First things first: What are pelvic floor muscles and Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises are the rhythmic tightening and releasing of the pubococcygeus (PC) or pelvic floor muscles, whose job is to protect the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. They are important for protecting you from getting prolapse or experiencing urinary incontinence.
Unfortunately, pelvic floor muscles lose strength over time. Reasons may be a childbirth, age, chronic constipation and coughing or a surgery. But don’t worry, you can prevent weakening of your pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises. To start off, let’s get down to the basics: how do you know if your pelvic floor muscles need training?
How do I know if I have weak pelvic floor muscles?
The universal test
There is a simple test that applies to all vagina-owners, no matter what age you are, before and after birth: next time when you go to the bathroom to pee, try stopping the urine mid-stream. If you have trouble stopping the flow that may be because of weak muscles. Don’t worry – muscles are there to be used and ready to be strengthened, so with some training, you can improve the strength in your pelvic floor muscles.
Weak pelvic floor muscles can often lead to a number of uncomfortable health issues and potentially embarrassing moments that you may want to avoid. Weakened pelvic floor muscles can make your bladder harder to control, and can even lead to a vaginal prolapse. But with just a few clenches a day, you can prevent these scenarios.
How do you locate your pelvic floor muscles?
There are a few ways: imagine you are in a rest room and there is a pretty long queue in front of you. What do you do? You clench those muscles together in order to keep that pee or gas from escaping. You should then feel a slight pulling sensation which is caused exactly by the muscles we are looking for.
Pelvic floor muscles form a sort of hammock from the front of your pelvic bone right back to your tailbone and keep your inner organs in place. Also, these are the bad boys responsible for your uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Kind of like the club bouncers of your pre-abdomen. But you’re their boss.
If you’re still not sure you’ve found them, another easy method is to carefully insert your clean fingers in your vagina and clench those muscles together. If you feel a light pressure or contraction, then you activated the right muscles and are ready for some exercising!
When will you notice any effects?
Like every muscle-strengthening exercise, you won’t see (or feel) immediate effects after just one round with the Entrenador Ruby Kegel. Give your body at least 3-4 weeks until you check for results. You can do the simple pee-test again (important: please don’t do this more often than every two weeks, since it can lead to urinary infections, let that pee flow freely!), or you can actually feel the clenching more intensely when you pull those little muscles together in your body. The more trained you are, the longer you will be able to clench those muscles tightly together (for 10 seconds for example).
We hope we answered the basic questions about Kegel Training. Also, be sure to check out this super helpful (and funny) video: