Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training, are a type of workout that targets the muscles that support the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. They’re named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, who first developed them in the 1940s as a method to help women experiencing urinary incontinence after childbirth. Today, both men and women can benefit from Kegel exercises to enhance urinary and sexual health.
But the question that begs an answer is: how do you perform Kegel exercises correctly? This article provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you master the art of Kegel exercises, as well as some useful tips and products for Kegel exercise that can enhance your experience and optimise results.
Step 1: Identify Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Before you can effectively do Kegel exercises, you need to locate your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles form a hammock-like structure stretching from your tailbone at the back to your pubic bone at the front. Identifying these muscles isn’t as challenging as you might think.
If you’re a woman, the easiest way to locate these muscles is by trying to stop your urine flow midstream. The muscles you utilise to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. For men, these are the muscles that help you to stop the flow of urine or prevent passing gas.
However, remember that stopping your urine flow should only be done to identify the muscles, not as a regular exercise, as it can interfere with healthy urinary function.
Step 2: Perfect Your Technique
Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, it’s time to perfect your Kegel exercise technique. Here’s how to do it:
- Empty your bladder. Kegel exercises are more effective when your bladder is empty.
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. You can do Kegel exercises while sitting at your desk, relaxing on the couch, or even lying in bed.
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles as though you’re trying to stop the flow of urine or avoid passing gas. Hold this contraction for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds.
- Gradually increase the duration of your contractions and relaxations. Work your way up to maintaining the contraction for 10 seconds, followed by a 10-second relaxation period.
- Repeat this process 10-15 times per session. Aim for at least three sessions per day.
Step 3: Maintain Your Focus
For the best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. It’s common for people to tense up the abdomen or thighs during this exercise, but these should be kept relaxed. Breathe freely and try to avoid holding your breath.
Step 4: Stay Consistent
Like any exercise, consistency is key. Make Kegel exercises part of your daily routine. You might incorporate them into habits you already have, like doing a set every time you brush your teeth or during commercial breaks while watching TV.
Enhance Your Workout with Products for Kegel Exercise
There are various products for Kegel exercise on the market that can help enhance your workout, ensuring you’re getting the most from each session.
- Kegel Weights: These are small, weighted devices that you insert into the vagina or rectum and hold in place using your pelvic floor muscles. They add resistance to the exercise, helping to strengthen the muscles more effectively.
- Biofeedback Devices: Biofeedback devices can help you ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly. These devices provide real-time feedback on whether you’re contracting the correct muscles and how effectively you’re doing it.
- Electric Muscle Stimulators (EMS): These devices send mild electrical pulses to your pelvic floor muscles, prompting them to contract and thus enhancing your exercise routine.
- Smart Kegel Trainers: These high-tech tools connect to an app on your phone, allowing you to track your progress, set reminders for your workouts, and follow along with guided exercise programs.
Ready to get started?
Remember, like any new exercise program, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning. They can provide personalised advice and ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly to avoid any potential harm.
Kegel exercises are a simple yet effective way to improve your pelvic health, enhance sexual function, and prevent problems like urinary incontinence. Whether you’re a man or a woman, young or old, Kegel exercises could have significant benefits for you. So why wait? Start your journey to stronger pelvic muscles today.