Many people may have heard the term “kegel” mentioned from friends at the gym, a women’s happy hour or a baby shower. Many women (75%, studies show) don't fully understand how to do the exercise properly, or why it's so important. Kegel exercises are what stand between women and strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which directly impact lot of positive benefits, or negative consequences when left unchecked.
WHAT IS A KEGEL?
The kegel exercised was discovered in the late 1940’s named after a German doctor who introduced the exercise. Dr. Kegel realized that his patients were suffering from weak vaginal muscles and that they needed a method to strengthen those vaginal muscles. He created a routine of isometric squeezing that worked to increase strength in the vaginal canal.
Isometric squeezing is the controlled contraction of a muscle without the use of weight resistance. As an example of isometric exercise, contract your bicep right now, without the help of movement or weight. You contract the muscle by tightening it. In a kegel exercise, you will be asking the muscles of the pelvic floor (think vaginal canal and the perineum) to contract.
Like any workout, you have to put in the time. Mayo Clinic recommends a 3x daily workout alternating between contracting for 10 seconds and relaxing equal time, repeating this process 10x.
PROVEN EFFECTIVENESS & SOCIETAL STIGMA
Decades of independent research studies confirm that exercising the muscles of the pelvic floor will treat and prevent incontinence (urinary, fecal, gas), organ prolapse (bladder, rectum, uterus), and sexual dysfunction (dryness, laxity, orgasm).
While many doctors recommend kegel routines to their patients, there are still many doctors who don't emphasize the importance of the routine to their patients. A recent study by doctors at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that only 5% of clinic websites offer advice on how to treat sexual dysfunction even though kegels are well known to successfully treat many forms of sexual dysfunction.
Some physicians suffer from the same taboos and sexual inhibitions as do many people in our culture. In fact, the internationally renowned Mayo Clinic makes numerous references to the significant health benefits of kegel exercise in their online medical guide (partial list below) which spells out the many distinct reasons why kegel exercises support women’s health. Yet the Mayo Clinic does not list kegel exercise as a treatment for sexual dysfunction, which is a curious oversight given the research confirming the link.
MASTERING THE PROPER KEGEL TECHNIQUE
It's not easy to understand how to do a kegel, as Mum Warrior shares in her video. You have to isolate the pelvic muscles, which is hard to do when they're weak. Starting out, your already strong glutes, thighs and abdomen will want to jump in and take over. If this sounds complicated, you're not alone.
Kegelbell was created out of frustration from trying other vaginal strengthening solutions on the market that are oddly painful yet remain too light for efficient strengthening. Kegelbell is slender and comfortable with the weight on the outside of the body, so you can quickly and comfortably add more weight and increase the challenge to achieve your maximum strength. Increased strength and tone will greatly improve prevention from pelvic floor weakness and will give you back the confidence you need to live your life to the fullest.
Lift it. Love it. #kegelbell