Kegel Exercises to Strengthen your Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic floor is, in many cases, a great unknown for women, not so much because it is not important for them, but because there is a historical ignorance on the subject. Despite this, the musculature of this part of the body is especially important for the female sex, since having it weakened significantly affects the quality of life of the female, both physically and psychically.

Fortunately, the disorders caused by a weakened pelvis are increasingly known. Women no longer suffer their problems in silence and, at present, it is known that most of them have an easy and effective solution if they work a little.

First it is necessary to know what is and how this fundamental part of the female anatomy works in order to work it.

What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is the muscular complex responsible for supporting the organs of the abdominal cavity, that is, the uterus, the vagina, the bladder, the urethra and the rectum. The main function of this musculature is to close this cavity and ensure that the organs are kept in a good position so that they can function normally.

When this area is weakened, the woman may experience a series of major or minor problems, such as urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunctions, backaches or prolapse.

The ligaments that support the pelvic organs can be weakened by different circumstances and the consequences of this lack of tone will manifest in the woman until she is able to strengthen them again. Some factors that influence the pelvic area to weaken are the following:

Pregnancy: during the gestation stage, the pelvic ligaments withstand excessive pressure due to weight gain and the body varies its distribution to house the fetus. In addition, hormones contribute to the laxity of the area to facilitate the opening of the birth canal.

Obesity: it is also a factor against pelvic health, since excessive weight causes the area to withstand greater pressure and weakens.

Impact exercises: running, jumping, playing tennis and other impact sports have a very negative impact on the muscle tone of the pelvis.

Delivery with appliances: on many occasions, when a woman has been a mother and has had a difficult birth, helped by forceps, the area may be damaged and may fail to fulfill its function correctly.

Although there are many circumstances that can lead to weakening the pelvic area, there are also resources to bring it back to tone and strengthen it. The main ally that women have is called Kegel exercises.

What are Kegel exercises and what are they for?

These types of exercises, increasingly popular among women who want a good postpartum recovery, were invented in the forties by the German gynecologist Arnold Kegel, as a method to solve urinary incontinence after childbirth. These exercises, which contract the pubococcygeus muscle in apnea, were discovered almost by chance during a routine examination and, little by little, were extended thanks to its innumerable health benefits for women.

With the passage of time, it was discovered that Kegel exercises not only served to help in urinary incontinence but, thanks to them, could have greater control of the pelvic area and allowed to hold the viscera more effectively, so how to improve the sexual condition of women.

Currently, this type of training is recommended routinely by gynecologists, after the woman has recovered from childbirth, or when in a routine check-up, a lack of tone is observed in the area. Although, women used to think that certain discomforts were inevitable and that they were part of their normal life, it is now known that it is not necessary to suffer certain circumstances, due to the fact of getting older or having been a mother.

First of all, it is necessary to place the hip in an equilibrium or neutral position, from here the exercise is carried out in four phases:

  • ·         Muscle contraction and elevation.
  • ·         Maintenance of the position.
  • ·         Recovery of the initial position.
  • ·         Relaxation.

It is important to perform the exercises in a correct way so that they fulfill their function of restoring the tone of the pelvic area.

When the Kegel are performed, the muscles that are located around the sphincters are contracted, those that are responsible for containing urine, feces or gases, but this must be done well so that the expected result is achieved.

Next, we will explain how to perform them correctly:

In the so-called neutral position, you will be abundantly inspired to oxygenate the organism before starting the exercise itself. Then, all the air will be expelled until the rib cage and abdomen are completely emptied.

In a state of apnea, that is, holding your breath, the exercises will begin. The entire pelvic and abdominal area should be contracted, taking it inwards and trying to achieve an elevation.

If only the contractions of the muscle are performed, it is not possible to exercise the deep zone, which is what helps to hold the viscera. Special attention should be paid to the lifting movement and practice it until it is achieved.

As in other circumstances, quality is preferable to quantity. If too many Kegel exercises are done, but they are not done well, these can lead to a hypertonia of the area that can also cause problems.

Contracting the muscles constantly, on the way to work, while watching a movie on the sofa at home, in the office chair, can end an injury and cause a dysfunction of the area.

The key for this training to fulfill its objective is to do it well, following these three guidelines: contraction, elevation and relaxation.

The whole pelvic muscles work in groups, so sometimes a weakness in another area can have an impact on them.

The Benefits of Kegel Exercises

These types of exercises have innumerable benefits for the pelvic muscles. With the passage of time, as the woman ages and, due to traumas such as childbirth and other circumstances, the muscles weaken, lose tone and cause the usual problems of incontinence, sexual disorders, lumbar pain, etc.

By correctly performing this training in the area, you get so many benefits that these exercises have become popular throughout the general population.

Among the advantages obtained from performing the Kegel, the following can be highlighted:

Improvement in sphincter control, both when retaining urine and controlling feces or gases.

It is possible to strengthen the abdominal girdle, so that many backaches caused by a lack of tone in the area can be prevented and improved.

On a sexual level, Kegel exercises help to improve the experience and contribute to making it much more satisfactory, both for women and men, as they increase friction during penetration and make the area more sensitive, so they facilitate Get to orgasm.

They prevent internal organs from descending from the abdominal cavity and prolapse, that is, they prevent them from going outside. Prolapses can cause significant problems, since organs that are not in a correct position can stop functioning normally and cause significant injuries. It is very important to consult a professional if any type of prolapse occurs.

Improve women's self-esteem. This happens because urinary incontinence is avoided, so that the woman can be calm both when laughing, coughing or sneezing, without feeling the fear of escaping, as well as improving her sex life.

Strengthening the pelvic floor is of vital importance in order to enjoy a good quality of life. It is worth spending a few minutes a day to improve the tone of the pelvic floor to enjoy the tranquility and benefits it brings to all women. Advances in the knowledge of the female anatomy, as well as a change of mentality in society, which has made visible the disorders of certain parts of the body of women, have made these enjoy a better quality of life in every way.