Kegel exercises are the set of exercises for pelvic and intimate muscles. The complex was designed by Arnold Kegel (1894-1981), a gynecologist of the XX century, so the famous Kegel exercises set bears his name.
Kegel exercises were created to tone up the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor (Fundus pelvis) – a set of soft tissues of the lower aperture of the pelvis; these tissues consist of the pelvic diaphragm and the urogenital diaphragm. The muscles of the pelvic floor are responsible for the tightness of the vagina and the defecation control.
The strengthening of these muscles is equally useful for both men and women. By improving the blood circulation and the control of the pelvic floor muscles, you may avoid many health problems, including prostate cancer prevention in men, hemorrhoids prevention, vaginal prolapse prevention in women.
These muscles are not used in our everyday life and in time under the impact of negative factors that affect the body the muscles may lose their flexibility and become loose. As a result of worsened elasticity and loosening of pelvic floor muscles, they can’t perform their main function properly – to support the organs of the small pelvis, which may trigger various diseases and alter the sexual life is not the best and most pleasant way.
Kegel exercises are recommended:
- to prepare for the planned pregnancy and ensure painless successful labor;
- to teach pregnant women how to completely relax those muscles that obstruct pushing out the baby during labor;
- to prevent or help in urinary and feces incontinence;
- to restore the tissues that loosened during labors;
- to prevent or treat the pelvic floor organs descent;
- to maintain sexual health;
- to prevent inflammatory processes in genital area;
- to withstand the aging of the body.
Know Your Muscles
To do Kegel exercise properly and effectively, you need to understand where these pelvic floor muscles are situated.
When you are going to the bathroom to pee, try to stop the jet of urine without moving your legs. The muscles that are used for that are the muscles of the pelvic floor.
If the first way didn’t help to understand where those muscles are, you can try the next thing: insert the finger into the vaginal opening and try to squeeze it. The muscles we are looking for should be tight right around your finger. In so doing, the muscles of the buttocks, abs, or back should not be contracted.
How to do Kegel Exercises?
As soon as you learn where the muscles are, it is high time to do the exercises.
The main idea is to work with two positions: start and stop. In other words, you will need to relax the muscles, contract, hold the position, and relax again.
So the classic technique and the sequence of the actions are as follows:
- Evacuate the urinary bladder and lie on your back.
- Contract the muscles of the pelvic floor and hold the position for 5 seconds.
- Relax for 5 seconds.
Repeat 10 times with 10 seconds between the muscles contraction. Do the work using the pelvic floor muscles only, without the help of the buttocks or thighs. Do 3 sets with 10 reps each.
The results will be obvious in 4-6 weeks. You can do this Kegel exercise everywhere and anywhere while:
- waiting for the bus or a train;
- sitting in the car;
- sitting on the chair;
- lying in bed.
But don’t practice the exercises when you urinate, because it can loosen the muscles and increase the risk of urinary tracts infections.
Other variations include the various speeds of the contraction.
The more advanced version of the Kegel exercise includes pelvic floor muscles contraction and lifting your pelvis.
For a more advanced version you can watch the video where 5 different exercises are described:
These recommendations will certainly make your muscles do their best. Kegel exercises are also widely used to prepare the pelvic floor for giving birth without ruptures.
Read more about the process of Preparation for Natural Childbirth
Kegel himself also commented on the device he created. The device increases the resistance of the muscles, creating an additional workload and enabling them to tone the muscles faster and more effectively. It also helps to understand the effect – the strength of the muscle contraction.
What is more, Kegel accented psychological factors as a contributor to the effectiveness of the exercises with a device. Because it is a well-known fact that when the person sees the progress of the actions, the motivation to continue increases.
The results of the Kegel exercises without the device are less impressive (it was proved by the doctor himself). Nowadays there are lots of analogs to Kegel devices that you can buy online.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.