. If you've found your symptoms getting worse since you started Kegeling then you need to fix your technique ASAP!
During a Kegel you should feel like your muscles are lifting upwards. Imagine trying to stop the flow of pee mid-flow - this is the right sort of movement. This is easier to practise while sitting on an exercise ball or chair. While you contract your muscles, try to lift your vagina and anus away from the surface of the chair without lifting your pelvis - this will help you to make the right sort of movement.
2: Not Activating Every Muscle
Your urethra, vagina and anus are all part of your pelvic floor. A proper Kegel will contract the muscles around all three of these openings at once. It's quite common for people to think that they're doing a Kegel when they're actually just squeezing their bum cheeks - does this sound familiar? You'll probably end up with a nice toned butt from doing this, but it won't do anything for your pelvic floor!
When Kegeling, make gentle contractions to start, concentrating on isolating your pelvic floor muscles. If your buttocks start contracting, release everything and try again. If you’re having a lot of trouble finding the right muscles, then you’ll benefit from using a Kegel8 Ultra 20 or Kegel8 V For Men. These electronic pelvic toners will exercise exactly the right muscle group for you, with 90% of your pelvic floor stimulated compared to 40% or less with manual exercises.
3: Contracting but Not Relaxing
A complete Kegel should involve total relaxation of your muscles at the end.
Not relaxing after you contract can cause strain, muscle spasms and fatigue. It can also cause hypertonic muscles (muscles which are too tight). Overly tight pelvic floor muscles lead to conditions like chronic pelvic pain and constipation.
Breathe deeply while you Kegel - this will make sure that you are fully releasing your pelvic floor after each contraction. Count slowly to 5 and breathe in while you contract your muscles, then breathe out to a count of 5 while you're relaxing them.
Deep breathing (also known as diaphragmatic breathing) helps you to fully activate your muscles and make sure they don’t get tight.
Watch this video: How to do Diaphragmatic Breathing
4: Bad Posture
Poor posture is a big problem - it's really easy to end up slouching if you sit down a lot during the day. This will cause bad back pain and other health problems, including problems with your pelvic floor.
Sitting up straight while you do kegels makes them 24% more effective. This is because when your torso is properly aligned everything is much more supported and your pelvic floor can contract more efficiently.
For perfect Kegels every time, sit up stright - lengthen your spine and make sure your bum is at the back of the chair.
A posture cushion can help you to do this. A Kegel8 Pelvic Floor Exercise Wedge Cushion has been specially designed with Kegels in mind. It even has room for your Kegel8 probe!
5: Bracing Too Much
Contracting your abdominal muscles while you Kegel will lessen how effective they are.
Activating your core muscles too much puts a lot of strain on your pelvic floor, especially if you suffer from a prolapse. Abdominal strain can also make your pelvic floor muscles spasm, leading to pelvic pain that can be life altering.
Do your best to isolate your pelvic floor muscles as you Kegel. It's normal to experience some abdominal contraction while you Kegel, but you shouldn't do it intentionally.
If you’re having trouble avoiding this type of strain, a Kegel8 Biofeedback Pelvic Trainer is a good idea, as it will ensure that you are just activating your pelvic floor muscles and not your abs. Using a Kegel8 unit makes Kegels 50% more effective as it isolates the pelvic floor muscles for you.
If you want to know...How to do Kegel exercises properly and, the best position to do them? Then click here to find out!
Original article: Kegel8 Website