How to Use Kegel Balls Most Effectively for Pelvic Floor Strengthening

How-to-use-Kegel-Balls

How to use Kegel balls (Ben Wa balls) video for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway.

This Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy video and information video teaches you:

  • Correct placement of your Kegel ball for strengthening
  • How to use Kegel balls step by step
  • Kegel balls exercises for strengthening and toning 
  • Best positions for doing your Kegel ball exercises
  • Quality balls for personal health and safety
  • How to avoid potential dangers caused by using Kegel balls incorrectly 

Correct Placement of the Kegel ball

Knowing how to use Kegel balls involves positioning the Kegel ball correctly inside your vagina to get the best strengthening results. Recent scientific research confirms that women who use non vibrating Kegel balls report improved pelvic floor function1.

When inserted correctly, the ball should sit just above your pelvic floor muscles so they can actively lift the ball during your Kegel exercises. This is NOT the same as where an inserted tampon sits. A tampon sits higher than a Kegel ball inside the vagina when the ball is inserted to the correct depth (shown below).

  • Hold the retraction loop while you insert the ball. The retraction loop remains outside the vagina at all times
  • Insert the ball to a depth so you can just touch the lowest part of the ball 3-5 cm (1-2 inches) when you insert your finger inside your vagina
  • Avoid inserting the ball too deeply as this results in the ball sitting too high above your pelvic floor muscles wasting your time and effort

How to Use Kegel Balls Step by Step

  • Wash your hands with mild soapy warm water before starting
  • When using the Kegel ball exerciser for the first time, wash the ball with mild soap and warm water and then dry thoroughly
  • Apply a small amount of water-based lubricant to the top of the Kegel or Ben Wa ball
  • Position yourself lying down or standing upright (see next section)
  • When finished remove the ball by gently pulling down on the retrieval loop
  • Wash the ball in warm (mild soapy) water and dry thoroughly to clean and remove any remaining surface bacteria

Best Position for Kegel Ball Exercises

  • Lying down is a good position if you’re starting out, with weak pelvic floor muscles or if you’re learning to feel your Kegel exercises. Using this position avoids lifting the ball against gravity which can make doing your Kegels easier at first.
  • Standing upright is the best position for progressive strengthening of your pelvic floor muscles. This is because your pelvic floor muscles lift the ball inwards and upwards against gravity when you’re standing up.

How to use Kegel Balls for Strengthening and Toning

Research has shown that using weighted Kegel balls can improve pelvic floor muscle strength and reduce stress urinary incontinence 2.

How to use Kegel balls exercise technique for strengthening:

  • Contract your pelvic floor muscles by doing a kegel exercise i.e. squeeze around the ball using your pelvic floor muscles as if gripping the ball
  • Lift the ball inwards or upwards inside your vagina using your pelvic floor muscles
  • You should notice the ball or retraction loop move upwards or inwards and this is how to know you’re doing your Kegel ball exercises correctly
  • Relax your pelvic floor muscles and you will notice the ball move downwards to your starting position
  • Take the time to rest and recover before doing your next Kegel exercise
  • Try to keep your buttocks relaxed the whole time throughout your exercises
  • Breathe normally throughout the exercise and avoid holding your breath
  • Start out with the number of exercises you can do using the correct technique, even if it’s 1-2 exercises
  • Gradually progress to doing 8-10 Kegel ball exercises in a row (1 set of Kegel ball exercises)
  • When you can complete 1 set of Kegel ball exercises, you may try to increase to doing 2-3 sets of exercises per day
  • Strength exercises are most effective when performed on 2-3 alternate days of the week

If you feel the Kegel ball pushing out of your vagina during your Kegel ball exercises, you may be using the wrong Kegel exercise technique. Make sure you use the correct squeezing and lifting inwards action during your Kegel exercises.

Quality Kegel Balls for Health and Safety

Some of the better quality Kegel balls that are currently available include:

  • Basic single ball weighted Kegel exerciser (e.g. Smartball)
  • Vaginal cones where the weights are placed inside (e.g. Aquaflex)
  • Premium silicone coated balls (e.g. Luna Beads)

Click here to view more quality Kegel ball exercisers and progressive pelvic floor exercise training kits.

How to Avoid Potential Dangers Using Kegel Balls Incorrectly

There are some potential risks of pelvic floor strain, pelvic pain or injury using Kegel balls incorrectly.

To avoid some of the potential risks associated with Kegel ball exercises:

  • Start with a light weight ball and make sure your technique is correct
  • Avoid inserting the Kegel ball and standing or walking around for lengthy periods of time. The ball may sit like a weight on your pelvic floor potentially stretching and weakeneing your pelvic floor tissues
  • Try not to overdo your Kegel exercises by doing too many exercises
  • Relax and rest your pelvic floor muscles in between every pelvic floor exercise to avoid developing pelvic pain with pelvic floor muscle tension
  • Keep your pelvic floor muscles relaxed after doing your exercises because keeping these muscles tensed as can cause pelvic pain, muscle tightness and pelvic floor weakness.

References

  1. Thomas, HS, Lee, AW, Nabavizadeh, B, et al. Evaluating the primary use, strengths and weaknesses of pelvic floor muscle training devices available online. Neurourology and Urodynamics. 2021; 40: 310– 318. https://doi.org/10.1002/nau.24560
  2. Arvonen, T., Fianu-Jonasson, A. and Tyni-Lenné, R. (2001), Effectiveness of two conservative modes of physical therapy in women with urinary stress incontinence. Neurourol. Urodyn., 20: 591-599. https://doi.org/10.1002/nau.1011