Kegel Exercises for Women – The pelvic floor is the group of muscles that supports the pelvic organs like the bowel and bladder. This muscle group improves urinary control, continence, and sexual functioning.
It is present in both men and women and can weaken over time. Just like other muscle groups, there are exercises that can strengthen the pelvic floor and improve its function.
Anyone who has recently undergone surgery or exercise must speak with a doctor before doing pelvic-strengthening kegel exercises. This is to ensure that it is safe to start working the muscles. In this article, you will find the best kegel exercises for women and more information on them.
What Are Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises are exercises that help to strengthen pelvic muscles. The pelvis is the area between the hips that holds your reproductive organs. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and tissues that form a sling at the bottom of your pelvis. This holds your organs in place.
When the pelvic floor is weak, it causes problems like an inability to control your bowels or bladder, and reduced sexual satisfaction. With kegel exercises, you can enjoy sex more and have better control over your bowels and bladder. Once mastered, kegel exercises can be performed anywhere you choose.
Why Kegel Exercises?
Doing pelvic muscle exercise has been proven to be a conservative treatment or preventive measure for a decline in the functioning of the pelvic organ. Research shows that this reduces the frequency and severity of pelvic organ decline.
Kegel exercises are beneficial in that they help to repair the damage done to the pelvic muscle. In women, this is caused by different factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, weight gain, and aging.
Also, since pelvic muscles hold the womb, bladder, and bowels, a decline in its strength can cause these organs to lower into the woman’s vagina. Not only is this an uncomfortable situation, but it also causes urinary incontinence.
Additionally, the pelvic floor plays a vital role in sexual functioning. So, strengthening this muscle group helps to reduce pelvic pain during sex and increase the chances of achieving sexual pleasure and sensations.
Lastly, during pregnancy, the pelvic muscles help to support the baby and hold it up. It also assists in the process of giving birth.
How To Find Your Pelvic Muscles
Once you start doing kegel exercises, it is important that you find your pelvic muscle; this is to enable you to work the muscle effectively. However, this can be a tricky feat to achieve.
Here are different ways to find your pelvic muscles:
- Place a clean finger inside your vagina and tighten the muscles around it.
- Try to stop your urine mid-flow. This works because you use your pelvic muscles for urinating. Note that this method should only be used for this purpose only. Stopping your urine mid-flow can have a negative effect on your bladder. It may lead to increased risk of urinary tract infection or cause urinary incontinence. Hence, do not make this a habit.
- Visit a gynecologist if the above methods do not work.
Things To Note
Before you start doing kegel exercises, here are things you should know:
- Make sure to empty your bladder before doing these exercises.
- If you do not motive an improvement immediately, do not be discouraged. Mayo Clinic posits that kegel exercises can take up to a few months to have an effect on urinal incontinence.
- Kegel exercises work differently in each person. While some people will not show significant improvement in muscle control and urinal continence, the exercise will stop their condition from worsening.
- If you are feeling pain in your abdomen or back after doing kegel exercises, it means you are not doing the moves correctly.
- Importantly, do not overdo the exercises. If you do, your pelvic muscles will become tired and cannot fulfill their function.
7 Best Kegel Exercises for Women To Strengthen the Pelvic Muscles
Today, many women all over the globe are embarrassed to tell anyone that their private parts are loose and are desperately looking for solutions. Since it is almost a taboo topic, not many women are brave enough to ask questions or talk about it. However, we have got you!
Here, you will find 7 best kegel exercises for women that strengthens the pelvic muscles. With these moves, you will get your desired tightness, leaving you feeling brand new.
1. Pelvic Muscle Training
This is the practice of contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. If you experience urine leakage while coughing, laughing, jumping, or sneezing, you will find this exercise useful. Also, this training will help if you often have a strong urge to urinate before losing urine.
How To Do It:
- Identify your pelvic muscles by using the methods highlighted above.
- Then, contract these muscles and hold for 5 seconds before releasing for another 5 seconds.
- Do this 10 times, 3 times daily.
- This move can be done anywhere you choose.
2. Bridge Move
The bridge move is perfect for strengthening gluteal muscles and is often used for this purpose. However, when properly done, it activates pelvic muscles, making it good for strengthening it. The move also works your hamstring, giving you healthy lower body, in and out.
How To Do It:
- Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and feet placed firmly on the floor.
- Place your arms straight beside you with your palms facing down.
- Then, inhale deeply and raise your hips off the floor by pushing through your heels. Squeeze your glute, pelvic floor, and hamstring.
- Here, your weight is on your upper back and shoulders with your body in a straight line from the knees.
- Hold the pose for 1-2 seconds at the top before going back to the start position. This is one rep.
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps with a 40-second rest in between sets.
3. Bird Dog Pose
This move is a yoga pose that improves balance and stability. It is a full-body workout that uses many muscles at once. These include muscles in your abs, back, hips, glutes, and pelvic muscles.
How To Do It:
- Get on all fours with your wrist directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keep your back straight and do not lock your neck.
- Then, tighten your core and bring your shoulder blades towards your hips.
- Simultaneously raise and extend your right arm and left leg while keeping your pelvis and shoulders stable.
- Ensure that you do not raise or lower your head. Hold the pose for 2 seconds.
- Maintaining stability, return to start position before switching to your left arm and right leg.
- This makes it 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
In performing squats, you are engaging the largest muscle group in the body. While it is a fundamental exercise move, it has loads of benefit. This move works your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and pelvic muscles.
How To Do It:
- Stand with your body straight and feet at a slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart; keeping your toes pointed out.
- Then, bend your knees and push your hips and butt back; lowering as if you are sitting in a chair.
- Keep lowering until your hips are parallel to the ground. Place your weight on your heels and your knees bowed outwards slightly to execute this properly.
- Raise your body up and return to a standing position. This is one rep.
- Do 2 sets of 15 reps.
5. Cat-Back Stretch
The cat-back stretch primarily works the muscles of the lower back; helping to build stronger triceps. It is also one of the effective kegel exercises for women that works to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.
How To Do It:
- Get on all fours like a cat with your hands straight and your palm under your shoulder and knee under your hips. Your hands should be at shoulder-width distance apart.
- Then, engage your abs and flex your spine to raise your back to make a hump.
- Stay in this pose for 10 seconds before lowering to your start position.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
6. Split Tabletop
Next is the split tabletop. On its own, the tabletop is a leg move that is basic in pilates workout; when a split is added to it, you activate your hips and works your pelvic floor muscles too.
How To Do It:
- Start by laying on your back with your knees bent so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and shins parallel to the floor.
- Then, engage your abs and thighs while allowing your legs to touch.
- Now, slowly split your legs so that each knee falls outside to your sides until you are in a comfortable position.
- Slowly raise your leg back to start position to complete 1 rep.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Last on our list of kegel exercises for women is the clamshell move. It strengthens the hips and thighs while toning your glutes and stabilizing your pelvic muscles. This move can be done anywhere as long as there is a bit of space. For more intensity, loop a resistance band around your thighs.
How To Do It:
- Get on your right side with your feet and hips stacked on each other. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your head rested on your right arm.
- Then, bring your knees towards your body until your feet are parallel to your butt.
- Now, place your left hand on your left hip to discourage mobility. This is the starting position.
- From here, engage your abs and feet, raise your left knee as far as you can without raising your right knee off the floor or rotating your hips.
- Squeeze your glute at the top and hold the pose for 1 second before slowly returning your left knee to start position.
- Do 20 reps on this side before switching sides and doing 20 reps.
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, there are different workout moves to incorporate into your routine. These moves are beneficial to your overall pelvic health. Ensure that you engage the pelvic muscles each time you do any of the moves for best results.
For best results, make sure to perform these exercises regularly and in proper form. For even more effective result, add these moves to your daily routine and you will be amazed at the result.