Are you making the commitment and taking the time to do your Kegel exercises and just not confident that it’s making a difference? Exercise of any form that doesn’t produce results can make it hard to stay motivated to continue, so it’s important to check your form. The following tips will help ensure you’re setting yourself up for success with your Kegel routine.
What Is A Kegel Exercise?
Kegel exercise is the term used to categorize a series of exercises, commonly used by women and men to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum, often weaken over time for a variety of reasons, which in some cases can lead to a frequent or sudden need to urinate, urine leakage, and reduced sexual function.
Start By Finding The Right Muscles
Clinicians used to teach patients to stop the flow of urine midstream to assess how strong their pelvic floor muscles were. Although that is a way to engage pelvic floor muscles, it can lead to urinary retention. So, while it is ok to occasionally try stopping the flow of urine midstream to assess strength of your pelvic floor muscles, this is not how you should engage and build your muscles on a regular basis.
Instead, think of a time you had to urinate very badly. The contraction that you did to stop or try to stop leaking from happening while en route to the bathroom is what engaged your pelvic floor muscles.
For men there is an external indication that the correct muscles have been engaged. If a man contracts his pelvic floor muscles, his penis will twitch. There really is no external indication for women.
Get Into Position
While it’s sometimes easier to feel your pelvic floor muscles when you’re lying down, with practice, you’ll be able to do your Kegel exercises sitting down or standing up too. In the beginning, laying down on the couch, your bed, or the floor is fine.
Focus, Engage, Release, Repeat x10, rest between sets of 10, do 3 sets
There are so many ways to do Kegel exercises. You can do a variety of different types of contractions. Here is one common example.
- Take a deep breath, and as you focus on tightening those same muscles that you engaged to stop the flow of your urine, make sure you’re not flexing other muscles in your stomach, legs or buttocks.
- Tighten those muscles as much as possible and quickly release
- Repeat this engage/relax sequence ten times quickly
- If it took 25 seconds to do 10 reps, rest for 25 seconds before you do the next set
- Do 3 sets, 3x daily
Another common sequence is:
SQUEEZE, LIFT, HOLD….REST….REPEAT X10 = 1 SET; DO 3 SETS
- Squeeze pelvic floor muscles as tight as possible, now visualize the muscles and picture lifting them straight up (sounds weird but gives a better contraction every time!) and hold as long as you can
- You will start off feeling the muscles but then it will eventually fade away
- If it took 15 seconds to do one rep…rest 15 seconds before doing the next rep
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps; 3 times daily
For most people, doing these two variations is all they can manage. Pelvic floor muscles get tired quickly, especially in the beginning when you aren’t used to doing them. Muscles will tire even more quickly if they are very weak and it’s difficult to even feel a pelvic floor contraction.
How Often Should I Do Kegel Exercises?
Try to fit in three sets of ten repetitions of Kegel exercises 3 times each day, for each variation. Working them around common tasks or times in your day, like when you’re sitting at a traffic light or while brushing your teeth, is a great way to make Kegel exercises a regular part of your daily routine. This will make being consistent so much easier.
What If I Just Can’t Stick With It?
Try to think of Kegel exercises like the other daily tasks you do to maintain good health. Whether it’s brushing your teeth or reaching your daily step count goal, the time you put into keeping your body strong and healthy is an investment that pays off many times over.
For some people, the Emsella Chair treatment we offer at Revitalize Your Health is a great way to upgrade their home kegel practice. In one 28-minute session, Emsella’s special High Intensity Focused ElectroMagnetic Energy technology targets pelvic floor muscles to stimulate almost 12,000 deep muscle contractions. These contractions, which are also much stronger than what you can produce doing kegel exercises on your own, quickly strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This is especially good for those who have difficulty even feeling their muscles contract and have severe weakness. It is a painless treatment that you remain fully clothed for that we’ve seen help so many clients get their confidence back! Read about one client’s experience using the Emsella Chair to supersize her home Kegel practice in this testimonial.
Interested in learning more about the Emsella Chair? Schedule a free consultation with our Certified Continence Advisor and try our “Kegel Throne” for yourself! The consultation also includes recommendations about other factors in your life that you may not even be aware of that may be making your problem worse.