Regularly practicing Kegel exercises will not only strengthen the female pelvic floor muscles before and after childbirth but also improve urine leaks, sexual pleasure, and fecal incontinence. For more effective resistance training on the pelvic floor, adding Kegel weights to your practice can provide even better results. Below, we’ve outlined a step-by-step guide to practicing Kegel exercises for women as well as advice on how to up the ante with Kegel weights.
Kegels are a type of exercise that involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them. Performed by intentionally squeezing, lifting, and holding the pelvic floor muscles in repetitive intervals, Kegels are most practiced to re-train weak pelvic muscles after childbirth, pregnancy, menopause, or a pelvic injury.
Picture your pelvic floor muscles as a type of hammock that runs from the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis to the lower spine at the back of the pelvis. It is naturally designed like this to support the pelvic organs such as the bladder, bowel, rectum, vagina, womb, and uterus.
When various life experiences occur, such as pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, weight gain, and aging, the pelvic floor muscles can soften and weaken this hammock of muscular support. When that happens the pelvic organs are not supported as substantially as before and women become more prone to urine leaks, fecal incontinence, low back pain, and sometimes, a lowered ability to orgasm.
Regularly practicing Kegels, however, will strengthen and re-train the pelvic floor muscles to their former glory and support the pelvic organs in a better way.
This improved muscular strength from practicing Kegels also leads to:
To become aware of what it feels like to contract your pelvic floor muscles, imagine that you are stopping yourself from peeing midstream. Women will feel the muscles in the vagina and the anus become tight and move upward, however, the core, buttocks, and thighs should still feel relaxed.
If you are not sure that you are doing it correctly, gently place the top third of your first finger into your vagina. Now imagine that you are trying to stop your pee midstream or that you are trying to keep yourself from passing gas by lifting your pelvic floor. This is the first part of a Kegel.
If you are practicing the contraction part of a Kegel correctly, you will feel the muscles of your vagina tighten around your finger and move upward and inward. As soon you release the effort to hold your imaginary pee or gas from passing, you have relaxed your pelvic floor muscles. This is the second part of a Kegel.
To begin with, Kegels are most easily performed while lying on your back, in the privacy of your own home. However, once you’ve become accustomed to doing Kegels you can do them anywhere that feels comfortable, for example, at your desk, or when standing in a line. The options for doing Kegels as a regular part of your daily routine are endless, and the results are certainly worth it.
Women generally report feeling an improvement in incontinence, sexual pleasure, and orgasms after practicing Kegels three to five times a week for 6-8 weeks. For continued female pelvic health it is important to keep practicing Kegels.
It is equally as important not to be tempted to do more, as too many Kegels can cause muscle tension around the vagina, as well as the possibility of pain during sex, while urinating, or moving your bowels.
That said, for some women, it can take a few months for the benefits of Kegels to reduce urine leaks or incontinence.
Pelvic health physical therapists recommend doing Kegels 10-15 times, three to four times per day to re-train the pelvic floor muscles after childbirth, pregnancy, surgery, or weight gain. The same amount, practiced daily, is considered adequate to keep the female pelvic floor muscles strong and maintain sexual pleasure throughout perimenopause and into post-menopausal age.
Designed to fit like a weighted tampon, Kegel weights are medical tools that provide resistance training for the pelvic floor muscles from inside the vagina. Here at Intimate Rose, our Kegel weights are made from smooth medical-grade silicone in six progressive sizes.
Pelvic health therapists recommend purchasing Kegel weights in a set of ascending weights. This allows users to continue treatment with the next size once the lighter weight is comfortably held in place for the advised amount of time (usually 10-20 minutes per day).
Kegel weights are not the same as Kegel balls. The main difference between the two is that Kegel weights are designed to provide the recommended amount of resistance training for the pelvic floor muscles in just 15 minutes per day. Whereas Kegel balls are shaped differently and often have different goals.
Kegel exercises for women, when performed correctly, can help to eliminate urine and fecal incontinence and increase sexual pleasure as well as the intensity of female orgasms. If you find that you leak a little urine when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or dance; consider investing in a set of Kegel weights to retrain your pelvic floor muscles and improve your quality of life.
Cleveland Clinic – Kegel Exercises - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14611-kegel-exercises
Physiopedia – Urinary Incontinence - https://www.physio-pedia.com/Urinary_Incontinence
Intimate Rose – 7 Benefits of Kegels For Women - https://www.intimaterose.com/blogs/kegel-exercise/7-benefits-of-kegels-for-women
WebMD – What Are Ben Wa Balls (Kegel Balls) - https://www.webmd.com/sex/what-are-ben-wa-balls