Kegel exercises have multiple uses for men and women. They are most commonly used to assist with bladder and bowel control issues, reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, improve sexual enjoyment and ease childbirth. These exercises actually strengthen the pelvis floor muscles which are a critical component to supporting the function of the important organs in this region. The exercises are easy to do and can be completed anywhere at anytime.
Isolate the appropriate muscle by standing up straight and place you hand on the front of your lower abdomen.
Contract your pelvic floor muscles, while in this position. The sensation is similar to when you need to pee but are holding it. This is the correct sensation. Your pelvis should not move, as this exercise is focusing on the internal muscles.
Strengthen this muscle by tightening, hold for a count of three, then releasing. Repeat this 10 times.
Recheck your technique–be sure that you are not holding your breath or clenching your abdominal muscle.
Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times a day. Each day, increase the length of the hold by a count of two. These exercises can be done while standing in line, on the bus, in the car, or anywhere else. They are invisible to others, but provide a great benefit to you.
Follow this regime and within 2 weeks you will see a noticeable difference in the length of time that you are able to hold the muscle and an increase in bladder control.
Expect to have gained a noticeable increase in bladder control, after approximately 4 weeks of this program. An added bonus of these exercises is an increase in sexual enjoyment for women. Expectant mothers generally experience easier delivery and reduction in tearing during natural childbirth.
Try Pilates if you would like to continue to work on this area, but would like to see some outward improvements, such as a reduction in the size of your lower abdomen. Kegel exercises are a critical part of Pilates and thanks to your efforts, you will be able to take full advantage of the benefits of that exercise program.
Remember to check if you are holding your breath, or if your body has moved position. If it has, you are not performing the exercise correctly. Relax and try again!