Remember when we were young and first learned what a Kegel was and giggled? Well, they’re back and we’re going to get you formally acquainted!
This simple and important exercise helps support the pelvic floor and even decreases incontinence for some (yes, most women will experience this during and after pregnancy).
Kegels can be done at any time of the day, whether sitting or standing, relaxing or stretching after training (don’t worry, no one will have a clue you’re doing them).
When we’ve asked people if they know how to do a Kegel, we got some pretty mixed responses so let’s go over some basics.
First, you might want to give your first go some privacy as some women discovered they made some interesting faces getting used to the feeling.
The focus of a Kegel is the area right around the vagina. Don’t know where they might be? Next time you are going to the bathroom, stop yourself from peeing midstream…voila. Start by contracting and squeezing those muscles like you are holding in a ton of pee. Squeeze and hold for a couple of seconds, then relax. Try and do this ten times.
And that’s it! Well, sort of. Ideally you want to increase how long you hold the muscles each time you do the exercise. Three sets of 10 throughout the day is appropriate to start. Another important part to remember is that while Kegels are fantastic, they are not for everyone and shouldn’t be overdone. It might sound like a great idea to do Kegels all day but a pelvic floor that is too tight can cause other issues.
We strongly encourage you to explore different kinds of Kegels and most importantly, make yourself an appointment with a Pelvic Floor Specialist to get the real low down on strengthening your pelvic floor.
The Pelvic Bridge (pictured above)
For those that have done yoga, this pose can come up quite often. It aims to increase strength across the pelvic floor but it can also increase strength in the hamstrings and other parts of the core.
To start, lay flat on your back with your hands to your sides. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees. It can take a few practice runs to find the perfect distance for you, but you want to be able to support your hips from your feet and shoulders. If that still sounds confusing take a peak up at the top of this blog.
Once you find a comfortable distance drive your hips up and lift your back off the ground. Ideally, your shoulders and feet should support this position. Now that you are in position, squeeze your butt cheeks and pulse your hips towards the ceiling. It doesn’t have to be a big movement; it should be small and controlled. Pulse ten times and then relax back to the mat. Ideally, three sets of ten should suffice.
Again, don’t overwork yourself if it feels strenuous. The point is to slowly build up your strength while enjoying the mini workout.
For more pelvic exercises catered to your body we recommend reaching out to a Pelvic Floor Specialist.
Learn more about Kegels below.