Everything you want to know about Kegel exercises but are afraid to ask.
What is a Kegel exercise?
A Kegel exercise is a workout for your pelvic floor muscles, also known as the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles. It’s a discrete movement done typically by women (though men can do it too), with or without a Kegel exerciser, Kegel balls, or other vaginal weights.
What are the benefits of Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises are a way to strengthen your PC muscles. There are many ways that PC muscles can naturally weaken, including pregnancy and childbirth, surgery, being overweight, or simply getting older. Weak PC muscles can lead to incontinence, which can mean leaking a few drops when you sneeze to actually wetting your pants. Strong PC muscles can also play a factor in sexual enjoyment (for both partners). In fact, some women can have an orgasm simply through Kegel exercises (especially when Kegel balls or a Kegel exerciser is in place).
How to do Kegel exercises.
- First, you’ll need to locate your PC muscles. Clench your vagina as if you were trying to stop your urine midstream. It should feel like you’re pulling your pelvic floor up toward your back. You can also place two fingers (or a penis) inside your vagina and squeeze until you (or your partner) feel tightening.
- Now do some reps. Tighten your muscles while exhaling and try to hold for 5-10 seconds (do not hold your breath), then slowly relax. Work up to ten repetitions, three times per day. At first, you’ll need to really focus on the PC muscles to make sure you’re not flexing your belly, thighs or butt muscles instead. But once you get it down, Kegel exercises can be done during other activities, such as driving, washing the dishes, or, of course, sex.
How to use Kegel balls and Kegel exercisers.
Kegel balls, also known as Ben-Wa balls, are small, weighted devices that can help with the efficacy of Kegel exercises. Much like using weights at the gym, they increase resistance to make the exercises harder. There are even some versions with progressively harder weights. Unlike weights at the gym, they can actually increase arousal during sex or masturbation.
First, find a comfortable position, you can start on your back to get used to the weights, then move on to sitting, standing, or even squatting (most challenging). Insert the balls or exerciser into your vagina. They only need to be just inside, don’t press them back toward your cervix. Then isolate your PC muscles and try to move the balls or exerciser back and forth, without letting it fall out. Squeeze and hold them for 5-10 seconds, release, and repeat.
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