That sounds like Kegel’s exercises , but you don’t know where to start … You want to train your pelvic floor but you don’t have time to get to it. Stop excuses. With these tips and a minimum of five minutes a day, you just have to start. Ready? We start!
1) Locate and feel your pelvic floor muscles
Kegel exercises aim to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Of course, before we begin, we must be clear about what the pelvic floor is, what are the muscles and structures that compose it and how we can locate and feel them.
There are several tricks to identify this musculature , the best known is to cut the urine when you go to the bathroom (only as a test, to identify the muscles, never as an exercise), but if you want to know more about it, I recommend this article to learn to locate the muscles of your pelvic floor .
Once you are clear where these muscles are and are able to perform a contraction of them, you are ready to start your daily training program with Kegel exercises.
2) Activate your core
For Kegel exercises to be really effective, it is very important that you know what the core is and how to get it to work in a coordinated manner with your pelvic floor. In this article we explain how to activate the core correctly when exercising your perineum.
3) Choose the position in which it is easier for you to contract your pelvic floor
To begin, you must choose that position in which to contract the muscles of your pelvic floor is easier for you. It can be lying on your back, on your side or on your stomach if it is difficult for you to work this muscle. The fact of lying down eliminates the effect that gravity has on your pelvic viscera and on that kind of hammock that forms your perineal musculature, facilitating the contraction of the muscles.
As you progress in training, you can perform the exercises in other positions: on all fours, sitting or even standing.
4) Maintain postural correction when doing Kegel exercises
Choose the position you choose, before starting to contract your pelvic floor, check that your spine is straight and elongated and that your pelvis is in a neutral position in space, that is: that the lumbar curvature is not very pronounced ( “Chicken ass”) or erased (“flat ass”). The lumbar curve should be smooth before and during the performance of muscle contractions.
5) Contract and lift the pelvic floor muscles … breathing!
Make a contraction of the muscles surrounding the holes of your perineum (anus, vagina and urethra) as if you wanted to close them and lift them inwards. While you contract, keep breathing naturally, don’t hold the air or change your usual breathing pattern. This point is important: you have to be able to contract the muscles without disturbing your breathing, in order to later be able to activate your pelvic floor in the face of occasional pressure increases such as those caused by coughing or sneezing.
6) Relax the muscles
After each contraction, relax the muscles slowly, allowing them to return to their initial position . Take a couple of breaths before contracting.
7) Rest a few seconds before the next series
In order for your pelvic floor training to be effective, you must maintain a short rest period between one series and another . Take at least 15-20 seconds of rest so that your muscles recover and work properly. It will do no good to fatigue them with numerous contractions … That of the 500 daily repetitions is already obsolete: the important thing is not “the more the better”, but to do them correctly.
Common mistakes you should avoid
There are some mistakes that recur frequently in women who begin to train their pelvic floor. Pay attention to what they are and avoid them while contracting your perineal muscles:
- Do not push down when you contract your pelvic floor: on the contrary, the contraction should be upwards, as if raising the holes towards the inside of your pelvic cavity.
- Do not contract the buttocks, adductors or rectus abdominis muscles (those of the chocolate tablet) when performing Kegel exercises: the work of the pelvic floor muscles should be done in isolation, without the help of those nearby muscle groups .
- Don’t hold your breath or change your usual breathing pattern when you practice Kegel exercises. Just breathe normally.
It is very important that you know the theory well before moving on to practice, since if you do the exercises incorrectly, not only will you not feel improvement but your situation may get worse.
If it is a great effort to know if you locate the muscles of your pelvic floor properly, or do you think you are doing the exercises poorly, I advise you to consult an expert pelvic floor physiotherapist, who will guide you in the location, training and planning of treatment
Important: follow a daily training plan
Now that you know what the Kegel exercise theory consists of, it is time to design a daily training routine and make it a habit. These five points summarize what it is.
- Each time you contract your pelvic floor, do it at the maximum intensity possible, without forgetting any of the above points (postural correction, normal breathing, relaxation and rest).
- Hold each contraction for 3 to 10 seconds .
- Make between 8 and 12 contractions , we will call this “series”.
- You must do three daily series .
- Exercise your pelvic floor every day with this Kegel exercise routine. My advice: reserve a specific moment on the agenda to do your training, and try to keep it unchanged during the week. In this way it will be easier for you to remember to do the exercises and gradually you will see how it has become a habit .
It is essential that, little by little, you increase the intensity of the exercises and the difficulty in the positions to obtain better results. Quiet, it is not about contracting the pelvic floor while doing the pine, but about introducing the training in the positions of your day to day.
You will start lying down, if you need it because your muscles are still weak, but the goal is that you end up performing perineal foot contractions and that these contractions are becoming stronger and longer.
One more recommendation! Do not practice Kegel while walking , excessive tension can occur in your pelvic floor by not allowing the muscles to have time to relax and you are likely to feel discomfort or pain in the pelvic or perineal area.