What are Pelvic Floor Exercises? Why are they useful?
You might have heard of these exercises before as Kegel exercises, having been named after Dr. Arnold Kegel back in 1940, which are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle. Due to factors such as pregnancy and childbirth, or weight gain and aging, this muscle tends to stretch out and become weaker over time. Weakening in the muscle can cause incontinence (urine leakage usually when laughing, sneezing or coughing), lower back pain, and even loss of sensation during sex. And nobody wants that! But never fear, doing Kegel exercises is quite simple, and Aura is here to tell you exactly how to do them.
The first step to master this exercise is to identify the three muscles involved, which are: the ring that surrounds the anus, the ring that surrounds the vagina and the ring that surrounds the urethra, which is what controls the flow of urine. A great way to safely identify this musculature is to voluntarily stop the flow while peeing. Once you have identified each muscle, you're ready to begin exercising!
- Let’s start with some training:
If this is your first time trying out this exercise, we recommend it doing while lying down. Preferably in bed for added comfort and relaxation. With the three muscles in mind, you want to contract the muscles while lifting them. Think: squeeze and lift. After a few seconds, gently release and lower. Do three sets of 10. Try to do it two or three times a day.
It's recommended to do these exercises daily for best results. The beauty of this exercise is that you can do them anywhere: In bed, at work, while you brush your teeth or waiting for your coffee to brew, whenever! And the benefits are bountiful.Strengthening your pelvic floor has been linked to a decrease in back pain, a stronger bladder, and stronger orgasms, which is a win, win, super win if you ask us. Incorporating this super simple exercise in your daily routine can increase your overall wellness and emotional well-being. And an overall, happier you helps any menstruation cycle flow by easier.
Once you got the gist of the exercise and you have become a Kegal superwoman, you can have fun with the exercise and combine different positions, contractions, and breathing techniques. Here are some different exercises you can do:
- The Slow exercise: start by tensing the group of muscles of the pelvic floor pulling them upwards and keeping them contracted for five seconds. Then, relax for another five seconds. Repeat 10 times trying to progressively increase the time of contraction and relaxation. Start with 5 seconds in each case until you reach 20.
- The Fast one: it's about performing the same contractions as in the previous exercise but without making any pauses, and as quickly as you can, until you get tired or reach about 3 minutes. Do 10 repetitions four times a day.
- The Elevator: this exercise requires some concentration, but it offers great results. The vagina is a muscular tube with ring-shaped sections, arranged one above the other. Imagine that each section is a different floor of a building, and that when you tighten them, the elevator begins to go up. Start by climbing gently up to the first floor, hold the tension for a second, and go up to the second floor. Keep climbing as many floors as you can, preferably no more than five. To go down, also hold the tension for a second in a descending order. When you’re done, relax the muscles completely for a few seconds. It is important that you do not forget to breathe slowly while you’re performing the exercise and that you do not use the help of the abdominal muscles.
- The Wave: as its name suggests, it is about tightening and stretching the muscles in a flow-like movement, as if it were a wave. Begin with the ring that surrounds the urethra, then the one that surrounds the vagina and, finally, the one that surrounds the anus. Imagine that these muscles are arranged in the shape of an eight. tighten them from front to back, and then relax from back to front.
Whether you prefer to keep it simple or like to challenge yourself with more complex techniques, the end result is the same: a happier and healthier you. At Aura, we’re all about treating yourself and becoming the best version of yourself every day. May your pelvic floor get stronger, your orgasms more enjoyable, and each period be more pleasant. Get your Aura box now ♡