Kegel exercises, or pelvic floor muscle training, are effective in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, especially the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle in women, which become weak during or after pregnancy, or due to aging, obesity and surgery. The PC muscle controls the urine flow, aids the childbirth, and provides core stability.
Kegel exercises were originally used to provide protective measures to pregnant women for aiding childbirth, but they are now used for various health reasons, particularly for treating and preventing urinal incontinence. Kegel exercises can be done by pregnant women or after childbirth, and at any time of the day in any suitable place. Given here are six easy kegel exercises that you can do to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
Kegel Exercises For Women
The Pelvic Tilt
This kegel exercise helps to increase blood circulation in the pelvic area of women and serve as a good warm up. You have to thrust your pelvis forward, while contracting your abdominal muscles, exhaling slowly.
As you return back to original position, inhale slowly and tilt back. Start with three repetitions initially and gradually increase to eight slow repetitions and then eight faster ones.
Pelvic muscles help to stop the flow of urine and these should be exercised regularly to keep them strong. Squeeze and release your PC muscles at least four to eight times, holding them for ten seconds every time you release them. You should feel your muscles contracting without any movement in the abs or your buttocks. This exercise can be done anywhere you like and should be done thrice a week.
Kegel Exercises With A Ball
An exercise ball can be used for the kegel workouts for better effects. You can either sit on a ball or place it under your back as though you are going to perform crunches. Squeeze your pelvic muscles and hold for five seconds, and then release the muscles. Give a rest of ten seconds and then again perform the same exercise. Try to do at least five to ten repetitions.
This kegel exercise should be performed while lying on your back. Keep your knees bent and place your feet flat on the ground. Your arms should be straight at your sides. Now, you should lift your pelvis slightly up, contacting your pelvic muscles. Each leg should be lifted up and down five times by turn, still holding the pelvic muscles. Once you are done, you can release the pelvic muscles. Repeat this exercise thrice.
The Side Leg Lift
This is another kegel exercise that will help to strengthen your pelvic muscles and can be done lying done. First, lie down on your right side, keeping the right knee bent slightly. Then, extend the left leg straight out over the right leg, keeping the heel flexed. Now, raise your left leg sideways up and down five times. The same process should be followed for the other leg. Three sets should be done for each side.
This simple kegel exercise should be done on the floor. Lie on your back, keeping your knees bent. Draw in your knees towards your abdomen and open the legs outwards as much as you can. This looks like a butterfly pose. Now, inhale and squeeze your pelvic muscles, while tilting the pelvis forward. Bring your legs back to the center, releasing the pelvic muscles slowly. Repeat this exercise five times.