Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, thereby improving the urethra and/or rectal sphincter function. A regular resistance Kegel exercise program with proper technique will help decrease or eliminate stress incontinence and in many cases, enhance sexual satisfaction. This article provides the steps on “How To Kegel” and will help you understand how Kegel exercise can help you make positive differences in your life.
STEP 1 Find the right muscle to work. Tightening the right muscles on the pelvic floor is important for successful Kegel exercise. One approach to find the pelvic floor muscles is to try and stop the flow of urine midstream. Try this several times so you become familiar with the contraction feeling. Avoid contracting your abdominal, thigh or buttock muscle groups while performing the exercise.
STEP 2 Prepare for Kegel exercise. Begin your Kegel exercise regime with an empty bladder. When first starting out, take the time to perform the exercise in a quiet place where you can relax and concentrate. Try to exercise in different positions each time you perform your Kegels. For example, exercise while sitting, standing and lying. The variety of positions with the exercise will enhance full muscle strengthening.
STEP 3 Perform the Kegel exercise. Pull in the pelvic muscles and hold the contraction for a count of 3-5 seconds then relax for a count of 3-5 seconds. Repeat this process 10-15 times each time you exercise. Your Kegel exercises should be performed every day, at least three times a day.
STEP 4 Advance your Kegel program. Once you are comfortable with Kegel exercising, increase the tightening of the pelvic floor muscles and hold for a count of 10 seconds, relaxing for a count of 10. Perform 10 rounds of exercises, three times a day. Don’t lose hope! Be encouraged! Kegels can take up to 4-6 weeks to notice improvement and for some, up to 3 months to see a significant change. Remember, Kegel exercises have been shown to be 50-80% effective in improving urinary incontinence.
It’s important to take care of yourself if you are experiencing stress incontinence. Don’t be afraid to talk with your healthcare provider about it to make sure there isn’t any underlying medical condition bringing it on. This type of incontinence is very common following childbirth as the stress of the birth may have weakened or damaged the pelvic floor.
If doing Kegels on your own is too much of a challenge, consider products that will help you perform the exercises efficiently. They work and take hardly any time out of your busy day.
Hold your squeeze until after you sneeze! Doing so will help you protect your pelvic floor muscles from further damage.
The feeling of discomfort in your abdomen or back while performing Kegel exercises is not normal. If you experience this discomfort you are probably performing the exercise incorrectly. Relax and concentrate just the pelvic floor muscles.
When performed correctly, Kegel exercises have been shown to be 50-80% effective in improving urinary incontinence. Once you have the hang of Kegel’s and see the improvement, you will find yourself performing them while in line at a store, working on your computer, driving or working outdoors!