Are you wondering how many Kegels you should do a day?
Arnold Kegel was an American Gynaecologist who first recommended Kegel exercises for pelvic floor training. Dr Kegel recommended that women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles by doing hundreds of Kegels (20 minutes of Kegels, 3 times/day)1.
Scientific research now tells us that to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles we should do less than Dr Kegel recommended2. Doing too many Kegels can make pelvic floor problems worse.
Physiotherapy Video Suitability: Women and men seeking to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises
Video Duration: 3.5 minutes
Read on below to learn
- How many Kegels you should do a day
- Physiotherapy tips for getting the most out of your Kegels
- Why too many Kegel exercises can make pelvic floor problems worse
Inside Out – Pelvic Floor Safe Exercises Book
with Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway and Urogynaecologist Dr Judith Goh
This complete exercise guide is especially for women with pelvic floor problems seeking to strengthen their pelvic floor and exercise safely.
Inside Out teaches you how to:
- Strengthen your pelvic floor
- Safely tighten and firm your core
- Reduce your risk of repeat prolapse or prolapse worsening
- Avoid unsafe exercises
- Choose pelvic floor safe exercises
- Improve prolapse support
- Increase your strength and fitness
- Lose weight
How Many Kegels You Should Do a Day
Research Based Exercise Guidelines
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles:2
- Use the correct Kegels technique*
- Perform up to 8-12 Kegels in a row (i.e. 1 set of Kegels)
- Maintain each exercise for 3-10 seconds
- Practice 3 sets of Kegels daily
It can take upwards of 5 months of regular training to notice results doing this quantity of exercise.
*Slowly squeeze around your pelvic openings and lifting them inwards before relaxing and resting briefly before your next Kegel exercise
Physiotherapy Tips for Getting the Maximum Benefit From Your Kegels
- Make sure you learn the correct Kegel technique when starting out
- Do your exercises early in the day when your pelvic floor muscles are most responsive to training rather than when they’re fatigued
- Perform that number of exercises you can manage using the correct Kegel technique
- As your strength improves you’ll most likely be able to do more exercises
- Focus on doing slow strong exercises
- Progress your Kegels by increasing the strength of your exercises and reducing the rest time between each attempt
Why Too Many Kegels Can Make Pelvic Floor Problems Worse
Doing too many Kegels can cause the pelvic floor muscles to become so tired so that they don’t function as well as they should.
Overtired pelvic floor muscles can cause:
- Incontinence (bladder and bowel)
- Prolapse symptoms to worsen
- Increased risk of pelvic floor strain and injury
This is why it’s important to avoid overtiring your pelvic floor by doing too many Kegels.
1 Kegel, A. (1948) Progressive resistance exercise in the functional restoration of the pelvic floor muscles. American Journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Volume 56, Issue 2, pps. 238-248
2 Bo, K & Ashehoug A (2007) Strength training. In: Bo, K Berghmans B, Morkved S & Van Kampen M (Eds) Evidence Based Physiotherapy for the Pelvic Floor, Philadelphia, Elsevier pps. 119-132.