Kegel exercises are most commonly known for helping with health issues like bladder leakage and incontinence. However, these exercises are useful for so much more and can be an amazing way to increase sexual satisfaction for both men and women.
What Are Kegel Exercises?
Kegels are pelvic floor muscle exercises that American gynecologist Arnold Kegel invented in the 20th century. The exercises involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles that can sometimes be referred to as "Kegel's muscles."
In the media, Kegel exercises are most often recommended for women. However, they are equally important to all genders as pelvic floor muscles are responsible for the bladder, fecal continence, vaginal activity, and ejaculation.
Kegel Exercises Benefits
Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly have a ton of health benefits:
Helps Prevent Incontinence and Bladder Leakage
Pelvic floor muscles control the bladder and bowel movements, so strengthening them can help with conditions like fecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements) and urinary incontinence (accidental urine leakage).
Shorter Labor and Easier Post-Birth Recovery
Pregnancy and labor put a lot of strain on pelvic floor muscles, and research suggests that Kegels can help prevent pelvic floor damage that might occur during pregnancy and after it. One study that surveyed 301 healthy women also found that those women who did pelvic floor muscle training had a lower rate of prolonged second-stage labor than those who didn't.
Doing Kegels can help improve the satisfaction with your sexual life in a few ways. First, Kegel exercises help improve the blood flow to the vagina, making it easier to get aroused during sex. Getting properly aroused is one of the key elements of great sex, so if you're struggling with this part, it might be worth giving Kegels a try.
Another thing that Kegels do is help with relaxing the vaginal muscles, which can help deal with any pain and discomfort you might experience during penetration. It's also important to mention that the benefits of Kegels during sex are for both partners. Engaging your pelvic floor muscles allows you to grip your partner tighter during penetration which allows you to experience greater pleasure while also making your partner feel great at the same time.
Can help with premature ejaculation
For men, Kegel exercises can help strengthen the muscles that are responsible for ejaculation, which can, in turn, lead to better control of ejaculation and lasting longer during sex.
How To Do Kegel Exercises
If you've never done Kegels before, it might take some time to get familiar with your pelvic floor muscles and find the right rhythm. So, take your time and don't overdo it. The first step will be to locate your pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel Exercises for Women
The easiest way to get familiar with your pelvic floor muscles is to insert a clean finger inside your vagina and tighten the vaginal muscles around it. Or, you can simply imagine that you're tightening your muscles around the tampon.
Another way is to imagine stopping the passing gas or urine flow. It's important to note that you should never try to stop the urine mid-flow while you're urinating because it can weaken the muscles, which can cause problems with bladder leakage.
Once you find the right muscles, you'll want to find a comfortable position. The beauty of Kegels is that they can be done anytime and anywhere while you're standing in the line at the shopping center or driving home from work. You can be standing, laying down, or sitting, whichever is more comfortable.
After finding the right position, you'll want to contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds. Repeat the cycle of contracting/relaxing ten times. Make sure that only your pelvic floor muscles are working and not your abdominal or buttocks.
Once you get used to the shorter contraction/relaxation cycle, you can work your way up to more seconds. The same goes for how many rounds you do each day. Also, try to do Kegels throughout the day rather than all of your exercises at once.
Kegel Exercises for Men
Kegels for men are fairly similar to Kegels for women. The best way to find your pelvic muscles is to either stop passing gas or imagine stopping the urine stream while urinating. As for women, it's not recommended to stop the urine mid-way as it can cause issues.
The next step will be to find the right position. It can be anything comfortable and allows you to relax and focus on the pelvic floor muscle engagement. Contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds while breathing and relaxing your abdominal, tights, and buttocks.
Repeat the cycle up to 10 times. Once you get used to this cycle, you can increase the duration of how long you contract and relax and how many times you repeat the cycle. Make sure that you relax your pelvic floor muscles properly before doing another set to prevent any damage or pain.
Tools To Get You Started
There are also wonderful tools available to enhance your Kegel practice and make it easier to do the exercises correctly. For example, Elvie Pelvic Floor Trainer is a smart tool that allows you to track the contractions on your app, so you know that you're engaging all the right muscles and getting the most benefits. It can also be useful if you have difficulty finding your pelvic floor muscles.
Another great tool to add to your Kegel exercise routine is Kegel weights. Je Joue AMI 3 set is a great option if you want to add more variety and weight while doing Kegels. It has three different weights and sizes to enhance your exercises and experiment with different intensities for better orgasms.
Sex educator Emily Morse also has a handy app available for all the devices called Kegel Camp. It’s designed for men and women and is great for beginners who don’t know what they’re doing. The app has guides and tutorials that guide you through the exercise while also giving you timers, so you are precise with your cycles and don’t have to keep track in mind. And the best part – no toys and additional tools are necessary.
And if doing your Kegels the traditional way is boring, then you might want to try the Perifit Kegel exerciser that combines gaming and Kegel exercising in one. They have an app that allows you to play games while you’re doing the Kegels with their Kegel training insertable toy. The better you control your pelvic muscles, the better your gaming experience will be, so if you’re looking to have some fun with your Kegels, this tool might be perfect for you.
When To Be Cautious
As with everything, if you experience pain and discomfort while doing the Kegel exercises, it's wise to stop and make sure that you're doing them correctly. Overdoing Kegels or doing them wrong can be dangerous. For women, doing pelvic floor exercises too intensely can cause pain during intercourse, so always consult the doctor to see if you're doing your exercises correctly when in doubt.
You can go to your gynecologist to get help with Kegels. Or you can look up your local pelvic floor therapists. They are trained professionals specializing in pelvic floor exercise and therapy and can help you get the most benefits out of Kegels. Your pelvic floor therapist will suggest the best exercises personally for you and help you perform them correctly, so if you’re hesitant to start with Kegels, it might be worth looking into professional help.