Kegel exercises – aka Kegels or Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises – might be the brunt of many porn jokes, but they are actually as important as any other exercise.
Let’s start with not peeing or popping your pants.
Now that I have your attention, let’s begin…
THE MAN BEHIND THE SQUEEZE
Kegels were developed in the late 1940s by an American gynecologist – Dr. Arnold H. Kegel. The idea was to give men and woman a way to deal with incontinence without having to go under the knife.
He also invented the “Perineometer”, which was a device that helped measure the strength of the muscle contractions.
WHY IT’S NEEDED
This part of the body is like a hammock that goes from your front pelvic bone back to the tail bone. It holds your bladder, uterus, colon, prostate etc. The urethra and last part of your waste track pass through this hammock.
It’s the reason you can control whether you go to the bathroom on the toilet or all over the floor of Walmart.
REASONS THINGS CAN GET WEAK AND LEAKY
- Being pregnant/having a child
- Being overweight
- Having surgery in that part of the body
- Heavying lifting
- Constant coughing (like from smoker’s cough etc.)
- Nerve or brain disorders
- Getting older
- Just because
With the exception of childbirth, these conditions affect men as well.
Any of these situations might make it that your underwear ends up damp or dirty. There is even a condition that affects some women that when they cough, sneeze or laugh, a little bit of pee comes out.
SIDE NOTE – Good Kegels means easier childbirth.
FINDING THE SWEET SPOT
Imagine you’re trying to stop urination mid-flow – what you’re flexing is your PC muscles.
However, Keep your other muscles relaxed! Don’t flex your abs, butt, or legs. Also, don’t lift your pelvic area while doing it. Don’t hold your breath – keep breathing while your flex!
If you still have no idea if you’re going things correctly…
Stick a finger up there.
If you’re a woman, slide a finger up your vagina and squeeze like you’re trying to stop peeing. You should feel the muscles flex around your finger and “move up and down”. For men, stick a finger up the bum (yeah, get over it) and try to “stop peeing” (don’t flex your bum hole). You should feel the muscles contract up and down.
HOW TO DO KEGEL EXERCISES
1. Make sure your bladder is empty
2. Secure yourself some kegel balls or yoni eggs used in yoga
3. Sit down or lie on your back (on your back might be easier if you’re new to Kegel’s)
4. Find your PC muscles and tighten them
5. Hold for X-seconds and then relax for X-seconds
6. Do X-repetitions
Every site will give you different numbers – it’s rather annoying. The one thing I will say is that if you’re not used to them, START LOW. No one goes to the gym with un-exercises arms and tries to do 100 bench presses the first go.
A nice medium between all the different site data is around 3-5 second flex with a 3-5 second rest (do this 10 times). Your total “flex count” is somewhere between 30 to 40 spread across the day. So, 10 in the morning, 10 in the afternoon, and 10 in the evening.
Your end goal is being able to hold it for 10 seconds with a rest of 10 seconds (still with 30-40 spread across the day).
FAST VS SLOW TWITCHES
Some resources suggest two different versions of Kegel flexes – either for different situations (quick to try and stop leakage and slow to build muscles) or just to diversify your exercises.
While the long versions are the method we talked about before (hold for 10 and relax for 10), the quick flexes are around 2-3 seconds with a 2-3 second rest.
OTHER IMPORTANT DETAILS
- Quality is better than quantity!
- Slow build up your rep lengths
- You’ll see noticeable results in around 2 to 3 months but it may take longer to achieve the results you hope for.
- If you’re having problems try Kegel balls or speak to your doctor (there are devices that give biofeedback that can help you).
- Don’t do Kegel’s when you’re actually trying to pee – long-term, it can have a damaging effect on your PC muscles and possibly kidneys.
- Doing Kegel’s incorrectly or with too much force can force vagina muscles to get TOO tight.
- If your incontinence is serious, you might have to do these exercises for the rest of your life.