04 Dec I’m All About That Kegel
Kegel For The Win
As you have seen in previous posts, we have spoken a lot about Kegel and Hypopressive exercises as being useful exercises in toning your pelvic floor.
But what exactly are the benefits of these exercises and how did we come to start using them?
Story of the Kegel
Pelvic floor exercises are for the most part called Kegel exercises. In 1948, an American gynecologist by the name Arnold Kegel (you can see where the name of the exercise comes from) designed the first program of strength exercises for the pelvic floor muscles.
This program was created to help in curing urinary incontinence in women. The purpose of these exercises being: to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and to improve the function of the urinary and rectal sphincter.
Kegel exercises have made an impact on women using them all over the world. And although most pelvic floor exercises are known as Kegels, not all of them are strictly named Kegel exercises. So while Kegels are pelvic floor exercises, not all pelvic floor exercises are Kegels.
Pelvic floor exercises cover multiple types of exercises. These different types are meant either to tone (tighten) or to relax the the voluntary (reverse Kegels) or the involuntary fibers of the pelvic floor (Hypopressive exercises).
If you need an explanation of voluntary and involuntary fibers you can reference my previous post Myth Busting: Ben Wa Balls and the Pelvic Floor. Each of these types of exercises should be based around the individuals pelvic floor needs to further optimize the exercises.
When it comes to the success of the Kegel, this depends on the
quality of the workout program and the technique that is applied when doing the exercises.
If you want to create a plan that works for your personal needs we recommend our app Bwom. It provides women detailed instructions for learning proper technique and creates personalized training plans tailored to their individual needs.
Benefits of the Kegel
Kegels can be used as a treatment for medical issues such as Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse. It can also be used as a preventative measure before these problems develop.
Pelvic Floor exercises can help with:
- Urinary Incontinence
- Stress Incontinence – when physical movement such as running, coughing, and sneezing put pressure (stress) on your bladder.
- Urge Incontinence – having the sudden urge to use the restroom with the risk of having an “accident” if you don’t make it in time.
- Anal Incontinence – when fecal matter or gas escapes unintentionally.
- Lower Back Pain
- Post-operative Prostatectomy
- Increasing Blood Flow
- Increasing Genital Awareness
- Post Childbirth Recovery
- And Even Bettering Sexual Sensation and Performance (bow-chicka-wow-wow *insert corny 80’s music here*)
By using Kegel exercises as a preventative you can save yourself from the discomfort of weakened pelvic floor muscles in the future.
Factors that may weaken the pelvic floor muscles include:
- Chronic cough
- Chronic constipation
- High Impact Sports such as Running and Gymnastics
- And genetic predisposition to weak connective tissue
If this is the case for you, it is advisable to start using Kegel exercises to workout the pelvic floor. It can help to further tone your pelvic floor and possibly prevent problems later on. If you are not currently at risk, a question to ask yourself is, “Will I be at risk sometime in the near future?”
Again preventative measures can save you a lot of grief in the long run but doing these exercises also give you cool physical and mental benefits. This includes increasing sexual sensitivity and self awareness which can then boost both your confidence and self esteem. 🙂
Exercising the Pelvic Floor
When it comes to strengthening and toning your pelvic floor, there are a number of example Kegel exercises that will be addressed in this blog within the next few weeks that can be performed on a daily basis and in a discrete manner (You can even do them at work!!!).
Next week I will be discussing the advantages of Hypopressive exercises and how they can be used alongside Kegels to benefit your pelvic floor.
You can also see more information about B-wom by checking out the rest of our website here.
If you have any comments or questions please feel free to start the conversation below. 😉