Kegel exericises, also called pelvic floor muscle exercise, was developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel, and hence the name. These exericise strengthen the PC-muscles, a series of pelvic floor muscles that support the urethra, bladder, uterus, and rectum. Kegel is a popular prescribed exercise for pregnant women to prepare the pelvic floor for physiological stresses of the later stages of pregnancy and vaginal childbirth. Kegel exercises are said to be good for treating vaginal prolapse. Kegel exercises may be beneficial in treating urinary incontinence in both men and women, and may also increase sexual gratification.
What are some of the benefits?
- Stronger pelvic muscles
- Reduced urinary incontinence and “leaking” of urine
- Increased pleasure with sexual activity
How should you perform Kegel exericises?
Kegels can be performed anytime and anywhere. But, they have do be performed properly and many women have difficulty finding the right muscles. So, I went to the source to find out the proper way to do Kegel exercises, KegelExercisesForWomen.com, and here is what they say:
Identifying the Correct Muscles
Some women initially have difficulty identifying the correct muscles. They contract their abdominal or thigh muscles instead of their pelvic floor muscles.
Tips on identifying the correct muscles:
Sit on the toilet and place one finger in your vagina. Squeeze your finger with your vaginal muscle. You should be able to feel the muscle tighten around your finger. While urinating, stop the flow of urine midstream by contracting your pelvic floor muscles. Do not do this repeatedly. Imagine that a tampon is going to fall out of your vagina. Tighten your pelvic muscles in order to hang onto it. Imagine that you are trying hard not to urinate or pass gas. Squeeze those muscles.
Doing the Exercises
Once you have identified your pelvic floor muscles, you are ready to begin doing Kegel exercises. You may experience very mild muscle soreness when you first begin doing these exercises. If you do too many exercises before you are ready, however, you might experience more pronounced muscle soreness and fatigue. Starting out at the maximum number of exercises is not recommended.
- Don’t do these exercises while urinating, stopping the flow of urine midstream. This could eventually lead to voiding difficulties.
- Empty your bladder before beginning the exercises.
- Keep your abdominal and thigh muscles relaxed.
- Draw the muscles up and in. Do not strain down with your abdomen.
- Breathe while holding the muscles contracted.
- Try to get the maximum tightening with each muscle contraction.
- Try contracting the muscles while you are in different positions.
- Try it while you’re standing, sitting, lying, and with your feet together and apart.
KegelExercisesForWomen.com has a great 24-week Kegel exericse program, It’s a great website with lots of information about the benefits of Kegels for both men and women. As always, you should check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns!