How to Do Kegel Exercises and Why They are So Beneficial

How to Do Kegel Exercises
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When I go to my weekly group exercise lesson at the local gym, the instructor always emphasizes the importance of the pelvic floor muscles. She usually allocates time for exercising the pelvic floor muscles after we’ve finished our workout and lay on the mat. Kegel exercises, which are also known as pelvic floor exercises consist of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor, and as you will soon see, they have an important role in our body.

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Why Kegel exercises are so important?

Kegel exercises are named after the developer, Dr. Arnold Kegel. The aim of Kegel exercises is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and both men and women can tremendously benefit from them. There are many factors that can weaken this muscle, for example, aging, pregnancy, childbirth, surgery and excess weight. You may ask yourself why these muscles are so important. Well, these muscles support the bladder, uterus, small intestine and rectum, so they control the urine flow and keep the pelvic organs in place.

Strengthening these muscles can help you control urinary incontinence when you are not able to keep urine from leaking out of your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body. It may also help in cases of fecal incontinence when stool is leaking. Or you may be laughing, coughing, sneezing or exercising and leak a few drops of urine. This is called stress incontinence when you lose urine without meaning during physical activity of some sort.

Also pregnant women or women after childbirth can benefit from this exercise, as pregnancy and delivery can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles, thus causing problem to control urine that can last months after giving birth.  Also a weak pelvic floor muscles can cause uterine prolapse when the uterus is falling or sliding from its normal position into the vaginal area. So pregnant women should do kegel exercises not just during pregnancy, but also continue them after giving birth.

Kegel exercises can also improve sexual health for women who struggle consistently to reach orgasm. This exercise can help strengthen the vaginal muscles and the result is more intense contractions during orgasm. For men Kegel exercises help improve bladder control, which helps in treating premature ejaculation, and it can also help to treat erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow to the pelvic region.

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Doing Kegel exercises is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Finding the right muscle

The muscle we are talking about is called the PC muscle. The PC muscle is part of a group of muscles that are known collectively as pelvic floor muscles and include the bladder, sphincter muscles and PC muscle.

Before strengthening the PC muscle, you need to find it and train yourself to control it. To find your PC muscle, try to stop the flow of urine while you are urinating. If you succeed, you’ve got the right muscle. Don’t do it on a frequent basis, just do it once or twice to locate the pelvic floor muscles. Doing it while emptying your bladder can cause to incomplete emptying of the bladder and that increases the risk of a urinary tract infection (also see my previous post on How to Treat Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Naturally).

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Another way to identify the muscle is by trying to keep from passing wind as this is another use of the PC muscle. A third way to locate the muscle is by inserting the tip of one finger into your vagina or anus while squeezing your PC muscle until you feel a contraction around your finger.

How to do the basic kegel exercise

The basic exercise is quite simple to execute. Empty your bladder and sit or lay down. Start by contracting these muscles and hold this contraction for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 4-5 times while having 10 seconds of rest between each contraction. Aim to do it 3 times a day so it is part of your daily routine. If you cannot contract for 10 seconds, start from 5 seconds contraction and 5 seconds rest and gradually increase to 10 seconds.

If you want to get the best results, tighten only your pelvic floor muscles, but don’t tighten the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. If your stomach or buttocks muscles tighten, you are not exercising the right muscles. Also don’t hold your breath but continue to breathe regularly during the exercise.

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The good thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere you want without people noticing it. You can do it while sitting to read or watch TV or while lying on your bed.

If you do Kegel exercise on a regular basis, you can expect results within a few months, but if you want to maintain the results, make it part of your daily routine.

More Pelvic floor exercises

1. Sit back on your heels and place your hands behind your back while they are pointing out. Spread the knees so they are the width of the mat and lift the hips up. Contract your PC muscle for 5 seconds and release slowly. Lower your hips and repeat several times.

Kegel exercise 1

2. Sit on the mat while straightening the legs in front of you and spread them a bit wider than your hips. Your arms should be behind your back and the hands are pointing out. Lift your hips and let your head fall back. Contract your PC muscle for 1 second while your hips are lifted and release. Lower your hip and repeat several times.

Kegel exercise 2

3. Lie down on your back and place your hands alongside your body. Your legs are bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your knees should be aligned with your toes. Lift your hips until you reach the base of your shoulder blades. When you are in this position pulse up and down. Contract your PC muscle when your hips are lifted. Lower your hips and repeat several times.

Kegel exercise 3

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18 Responses to How to Do Kegel Exercises and Why They are So Beneficial

  1. anirudhantv says:

    hai, thank you very much for such a detailed explanation and
    simple to follow instruction.

    anirudhantv

  2. kapil gautam says:

    would be thrilled to receive such nice posts in my mailbox,thanks.

  3. ALICE says:

    Thank you, this is just what I need for the inconsistency I experience when passing urine, in fact one doc advised me but her take was count up to 50 which I was not able to, so I quit. Thank you, thank you

  4. P Das says:

    nice & helpfull…tnx

  5. Jessica says:

    Thanks was very helpful

  6. Jean says:

    Thanks for the information it was very helpful.

  7. TANVEER AFZAL says:

    very nice and informative pages

  8. zainab says:

    Thank you for such detailed instructions.

  9. myrna j says:

    Very informative-thank you. Looking forward to receiving more post in my mails. God bless and more power.

  10. Mary lou hall says:

    Prolapsed uterus. .had hysterectomy @ age 46. Incorrect decision..have suffered greatly since . hysterectomy not necessary.was very uneducated..I’m now 68 yrs. and have
    Prolapsed bladder! Doing exercise now after the fact..This generation has so much information, via social media,we women didn’t have access to in our day.

  11. Rey says:

    Actually didn’t know about this Kegel exercise but the irony is I am doing this regularly.Seems like a bit the same with shan te 8 minutes abs work out.Thanks anyway.

  12. samimahmoud says:

    I CARRIED OUT PROSTATECTOMY(tur)trance urethral resection since 14 years&once more operation by open surgery after the 1est operation,my doctor recommended me for KEGEL excercises to strenthen PC muscle to avoid urinary incotinence &dropping i find it very benificial ,i am 71 now ,i am going well &very ormal.

  13. Kim says:

    I do these infrequently because when I do, my body shivers the same way it does when I am cold. It doesn’t happen but every third or fourth rep but its hard for me to do in public. Any ideas on why this would happen?

  14. Kim says:

    Love this after 3 kids it is much needed.

  15. deep says:

    Thank you so much for the information ….

  16. carolinefrobes89 says:

    Nice Blog!It becomes more necessary for ladies to recover their vagina shape after childbirth. There are more benefits of doing kegel exercises which Icome to know by this blog. Thanks for sharing information.

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