Kegel exercises helps its users to strengthen the Pubococcygeus or PC muscles that form the floor of the pubis. The health of these muscles plays an important role in sexual arousal, climax, long lovemaking and in other physiological functions. Let’s talk about what Kegel exercises are, their benefits and how and when to do them.
What is PC Muscle?
A muscular sling, shaped like a figure eight, stretching from the pubic bone in front to the tailbone in back (one loop around the vagina or penis and one loop around the anus); known as the PC muscle, it controls urine flow and contracts during orgasm. A well-toned PC muscle can enhance sex and orgasm, so you have to keep this muscle in tip-top condition.
What are Kegel Exercises?
These pelvic floor exercises are named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, who developed them in 1948, as a method of controlling incontinence that occurs in some women following childbirth. These exercises are now recommended for women with urinary stress incontinence. But they are not only for women. Men, who suffer from urinary incontinence after prostate surgery and fecal incontinence, also find them beneficial.
The emphasis behind Kegel exercises is to strengthen muscles of the pelvic floor, thereby improving the urethral and rectal sphincter muscles. The exercises can be performed at any time and at any place. You can do the exercises while lying down or sitting. Most people will notice some improvement after 4 to 6 weeks.
Test you can perform
1. The next time you go to the toilet and start urinating, try to stop the flow midway. Try to stop the flow of urine stream by contracting your pelvic floor muscles. Repeat this action several times, until, you become familiar with the feel of contracting the correct group of muscles. Do not contract your back, abdominal or thigh muscles while performing the exercises.
2. For Men, When you have an erection, can you squeeze your PC muscles and make your penis jump substantially.
If you cannot do well the above tests, you need the Kegel exercises more than you think!
How Do I Do Regular Kegel Exercises?
- First completely empty your bladder.
- Sit or lie comfortably with the muscles of your thighs, buttocks, and abdomen relaxed.
- Tighten the ring of muscles around the back passage as if you are trying to control diarrhoea or wind.
- Relax it.
- Practice this movement several times until you are sure, you are exercising the correct muscle.
- Tighten and draw in the muscles around the anus and the urethra all at once. Lift them up inside. Try and hold this contraction as strongly as you can and count to five, then relax, and release. You should have a definite feeling of ‘letting go.’
- Repeat the ‘squeeze and lift’ and relax. It is important to rest between each contraction. If you find it easy to hold the contraction for a count of five, try to hold for longer- up to 10.
- Repeat this as many times as you are able to a maximum of 8-10 squeezes. Make each tightening a strong, slow, and controlled contraction.
- Now do 5-10 short, fast, but strong contractions, pulling and immediately letting go.Do this whole exercise in routine, at least 4-5 times a day. You can do it in a variety of positions – lying, sitting, standing and walking.
If you work up to three sets of 30 or more strong squeezes, you are probably healthy enough for most purposes, and need only to maintain this level of fitness by doing these three sets four times a week, instead of three times a day. Indeed, with proper performance of Kegel exercises, control of urinary incontinence has improved up to 50% to 80%.
Word of caution: Some people feel that they can speed up progress by increasing the frequency of exercise. However, over-exercising may cause muscle fatigue.