What is a kegel exercise?
Kegel exercises are when you contract the muscles of your pelvic floor and then relax them moments later. The aim is to improve the tone of those muscles. It’s like doing a bicep curl to build the bicep muscle, but instead you contract the vaginal muscles to build the pelvic core (PC).
Dr. Arnold Kegel first introduced these exercises to help women recover after delivery when they had incontinence. But through the years we’ve learned that Kegel exercises are not just for postdelivery strength training, but can be used by women (and men) to keep the PC strong and resilient against daily wear and tear.
Why should I do kegel exercises?
- It builds awareness of the vaginal muscles
- Can increase sexual sensations and help achieve orgasm
- Can help with urinary incontinence
- Can help if you’re struggling with fecal difficulties
- Reduces pelvic pain during sex
- Can help women experience an easier labor
- Can help with the female organs from prolapsing
- Helps strengthen your core because the pelvic muscles are also part of the pelvic core
Sounds great, how do I do a kegel exercise?
First, you have to dentify the right muscles to contract and then relax. This is tough to explain in an article. If you don’t mind, I’ll explain as if I am doing a pelvic exam. When doctors do a pelvic exam, we insert 2 fingers into the vagina. A kegel exercise is when you squeeze the muscles of the vagina around the fingers during an exam. In order to properly do that, you have to use both the abdominal muscles and the vaginal muscles that cover the bladder and rectum. You essentially are using the entire core.
Another way to describe a Kegel exercise is to use the same muscles as if you are trying to stop urine from flowing. This is hard to do. We don’t recommend doing Kegel exercises in this manner. But the point is to show you which muscles need to be enlisted to do a proper kegel.
Always do Kegel exercises with an empty bladder. Squeeze the muscles and hold for 2 to 3 seconds and then release. Try to do this with 5 repititions, 6 times a day. We all work hard for a better, healthier body. Don’t forget that the PC needs just as much attention as the rest of your body. Happy kegeling.