They serve to tone the pelvic floor muscles, helping to increase s*xual pleasure and prevent urinary incontinence. Learn all about the famous kegel exercises and their main benefits.
They are not new and are often associated with women, but several studies have already proved that Kegel exercises are also recommended for men.
In the 1940s, American gynecologist Arnold Kegel detailed for the first time the musculature that surrounds our genitals, which became known as “Kegel’s muscles”.
WHAT ARE KEGEL EXERCISES?
Kegel exercises are just a designation for the contraction of a specific muscle group: the pelvic floor, a specialist in women’s health and child care.
Nowadays, these exercises, renewed and perfected, are essential to strengthen the pelvic floor, reducing incontinence and increasing s*xual pleasure. However, it is important to first understand where the pelvic floor muscles are located before we talk about the exercises themselves.
Having strong pelvic floor muscles gives us control over the bladder, intestines and our own s*xuality.
HOW TO FIND YOUR PELVIC FLOOR?
You will have to locate your vagina and anus. The perineum is the muscular zone that is between the two (vagina, lips, and clitoris, up to the anus) both externally and more deeply
Having strong pelvic floor muscles gives us control over the bladder, intestines, and our own s*xuality. If we have weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, it means that the internal organs are not being fully supported and you may have difficulty controlling urine, stool, and/or flatulence. And, orgasms will not be as intense.
HOW DO KEGEL EXERCISES WORK?
When we contract the pelvic muscles, we increase the muscle tone. Very similar to when we train the arms or legs
HOW CAN YOU ACTIVATE THESE MUSCLES?
think that you are too distressed to go to the bathroom and that you cannot! Contract and relax and repeat. To contract the perineum without trying to imagine “catching the urine, think about closing the anus or “pee”. You are doing it correctly if you feel that your holes close and rise slightly.
Once you know where they are and how they contract, you can perfect your technique. The correct way to do them, according to Harvard University is:
• Compress the muscles used to hold urine or gases for two or three seconds;
• Release and repeat 10 times ;
• Repeat four to five times a day .
You must empty your bladder before starting the exercises, so they will be more effective. It is recommended to perform the exercises at least 3 times a day.
Attention: be careful not to contract your glutes, close your legs or use your abdomen a lot (it’s cheating!).
The contractions we experience when orgasm are caused by the pelvic muscles. Therefore, if these are healthy and strong, the intensity of orgasm is also so.
WHAT ARE ITS MAIN BENEFITS?
According to a study conducted at Harvard University, Kegel exercises are one of the best exercises you can do to train your pelvic muscles.
1. PREGNANCY AND POSTPARTUM
In fact, more than 50% of pregnant women have episodes of urinary incontinence, here is a list of the main benefits at the time of pregnancy and postpartum recovery:
• With the baby’s weight and the lengthening of the perineum, it helps to avoid urine loss and difficulty in holding the gases, especially in the last trimester;
• Facilitates the baby’s departure and body awareness to know where they have to force themselves to expel in childbirth , or how to relax during contractions during labor;
• Returns to normal tension and length of the vagina area after stretching during pregnancy and labor. The exercises will help mothers who feel the perineum area lose / loose and who even have some vaginal opening or who have more difficulty in being able to handle the pee after giving birth;
• Recovery of the scar during normal delivery and recovery of the abdominal dynamics vs pereo in cesarean section.
CONTRAINDICATION: If your pelvic floor is already very tense, the strengthening of this musculature without associating it with massage/relaxation techniques performed by a physiotherapist, can lead to an even higher tension in labor and instead of facilitating it can increase the probability of instrumentalized vaginal delivery
To see if you benefit from strengthening or relaxing the pelvic floor, you should evaluate during pregnancy and after delivery. In the context of pregnancy, childbirth and baby/child care performed by physiotherapists specialized in maternal and child health.
2. S*XUAL PLEASURE
Strong muscles, intense orgasms; the contractions we feel when orgasm are caused by the pelvic muscles. Therefore, if they are healthy and strong, the intensity of orgasm is also . In addition to being able to control our orgasm.
What happens is that, whenever we contract the muscles during s*xual intercourse, we enhance orgasm; when we relax, we minimize the sensation. Besides, if the tone of the pelvic muscles improves, they will make the vaginal canal narrower, which leads to a more satisfying s*xual relationship.
CONTRAINDICATION: If you suffer from pain during s*xual intercourse, you may have hypercontractility of the pelvic floor muscles, and these exercises can exacerbate the symptoms you already have. The Pelvic Care provides care for the woman and the man, specializing in pelvic pain, s*xual dysfunction, urinary and fecal incontinence, among others.
Men themselves benefit from having strong pelvic floor muscles. Improves erection, and orgasm control itself and, consequently, ejaculation
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THESE EXERCISES BE PERFORMED?
These exercises can be performed anytime, anywhere and in any position: sitting, lying down or standing . You can also try making them with the help of gymnastic balls.
The more you train the better! You must perform both strength (slow and fast) and endurance exercises (hold on for a few seconds), as well as body awareness (knowing how to contract in several different intensities).
Without ever forgetting that it is important to respect the fatigue of these muscles , as they are small muscles.
ARE KEGEL EXERCISES ONLY FOR WOMEN?
Men themselves benefit from having strong pelvic floor muscles. It improves the erection, and the control of orgasm itself and, consequently, ejaculation. Although urinary incontinence is less frequent than in women, men can also be affected at any age.
It is common to think only of benefits at the level of the vagina, related to the pee, but we are also working on the anus that helps in issues related to gas incontinence and sometimes feces.
Kegel exercises are a small (but important) step in preventing health problems and achieving a full s*xual life.