The aim of Kegel exercises is to fortify muscle tone by strengthening the pubococcygeus muscles of the pelvic floor. Kegel is a popular prescribed exercise for urinary incontinence and for pregnant women to prepare the pelvic floor for physiological stresses of the later stages of pregnancy and vaginal childbirth. Kegels exercises are said to be good for treating vaginal prolapse and preventing uterine prolapse in women; and for treating prostate pain and swelling resulting from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis in both men and women. Kegel exercises are also known as pelvic floor exercises, or simply Kegels.
When the pelvic floor is strong, it supports the pelvic organs to prevent problems such as:
The pelvic floor muscles also help you to control bladder and bowel function, such as allowing you to ‘hold on’until an appropriate time and place.
Some of the common causes of pelvic floor muscle weakness are:
It is recommended that all women exercise their pelvic floor muscles regularly throughout life, to prevent or correct weakness. Exercising weak muscles regularly, over a period of time can strengthen them and make them work effectively again. Regular gentle exercise, such as walking can also have a positive effect on the strength of your pelvic floor muscles.
Step 1: Sit, stand tall or lie on you back with your knees bent and legs comfortably apart.
Step 2: Close your eyes imagine what muscles you would tighten to stop yourself from passing urine. If you can’t feel a distinct tightening of these muscles, ask for some help from a physiotherapist. She will help you to get started.
Step 3: Now that you can feel your pelvic floor muscles working, tighten them around your front passage, vagina
and back passage as strongly as possible and hold for three to five seconds. By doing this, you should feel your pelvic floor muscles ‘lift up’ inside you and feel a definite ‘let go’ as the muscles relax. If you can hold longer (but no more than a maximum of eight seconds), then do so. Remember, the squeeze must stay strong and you should feel a definite ‘let go’. Repeat up to ten times or until you feel your pelvic floor muscles fatigue. Rest for a few seconds in between each squeeze. Steps one to three, count as one exercise set. If you can, do three sets per day in different
Squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles as strongly and as quickly as possible. Do not try to hold on to the contraction, just squeeze and let go. Rest for a few seconds in between each squeeze. Repeat this 10 to 20 times or until you feel your pelvic floor muscles fatigue.
If you can, do these exercises set one to three times per day.
Make training part of your life by tightening your pelvic floor muscles every time you cough, sneeze or lift doing some regular exercise, such as walking. Progress your exercises by doing them during the day in different positions e.g. standing, sitting or on your hands and knees. For many women, it is important to follow a specific exercise program tailored to their individual needs. If you are unsure of whether you are exercising your pelvic floor muscles correctly or you have urinary problems, you should make an appointment with the Fortis Hospital’s Physiotherapy Department.
With 56 hospitals across the nation and over 10,000 beds, Fortis Healthcare Limited is a leading integrated healthcare delivery service provider in India. For over 26 years, Fortis Hospitals have been committed to the cause of getting people back to their lives faster and stronger.