We all have been told by our Moms, Gynos, and Cosmopolitan to do our Kegel exercises. Then why are adult diapers outselling baby diapers in some countries? Correcting Kegel mistakes is easy and we are here to help you!
We intend to do our Kegels. We really do. At stop signs, when in traffic, at our desks… most women know that exercising the pelvic floor has benefits. But we get busy, we get distracted and forget. As women, many of us put others first and ourselves last, so it is not surprising that we don’t do our Kegel exercises. Hell, I have an app that reminds me and I still am not as diligent as I would like to be!
The first thing you have to do, is actually do the exercises on a regular basis. And the second thing you have to do, is do them correctly. Often, the way to find the muscles you use to do the Kegel is confused with actually doing the Kegel. Doing your Kegels is not stopping yourself from urinating midstream. That is HOW you figure out which muscle you will be isolating. A BIG mistake is to do Kegels on the toilet. Doing Kegels while urinating can damage the bladder. You want to be sitting on a solid seat so that your bottom is supported. This keeps your organs supported and doesn’t put extra strain on the pelvic floor while doing the exercises.
Another mistake is squeezing the buttocks and thigh muscles instead of the PC (pubococcygeus) muscles. The best instructions for doing correct Kegels comes from Womanology at Hoag Hospital. They instruct to squeeze the muscles for 3 seconds, from back to front, imagining you are zipping up a zipper from the anus to the clitoris. The stomach and thigh muscles should not tighten when you do this.
Relaxing for 3 seconds in between is also a common error. The muscles need to stretch and release, just as much as they need to be contracted, just like exercising any major muscle. The best device I have found to ensure relaxation of the muscles is the kGoal. This pelvic floor exercise device uses biofeedback to show the flexing and releasing of the pelvic floor muscles on your smartphone screen via an app. Plus it tracks your progress like a FitBit!
My last tip is to encourage the men in your life to do Kegels too!
Want more tips on the pelvic floor and the benefits of Kegels? Schedule a Pelvic Health Workshop, Lunch and Learn, or Webinar.