Kegel exercises are aimed at strengthening the muscles in the pelvic region. They are also useful for improving bladder control, especially in people suffering from urinary incontinence. On the most basic level, kegel exercises involve relaxing and contracting the pelvic muscles and are quite helpful in strengthening our pelvic muscles, if performed correctly.
Pelvic muscles are the muscles present in the area located between the hip bones. They act as a solid base for holding the pelvic organs such as the rectum and bladder firmly in place. Sometimes, the pelvic muscles start weakening due to a variety of conditions such as prostate surgery, being overweight, or aging. Whenever the pelvic muscles become weak, it leads to various problems such as urinary incontinence and various other conditions.
What Muscles Should be Used for Kegel exercises?
It is a common scenario that people use the wrong muscles for carrying out Kegel exercises. Due to this, instead of working their pelvic muscles, they end up working the abdominal, upper leg, or back muscles. It is obvious that if you are using wrong muscles, Kegel exercises will not work for you. In order to ensure that you use right muscles for carrying out Kegel exercises, try the following:
Sit down on the toilet, or stand right before the toilet. When you are passing urine, tighten up your muscles and try to stop the urine from flowing out.
Carry out this exercise several times until you realize how you feel while tightening the right muscles. Once you understand which muscles you need to use, carry out Kegel exercises when not urinating.
Lie down and place a finger in the rectum. Tighten your pelvic muscles just like you would do in order to stop urine or bowel movement. When you do this, your rectal muscles would tighten around the finger.
How to Perform Kegel Exercises?
The great thing about Kegel exercises is that they can be performed anywhere and at any time. You can perform them whenever you like, whether in the morning, night, or afternoon.
You can do these exercises while standing, sitting down, taking a bath, or lying down on your back. The important thing is to always urinate before beginning these exercises.
Contract the muscles that are present around the anus. This would feel just like you would when holding back gas or urine. Hold these muscles tightly for a minimum of 10 second.
If you can’t time it, count to 10 and then release the muscles slowly. Again, allow yourself to relax for the next ten seconds; and then repeat the cycle once again. Do a minimum of one set of 10 contractions three times each day.
After finishing your quota of slow contractions for the day, carry out around 5 or 10 quick contractions. These exercises will help you prevent accidents by instantly stopping urine leakage.
Important Things to Know About Kegel Exercises
After you begin doing Kegel exercises regularly, it would take around 3–6 months for you to notice a difference in your bladder control. However, do not stop Kegel exercises till you consult your caregiver. The great thing about this exercise is that they are quite useful for rest of your life as well.