This Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Kegels for beginners guide helps you start strengthening your pelvic floor, today.
Read on to learn:
Benefits of Kegels
How to Kegel
Correct Kegel action
How many Kegels
Kegel exercises daily guidelines
Mistakes to avoid
Best positions for Kegel exercises
How to progress strengthening
How long until you notice results
Benefits of Kegels for Women & Men
Kegels exercises can help men and women manage and overcome a range of pelvic floor problems by improving:
- Sensation and sexual satisfaction in women
- Erectile problems in men
- Bladder problems – bladder leakage and bladder urgency with activity and exercise
- Pelvic prolapse problems in women – bulging sensation and general discomfort associated with mild to moderate prolapse
- Bowel problems – decreased bowel control, chronic constipation and rectal prolapse in men and women
How to Kegel?
The correct Kegel action feels like a squeeze and lifting inside sensation in and around your 3 pelvic openings.
Easy steps to feeling your Kegel exercises:
- Stop or slow the flow of urine (test rather than an exercise)
- Stop gas or wind from passing using the muscles around the anus
- Use a mirror to watch your pelvic openings squeeze closed
- Use a pelvic educator device to help you locate your pelvic floor muscles
- Touch the area of skin between your anus and vagina to feel a lift inwards as you Kegel
- Tighten the muscles in and around your vagina during sexual intercourse to increase your grip.
Correct Kegel Action
- Squeeze and lift inside using the muscles in and around all of your pelvic openings at once.
- Maintain this pelvic floor contraction as you breathe normally.
- Relax and lower your pelvic floor muscles back to resting level before attempting your next Kegel exercise.
How Many Kegels?
- Start with the number of Kegels you can do in a row up to 8-12 repeated exercises.
- For beginners this may be as few as 1-2 Kegel exercises in a row, and this is one set or Kegel exercises.
- Progress the number of consecutive Kegel exercises you perform as your strength improves.
- Repeat 3 sets of Kegel exercises every day.
Kegel Exercises Daily Guidelines
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles aim for:
- 8-12 repeated Kegel exercises
- 10 second holds for every kegel
- Strongest possible pelvic floor muscle contractions
- Regular daily Kegel exercises
Mistakes to Avoid with Kegels
Incorrect Kegel exercise technique can affect the overall success of your exercise program. Try to avoid these common mistakes:
- Breath holding
- Squeezing the buttocks and/or inside thighs
- Bulging or straining downwards on the pelvic floor (shown right)
- Pulling the abdominal muscles strongly inwards
How to Progress Kegels?
- Make your Kegels stronger when your technique is correct
- Move from lying down to standing up exercises
- Increase pelvic floor muscle challenge using weighted vaginal cones or Kegel balls
Best Positions for Kegels
One of the best positions for beginners to commence their Kegels is when lying down. Lying down decreases the load of the abdomen on the pelvic floor muscles. Some beginners find they can feel their Kegel exercises when they are sitting upright.
More advanced Kegel exercises are usually performed standing upright. In this position the pelvic floor muscles are required to lift up against gravity thereby increasing the challenge. Pelvic exercisers can be most effective when used for Kegel exercises standing upright.
How Long Until You Notice Results?
Scientific research shows that Kegels can start to make a noticeable difference for some women after 2 weeks of commencing their exercises..
It can take up to 5-6 months of regular daily Kegel exercise to strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles.