I’m Amanda Olson from IntimateRose.com, and this is video number three in a three-part series on the pelvic floor.
In the first video, we talked about what the pelvic floor is, and we reviewed anatomy.
In the second video, we discussed what some injuries and activities are that can lead to pelvic floor weakness.
In this video, we are going to discuss what a Kegel is.
Here is just a review of anatomy really quickly. The pelvic floor is everything that you see in red.
Starting at the pubic bone in the front and then coming in, down, and around is the superficial layer of the pelvic floor, and the deep layer backs up to it.
You can see in this view here, everything that you see in red, coming off of the tailbone, and swinging up to the front, is the deep layer of the pelvic floor muscles.
A Kegel is a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, collectively.
When the muscles contract, they squeeze, and they lift within that pelvic bowl.
If you can imagine, it’s like an umbrella; so when you close an umbrella, it closes, and then draws in, telescoping up and in.
That is what the muscles do when they activate during a Kegel.
What a Kegel is not is a contraction of the gluteal muscles, in the back.
So the large muscles that you sit on have a tendency to want to help out when you are doing a Kegel, but they are not part of the pelvic floor, and that is not a Kegel.
If you feel those muscles contracting, you want to be sure to keep them relaxed.
We’re only contracting the pelvic floor muscles.
There are ways to isolate the muscles for different conditions, different problems.
Let’s say, for example, you are leaking urine. If you’re experiencing urinary incontinence, the leakage is happening in the front, so we would want to strengthen the front muscles.
A good way to isolate those muscles is to visualize the urethra, the hole in the front where urine comes out, as a telescope. And you want to draw the telescope up and in.
By visualizing that, you contract the muscles, and they close around the urethra.
Over time, strengthening in that manner will help provide that stop closure around the urethra.
Likewise, if you were experiencing leakage out of the rectum, in the back, you could isolate those muscles by squeezing in through the back.
So you would visualize shutting off gas, as if you were going to prevent gas by contracting in the back.
If you visit IntimateRose.com, we have a progression of exercises that you can do to strengthen the pelvic floor.
You might be having trouble feeling the Kegel; sometimes you think you’re doing it, but you’re not really sure, or perhaps you’re not feeling any activation happening at all.
If that’s the case, one thing that can be helpful is to take a towel — so just a normal towel, like you’d have in the kitchen or in the bathroom — and roll it up, and sit on it, like a saddle.
What that towel roll does is provide the brain with some input as to where the pelvic floor is. Then when sitting on the towel roll, you would be contracting up and away from that towel roll.
So then you can feel that lift happening; that’s one way that you can help train yourself.
If you’re able to feel the Kegel, an ideal position to start in is lying down, because you’re not upright against gravity.
The pelvic floor muscles don’t have to work as hard, and you can get stronger and better in that position.
Then eventually, the most challenging position is standing, and then adding movement on top of that.
Then, once you’re able to feel a Kegel in those positions, adding the Intimate Rose weights for resistance, to help strengthen that pelvic floor, is a great idea.
If you were going to be strengthening any other part of your body, you would add resistance to it, and the pelvic floor is made up of muscles just like anywhere else.
Visit IntimateRose.com and check out the exercises.
You can also see videos one and two that have excellent information.
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