I'm sure you've heard of them .... perhaps you've been told that you ought to be doing them ... but do you actually know what they are???
Kegel exercises will help to keep your pelvic floor healthy and fit for purpose. If you have a pelvic floor that's not 'fit for purpose', you will soon know about it!
The Pelvic Floor is basically a hammock of muscles that hold your 'gubbins' up ... by that, I mean your internal organs in the pelvic/abdominal cavity - womb, bladder, intestines, bowel etc etc. Faulty or weak pelvic floor can lead to prolapses and continence issues and it's especially important to pay some attention to your PF after you've had a baby! It's never too late to start ...
Here's a little rundown on how to do them. You can practice your Kegels, up to 3 times a day
You can do these standing or sitting but please make sure you have good posture, Take a few breaths to relax through the body before starting:
Type 1 (slow for stability)
Slowly draw up the muscles around the back passage and then bring that drawing up sensation to the front passage muscles.
You will draw both these muscle groups up, to the top of the contraction and then hold for a count of 6-10 .. make sure you are still breathing throughout.
Release the pelvic floor (PF) muscles, take a breath or two and repeat another 4-9 times. (build up your repetitions so you don’t ‘overwork’ your PF to start with)
Type 2 (fast for continence issues)
Draw up both front and back passage PF muscles at the same time – quickly to the top of the contraction in one go!
Hold for a single breath and then release both gently.
Again, repeat this 4-9 times, building up your repetitions over time.
Sometimes it's a good idea to create a habit based on an existing habit. So, for example, you could do a set of Kegel exercises while you're waiting for the kettle to boil every morning .... or do them whilst brushing your teeth ... or whilst waiting for the bus .... the best thing is, no one will be able to tell you're doing them .... unless you grimace as you do them!!
No excuses!! Here's how to practice your Pilates Breathing right now, whilst you're sitting at your computer looking at this blog post!
This is Pilates Breathing .... even just a couple of minutes a day and you should feel that you've improved your posture, strengthened your abdominals, massaged your insides, oxygenated your body, reduced stress levels and cleared your mind.
Level 3 Mat Pilates Instructor.