Kegels. The simple pelvic floor exercise, or is it? When done correctly, they can improve your pelvic health, core strength, and posture! So, what’s the correct way to perform them?
What Is A Kegel?
You courageously, maybe awkwardly, share your painful or embarrassing symptoms with your provider! And instead of validation and solutions, you get a knowing nod and a smile.
Congratulations. This is normal.
Welcome to motherhood!
Well, at this age…
Nothing to be concerned of😨
To top it off, they say the dreaded word. Kegel. What even is a Kegel!?
Kegel exercises are pelvic floor muscle-strengthening exercises that contract and relax the pelvic muscles. The pelvic floor muscles have important functions, such as holding us up against gravity and aiding in sexual function and continence.
Who Might Benefit From Kegels
Whether you’re struggling with bladder incontinence, sexual pleasure, or childbirth recovery, these exercises could help you improve your situation. It’s always best to work with a PFPT to get a clear picture and gameplan on your next steps of recovery.
How To Properly Perform Kegels
Let’s make sure you’re contracting and relaxing properly.
Here are the steps for properly performing a Kegel exercise:
- Identify your pelvic floor muscles: To perform a Kegel exercise, you need to know which muscles you are targeting. Try stopping the flow of urine next time you use the bathroom, and you’ll feel the muscles you need to use for a Kegel exercise.
- Find a comfortable position: You can perform Kegel exercises while sitting, standing, or lying down. Choose a position that is comfortable for you and one that you can easily maintain.
- Contract and relax: Start by contracting your pelvic floor muscles, holding the contraction for a count of 3-5 seconds. Then, relax the muscles for a count of 3-5 seconds. Repeat this process 10-15 times in a row, making sure to keep the rest of your body relaxed. MAKE SURE YOU BREATHE!
- Gradually increase: As you get stronger, try to increase the length of time you hold the contraction, up to 10 seconds at a time. Also, try to increase the number of repetitions you do in a row, up to 20-30.
- Incorporate into your routine: Aim to perform Kegel exercises regularly, several times a day, and make them a part of your daily routine.
Remember only to contract the pelvic floor muscles and avoid using your abdominal, thigh, or glute muscles. Focus on contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles only.
Don’t Forget To Check This
- Quick Flicks – fast 1-2 seconds contractions with relaxing
- Your ability to contract and relax with your breath. When you exhale contract, and inhale while relaxing.
- Intensity of contraction – Can you contract with only 25% strength? 50%? 75%? What do each of these feel like?
- Can you contract when sneezing, coughing, or laughing?
You should always consult a professional before beginning any new exercise program, including Kegels! Be sure that you are properly stretching, and don’t do these exercises incorrectly.
All In All
Kegels can be so beneficial to your overall health and well-being. Make sure you learn proper form, take it slow, and don’t forget to stretch! With these tips in mind and the right attitude, you’ll be well on your way to unlocking the power of Kegels!
If you have questions if Kegels are best for you, we offer in-person or virtual appointments to help. CLICK HERE!
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