4 Tips to Improve your Kegel Health
The pelvic floor is an important part of our sexual health- and sexual fun.
It’s a band of muscles that stretch in part from your pubic bone to your tail bone, and they have a number of functions including supporting your internal organs like your vagina, uterus, and bladder, controlling the flow of urine, assisting in penile ejaculation, childbirth, and contracting pleasurably during orgasm.
Just like you can exercise your bicep, heart, or any other muscle, you can build a strong, healthy pelvic floor by exercising it. These exercises are called Kegels, and here are 4 tips for doing them.
1. Make sure you’re exercising the correct muscles
The easiest way to explain how to do a Kegel exercise is simply that you are squeeze the muscle you would if you were holding in urine.
But it’s more than simply clenching those muscles, as there are a number of muscles in the general region between your legs and squeezing the wrong one won’t be much of a benefit to your orgasms.
On your first attempt, it can help to actually try it while you are urinating**. Let a little bit out, then stop it mid-stream. Notice you aren’t clenching you butt cheeks together and you aren’t squeezing your thighs together. It’s a distinctly different muscle that you’re using.
** Use this method once for learning purposes only. Routinely stopping your urine midstream is unhealthy for your bladder.
2. Relax is as important as contract
Once you get used to identifying the correct muscle, make sure that you’re not just squeezing, but also relaxing.
A helpful visual trick to imagine the correct contract/relax combination down is to think about a jellyfish floating about peacefully in the ocean. This represents you starting at rest, letting go of tension you may be inadvertently holding in your pelvic floor. When you contract, imagine the jelly fish is swimming up, pulling the edges of its body in as it propels itself upward, then floating flat out again. Do 5 seconds of contracting, 5 seconds of relaxing 10 times, 3 times a day.
3. Try kegel weights
Kegel weights, like the Utopia Weighted Kegel Trainer Set by CalExotics, are a set of small weights that are inserted in the vagina. They help strengthen the pelvic floor by providing resistance, just like a dumbbell does for a bicep curl. As your develop your muscles, the set of weights get heavier, and smaller, making them harder to hold in your vagina, and thus working those muscles more.
And they help keep you focused by providing an object for you to consciously squeeze your muscle around.
Also, they jiggle and vibrate when you walk, making your workout fun too!
4. Consider Electrostimulation
Here’s how this works. To flex a muscle, your brain sends a message through your nervous system telling the muscle to contract, and when that impulse is gone, the muscle relaxes. Vaginal E-stim elicits this contract-and-relax response through electrical impulses the same way. The involuntary electrical contractions are pain-free, effort-free, but still can have a muscle training outcome.
Products like Impulse by CalExotics offer vibration for masturbation while the metal pads give you an effortless pelvic floor workout. Because fun and health are really the best combination!
-Dr. Jill McDevitt is CalExotics' Resident Sexologist. She is a sexologist, sexuality educator, sexual wellness coach, and unapologetic feel good activist on a mission to radically improve the way we think about and treat sexuality, ourselves, and each other.