Finding the right muscles
In order to do kegel exercises properly, you’ll need to find the right muscles. It is common for most women to do kegel exercises wrong, simply because the wrong muscles are being engaged.
In order to find the correct muscle, imagine trying to stop yourself passing wind without engaging the buttocks or abdominal muscles. If this doesn’t help you locate it, you can also try stopping urinating half way through; the muscle you can feel become tense is the muscle that you’ll need to exercise.
Doing pelvic muscle exercises
Essentially performing kegel exercises is very simple. All you have to do is tighten and release the pelvic muscles. The most important thing to remember is that you should try to isolate the pelvic muscles and not workout other muscles such as the thighs, buttocks or abdominals.
To start with, contract your pelvic floor muscles as hard as you can and hold them for as long as you can. This will tell you how long you can hold the exercise for, giving you an idea of your baseline and an insight into how long you should aim to hold the exercise in the future.
Once this has been established, pick a hold time that you find challenging and start performing sets of pelvic contractions. A set of 3-4 is usually advised, done several times per day.
Where to do them?
Kegel exercises can be done at anytime, anywhere! They are extremely easy to do, and no-one would know that you’re doing them. This means that you can do them at work, on the road or even whilst shopping. That said, there are three positions kegel exercises have to be done in for them to work properly. They are:
• Sitting: This is pretty self-explanatory; find a firm but comfortable chair that properly supports you and spread /extend your legs out in front of you. This is one of the best positions to perform your kegel.
• Lying: Lie down on a bed or something else comparatively comfortable. Have you knees lined up parallel, and bend your knees so they are at an angle. Spread your legs slightly and start exercising.
• Standing: Stand with your knees slightly bent and your legs pointing outwards. Try to find somewhere where you are able to lean on a surface or counter so that you do not have to engage other muscles in order to support yourself.
Don’t overdo it
Although you won’t physically harm yourself by doing kegel exercises too often and too hard, you may experience muscle soreness. This happens in the same way as it would with a normal workout. Make sure you find a point where you are comfortable but have to work relatively hard.
Kegel exercises shouldn’t take more than 5-10. Just make sure you perform them regularly throughout the day and do not give up!
Top three mistakes?
1. Using other muscles: Kegel exercising will not work properly if you engage other muscles too much. As previously mentioned in this article, you need to stick to exercising the correct muscle; isolation is key here.
2. Not breathing: There are so many people that stop breathing when they exercise – you need to breathe. If you find it hard to maintain a regular breathing pattern, try counting out load and let yourself breathe naturally when the body tells you to. The main point is to not resist breathing by holding your breath.
3. Stopping/starting: For kegel exercising to work, you need to keep it up and stick to a regular routine. The pelvic floor doesn’t grow in strength overnight, so you have to give it time and allow it grow, ensuring you continue exercising along the way.
Nope! There are no dangers when exercising your pelvic floor and muscles. Just make sure that you do not overdo your exercising or you’ll experience mild pain in the abdomen area.
It is important to remember that kegel exercises are not always a solution to your problem – consult a doctor about your condition before making an assumption about what treatment is best for you.