What is a Kegel Exercise? – How to Kegel Episode 1

What is a Kegel Exercise? Episode 1 in our Kegel Video Series helps you strengthen your pelvic floor.

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What is a Kegel Exercise Video Contents

    • Kegel exercises explained
    • How can Kegel exercises help women?
    • Why Kegel exercises are often difficult to do?
    • How to feel your Kegel exercises
    • What does a correct Kegel exercise feels like?

What is a Kegel Exercise video duration: 2.5 minutes

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Kegel Exercises Video Series

What Is A Kegel Exercise?

A Kegel exercise is an exercise for the pelvic floor muscles, just like an active exercise or contraction of any other skeletal muscle in the body that involves contracting and relaxing the muscles.

Kegel exercises are named after a famous US gynaecologist Arnold Kegel who first wrote about on the value of exercises for the pelvic floor in 1948. Dr Kegel reported that when women repeated kegel exercises, they improved the ton and function of their pelvic floor muscles. Dr Kegel also developed an instrument called a perineometer to measure the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and this is still widely used in treatment today.

How Can Kegel Exercises Help Women?

Kegel exercises are now performed by women to help them address a range of different pelvic floor problems and improve:

  • Bladder control
  • Bowel control
  • Sexual sensation and response
  • Prolapse support and reduce prolapse symptoms
  • Bowel emptying
  • Pelvic floor function (e.g. after pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, after pelvic floor surgery).

Why Are Kegel Exercises Difficult To Do?

Kegel exercises are often difficult to do for a range of reasons:

  • We can’t see our pelvic floor muscles (they sit inside the body and not visible with the naked eye)
  • Pelvic floor injury can affect sensation (e.g. childbirth, pelvic floor surgery, radiation therapy)
  • Pelvic floor weakness reduces sensation (e.g. pregnancy, childbirth, overweight, chronic coughing, menopause, disuse, ageing).

How To Find Your Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor muscles sling across the base of your pelvis in and around the area where you sit. They encircle your 3 pelvic openings (anus, vagina and urethra or urine tube).

When you contract your pelvic floor, this involves lifting and squeezing your pelvic floor muscles inside your pelvis, and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles back to resting position. This action is usually repeated to strengthen and restore pelvic floor function. This action is called a Kegel exercise and as stated already, this can be very difficult to feel- especially if your pelvic floor is weak.

Sitting Technique For Finding Pelvic Floor

This technique may help you locate the position of your pelvic floor.

  • Sit tall on a chair, stool or exercise ball
  • Try to keep the normal inward curve in your low back
  • Feel your sit bones – your pelvic floor muscles sling side to side between these bones
  • Feel your tail bone and pubic bone – your pelvic floor muscles also sling from front to back
  • Try to lift and squeeze inside, in and around your pelvic floor openings as if stopping the flow of urine – you may be able to sense your pelvic floor lifting away from your chair or stool.

What Is A Kegel Exercise Key Points

  • A kegel exercise is an exercise for the pelvic floor muscles
  • Kegel exercises can help pelvic floor muscles to recover and overcome some common pelvic floor problems
  • Many women find feeling and exercising their pelvic floor muscles difficult
  • Correct kegel exercise technique involves lifting and squeezing pelvic floor muscles, and then relaxing the pelvic floor back to normal resting position

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