Kegel exercises are easy exercises that are designed to strengthen your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is composed of a range of tissues and muscles at the bottom of your pelvis. These muscles and tissues form a sort of sling that holds your reproductive organs and also your bladder and bowels in place inside your body.
Pregnancy, aging, childbirth and weight problems can all contribute to a weakened pelvic floor. In fact, a very weak pelvic floor can cause a woman’s pelvic organs to drop down into her vagina. A weakened pelvic floor can cause issues with your bladder and bowels, including problems like incontinence.
Consistent practice of Kegel exercises can avoid these issues and also offer additional benefits like better muscle control and enhanced sexual pleasure. While Kegel exercises for women are most typical, Kegel’s can also be of benefit to men.
Finding pelvic muscles
A woman can start practicing Kegel’s quite easily. First, you’ll want to find the pelvic muscles. You can do this by inserting your finger inside your vagina and trying to tense your vaginal muscles around your finger. You can also find your pelvic muscles while urinating by stopping your urine mid-flow. The muscles you tense while doing this are the muscles you will be exercising during your Kegel’s. Try to practice stopping and starting your urine flow to get used to using these muscles. Note that you should not practice the stopping and starting of your urine flow on a regular basis though, as any incomplete emptying of your bladder can increase your chances of getting a urinary tract infection.
If you aren’t able to tense your muscles around your finger or have trouble starting and stopping your urine flow, consider seeing your gynecologist. A gynecologist can provide accessories that can help. In addition, bio-feedback training can be used to find the correct muscles to use for Kegel’s.
In men, finding the pelvic floor muscles can be quite tricky. Men can try inserting their finger into their rectum. Then try to squeeze your rectum around your finger. It is these particular muscles that will be worked during Kegel’s practice. Do be sure that you aren’t tightening your thighs, buttocks or abdominal muscles, but the actual muscles inside your rectum. You can also identify your pelvic muscles by practicing stopping gas, as these will be the same muscles. Similar with women, you can also try to practice stopping the flow of your urine or use bio-feedback. If you have trouble finding these muscles through these methods, then a trip to your doctor is advised.
Once you’ve located your pelvic floor muscles, you can start practicing Kegel’s. When first practicing Kegel’s, make sure to start off in a quiet, private area and lie or sit down. As you get used to practicing these exercises, you’ll be able to do them anytime, anywhere and no one will ever know. You should start off easy, by tensing the muscles for a few seconds, then relaxing them for a few seconds, repeating this 10 times. You can then work your way up to 10 seconds of tensing and 10 seconds of relaxing and add more repetitions each day. Note that the benefits of Kegel’s are not typically immediate. It can take several months of practice for you to see benefits.
Note that there are some important cautions you should be aware of when practicing Kegel’s. First, you should never experience pain, specifically abdominal pain during a Kegel session. This is a sign you are doing them wrong. In addition, you shouldn’t over do your practice, as the muscles can easily become tired and sore.