What Are Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises can help make the muscles under the uterus, bladder, and bowel (large intestine) stronger. They can even improve your orgasms.
You can do Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training literally any time.
Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, including pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, aging, excessive straining from constipation or chronic coughing etc.
You must make Kegel exercises part of your daily routine. You can do them discreetly just about any time, whether you’re sitting at your desk or relaxing on the couch.
- Before you do your Kegel exercises, it’s important to find your pelvic muscles. These are the muscles that form the floor of your pelvic floor. The most common way to find them is to try to stop the flow of your urine midstream. This tightening is the basic move of a Kegel. Let those muscles go and resume the flow of urine and you’ll have a better sense of where those Kegels are.Just remember to see a doctor before you begin your Kegel exercises if you have any medical problems that may prevent you from doing Kegels safely.
Note: Don’t stop urinating midstream as your regular Kegel exercise routine. Doing Kegels while urinating more than twice a month can actually have the opposite effect, weakening the muscle. It may even cause damage to your bladder and kidneys.
- You mustn’t do your Kegels with a full or a partially full bladder, or you may experience pain while you do your Kegels, as well as some leakage. Before you start your exercise routine, pay a visit to the washroom to perform these exercises efficiently.
- You can keep your muscles relaxed by placing one hand on your belly to make sure that your belly is relaxed. If your back or belly ache a bit after you complete a set of Kegel exercises, then it’s an indication that you’re not doing the exercise correctly.
- Don’t strain those muscles too much by squeezing them for too long. If five seconds also seems too long for you, you can begin by squeezing those muscles for just about 2-3 seconds.
- Ideally, you should always give those pelvic floor muscles a ten-second break before you repeat. This gives the muscles enough time to relax and to avoid strain. You can count to ten before you begin the next round.
- Your doctor can help you identify and isolate the correct muscles to perform the exercise. Even if you feel like you’ve been doing Kegels for a considerable amount of time (such as a few months) and still haven’t seen any results, then you should seek help from your doctor.
Here’s what your doctor can do for you: If necessary, your doctor can provide biofeedback training. This involves placing a monitoring device inside your vagina, and also electrodes externally. The monitor can then tell you how successful you were in contracting your pelvic floor muscles and also how long you were able to hold the contraction.
How To Work Both Your Fast Twitch And Slow Twitch Muscles?
There are two types of exercises that you can perform too give your pelvic floor a full workout:
Fast Twitch Muscle Exercise
The first exercise is called a short contraction. It works the fast twitch muscles that quickly shut off the flow of urine to prevent leakage. The muscles are quickly tightened, lifted up, and then finally released. You must contract as you exhale and then continue to breathe normally as you go ahead doing the exercises.
Slow Twitch Muscle Exercise
The second exercise works on the supportive strength of the muscles. It is referred to as a long contraction. The slow twitch muscles are gradually tightened, lifted up and then they are held for several seconds. At first, it may seem difficult to hold the contraction for more than 1 or 2 seconds. But ultimately, the goal is to hold the contraction for about 10 seconds. You can then rest for 10 seconds between each long contraction to avoid taxing the muscles too much.
Remember: Quality is the more important than quantity. Doing a smaller number of exercises in the right way will be far more effective than doing a whole bunch of them incorrectly. You can see improvements in 3 to 6 months.
If you’re having trouble doing Kegel exercises, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Your doctor can give you important feedback so that you learn to exercise the correct muscles.
For continued benefits, make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine.
Also read: Exercise sessions with your baby at home