Kegels have been proven time and time again to be the frontline defense against weak pelvic floor muscles, which is why most doctors recommend that women kegel at around 100 minutes a week to maintain their strength.
But are kegels the end-all be-all of strong pelvic floor muscles? For those wondering if you can strengthen pelvic floor muscles without kegels, you’ve come to the right vaginal health blog. Let’s unpack this question together.
Hold Up. What is a Kegel Exercise?
First, let’s start with a frequently asked question. What is a kegel exactly? Simply put, a kegel is a muscle contraction in the pelvic floor. These muscles work together to support all of the critical organs and functions including the bladder, uterus and vagina, cervix, and rectum. If the pelvic floor becomes weak, these organs are unable to perform at their highest capacity.
That’s why doctors recommend that women kegel; keeping the pelvic floor strong allows it to continue supporting those organs. But, some women are unable to contract the muscle, which means they need alternatives on how to strengthen pelvic floor muscles without kegels.
Why Kegels May Not Work for Everyone
There are a few reasons why kegels might not work for some people.
Reason number one is that the muscles are overly contracted, which means the person needs to work on releasing and relaxing the muscles before they can start to kegel. In these cases, it’s important that women work on the mind-body connection so that they can start to release the muscles that have likely built-up tension over time. Further contraction of the muscle in these cases can create more problems.
Another common reason that someone may have difficulty with kegels is that the muscles have atrophied to a point that requires some amount of professional or medical attention before they can get to a point where they can work on a kegel exercise at home.
Lastly, certain women with medical conditions such as more severe degrees or pelvic organ prolapse, IBS, endometriosis, UTIs, or other conditions should consult a medical professional before they start their kegel exercise. These are all reasons why it's incredibly important that people understand how to strengthen pelvic floor muscles without kegels.
Ways To Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Without Kegels
Good news! There are a variety of great alternative pelvic floor exercises other than kegels.
As pelvic floor dysfunction has become more commonly discussed, there are more solutions available to women who are trying to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. Unfortunately, not all of these solutions are created equal. It’s important to do your research and talk to a medical professional before moving forward with a solution.
1. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is a great solution for someone who may have tried other alternatives or has experienced challenges with kegels. If a woman is in need of “down training,” PTs are a great solution. The PT will also support pelvic floor exercises other than kegels to help strengthen the muscles as needed. This is a one-on-one treatment with someone who is properly trained in pelvic floor dysfunction.
Seeing a physical therapist will allow a woman to ask specific questions about their concerns and be examined for any potential problems that might need to be addressed. Physical therapists tend to be limited, some may be expensive, and the process tends to be a bit time-consuming and invasive for the woman.
2. Electro Stimulation
For those who may have weaker muscles and cannot create the contraction needed for a kegel exercise, electro-stimulation helps stimulate that same movement. The electro-stimulation tools for pelvic floor training shock the muscle, creating a contraction.
This contraction serves as a controlled kegel that exercises the appropriate muscles to strengthen the pelvic floor. This solution can be painful depending on the device, expensive, and invasive when not done at home. It is not recommended for long-term use and can cause heart arrhythmia.
A consistent pilates practice is one of the best pelvic floor exercises other than kegels to help maintain strong pelvic floor muscles. Pilates classes that focus on the core and abdominal muscles are another great way to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These movements are able to target the core and pelvic muscles more effectively than other types of workouts.
While pilates may not be able to address existing pelvic floor dysfunction on its own, these sorts of exercises are complementary and help to strengthen all the surrounding muscles.
Yoga is similar to pilates but tends to focus more on whole-body health as opposed to targeting the pelvic floor muscles. Still, the strengthening of the body’s muscles more broadly supports healthy pelvic floor function.
Some positions that tend to be more effective in supporting the pelvic floor function include Bridget, Cat-Cow, Child’s Post, Wide-Legged Squat, and variations of Warrior.
5. Electromagnetic Technology
One of the newer ways to strengthen pelvic floor muscles without kegels is through electromagnetic technology. The primary option for this type of treatment is the Emsella Chair that has been proven through initial studies to effectively address pelvic floor weakness.
Individuals sit on a chair that delivers magnetic waves that create kegel-like contractions.
The product if purchased individually is about $7,000, or for those who go in for treatments, it usually costs $250-$300 with individuals seeing results in about six treatments based on some initial research.
6. Laser and Radio Frequency Treatments
In theory, lasers bulk up the muscle by stimulating a collagen response, which happens because of the little cuts they make to the pelvic muscle. This sort of non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatment is popular with the wealthy as it costs thousands of dollars a year.
According to the FDA, effectiveness has not been proven. And worse, the treatments can injure women with physicians reporting to us that they have seen fused labia and burned vaginas from such treatments. This is why the FDA released a public warning and circulated cease and desist letters to manufacturers.
When You Can Use Kegel Exercises As a Supplement
There will be times when some individuals need to learn how to strengthen pelvic floor muscles without kegels. But, with the correct medical support and treatment, most women will be able to get to a point where kegel exercise training can be helpful for sexual function, urinary incontinence, bowel control, and more.
It’s important to be sure to find a solution that is effective, natural, safe, and easy to use. This ensures that you stick to the routine and that none of the conditions flare up again. That’s why we created Kegelbell.
Kegelbell creates "super-kegels.” No need to do isometric kegels three times every day, when you can do super-kegels with Kegelbell for just five minutes one to three times a week.
Kegelbell is the first externally-weighted kegel exercise solution and the heaviest on the market. The external weight creates dynamic forces to offer an even more challenging workout, which means less time on task for women with better results. The device is made out of medical-grade silicone because we believe that our customers deserve only the best possible quality.
Our customers start out using Kegelbell for just five minutes, three times a week, and then go down to once a week in maintenance mode. Not only that, but our customers see results after just two weeks of using Kegelbell. Due to its unique design, our customers can spend less time strengthening their pelvic floor muscles and more time on the things they love.
Training your pelvic floor muscles has never been easier. Invest in your current and future pelvic floor health and try Kegelbell today!