What are Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises are those exercises that engage your pelvic floor muscles and make them stronger. Unlike most other exercises that you might be habitual of performing, Kegel exercises are simply clench-and-release exercises.
The pelvis is the area of our body that lies between the hips. It is the area where our reproductive organs lie. Now, Kegel exercises hit the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are found at the bottom of the pelvis forming a sling or hammock. This sling is responsible for holding various organs. If the pelvic floor gets weakened, various issues arise like bladder leak and inability to control bowels.
The best part about Kegel exercises is that you don’t need any special equipment or space to perform them. You can do them easily at your home or in the public area.
Benefits Of Kegel Exercises
When they are working like they ideally should, we never really care about pelvic floor muscles. But serious problems start to occur once pelvic floor muscles get weak. The organs that are supported by the muscles start to drop.
The benefits of Kegel exercises are exactly the opposite. If you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles with the help of Kegel exercises, the organs will stay at the place where they ideally should and problems like bladder leak and inability to control bowels will also get treated. So, you can do Kegel exercises for erectile dysfunction, frequent urination, etc.
How Do I Perform Kegel Exercises?
As we mentioned earlier, it is very easy to perform Kegel exercises for pregnancy or other problems. Here is a simple guide that will help you do Kegel exercises for men and women:
Go to the toilet and pee. Now, try to squeeze the muscles and hold the urine. When you squeeze the muscles, you will feel a little lift in them. Another way to do the Kegel exercise is by squeezing those muscles that control the passing gas. By squeezing once, you do one Kegel. Take the rest of a few seconds and then do the exercise again.
You should stop the urine only at the start as it helps you in detecting the pelvic floor muscles. Once you know the muscles that you are supposed to squeeze, you shouldn’t interrupt the urine for Kegel exercises for erectile dysfunction and other problems. Otherwise, you might develop some urinary tract infections.
You have to start slowly with Kegel exercises as a beginner. Squeeze your muscles for about three seconds and then let them be released for the next three seconds. Do the same steps 10 times and it will be considered as one rep. You should do a rep of Kegel exercises two to three times a day along with yoga for women and men.
It is not necessary to take out special time to do Kegel exercises for women and men. You can incorporate it easily into your daily routine or workout at home as it just takes a minute or two to do it.
Finding the pelvic floor muscles in men and women
As you might have already guessed, the only tricky thing with the Kegel exercise is finding the pelvic floor muscles. If you can sense your pelvic floor muscles, half of the job is already done.
One way to find your pelvic floor muscles is by stopping the urine flow. Here are some other methods that will help find pelvic floor muscles in both men and women.
- In Women
Wash your hands and put a clean finger inside the vagina. Tighten the vaginal muscles around the finger and you will easily detect the pelvic floor muscles.
If this does not give you any idea about the placement of your pelvic floor muscles, you should consult a gynecologist. They may suggest you use an object known as a vaginal cone for this exercise. You have to insert it inside your vagina and then keep it in the right by squeezing your pelvic floor muscles.
- In Men
Insert a clean finger into your rectum and try to squeeze it with your internal muscles. The muscles that get engaged in this act are pelvic floor muscles. Once you find them, it will be easier to perform Kegel exercises for men.
Important Tips & Cautionary Points
Here is a list of some tips that will make sure that you do Kegel exercises for pregnancy and other problems and get the most out of it:
- If you start doing this exercise every time you pee, it might actually weaken your pelvic floor muscles instead of strengthening them.
- If you are a woman, do not exercise with too much force. When women do these exercises the incorrect way or they exert too much pressure, their vaginal muscles get tightened too much. This, in turn, causes pain during sexual intercourse.
- Once you start performing Kegel exercises for frequent urination and other problems. you have to keep doing them for the rest of your life. Otherwise, incontinence will return and you will start facing the problems again that used to arise before you started Kegel exercises.
- Kegel exercises for women and men take a little time to show their results. It might even take a few months for you to get the control back on your bladder.
It can be a little boring if you try to do the same Kegel exercises for frequent urination and other problems. Thankfully, there are some Kegel exercise variations that give the same results and prevent you from monotony. Here is a list of some of those Kegel exercise variations:
- In the pelvic region, muscles are arranged in a wavy form. In a traditional Kegel exercise, you just squeeze the muscles to get the results. But you can also contract these muscles from back to front and front to back instead of just squeezing. Since these are internal muscles and you can not see their movement, it will take some time to master this move.
- If you do the Kegel exercise just standing up straight, you can change your body position. Next time, try the Kegel exercise when you are tailor-sitting on your limbs, squatting, sitting up, or even lying down.
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