Kegels exercises are tricky, although from what you read on the internet or magazines they should be relatively simple to perform. Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles is a plays a role in urinary incontinence in women and men, becoming more apparent with with age. Kegel exercises for men and women strengthen these muscles, but doing them correctly is the only way to get results. During most exercises you can usually see your muscles contracting, evidence that you’re at least doing something. But how do you know if you’re doing Kegel exercises correctly? Here are some tips to help you find the right muscles.
1. Try stopping your urinary stream during mid flow. This is a tool to find the correct muscles to exercise, but do not do this as an exercise. Stopping your urine flow frequently creates a risk of developing problems emptying your bladder.
2. Tighten the muscles that prevent you from passing gas. Exercising the muscles of the rectum will help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and is easier to do initially for many people.
3. Isolate your pelvic floor muscles. Do not hold your breath, tighten your abdominals, or squeeze your buttocks. These muscles should be relaxed. In order to effectively strengthen your pelvic floor muscles you must isolate them while keeping the other muscles relaxed.
4. When you first begin, do your Kegels lying down. As you get stronger you can exercise sitting and standing. These positions are more challenging as you are working against gravity.
5. Rest, breath, and relax between contractions. Overactive muscles that do not relax are not necessarily strong or effective.
When Doing Kegels Isn’t Enough
If you aren’t getting the results you want, don’t give up. Find a physical therapist who has expertise in pelvic floor rehabilitation. These highly specialized physical therapists can work wonders in helping you find the right muscles and identify other muscular tightness or weakness issues that may be contributing to your problems.