The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for controlling the movement of urine from bladder into the urethra. They include the rectus abdominis muscle, the external obliques, and several other smaller muscles that work together to control your pelvis during sexual activity. These muscles have been called “the foundation” of good health because they prevent many problems like urinary incontinence, prolapse of the uterus or even cancer later in life.
While it’s true that these muscles do play a role in keeping you healthy, there are many things you can do to strengthen them so they don’t get weakened over time. A few of those things include doing Kegel exercises regularly, which are often referred to as “pelvic floor workouts.” You may not think twice about doing them; however, if you’re like most women, you probably aren’t aware of just how much strength they actually possess.
There are various reasons why you might not be doing them regularly. Maybe you feel uncomfortable with the idea of doing something that could potentially hurt you, or maybe you’ve simply never done any such thing before. Whatever the reason, it’s definitely worth trying out!
Here are some tips on how to start doing them:
1) Start slow.
If you’re new to kegel exercises, start off slowly at first and only do 10 reps per set until you get comfortable with it.
2) Use a stopwatch or timer.
Timing your sets not only helps you track your progress, but it also makes the process seem less daunting.
3) Get rid of all distractions during your session.
Not only will this help prevent accidents, but it will also make you focus on the exercises at hand.
4) Start by stopping the flow of urine when you’re on the toilet.
Not only does this help you become more comfortable with the sensation, but it also gets your pelvic floor muscles ready for the exercises to come.
5) Wear tight underwear.
Wearing tight undergarments like briefs or even briefs with a strap can help strengthen your Kegel muscles by holding them in place so they have something to squeeze.
6) Try doing leg lifts.
Start by lying down and then lifting one leg up while keeping the other on the ground.
Sources & references used in this article:
Searching for pelvic floor muscle exercises on YouTube: what individuals may find and where this might fit with health service programmes to promote continence by K Stephen, GP Cumming – Menopause International, 2012 – journals.sagepub.com
Pelvic floor and abdominal muscle interaction: EMG activity and intra-abdominal pressure by P Neumann, V Gill – International Urogynecology Journal, 2002 – Springer
Assessment of pelvic floor movement using transabdominal and transperineal ultrasound by JA Thompson, PB O’Sullivan, K Briffa… – International …, 2005 – Springer
… (IUGA)/International Continence Society (ICS) joint report on the terminology for the conservative and nonpharmacological management of female pelvic floor … by K Bo, HC Frawley, BT Haylen, Y Abramov… – International …, 2017 – Springer
The Pelvic Floor Muscle Trainer You Need by DK Newman – vibrancepelvictrainer.co.uk
An ideal e‐health system for pelvic floor muscle training adherence: Systematic review by GFS Latorre, R de Fraga, MR Seleme… – Neurourology and …, 2019 – Wiley Online Library
How you can Train Your Computer Muscles Fast by N BRYANT – noahstrength.com
Controlled trial of pelvic floor exercises in the treatment of urinary stress incontinence in general practice. by TL Lagro-Janssen, FM Debruyne, AJ Smits… – British Journal of …, 1991 – bjgp.org