A Guide to Effective Kegels
Do you know how to activate your pelvic floor?
So we all know that we need to do our pelvic floor exercises to keep ourselves from having little accidents, enjoying a better sex life, and generally promoting good health in the old lady garden (sorry not sorry) but SO many of us do it wrong. So let's break down where we commonly make mistakes, where we can fix them and the basics of having a healthy, effective, functional pelvic floor!
Getting It Wrong
Beginner mistakes for doing our kegels include:
- Bearing down and pushing out
- Not isolating the three parts of the pelvic floor
- Starting with exercises that are too difficult, and not effectively engaging our muscles
- OVERWORKING the pelvic floor and not relaxing
Getting it Right
Start learning to activate your pelvic floor by lying down. As you get more familiar with the exercises, you can progress to sitting, standing, then active moves such as squatting.
There are three sections of your pelvic floor that you need to ‘turn on’
You can practise squeezing them individually, and all at once. Let’s start by isolating the muscles.
Lie on your back, and take a deep breath. Relax your tummy, bottom, and thighs.
Move 1: The Front
Picture the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. They should be the very front part of your pelvic floor. Some women visualise stopping urine, and others find it easier to visualise wiggling their clitoris.
Move 2: The Middle
Picture the muscles of your pelvic floor inside your vagina. Try and draw them up into your body. Some women find it easier to imagine squeezing a tampon up into their vagina, and others visualise drawing a scarf up into their vagina.
Move 3: The Back
Picture the muscles you use to stop wind or poo. If you had to hold in wind in a public situation, these are the muscles you would use. Draw them into your body keeping your buttocks and thighs relaxed.
Move 4: All three moves combined
Draw all three sections of your pelvic floor up into your body. Picture sucking them into your tummy, not pushing them out!
Your bottom and thighs should be relaxed, and you should be trying to keep your tummy muscles working to a minimum.
Draw the muscles up into your body, pause, then relax.
Repeat this drill for 8-12 repetitions each day!
When to ask for professional help
You may need the assistance of a pelvic health physiotherapist if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Accidentally leaking urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze, exercise
- Feeling the urge to go to the toilet and not quite making it
- Constantly feeling the urge to go to the toilet
- Finding it difficult to completely empty your bladder or bowels
- Accidentally pooing or farting
- A loss of sexual sensation
- Pelvic pain and or sexual pain
Getting an assessment can be a valuable tool in your strengthening and recovery. Your Polkadotsi trainer will be happy to recommend you a pelvic health specialising physiotherapist.