LivingWhat are Kegel exercises?

What are Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises are a well-known method of training the pelvic floor muscles to prevent conditions such as urinary incontinence. They also improve sexual intercourse and facilitate vaginal delivery.

They are named after the gynecologist Arnold H. Kegel who, in addition to exercises, also invented a device used to measure vaginal air pressure called a Kegel perineometer.

How are Kegel exercises practiced?

The good thing about this training is that it can be done practically anywhere and, although the ideal is to be well focused to do it correctly, you can also take advantage of moments such as a bus trip or the dentist’s waiting room to practice them. What should be avoided is doing them while walking, as they could cause excessive tension.

Ideally, choose a position in which it is easier to identify the pelvic floor muscles to activate them correctly. To begin with, it is easier to do them in a lying position, but it is also useful to do them in a sitting position, with a towel or blanket rolled up and placed between the legs. Pilates balls are also very useful for practicing Kegel exercises.

Once the position is chosen, the pelvic floor musculature must be contracted and relaxed, but without holding your breath: This is important, since if you can maintain the usual respiratory rhythm while performing the Kegel exercises, you are training the pelvic floor so that it can be activated in moments of pressure such as a strong cough, a fit of laughter or a sneeze, so that urine leakage is avoided.

For some people it is difficult at first to locate the pelvic muscles and exercise them: it can help them to pretend to hold urine and then try to expel it. Of course, experts warn that the time to pee is not the best time to practice Kegel exercises , since the reflexes by which the voiding system is regulated are impaired when doing so.

In addition to maintaining your breathing rate, avoid pushing when doing Kegel exercises. Another common mistake is to simultaneously contract some muscles that surround the pelvic floor, such as the buttocks or the abdomen.

Kegel exercises types

Once the exercises are controlled, various series can be put into practice. For example: start by doing rapid, successive contractions and relaxations for five minutes. Then do another series of Kegel exercises that consist of contracting, holding the contraction for five seconds, and then relaxing. Another job can be called “the lift: gradually and consciously increase the contraction and then gradually relax, controlling the degree of contraction or relaxation at all times.

It is important to rest between exercises.

Who Should Do Kegel Exercises?

There are specific moments in a woman’s life when Kegel exercises are mandatory: pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. However, exercising and maintaining a good pelvic floor tone is recommended for everyone, also for men, as it prevents incontinence problems, prolapses and conditions related to the prostate.


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