Pelvic floor exercises are often referred to as Kegel exercises after their inventor. We happen to think, along with a history of women's magazines, that these are crucial for women's maintenance and development of our more intimate muscle groups. The right form of exercises with the correct technique can deliver an array of benefits that can protect your overall well-being.
Well finding the right muscles to start with is crucial; identifying your pelvic floor muscles is very much like trying to stop your wee half way through. I bet you're trying it right now! Me too! This tightening is focusing the effort on to your pelvic floor muscles, and being able to stop a wee is your pelvic floor carrying out one of its many jobs. Try this a few times to really get to know what's going on down there and where the muscles are contracting and relaxing.
A great way of further identifying these more intimate muscles and exercising them is to try the lift routine. Imagine your vagina is the shaft of a lift in a really tall office block. Imagine letting people in on the bottom floor and contract your pelvic muscles (stopping a wee) all the way up until the imaginary lift reaches the top floor, around your belly button. Once you get good at this you can really fell the lift moving up towards your belly button as your muscles tighten. Once you reach the top with a contraction, hold the contraction for around 3 seconds and slowly release the muscles and let the lift move back down to the ground floor. Repeat this around 5 times per day without using your bum or stomach muscles to help. Trust me, once you get good at it, nobody in your workplace will even notice!
An exercise is a purpose made clean and hygienic piece of ‘equipment' that you can use when starting with pelvic floor or Kegels exercises. Once the exerciser is inserted (check the instructions) you can then squeeze your pelvic floor muscles enough to lift the exerciser upwards. Take deep breaths throughout this contraction and then release the exerciser back down to its starting position. Repeat this 8 to 10 times to get a full workout on these more intimate muscles. Remember it can take weeks to notice any difference in strength and pelvic floor health, but as you get stronger you can hold the contractions for longer before releasing. Try to perform this exercise on every other day throughout the week.
Exercisers encourage strong pelvic floor muscles which are essential for us women to maintain and develop out general wellbeing as well as our more specific intimate life. And for the more adventurous of you, if you're not a beginner, you can purchase different weighted exercisers to challenge and develop your pelvic floor muscles further.