Many factors weaken the pelvic muscles including pregnancy, childbirth, aging, increased weight, and surgery such as a cesarean section. The Kegel exercises aim to strengthen the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles of the pelvis. It is beneficial to women during pregnancy and after childbirth and helps women prepare for labor during vaginal childbirth.
Other benefits of the Kegel include treating and preventing vaginal prolapse in women and strengthening erections and preventing premature ejaculation in men. Increased sexual pleasure as a result of Kegel exercises is a benefit to both sexes.
There are numerous other health benefits of Kegel exercises, such as urinary incontinence, and assisting in the treatment of pelvic prolapse as well.
It does take some time and commitment of performing these exercises before you can feel and experience the associated benefit- so bear that in mind. It also is recommended that you complete these exercises several times a day to be most effective.
Generally speaking, it can take anything between one to three months of committing to your exercises in order for you to experience most benefits.
The discovery of the benefits associated with Kegel workouts was back in 1948 by Dr Arnold Kegel- hence the name. Since then, it’s also widely known as pelvic floor exercises.
Examples of Kegel workouts are:
Bathroom Kegel Perform this exercise while voiding yourself of urine by contracting the PC muscle to stop the flow of urine then relax and continue urinating. Perform this exercise until voiding is complete.
Squeeze and Release Squeeze your PC muscles and hold for 5 seconds, then slowly release. Perform 25 repetitions, twice per day.
Two Step Contract your PC muscles 1/2 way, pause, then all the way. Perform 15 repetitions, twice per day.
Flutter Contract and relax your PC muscles as fast as you can for as long as you can. At first you may only be able to perform this for 5 seconds but with practice you will be able to last up to 30 seconds.
Squeeze and Hold Squeeze your PC muscles as hard as you can for 15 seconds. Rest for a minute and repeat.
Triple Play Squeeze for 5 seconds then rest for 5 seconds and repeat 5 times.
Quick Reps – Perform 10 quick repetitions. Increase the number of repetitions with practice. Work towards performing 100 quick repetitions.
Dancing Kegel Flex your PC muscles to the beat of song. You can do this while driving, at work, or listening to your iPod.
The Long Squeeze Contract the PC muscle for 1 minute and hold. Then rest for 1 minute and repeat.
Remember, for these kegel exercises to be most effective, try to complete each or most of the exercises as often as you can throughout the day. The best thing about it is that it can be completely almost with utmost discretion- meaning that there really is no excuse for not fitting them into your daily routine. When it’s that trip to work, watching tv or sitting down to dinner, there should always be time for your kegel workouts to be done!