pelvic floor exerciser

Kegel: How to exercise your pelvic floor

Do you notice urine leakage when you sneeze or when you train? Have you been told that you should do Kegel exercises, but you don't understand how to do it? 

Don't worry because you feel you are lost, in general we have very little education on this subject and we learn when the symptoms start to show that we are neglecting something.

Let's go over everything you need to know to effectively do Kegels.

What are Kegel exercises?

A kegel exercise is a voluntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles with the aim of improving dysfunctions such as urinary incontinence.

The pelvic floor is made up of all the muscles surrounding the urethra, vagina and anus. When contracting, it should feel as if the urethra, vagina and anus are closing and ascending. 

These pelvic floor strengthening exercises are named after their inventor Arnold Kegel.

How are Kegel exercises performed?

Connects with the pelvic floor

It is common for women not to know how to connect their pelvic floor. In addition, it is weak and nor know how to send the contraction signal.

Yes we increase the area of contact with the perineum it is easier to locate and contract the area.

Exercises to locate the pelvic floor

  • Uses a fitball to increase the contact area with the perineum. The imbalance also helps to activate the pelvic floor in a natural way.
  • If you don't have a fitball, you can sit on a small rolled towel.
  • Another way is cut off the urine when going to the bathroom. Not prescribed as exercise to do it repeatedly, as it increases the likelihood of urinary tract infection, it is only a way to identify the sensation that should be done. 

Position 

The easiest way to start is lying down, as this eliminates the gravity of the weight of the viscera on the pelvic floor muscles, thus facilitating contraction.

A as progress is made, it is recommended to move on to other postures. as sideways, on all fours, sitting or even standing.

Posture

During kegel exercises it is required to maintain the natural curvature of the back with the hip centered. One way to achieve this is to think of lengthen your posture by growing from the ears

Contracts, lifts and relaxes the musculature

Perform a contraction of the muscles surrounding the orifices of the perineum with the intention of closing and elevating them. 

To make it easier, at the beginning, you can make after inhalation. It is important that it is practiced little by little without modifying the breathing, since the objective is that the pelvic floor is reactive at any moment of the day to day.

Rest a few seconds between sets

After each contraction, relax the muscles again and let them slowly return to their initial position. Before contracting again, take a couple of breaths.

Between sets, you should also rest for about 30 seconds. If the muscles are too tired they will not be able to perform the exercise correctly for it to have positive effects.

Common errors

Not understanding the exercise

The most normal thing in the world in a situation of pelvic floor weakness is that even if you have all the theory with its step by step, you actually do not engage the pelvic floor and do not perform the exercise correctly..

SolutionIf you need help, the best thing to do is seeing a pelvic floor specialist. With a first session he will be able to evaluate your condition and teach you exactly how to perform it. You will then understand the sensations of exercise so that you can train on your own with a prescribed guideline.

Contract other musculature

In an effort to tighten the pelvic floor, it is easy to end up diverting the pelvic floor andl work to other more trained areasgluteus, adductors, abdominals.

In this case the main intention of the kegels is lost, that is to train the pelvic floor. 

Solution: resets the postureIf you do this, engage the pelvic floor and start again to contract the pelvic floor only. Do this as many times as you feel you have lost concentration.

Not being consistent

This type of training is very unmotivating and easy to drop out. Although they may seem very boring, the Consistency with the exercises are very powerful to solve problems of a weak pelvic floor. (incontinence, prolapse, pain during sexual intercourse...).

SolutionDon't give them up, they are worth it, they are very useful. Establish a routine and incorporate your pelvic floor exercises into it, make it a priority. You deserve it, and it will only take a few minutes.

In this video I talk about my birth and how I felt after a level iv tear. As bad as the situation seemed at the beginning, with perseverance I recovered completely.

Kegel Routine 

It is a matter of making series as in any other training:

  • Performs a contraction to the maximum intensity x 10 repetitions x 3 sets.
  • Remember the correct posture.
  • Take breaks to relax between contractions and between sets.

Important! Start with the simplest, but you must progress in your sessions.

  • When you have controlled the exercise by matching the inspiration with the contraction and the exhalation with the relaxation, you should move on to doing the normal breathing exercises.
  • When the exercise is controlled in a simple posture such as lying down, increase the difficulty until you make them standing up..

It is important to knowing how to contract and how to relax. Believe it or not, a very strong or overtrained pelvic floor also has negative consequences.

Pelvic floor trainers

These are vibrating devices that help to perform kegel exercises.

Advantages

  • Effectivenessare a safe bet. They improve the ability to feel the muscles, to contract them correctly and thus obtain the benefits of the training. Especially useful in cases where the muscles are very weakened and either the woman is not able to contract the pelvic floor voluntarily or does so at a very low intensity.
  • Saving moneyAlthough buying a device that exercises the pelvic floor may not seem like a cost saving, it is a cost saving because although they do not replace a physiotherapist completely, once you have done a personal examination, you can do the training sessions on your own.. I spent 2 months with private sessions... so imagine what I would have saved with one of these devices.
  • Improved adhesion: Having this device is a greater incentive to do your sessions and consistency is the key to get the results you are looking for. 

Comparison of trainers

There are different versions on the market, we are going to analyze two types that I have personally used to give you my personal opinion and to help you in your purchase decision.

Perifit

This kegel exerciser is made of medical grade silicone. It can be found at connects via bluetooth to the cell phone from which you can work with a free app. It has several sensors to analyze contractions.

Pros: 

  • Contribute instant feedback. You can see through the display if you are performing the contraction at the level you need, so you can adjust your effort to reach the training set by the app.
  • Contains a lot of valuable information. A 3D screen shows in real time how your muscles move when you are doing the contraction. This is very useful for those women who still find it difficult to understand how to perform the kegel.
  • Recalibrate strengths and adjust your training. With the app you can adjust the workouts to your condition, as it makes a test to analyze your strength and thus customize the training.
  • Uses a game to make the sessions more enjoyable.
  • Performs a follow-up of your evolution. The history of your training and progress.
  • It can even send you mobile reminders so that you don't skip your sessions.

Cons:

  • It is more expensive than other simpler devices.
perifit pelvic floor

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Intimina

Also made of medical grade silicone, it is an intelligent exerciser that sends a vibration signal. Its function is to mark the contraction times and the duration of the workout.

Pros: 

  • It is economic and may be enough to motivate you to do the exercises instead of doing them on your own.

Cons:

  • Only offers vibration, no feedback of how you are performing the contraction.

My recommendation

Having personally used both, the price difference seems to me too small to not choose the Perifit with which you can have a much more effective workout.

The Intimina kegel smart seems to me to be a help for those who are lost, but once I tried the Perifit I found it much more complete.

From Intimina I can recommend their menstrual cups. It is common that the first cup you try does not work for you and they have a great variety that you can see here.