Whether your understanding of Kegels is at a ‘wait, isn’t that a breakfast cereal?’ or a ‘I clench along to the radio every morning in my car’ level, chances are, you could use a refresher course on how pelvic floor exercises are done correctly.
After all, it’s not as if you can easily have someone tell you that you’re moving the right muscles as you do it (at least, not at the gym we go to), so check out our tips below!
What are Kegels?
The term ‘Kegels’ is what most people use to refer to their pelvic floor, which are a hammock-like group of muscles that keep your bladder and lower intestines where they are. They are so called because a Dr. Kegel was the first to create exercises for strengthening the pelvic floor. The best way to locate your pelvic floor muscles is to squeeze the muscles that help you stop the flow of urine.
Why are Kegels Important?
Many people associate developing a strong pelvic floor for helping with incontinence, or recovering from childbirth, however there is one benefit that has a much broader appeal: stronger orgasms.
Exercising your pelvic floor is touted as an easy exercise that you can do anywhere, anytime, without any equipment at all. While that is true, it’s actually much easier to start training them in a few specific settings.
While stopping-the-flow is an excellent way to find your Kegel muscles, it’s actually not recommended as an exercise as it can cause issues for your bladder.
Rather, something like the LELO Smart Bead is a great place for beginners to start. While it looks like a typical insertable vibrator, it is actually your personal pleasure trainer! It has a pressure-sensitive plate within it that can sense if you’re squeezing around it, so you simply turn it on, insert, and wait for the vibrations to begin.
It should start you at a middle level and assess the speed and strength with which you clench around it (prompted by vibrations) and will adjust your difficulty setting accordingly for the next time you use it. It’s as easy as that! Just squeeze when it vibrates, then relax (fully) when it stops.
Oh, and after you’re done your work out? It’ll turn onto a constant vibration setting as a special post-exercise treat!
Once you’ve powered your way through the different training levels, it’s time to go low tech.
LELO Beads are Ben Wa balls that contain an inner weight, which moves with the movement of your body, causing you to clench your muscles in response. In a way, you can also tailor your own training goals as they come with two 28 gram beads and two 37 gram beads, which can be used by themselves or in different combinations as you become stronger.
To use them, lie down or recline so you’re comfortable, and insert a bead about 2cm / 1in inside your vagina (using personal moisturizer if necessary). Then, imagine your vagina as an elevator, pulling the bead up and in―never down―as if you were pulling it all the way to your belly button. Pause at the top and relax downward. You should be able to see the retrieval string move somewhat!
You can add more weight as you find it easier to do this exercise (as well as exercises that use short clenches and relaxations) just remember that you’ll get an optimal workout from inserting just one bead and letting the second bead stay outside of your body.
Think you’re ready for the ultimate pelvic floor strength training work out? Then you’re ready to jump up out of bed and get into the ring, metaphorically speaking.
Just as flexing your biceps won’t make you buff, weight should be added to make your exercises more effective. Using more weight and the power of gravity―that is, by standing up―will add the extra oomph to your Kegel contractions.
All Work and No Play…
While LELO Beads are most effective with a single bead inserted, that’s not to say that fully inserting them doesn’t have their benefits. The movement of the swirling inner weights as you walk around with them fully inserted not only makes you constantly conscious of their presence for subtle work out, the same swirling is one that many (including most famously, Anna Steel of 50 Shades) find to be the perfect foreplay!