Kegel exercises, or Kegels, are designed to strength the pelvic floor muscles. This can be an effective treatment for urinary incontinence. (In case you’re wondering, “Kegels” are named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, who invented them.)
Doing Kegels is Easy!
Find Out How to Control Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
While peeing, try to stop the flow. Don’t tighten your butt or abdomen, and don’t hold your breath. Practice stopping and starting your flow to learn how it feels when you contract your pelvic floor muscles.
Get in the habit of tightening your pelvic floor muscles during any activity that puts pressure on your bladder: lifting, coughing, laughing, sneezing, etc.
Tighten your Kegel muscles and count slowly to five; relax and count slowly to five again. (Remember not to hold your breath.) Repeat this cycle ten times for one “set.”
Start by performing one set, three times per day, while standing or sitting. Once you are comfortable with the exercises (after a week or so), increase to the number of repetitions per set, gradually working up to ten.
Vary your routine. Practice your Kegels while standing, sitting, walking, lying down, and bending over. You can perform Kegels while driving your car, walking your dog, watching TV, stretching, exercising, even working in the garden!
Track Your Progress
To stay motivated, most of us need to see progress. Keep track of your urinary leakage. As with any exercise program, you won’t see results overnight, but you should see significant improvement in 4-6 weeks.
Once you start your program, it’s important to keep it up! Your pelvic floor muscles will weaken if you don’t exercise them regularly.
- Dorey, G.; Speakman, M.J.; Feneley, R. C.; Swinkels, A., Dunn, C. D. “Pelvic Floor Exercises for Erectile Dysfunction.” BJU International. Sep 2005; 96(4):595-7.
- Dorey, G; Siegel, A; Nelson, P. “The Effect of a Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Program Using Active and Resisted Exercises on Male Sexual Function: A Randomised Controlled Trial.” 2015.