Gymnastics for women using the Kegel method in modern performance has been known only since the 20th century, but long before that, the fairer sex trained the pelvic floor muscles with the help of exercises and various devices.
One of the specific simulators used in antiquity was a stone egg with a strong thread. It was placed in the vagina, after which the work of the muscles had to hold or push and move this rounded stone inside. Sometimes a weight was suspended from a strong thread to increase the effectiveness of the exercise.
Mention has reached us that women were engaged in muscle training in the small pelvis in Ancient Egypt, China, India, and other countries. For the most part, hetaera, priestess, and geisha paid attention to such gymnastics. The technique was hidden, used secretly, so only scanty data have survived to this day on how exactly the exercises were carried out.
Already in the 20th century, ancient traditions were resumed and became widely known as Kegel gymnastics for urinary incontinence in women. Doctors recommended using this technique as an additional measure in the treatment of incontinence that occurs during exertion, coughing, sneezing, and other situations when intra-abdominal pressure increases. The systematic implementation of medical recommendations helped to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, respectively, eliminating the involuntary discharge of urine.
The first mention of the benefits of therapeutic exercises belongs to the US physician Joshua Davis (1932), but the technique was best known in 1948 thanks to an American scientist who presented the simulator and gave his name to gymnastics. Since then, a set of Kegel exercises for a woman at home has gained massive popularity, it is still relevant today.
The benefits of Kegel gymnastics for incontinence
The muscle fibers of the pelvic floor form a kind of hammock at the base of the small pelvis. Their task is to fix and strengthen bone tissue, hold the bladder, urethra, intestines, and uterus, and maintain their performance. The weakening of these muscles is due to various reasons. This can be overweight, genetics, persistent constipation, menopause, excessive exercise, and more.
Whatever the cause of muscle weakening, the Kegel Exercise for Women is specifically designed to strengthen them. The only condition is regularity and correct implementation. You need to train until the pelvic muscles learn to reflexively contract in response to increased intra-abdominal pressure. This reflex will eliminate the involuntary leakage of urine.
So, it is advisable to do Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence in women if:
- urine is released when coughing or sneezing, laughing and exercising, as well as during intimate relationships;
- during sports you have to wear urological pads;
- muscles weakened after pregnancy and childbirth;
- it is impossible to hold urine with an urgent urge.
In these situations, training will help strengthen the muscles of the genitourinary organs, and the problem will be solved quickly and effectively.
Kegel gymnastics for pregnant and giving birth women
Pregnancy and childbirth are a difficult process for the body, during which the condition of the muscles in the small pelvis plays an important role. The weak tone of other muscles in the body, although it can cause discomfort, is not so dangerous. Weakened pelvic muscles are fraught with painful, protracted labor, as well as decreased libido, prolapse and prolapse of the uterus, urinary incontinence.
Often, women are faced with urine leakage, both during pregnancy (the fetus presses on the bladder) and after childbirth. The second option awaits those whose muscles do not work well. Therefore, doctors recommend training them in advance, monitoring the condition during pregnancy, and maintaining muscle tone after childbirth.
During the carrying of a child, thanks to Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence, a woman’s tissue elasticity increases, venous congestion decreases, joint mobility improves, intestinal function improves, and the risk of involuntary urine flow decreases. Muscle training is also important for the birth process itself since their condition directly affects the maintenance of pregnancy and recovery in the postpartum period.
It is convenient that the training can be carried out at home – Kegel exercises for women do not require a special room and a simulator and are performed at any time. You need to train before and after childbirth since muscle elasticity is always needed. Before the baby is born, this will help him to be born, and after that, it will accelerate the healing of tears and prevent organ prolapse. Even after a cesarean section, exercise is beneficial because in pregnant women, muscle tone decreases due to gravity.
Additional Benefits of Intimate Muscle Training
In addition to the benefits of Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence in women, they are beneficial for the health of various systems and the body as a whole. In particular, we are talking about sexual health. If a representative of the weaker sex notes a weakened tone of the vaginal muscles (or her partner notices it), wants to improve the quality of sensations received during intimacy, or increase libido, you need to start training immediately. Thanks to regular training, the tone of the pelvic muscles will increase; blood circulation in this area will improve.
A woman will be able to control intimate muscles, which will expand the range of sexual sensations, give joy from intimate caresses, and increase libido. Gymnastics will also be of great benefit to those entering the menopause phase. During this period, intercourse can cause discomfort and pain, and the external genitals are not sufficiently moisturized. If we add to this the increased likelihood of ureteral infections, the picture is bleak.
The sooner you start gymnastics, the faster you can fix problems. Through regular exercise, blood circulation will improve, and with it the condition of the mucous membranes. The risk of skin damage during intercourse will decrease, which means that the likelihood of infection will decrease. At the same time, the muscular tissue of the genitourinary organs will be strengthened, which will prevent incontinence.
How to do the exercises correctly
In order to properly perform Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence in a woman, you first need to determine which muscles should be used. Finding them is not difficult, and there are several simple ways to do this:
- While urinating, stop the stream, then relax and continue. Remember the muscle that had to be strained during the stopping of the process.
- Imagine trapping gases inside the intestines as they try to escape. To do this, tighten the muscles as much as possible, remember the sensation.
- Wash your hands, lie on the sofa and insert your finger into the vaginal cavity, and then try to grab it with your internal muscles. If you managed to strain them so that the finger felt a soft squeeze, this is what you need.
- Any of these methods, or a combination of them, can be used to find the very muscles that need to be strengthened. In the future, the course of gymnastics consists of sequential contraction and relaxation of this muscle. Regularity and patience are important, and soon the results will be visible.
Classes can be held anywhere and at any time – at home, in transport, at the desk, in line. People around you will not guess that the woman is doing the exercises. It is advisable to take a comfortable posture – standing, sitting, or lying down, and then focus on specific muscles. Next, you need to consistently squeeze and relax the muscles, while counting up to three for each movement.
Whether you’re watching TV, driving, reading a book, or taking a bath – exercise, and the more often the better. The doctors’ recommendations boil down to the fact that it is advisable to perform the exercise three times a day, each time in a new position, and the number of repetitions to bring to 10-15. With such a schedule, a significant effect will appear in 2-3 months.
You need to understand that for urinary incontinence in women, Kegel gymnastics is not the only way of treatment, but part of complex therapy. Technique and regularity are essential. It is advisable to consult a doctor.
The right approach
Experts give the following recommendations for the correct implementation of Kegel exercises for women:
- empty the bladder just before class;
- choose a comfortable position – sitting, lying, or standing. If the preferred position is lying on your back, your arms should be extended along the body, and your knees should be slightly raised. The neck should not be strained;
- the main movement in any Kegel exercise for women is a contraction (contraction). It is important to eliminate tension in the muscles of the press, buttocks, and hips, otherwise, there will be no result;
- you need to breathe deeply, evenly and calmly, without delay;
- you cannot contract intimate muscles when urinating – this method, on the contrary, weakens the muscles of the pelvic floor;
- repeat the complex 3-4 times during the day, performing each time from 5 to 40 repetitions. You cannot dramatically increase the load, only gradually: perform 15 repetitions for 2 weeks, 20 for the next 2 weeks, etc.
- The correct technique for performing Kegel gymnastics for women allows you to feel the first positive results after six weeks of regular exercise. Changes will be noticeable in all areas of life, including intimate, and even self-confidence will be added.
Given the peculiarities of execution, Kegel exercises for women have almost no contraindications. The exception is a recent miscarriage, premature birth, and major surgery, the presence of malignant neoplasms. In these cases, you must not overexert yourself. But in any case, always before starting classes, you should consult with your doctor.
Even if there are no contraindications, but discomfort or pain is felt during classes, you should stop and consult a doctor. You can resume training only with the permission of the medic. A consultation with a gynecologist will be needed if, after 3-5 months of regular training, there is no change for the better. The rest of the exercises are impeccable – there are no power loads and cardio stress, you do not need to spend money on simulators, equipment, a trip to the gym.
Read also: Paraphilic Disorders – A Comprehensive Guide
Basic elements of gymnastics
A wide selection of Kegel exercises for women allows you to actively work out the pelvic muscles and those located next to them. A complex of the 10 most effective:
- Get into a comfortable position. Reduce intimate muscles, hold for 10 seconds, relax. Repeat 10-12 times, eventually increasing the number to 50.
- Contract and relax the desired muscles for 5 seconds at a comfortable pace. Rest 5 seconds and repeat. The number of repetitions for beginners is 10 times. Over time, increase both the number of approaches and the duration of the contraction cycle.
- Similar to the previous Kegel exercise for women, but you need to contract the muscles as quickly as possible within 5 seconds.
- Take a comfortable body position and imagine that the muscles of the vagina are an elevator shaft. By contracting the muscles, move the imaginary elevator car up, then lower it down, relaxing the muscles on each “floor”. After a short break, repeat.
- Engage the muscles of the vagina and anus. Alternately contract muscles and relax at a comfortable pace for 5 seconds, imitating a wave-like movement. In the future, increase the duration of the lesson to 20 seconds.
- Empty your bowels. Get into a comfortable position, relax your body, and start pushing. Exercise is useful for expectant mothers.
- On an inhalation, squeeze the desired muscles as much as possible. Hold for 6 seconds, while exhaling, gradually relax. Repeat 5-6 times.
- Similar to the previous exercise, but as you exhale, you need to sharply relax the muscles, as if pushing air.
- Lie on your back. Rest your feet on the floor, bend your knees. Shoulders and feet stay on the floor. Raise the pelvis high (you do not need to especially strain the intimate muscles, they will turn on in the work themselves), stay at the top point for 10 seconds, return to the starting position. Repeat 10-20 times. This pelvic strengthening exercise will improve blood circulation in the area and oxygenate the tissues.
- Stand up straight, put your palms on your hips, and spread your legs shoulder-width apart. Move your hips to the sides, slightly bending your knees. At the extreme points on the left and right, squeeze the intimate muscles strongly and relax them when moving towards the center. Repeat 25 times.
- The listed Kegel exercises for women are enough for full training of intimate muscles. It is desirable to do it for a long time, ideally – all your life.
Features of classes for women over 50
Women who have celebrated their anniversary should not classify themselves as pensioners and give up their intimate life. With age, the vaginal muscles lose their tone, and the pressure of the uterus on the bladder often provokes incontinence. If we supplement the sensations with manifestations of menopause, the picture is not rosy.
There is a solution to the problem: thanks to Kegel gymnastics for women, you can restore muscle tone at any age, eliminate discomfort, and prevent diseases of the pelvic organs. It will take longer to work out to the desired result than in youth, but the effect will be.
Is it possible to exercise during menstruation?
If you regularly do Kegel exercises for women, menstruation will be less painful. Many girls and women around the world experience severe pain, from which pills are saved. But it is not necessary to use potent medicines every month. You can try simple exercises to strengthen the intimate muscles and reduce the discomfort that occurs on “critical” days if it is not associated with the presence of pathology.
During menstruation, Kegel gymnastics for women do not pose a threat, only you need not overload the body. You can’t go for a record right away – the number of repetitions and the time of muscle contraction increase gradually.
Charging should be postponed for infectious diseases of the genitourinary system. Only after consulting a doctor and making a diagnosis, after undergoing the prescribed treatment, you can resume gymnastics as soon as health returns to normal.