Have you tried doing a Kegel exercise, but are unsure you are doing it correctly? When you perform a Kegel, you are contracting your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that run from your pubic bone to tailbone. They support the pelvic organs, including the bowel, bladder, vagina, and uterus in females. The pelvic floor also helps keep us from leaking urine or stool. They are active throughout the day without us thinking about it, and they take on heavy loads with lifting, jumping, and many other activities. The pelvic floor is an important part of our core and must be able to rise to the demand.
To perform a Kegel or pelvic floor exercise, begin by lying on your back and taking a deep breath in. Then, exhale and slowly draw in the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine and stop the passing of gas. It can be helpful to focus your attention on one at a time if needed. Make sure only your pelvic floor muscles are moving. You do not want to squeeze your buttocks, inner thighs, or belly for this exercise.
You can use a small hand mirror while reclined to visualize these muscles. Sitting on a yoga ball or a small rolled towel against your pelvic floor may be helpul to to feel the muscles.
With these tips, you can begin to isolate your pelvic floor. If you are having trouble, it is important to be assessed by a pelvic floor physical therapist. At Renew Physical Therapy, we also guide you on how to do your Kegels correctly and determine if Kegel exercises are right for you.