How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Quickly With Kegels
If you are having symptoms of having a weak pelvic floor muscles, her is to tighten pelvic floor muscle quickly.
Kegel can help you tighten your pelvic floor muscles and stop the leakage of urine when you cough, sneeze or laugh. But you might be doing them wrong. Here, we will guide you on the correct way to do Kegels and strengthen your pelvic floor quickly. But first let’s discuss your pelvic floor.
Many of us are not aware of the role our pelvic floor play in keeping us balanced, stable and mobile. It also serves a critical role in supporting our bladder, reproductive organs (vagina, cervix, uterus) and rectum.
The reality is pregnancy and vaginal delivery can significantly damage your pelvic muscles. If you don’t prepare your pelvic floor muscles for the 9 months of stress it will endure, and then the possible hours pushing during labor, then it will end up conditions associated with a weak floor.
Loose vagina, urinary and fecal stress incontinence and prolapsed organs (bladder, vagina, uterus, rectum) are all caused by a weak pelvic floor.
On the other hand, scaring from damaged muscles can cause your pelvic floor muscles to be too tight and impairs it’s function. One common symptom of this is pain during sex.
However, you can prepare your pelvic floor for the anticipated trauma by incorporating a few exercises in your daily routine. Be certain to check with your doctor first.
Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises are becoming more popular in women’s health. This is because if you have a weak or low tone pelvic floor, you probably have a host of symptoms that are associated with this kind of impairment.
Kegel is the name of the doctor who created the Kegel exercise. The exercise itself involves contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. The principal is the same as toning and tightening any other muscle in your body. You can achieve better results when you add weights.
Why You Leak Urine
Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or do any activity that increases force or pressure in your stomach occurs because your pelvic floor muscle is not strong enough to support the extra pressure or force around the base of the bladder. This problem affects 55 percent of women worldwide. Women are at risk for pelvic floor weakness because they have several coexisting factors that threatens the integrity of their pelvic floor.
Along with the activities that are listed below, many women have co-existing factors such as multiple kids, obesity and menopause that contributes to pelvic floor weakness.
Activities That Weakens Pelvic Floor Muscle
- Vaginal Delivery
- Chronic Cough
- Long Distance Running
- Track and Field
You might be surprised at some of the activities that can weaken your pelvic. As you can see, all of the activities above results in an increased pressure and strain on the pelvic floor muscles
Although not listed above being obese and having increase abdominal fat increase abdominal pressure and force on your pelvic floor.
Furthermore, when you combine some of these activities, like running while you are pregnant, then it causes added stress to your pelvic floor muscle. However, you can avoid some of the pitfalls of pelvic floor weakness by engaging in exercises that will help you restore your pelvic floor.
There are good reason why you want your pelvic floor muscles strong. Some reasons are to alleviate pelvic pain, incontinence, prolapse, and pain during intercourse. But you might also want to improve your sex life by tightening your vagina and it supporting structures. These exercises can also prevent the development of pelvic floor disorders associated with child birth and aging.
With so many benefits, it can be tempting to rush into it. However, if you want to get the best results from it, make sure you’re fully aware of what the exercises are, how they are properly done, and what you can expect from them. But fist you have to find your pelvic floor muscles.
How to Find Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
To accurately perform pelvic floor exercises, one must be able to identify the pelvic floor muscles first. There are a couple of ways to do so, but the most common way is to stop the flow of urine halfway through emptying the bladder.
While urinating, stop the flow of urine for about one or two seconds. After that, the bladder can be emptied without straining.
Although this method is effective in helping identify the target area, it shouldn’t be done as an exercise for the pelvic floor muscles. It can cause problems, such as urinary tract infection, in the long run.
How To Do It Right
No area above the belly button should contract, tense, or tighten nor should your rectum. Tensing of the lower abdomen, however, is normal since the muscles in the area generally work with the muscles of the pelvis.
Tightening of the pelvic floor muscles can be done sitting, lying, or even standing up. If you’re unable to feel the muscles contract in one position, try doing it in another way. At first, you may find that lying down is the easiest way to do it.
If you are still having a hard time locating your pelvic floor muscles, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your doctor or health care provider.
Your doctor may recommend the use of vaginal cones to help you find the right muscles. A vaginal cone is inserted into the vagina. Once inside, you’ll be asked to contract your pelvic floor muscles to keep it in place. All of the vaginal cones come with a string attached. The purpose of the string is to pull the cone out of the vagina. However, you can tug on the string as you contract your pelvic floor muscle. If you are performing the Kegels, correct you should feel some resistance.
Another method your doctor may recommend is biofeedback training, which can be done in two ways. A small probe may be inserted into the vagina, or adhesive electrodes may be attached to the anal or vaginal region.
Then, you’ll be asked to perform Kegel. You be a monitored to see whether you are contracting the right muscles and how long you’re able to hold it.
How to Do Kegels
After identifying your pelvic floor muscles, the first thing you need to do is relax the muscles of your stomach, bottom, and thighs. Then, imagine you are sitting on a pea or a marble.
Tighten the muscles of your pelvis as if you are lifting the pea. Hold it for 3 seconds and relax for another count of 3.
As you are doing the exercise, make sure you aren’t flexing or contracting the muscles of your buttocks, thighs or abdomen. Also, avoid holding your breath. You should be able to breathe throughout the exercise freely.
To get the best results, do the exercises for about 10 to 15 times a day with at least 3 sets.
It takes about 80 Kegels daily to get the best results. Therefore, this should be your goal.
Kegel exercises don’t have to be boring and there and different ways you can integrate them into your workout routine to get a true full-body workout. Here are some of the kegel exercises you can try today, without any equipment or gadgets:
The basic kegel
The basic kegel is the one your gynecologist taught you. It is simple and easy to do once you’ve found the pelvic muscles, but they don’t offer a full-body workout.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Sit in a comfortable position and relax your body
Step 2: Pretend to hold your urine or a fart. These are the pelvic floor muscles. Tighten these muscles as much as you can. It should feel like they are lifting up
Step 3: Continue doing this for 5 seconds then relax the muscles again (stop holding your pee or urine) for about 5 seconds
Step 4: Repeat these steps 10 to 15 times
You can also do a basic kegel while standing. This is called the standing kegel.
The quick kegel is similar to the basic kegel, except this type of kegel tests and quickens reaction time. Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Repeat step 1 of the basic kegel
Step 2: Contract your pelvic muscles tightly as fast as you can and hold for 1 second
Step 3: Rest for 5 seconds then repeat step 2
Step 4: Repeat 10 to 15 times, three times a day
Once you master the basic kegel, you will be able to perform the long kegel. This will help to increase your hold time, which comes in handy when you need to use the bathroom and can’t go right away. This is how you do it:
Step 1: Repeat Step 1 of the basic kegel
Step 2: Tightly contract your pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds
Step 3: Release and rest for 10 seconds
Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 15 times. Do this thrice daily
The squatting kegel can be done during regular exercise. It’s great since you can tone your butt while strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. To do squatting Kegels, you have to:
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your soles flat on the floor. If your legs are too far apart, the squat will not target your pelvic floor.
Step 2: Slowly bend your knees to lower your buttocks towards the floor as far as you can comfortably go. If you need to hold onto something, a chair or your kitchen counter will do
Keep your back as straight as possible while you descend and lean forward slightly. Your knees should be in line with your toes
Step 3: Contract your buttocks and pelvic muscles as you return to your standing position
Step 4: Do this 10 times then rest. Repeat if you can manage to.
The bridge kegel
The bridge is good for toning the butt, strengthening the core and giving you good posture. But did you know that you could integrate Kegels into this exercise?
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Lay flat on the floor with your back facing the ground.
Step 3: Next, place your hands by your side and lay your palms flat on the floor.
Step 4: Contract the muscles of your butt and your pelvic floor muscles at the same time to lift your butt a few inches off the floor.
Step 5: Hold this position for about 10 seconds
Step 6: Relax your muscles to lower yourself to the ground. Rest for 10 seconds.
Step 7: Repeat steps 4 through 6 up to 10 times.
Bird dog Kegel
The bird dog kegel allows you to target your pelvic floor muscles while doing balance and stability training. It also works the buttocks, hips, abs and back all at the same time.
Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Get down on all fours with your palms flat on the floor and your back straight.
Step 2: Ensure your wrists are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips.
Step 3: Next, keep your head looking towards the floor as you tighten your core and your pelvic floor muscles
Step 4: Extend your right arm and left leg, up above the ground and in line with your back within lifting your head. Do this for 5-10 seconds
Step 5: Return to your start position, then repeat step 4 with your left arm and right leg. This is 1 rep. Do 10.
When to Do Kegels
Kegels can be done discreetly any time. You can simply work it into your daily schedule.
For example, performing Kegels while you are driving is possible as long as they won’t distract you. You can also do them while you are watching TV, reading, cooking, or in the shower.
Pregnancy and Kegel Exercises
Kegels when done during pregnancy, can help with preparing for childbirth. If you do them after giving birth, they will enable you to regain the pre-pregnancy tone of their pelvic muscles.
Apart from that, the exercises also help:
● Minimize the likelihood of perineal tearing or the need for an episiotomy
● Reduce the chance of stress incontinence
● Minimize the risk of bladder and uterine prolapse
● Improve sex life and increase sensitivity
● Improve postpartum recovery time
Many women put off doing Kegel in the first few weeks after giving birth, particularly if they had an episiotomy, swelling, perineal tear, or bruising. However, it is essential to start doing the exercises shortly after childbirth.
To make them easier to perform, try doing the exercises when sitting or lying down. Take your time in doing the exercises, especially if it’s your first time working out the muscles in your pelvic area.
About the Results
For Kegels to be effective, they need to be performed as part of a your daily routine. After about 4 to 6 weeks of working out the muscles, there should be a noticeable improvement.
Take note, however, that not all women are the same. Some women may experience faster results than others.
Just like toning your gluteal muscles , adding weights will optimize your results. Jade eggs, vaginal cones and ben wa ball will intensify the results. However, be careful not to traumatize your pelvic floor making things worse.
Side Effects of Doing Kegel Exercises
In general, these exercises aren’t bad for your health. However, if you aren’t able to do them the right way or are overdoing the Kegel exercises, you may experience the following:
● Back pain
● Urinary incontinence
● Weaker pelvic floor
● Pelvic organ prolapse
If you notice any of the following, be sure to see your doctor for early treatment. The earlier you’re treated for these issues the better the chances of preventing further complications.
Kegels can restore your pelvic floor. You can intensity your Kegel with vaginal weights. However, for you to actually experience those benefits, you need to make sure you are targeting the right muscles and doing the exercises correctly. Overdoing or improperly executing these exercises can only cause more problems.
Apart from that, the frequency of performing Kegel exercises matters, too. You need to be consistent in doing the exercises by attempting to do at least 3 sets for 10 to 15 times a day for a goal of 80 Kegels per day. As you progress, hold the contraction for a longer time and try to do more sets. Always make sure rest in between sets to ensure you don’t overexert or harm yourself in the process.
There are so many new responsibilities that you will have as a new mom, therefore Kegels will not be one of your top priorities. But if left untreated it might get worse. This especially true if you have multiple children.
Before we learned to walk, we had to learn to crawl. Therefore, you should plan to do the same with your pelvic floor strengthening routine. Start with basics first.