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Pelvic Floor – Do You Kegels!



What are ‘Kegels’ and what part of the body do they relate to?

 

The word Kegel often confuses people, we have all heard of the pelvic floor, but many have not heard of the term ‘Kegel’. Kegel exercises are simply clench and release exercises that make the muscles of the pelvic floor stronger. They were named after the Gynaecologist Dr Arnold Henry Kegel who was known to use these exercises for the treatment of stress incontinence and many of his patients who completed the treatment did not go on to need surgery, yes that’s right! Do your Kegels to really help yourself later down the line……………

 

 

Why is pelvic floor conditioning important? (women/men).

A weak pelvic floor may lead to issues such as the inability to control your bowels or bladder. Many people only start pelvic floor conditioning once they start having problems. Just a few minutes a day can strengthen the sling of muscles that hold your internal organs in place.

 

How should I exercise my pelvic floor? (women/men).

The most common question I get is ‘How do I know if I’m doing it correctly?’ To find the right set of muscles there are various ways, let me explain but please do not run away I will also talk you through a less invasive way.

 

For women one way to find them is by placing a clean finger inside your vagina and tightening the vaginal muscles around your finger. For men, this would be to insert a finger into the rectum and try to squeeze it — without tightening the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs.

 

You can also locate the muscles by trying to stop your urine mid-flow. The muscles you use for this action are your pelvic floor muscles. This method is for learning purposes only. It is not a good idea to start and stop your urine regularly.

If you have real concerns regarding your pelvic floor speak with your GP or pelvic floor physiotherapist. For women they may recommend using an object called a vaginal cone. The vaginal cone is inserted into the vagina and the pelvic floor muscles attempt to keep it in place. Alternatively using a small probe into your vagina or put adhesive electrodes on the outside of your vagina or anus. A monitor will show whether you contracted the correct muscles and how long you were able to hold the contraction.

 

When working with clients I have the following phrases to help locate their pelvic floor muscles.

·      Imagine you are in a crowded lift and you need to pass wind.

·      For women; Imagine your vagina is drinking a smoothie through a straw.

·      For men; Imagine you are lifting your testicles to your spectacles.

If new to Kegels you may prefer to start lying down.  Always empty your bladder before doing pelvic floor exercises. With practice if does get easier. As you practice, you’ll find you can do them anywhere.

 

When you first start doing Kegel exercises, tense the muscles in your pelvic floor for a count of three, then relax them for a count of three. Keep going until you have done 10 repetitions.

 

Over the next several days/weeks, practice until you can hold your muscles tense for a count of up to 10, 6-10 times. Your goal should be to do three sets of 10 repetitions every day.  This will strengthen the slow twitch pelvic floor muscles which we need as an example when we are stuck on the motorway needing the bathroom. In addition, practice 10 short, strong, quick clenches and releases to work the fast twitch muscles fibres those we need when we cough or sneeze.

 

How would Kegel exercises help young people (18-25) and should they incorporate Kegels into their exercise routine?

When we are younger, we tend to focus on the muscles we see, those that give us definition, shape and the important muscles get forgotten like the pelvic floor muscles.

 

To help gain the attention of younger adults the benefits of pelvic floor strengthening results in better sex! *see below.

 

What else weakens the pelvic floor?

We often associate weakening of the pelvic floor with women as a result of pregnancy and childbirth but there are also many factors that can weaken the pelvic floor in women and men, such as, ageing, weight gain, overuse and surgery. 

 

Will a stronger pelvic floor improve sex and how? (women/men)

Stronger pelvic floor muscles can enhance sex by boasting circulation, maximizing blood flow, triggering nerve impulses to the pelvic floor. You will find stronger muscles resulting in the ability to hold your favourite positions for longer with increased sensitivity to be able to enhance your sexual experience.

 

Testimonial

Before I met Michelle, my body had been blitzed so much through trauma and many prescription drugs have been thrown at me to try help symptoms, but they truly did not help my situation ... I was crushed .... all body confidence gone. What Michelle's teachings, book, techniques and guidance have done for me – I no longer worry about 'leaks '& I am now able to enjoy sex! – Claire

 

 


 

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