Ladies, if you're wondering how to Kegel correctly, you have come to the right place. Pelvic floor exercises should be an important part of both men and women's daily exercise routine.
Pelvic exercises strengthen the core muscles that support your pelvic organs such as your bladder, bowel and uterus, and a strong and healthy pelvic floor means no leaks, less chance of prolapse and greater intimate sensation for both you and your partner.
Did you know?
Pelvic floor exercises aren't a new thing – they were developed in 1948 by Dr Arnold Kegel (hence 'Kegel exercises') who realised the importance of strong pelvic muscles to help with prolapse, help with natural childbirth and prevent incontinence. Yet, 1 in 2 women don't know how to produce an effective pelvic floor muscle contraction.
Step by Step Guide for Women on How to do Kegels
Slow Kegel Exercises - Sit, stand or lie with your knees slightly apart. Slowly tighten your pelvic floor muscles starting with your anus (as if you are trying not to pass wind – the biggest part of your pelvic floor muscle is located here), then tighten around your vagina, squeeze both areas and lift (or 'suck-up' your muscles) as hard as you can. Hold for the count of five, then relax, repeat 5 times.
Fast Kegel Exercises - As before (Anus/Vagina/Squeeze/Lift) but quickly for two seconds, then relax for two seconds. Repeat five times
Try to vary your Kegel exercising by alternating between 5 slow kegel pull-ups and 5 fast Kegels. Ideally for five minutes.
Ideally you should do your Kegels for about five minutes at least three times a day – if you have time try to do more. Preferably 6-10 times a day. It may take between 8-20 weeks to see improvement in your pelvic floor muscle strength.
Some Tips and Tricks
As your Kegel muscles become stronger increase the length of time you 'squeeze and lift' You should aim to hold each slow Kegel for a count of 10 (about 10 seconds).
Try to make sure you exercise your Kegel muscles only, not your bum, thighs or legs. You might find it difficult at first especially if you have weak Kegel muscles, but after a few weeks you will be amazed how you will be able to perfect the Kegel technique.
This Kegel exercise routine should take 8-20 weeks for most improvement to occur.
When doing your Kegel exercises you can do them standing (get the Knack), lying or sitting down.
Pelvic Floor Exercise/Kegel Process
Pelvic Exercise/Kegel Positions
1. Lying Down
When you start doing kegels, particularly if it's to recover from surgery, you'll probably find it easiest to do them lying down. Lying down offers the least amount of resistance for your pelvic floor muscles, making it much easier to contract them.
Lie on your back with your legs stretched out. Relax and do a Kegel - if you're using a Kegel8, insert your probe before lying down or use the electrode pads on your lower back. If lying on your back is uncomfortable you can try lying on your side with your legs bent at an angle instead. As you get stronger you can try more strenuous positions like sitting up. This will increase the amount of resistance and help you to gradually do more intense and effective Kegels.
2. Standing Up
Most pressure is on your pelvic floor when standing, causing symptoms to worsen. If you suffer from stress incontinence, Kegel exercises are useful throughout the day to prevent leaks when sneezing, coughing or laughing. Pelvic floor physiotherapist in UK, Sue Croft, advises that the best standing position for Kegels is with your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointing inwards. Making it easier to focus on your pelvic floor muscles rather than tensing your inner thighs.
Ensure you don't tense the glutes and abdominals. Working other muscles alongside your pelvic floor prevents full Kegel benefits. Contracting your abs too much puts a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor, causing painful spasms and potentially making conditions like prolapse worse.
3. Sitting Down
However, research on Kegel positions came up with a definite winner - sitting down. This positioning enables you to target the right muscles with the right amount of resistance, as it's midway between standing and lying down.
The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy confirmed this in a 2006 study. It looked at three different positions for pelvic floor exercise - slumped and supported by a backrest, upright but unsupported and very tall and unsupported.
As the women in the study sat more upright, the level of activity in their pelvic floor muscles increased. Sitting up straight in a 'very tall' position was found to be the most effective position for Kegels.
Think of how a dancer sits, with great posture and everything aligned properly; this is the key to a great Kegel workout and is a good way to sit in general to avoid back pain.
Check out these Kegel exercise techniques for incontinence:
The recommendation for manual pelvic floor exercises is to exercises for around 10-15 minutes, following a programme of fast and slow contractions, at least 3 times per day.
Learn more about the Kegel8 Ultra 20 for women here.
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...Read more about it here
Original Article: Kegel8 Website