Want to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles? Incorporate kegel exercises into your workout routine.
In this article, we will discuss some important points about kegels: what are they, how to perform them, and the benefits they offer.
What are kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises, also called pelvic floor exercises, are easy clench and release moves you can do any time to make the pelvic floor muscles stronger and well-functioning.
The pelvis is the muscle between the hips, while the pelvic floor muscles is the set of muscles that stops the flow of urine midstream. Strengthening these muscles offers several benefits.
They help prevent urine leakage, improve orgasms, and prevent you from accidentally passing poop or gas too. Additionally, it helps keep the bladder, bowel, and uterus from sagging down, and prevents the condition called pelvic organ prolapse.
The good news is that these exercises aren’t just for ladies – they can strengthen men’s pelvic floor muscles as well.
Kegel exercises for men
There are many factors that can weaken pelvic floor muscles in men, including surgical removal of the prostate, diabetes, and overactive bladder.
Kegel workouts can strengthen men’s pelvic floor muscles and help improve their bladder control to a great extent. Moreover, they can enhance sexual performance as well. Men with problems of urinary incontinence or leakage issues can benefit from practicing kegel exercises.
How to do kegel exercises?
Follow these points to perform kegels correctly:
Locate your pelvic floor muscles
Although these exercises are easy, they might not benefit you if you aren’t using the right muscles. Most people who practice kegels are unable to attain the benefits, as they don’t use their pelvic floor muscles; instead, they work their hips, inner thighs, or abdominal muscles.
To locate the pelvic floor muscles, stop urinating midstream. The muscles you use to stop the stream are the pelvic floor muscles. Once you’ve identified the muscle, start with the exercise.
To perform kegels:
- You can perform them by lifting, holding, and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. Before starting, ensure that your bladder is empty.
- Lie down, or sit on a flat surface, and lift your pelvic floor muscles. Tighten your muscles, and hold the contraction for five counts.
- Relax the muscles for a few seconds, and repeat the exercise a few times.
When doing kegels, relax your body, and breathe deeply throughout the contractions. Do not tighten your buttock, thigh, chest, or stomach muscles.
Benefits of kegel exercises
Some of the benefits are as follows:
1) Strengthen pelvic floor region
Many factors can weaken the functioning of pelvic floor muscles. They include surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, aging, straining from coughing, constipation, obesity, etc.
Practicing kegels regularly can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve their overall functioning.
2) Improve sex life
Kegels can improve your sex life by enhancing the intensity of your orgasm and increasing blood circulation to the pelvic floor region. Enhanced blood circulation boosts sexual arousal and lubrication and allows for easy penetration.
3) Prevent pelvic floor problems
Kegels can help control and prevent urinary incontinence and pelvic floor problems. When pelvic muscles are not strong, the bladder gets less support, which leads to leakage. Practicing kegels is one of the best cures for leakage and urinary incontinence.
Kegel exercises for pregnancy
Kegel exercises during pregnancy are important and equally beneficial. They not only help manage incontinence but also prevent pelvic organ prolapse and assist with both cesarean section and vaginal delivery.
However, you should always consult your doctor before starting these exercises, especially if there’re symptoms of pain or discomfort.
Also read: 6 Pregnancy Yoga Poses to Boost Energy and Health
Practice kegels regularly to attain benefits
You can make kegel exercises a part of your everyday routine. You can perform them anywhere, at any time of day – whether you’re lying down, sitting on your work chair, or standing.
If you feel any kind of pain or discomfort in the stomach, inner thigh, or back while or after doing kegel workouts, it’s a sign that you’re doing the move incorrectly. In that case, stop, relax for some time, and try again. If the pain persists, consult a healthcare provider immediately, and seek medical attention.
Always remember that the contraction should only come from the pelvic region; the abdomen and buttocks should remain loose throughout the move. Most importantly, do not overdo kegels, especially if you’re pregnant.