Kegel exercises are also called pelvic floor muscle exercises because they are directly related to the pelvic floor muscles. The area between the lower abdomen and the legs in the human body is commonly referred to as the pelvis. In other words, it is the area that starts about 4 fingers below the navel and is known as the lower bikini area.
The floor of the pelvis consists of layers of muscle and other tissue. The pelvic floor muscles stretch like a hammock from the coccyx in the back to the pubic bone in the front. A woman’s pelvic floor muscles support her bladder (bladder), uterus (uterus), and bowel (colon). The urethra, called the urethra, passes between the vagina and the rectum (anal canal), the last part of the large intestine, between the pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles help control the bladder and bowel, as well as assist with sexual function. For all these reasons, it is important to have strong pelvic floor muscles.
What is the Kegel exercise?
Urinary incontinence in women is a frequently observed medical condition, especially after childbirth and in advancing age. In mild urinary incontinence problems, it is possible to get rid of this problem with a simple exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles without the need for surgery. These movements, called Kegel exercises, were developed in the late 1940s by an American gynecologist, Dr Arnold H Kegel, as a non-surgical way to prevent female incontinence. It has been observed that Kegel exercises can also work for men with urinary incontinence today.
Why do Kegel exercises for women matter?
Like all voluntary muscles, the pelvic floor muscles are muscles that get stronger and develop as they work. The following conditions may cause weakening of the pelvic floor muscles of women:
- Not keeping the pelvic floor muscles active,
- Being pregnant or giving birth,
- Being overweight,
- Heavy to lift,
- Having a chronic or prolonged cough (as a result of smoking cough, diseases such as bronchitis or asthma),
- Old age
How do you do Kegel exercises?
Although the Kegel exercise is a simple exercise that can be done anywhere, it is very important to find the right muscles. Studies have shown that one-third or more of men and women who do Kegel exercises actually work the wrong muscles (abdominal, hip, or inner thigh muscles).
If you haven’t tried the Kegel exercise before, the first thing to do is figure out which muscles you need to train. The easiest way to do this is while sitting on the toilet to empty your bladder, trying to stop the flow of urine. Stop and restart the flow of urine. Pay attention to which muscles you use while doing this. You should not do this application more than once a week, because stopping and starting the urine flow frequently can cause some problems in the urinary tract.
Even if you had difficulty doing it before, your goal should be to try to contract your pelvic floor muscles for 8 seconds. Wait another 8 seconds before starting another repetition. If you can’t hold your pelvic floor muscles for 8 seconds, hold on for as long as you can and take note of how long you’re holding. This period should evolve over time. Repeat these “squeezes and lifts” for 8 to 12 spins. Try to do three sets (8 seconds, 8 reps, 3 sets) with rest in between. Do these exercises every day while lying down, sitting or standing.
When doing Kegel exercises, pay attention to the following:
- Keep breathing.
- Just squeeze and lift.
- Do not squeeze your hips.
- Keep your thighs relaxed.
- Remember that quality is more important than number.
What are the benefits of Kegel exercise?
Women with stress incontinence, that is, those who have urinary incontinence when they cough or sneeze, can overcome this problem with pelvic floor muscle training. Pelvic floor muscle exercises for pregnant women will help the body cope with the increased weight of the baby. Before the baby is born, healthy, fit muscles will recover more easily after birth. After the birth of your baby, you should start Kegel exercises as soon as possible. You should always support your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing and holding them in before coughing, sneezing, or lifting the baby into your arms.
Also, as women age, it’s even more important to keep their pelvic floor muscles strong because hormone changes after menopause can negatively affect bladder control. In addition, as we age, the pelvic floor muscles, like all muscles, weaken. A Kegel exercise plan can help reduce the negative effects of menopause on pelvic support and bladder control. Kegel exercises can also work for women who have an urgent need to urinate, known as urge incontinence.
What are Kegel exercises for females?
Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles are recommended for men who have problems such as overactive bladder, prostate, urinary incontinence. As a matter of fact, at this point, as in women with almost the same anatomy, it is necessary to find the pelvic floor muscle first and perform kegel exercises with tightening and releasing movements accordingly.
Do Kegel exercises make you tighter?
If you do kegel exercises regularly, your vagina will start to become tighter. At this point, not only the vaginal area but also the anus circumference is tightened with exercise.
Which position is best for Kegel?
Kegel exercise, which you do with your feet hip-width apart and in a standing position, is the position where you will get the best results. But make sure you’re working the right muscles.
What happens if I do Kegel everyday?
If you overwork your pelvic muscles, your muscles will get tired and you will encounter problems such as urinary incontinence again. Instead of doing kegel exercises every day, it will be much more beneficial to do it periodically. By doing Kegel exercises regularly, you can find a permanent solution to bladder and urinary incontinence problems.