It is never too much to repeat the basics: the pelvic muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus, and Kegel exercises can help make these muscles stronger. They can help both men and women who have problems with urine leakage or bowel control. Kegels are named after their inventor, Dr Arnold Kegel, an American gynaecologist. He was one of the first doctors to develop and research pelvic floor exercises as a non-surgical alternative for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.
As a new approach to pelvic gymnastics invented by dr. Kegel, in 1985 vaginal weights were first introduced by Stanislav Plevnik, a bioengineer in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The action of vaginal weights is based on contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that occur in response to the weight of weights placed in the vagina. These contractions lead to the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles and reducing stress incontinence.
Pelvic floor strength is crucial for good posture, sexual pleasure, preparation for a healthy pregnancy, and easier childbirth, and for maintaining good mental health. Still, millions of people worldwide are affected by pelvic floor issues, which are still underdiagnosed and undertreated. These issues are not talked about enough and are not being covered as a topic in the media or on social media.
How to do Kegels?
In short, a Kegel involves contracting and releasing your pelvic floor muscles. It’ll feel like you’re squeezing your vagina together or trying to stop the flow of urine when you pee. Using vaginal weights can help in doing these exercises correctly. That kind of exercise aid allows you to gain pelvic strength, ensure you’re always working out the right muscles, and stay motivated to exercise. A weighted Kegel exerciser adds resistance to your exercise, allowing you to strengthen your pelvic muscles more effectively. For beginners, a light resistance exerciser is best.
Beginners routine with vaginal weights:
After inserting the vaginal ball according to the manufacturer’s instructions and getting into a comfortable position:
- Contract your pelvic floor muscles, lift the ball upwards
- Hold the contraction for 2 seconds while taking deep breaths
- Release the contraction
- Rest & relax for a minimum of 2 seconds, or for as long as you need before repeating the exercise
- Repeat 10 times for a Kegel set
If this is challenging, you can reduce your repetitions to an amount that is comfortable for you. Try to perform a Kegel set 3 times a week, on alternate weekdays. As you progress, the length of both the contraction and rest can be increased to up to 10 seconds each. Remember that, like with any exercise, it can take a few weeks to notice any results. Still, every exercise session is bringing you closer to perfect pelvic health.
Do it everywhere!
An important fact is that not only older women have bladder or bowel problems. A weak pelvic floor can happen to women in their twenties and even teenagers. It occurs most often after giving birth. That is why Kegel exercises are important and should be done regularly from an early age. Using Kegel exercises such as Laselle vaginal weights or even smart devices like KegelSmart, can only help learn how to perform these exercises correctly.
The best thing about Kegels is that you can perform them sitting, standing, or lying down. It’s easy to work Kegels into your daily routine because, unlike a typical trip to the gym, you don’t need a sports bra and a membership. Since all the action is happening silently in your pants, you can do your Kegels anywhere!
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.