As women, we have have heard it from almost everyone before: DO YOUR KEGELS! Most women run to the aid of kegel exercises to recover after giving birth and strengthen and tighten things down there. The big question is – are you doing kegel wrong?
Kegel exercises are exercises that target your pelvic muscles to make you nice and tight down there, especially your V. Just like any exercise, it has to be done correctly or else you are just wasting all your time and effort. Here are the most common mistakes that women often do which makes kegel ineffective!
Not using the right muscles
In doing the kegel exercises, the most important part is using the correct muscles to make them work. In doing the kegel, you should NOT tense your abdomen, buttocks and thighs. You should first find a position where you are comfortable which will allow you to correctly identify and contract your pelvic floor muscles. This is the area in between your anus and urinary meatus, the rest of your body should be relaxed. Squeeze the muscles that you use in stopping your pee from flowing. If you still have trouble identifying your pelvic muscles correctly, don’t be afraid to ask your gynecologist for help.
You can also use vaginal weights that would help you target the right muscles, which you can get here:
Another common mistake that women make is using the incorrect form which is bearing down or straining the pelvic floor as if having a bowel movement. Doing this is not only ineffective, but can also cause more damage to your pelvic floor muscles. Makes sure that you are contracting inwards and upwards, just like how you stop urine mid-stream or in holding gas in.
Not doing any variety in your exercise
There are 2 different types of muscle fibers in your pelvic floor muscles: the fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibers.
Fast-twitch fibers allow your muscles to quickly react to an increase in pressure just like when you cough or sneeze.
Slow-twitch fibers are those for the long term support of your pelvic organs, keeping them in place.
These 2 different types of fibers need 2 different types of exercise routines. Your routine should consist of both quick contraction/release and strong contractions that are held in for a longer count.
Following the wrong exercise routine
Besides changing up your routine once in a while, it is also important to follow a routine with the right number of repetitions of contracting and relaxing. You should increase the time that contact and hold in your muscles. Start from 5 seconds at a time and just add a second more each week.
Sure, it could be frustrating at first, but you should really measure your progress to see if what you are doing works. Your progress will also help motivate you to keep on doing your exercises every day. You can track your progress by inserting two fingers into your vaginal canal and squeeze it in to see if your muscles down there are getting stronger or not.
Forgetting to relax
Contrary to popular belief, the “relaxing part” in doing your kegels is as important as the “squeezing part”. Relaxing allows your muscles to avoid being over worked and over tightened. Overworking your muscles could lead to pelvic pain and discomfort.
Practicing relaxing your muscles will also help you during childbirth, allowing the baby to pass safely through your vaginal canal and it also lessens the chance of vaginal tearing.
Not being consistent with your routine
When it comes to kegel exercises, consistency is the key. It will help you reach your goal and strengthen things down there faster. One helpful tip in doing your daily kegel is by setting aside at least 5 minutes, preferably after waking up, to do some kegels.
Giving up too easily
Kegel exercises help in strengthening your pelvic muscles, but it takes time and patience to work. It usually takes at least 12 weeks before seeing some results, so keep doing your kegels and don’t give up too easily.
Forgetting about estrogen
Estrogen is the one that keeps your sexual organs healthy and keeps your pelvic muscles strong. Overtime, the amount of estrogen that the body produces also diminishes. Without estrogen, not matter how much or how religiously you do your kegels, the results will still be frustrating because there will be no estrogen to make the results stick.
Luckily, you can still take herbs that are rich in high quality Kacip Fatimah to help maintain your tightness and tone down there.