What are the Kegel exercises?
The Kegel exercises were created to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. There are several ways to make the Kegel exercises, but all of them consist on repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor, with the purpose of increasing the strength and resistance, preventing or avoiding urinary incontinence and other related issues.
How do I identify and isolate the perineal muscles in order to make the Kegel exercises?
The simplest way to identify the perineal muscle is stopping urination at intervals. If you can do that, even partially, you have located the muscles. Make this test to identify the muscles; don’t do that on a daily basis as an additional exercise because it can cause a urinary infection.
Another way to identify it consists on inserting a clean finger into the vagina and trying to squeeze. If you notice any muscular movement, you have located it. Try repeating the muscular movement on a daily basis as much as you can, starting with 50 until reaching 300 times per day. As your muscles are more toned, you’ll notice you can squeeze even more.
If none of this techniques work in your case, don’t worry. Talk with your physician to get help with identifying the muscles or even recommending rehabilitation.
When should I do the Kegel exercises?
Once the muscles of the pelvic floor are identified, you can make the Kegel exercises whenever and wherever you are, because nobody will be able to tell you’re making them. Try relating them with something you do as a routine, like brushing your teeth, waiting for the street light to turn green or taking the bus to go to work. It would be best if you make at least 50 repetitions daily,four times a day.
If I suffer from urinary incontinence, how long will it take for me to notice an improvement with the Kegel exercises?
If you make around 200 repetitions a day (4 series of 50), it takes 6 to 12 weeks to notice an improvement. It’s a slow process that should be done forever, but it will reward you.
How do I make the Kegel exercises?
Until you master the technique, it’s better if you lay down comfortably on your back, with feet flat on the floor, while bending the knees. Keep your back on the floor, without leaving any spaces in the lumbar area. Try visualizing how you pull the muscles upward. Do it slowly, concentrating until you can’t continue. Hold it, breathe calmly, slowly release and relax. Repeat that 15 times.
- The slow one:Squeeze the muscles as you did when trying to stop urination, pulling them upward. Contract and keep them like that until you count to 5, breathing softly. Afterwards, relax them during 5 more seconds and repeat the series 10 times. Try to progressively increase the contraction and relaxing time. Start with 5 seconds in each case until reaching 20. The more you’re able to hold the contraction of the muscles, the stronger they will get..
- The fast one: Squeeze and relax the muscles as fast as you can until you get tired or after 2 or 3 minutes (whatever happens first). Start with 10 repetitions, four times a day, until reaching 50 repetitions per day.
Make these exercises every day as much as you can. The goal is to make them without being noticed.
At the beginning, when doing the exercise slowly, you may notice the muscles don’t want to stay contracted. It’s also possible that you may get tired right away with the fast one. But if you persevere, you’ll see that in a few days, they won’t cause any effort.