Usually, your daily workout routine may not contain any exercises that tone your pelvic floor muscles. But these are important and should be added. A strong pelvis will help control urine incontinence (leaky bladder), stress incontinence (urine on coughing, sneezing, lifting heavy objects) and uterine prolapse. For a strong pelvis and problems like urine incontinence, kegel exercises help a lot. Especially for women, kegel exercises can be really helpful. So women, take a note.
Why pelvic floor strength is important?
The floor of the pelvis acts as an anchor to the muscles and ligaments of the bladder, rectum, vagina and uterus.When these muscles are weak, one or more of these organs may not work optimally.
Kegel exercises for men and women:
A gynecologist, Dr. Kegel, invented these the complete workout for your pelvis : Kegel exercises. Interestingly, Kegel exercises or ‘Kegels’, have been around since the 1940’s to prevent a leak after childbirth. These exercises are very simple and won’t consume more than two minutes of your daily routine. You can do these exercises even without wearing your gym clothes!
The male and female pelvis is anatomically different, but the method to perform these Kegel exercises remain the same. The first step is to identify the muscles you use to stop urination:
- While you are urinating,midway through urination, try to slow down or completely stop the flow of urine.
- While doing so, do not use the muscles of your buttocks, abdomen or legs.
- If you can start or stop the flow of urine at will, you have identified the muscles correctly.
- Use the muscles of urination (as explained above)
- Contract these muscles up to a count of three (for beginners) to five (experts) and release them in the same counts respectively.
- One clench and one release of pelvic floor muscles makes one round of Kegel.
- When you have got the hang of it, increase your clench- release duration by one more second each week.
- Remember to not over contract as it may cause pulling of the bladder and urethra.
- Do 10 reps of this exercise, three times a day.
Kegel’s going good? Here are some more floor exercises to strengthen your pelvis.
Lie on your back with hips slightly apart, with bent knees and feet flat on the floor. You may also use a mat. While inhaling, lift your hips as high as possible, forming a bridge. Hold this position for 10 seconds while breathing normally. Return back to normal while exhaling. Do 10 reps.
Wall squats/ Chair pose:
Stand against the wall keeping with feet at hip-width distance. While inhaling, use your pelvic floor and lower down as though sitting on a chair. Hold for 10 seconds. Exhale and rise back up. This is one rep. Do 10 such reps.
This one’s a favorite. Start with joining your feet together. Hop while you jump your legs apart simultaneously while bringing your arms over your head and back to your sides. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds.
Dead bug crunch:
Mimicking the actions of a dying insect, this is one of the best abs workout ever known. Lie down on your back. Place your right arm beyond the head while extending the right leg forward and bending your left leg making a 900 angle with the floor. Repeat with the other leg and arm. Do 10 rounds.
Do these pelvic floor exercises regularly each day. Doing Kegel exercises will help a lot in problems related to urination. Kegel exercises for women especially are very helpful in dealing with post pregnancy problems. You should see significant results within 3 to 4 months. If you don’t notice any improvement or if you don’t think you are doing it correctly, visit your urologist.