Kegel exercises are commonly used to treat or prevent incontinence. They are safe to perform during and after pregnancy (unless otherwise advised by medical team). Follow the next 5 tricks to become a Kegel master.
#1. Learn how to contract your pelvic floor muscles
The action of the pelvic floor muscles is one of closure and elevation. To activate it, you should contract as if you wanted to hold yourself from peeing. Put a hand over your perineum when you do your Kegel exercises to make sure that the pelvic floor does not go down. It should elevate if your muscles are strong enough. Another helping trick is to put a finger inside the vagina. If you feel your finger getting squeezed, you’re contracting your pelvic floor muscles.
You should be able to breath while contracting your pelvic floor. Otherwise, you’re probably increasing your abdominal pressure which isn’t good for the pelvic floor.
#3. Step by step
To become a master, you must start from basics. A lot of women start their Kegel exercises with a 10-seconds hold. You should know that some of you can only hold the pelvic floor contraction for 2 seconds at the beginning. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you need to start somewhere! With practice, you’ll be able to hold the contraction for longer and longer.
#4. Isolate the pelvic floor contraction
The next step is to make sure that the only muscles you’re contracting during the Kegel exercises are from the pelvic floor. Your glutes, inner thighs and abdominal muscles will tend to contract at the same time as the pelvic floor. Make sure they don’t!
#5. To become a master, you might need help from an expert
These steps aren’t easy. To best way to know if you’re contracting correctly is to be assessed by a physiotherapist in perineal and pelvic re-education. The assessment will also give you exercise parameters adapted to you.
You now have the key tricks to improve from a Kegel apprentice to a Kegel master.