A Guide to Kegels: Simple Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

A Simple Kegels Routine to Try at Home

Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with a simple kegels routine that you can do right at home. These easy exercises strengthen the uterus, bladder, and bowel.

What do you think of when you think of muscles? You probably think of upper body muscles, such as biceps and pectorals, and lower body muscles, such as gluteus maximus and hamstrings.

But there’s one muscle people forget about — the pelvic floor.

The pelvic floor is a muscle that extends from the tailbone to the pubic bone. A strong pelvic floor results in improved bowel control, improved bladder control, and faster recovery from severe events including birth and surgery.

How do you strengthen your pelvic floor? Easy — do kegels.

The movement famous for strengthening the vagina offers full pelvic benefits, helping you physically and sexually. Here’s how to build a powerful kegels routine you can do daily.

Your Kegels Routine: How to Do Kegels

Whether you struggle to achieve an orgasm or are looking to strengthen your vagina after giving birth, creating a kegels routine is important for women. Here’s how to do kegels the correct way.

Find the Muscle

As mentioned previously, the pelvic floor is a large muscle that extends from the front and back side of your pelvis. Finding the exact muscle can be tricky. You also can’t touch the muscle the same way you can your triceps or hamstrings.

The best way to find your pelvic floor muscle is by peeing. Do you know how you instinctually know how to start and stop peeing? That’s all thanks to your pelvic floor muscle.

Next time you pee, stop your flow mid-stream. That squeeze is your pelvic floor muscle working its magic.

Keep in mind, don’t do kegels while peeing. Holding back your pee can cause bladder issues. Instead, find a different time to do kegels. We’ll go over that later.

Squeeze!

Now that you know the general kegel movement, you can get started doing kegels. Fortunately, kegels are discreet and you can do them whenever. You just have to squeeze!

It’s best to do your first kegel at home while you’re alone. Place your finger in your vagina. Start squeezing. You should feel your vaginal walls contracting and your finger lifting upwards. Don’t be afraid to ask your gynecologist to teach you.

Hold!

Here’s the biggest mistake women make — after they squeeze, they immediately let go. They do a pulsing movement instead of a holding movement. This holding movement is what really helps strengthen the pelvic floor.

Start by squeezing upward and holding the squeeze for three seconds. Relax. Start with three until you get used to your kegels and increase your holding time. Women with strong pelvis floors can hold their squeeze for ten seconds!

Create a Routine

As with every other exercise, you now know the basics of a kegel routine. You just have to create a routine that’s right for you and stick with it.

Start with one set of ten reps. Squeeze, hold for three seconds, let go, and squeeze and hold again. To make this easier, do two sets of five reps. Start one rep early in the day and the second set later in the day.

Once you become used to kegels, you can start doing them more intensely. For a strong pelvic floor, aim to do three sets of 10 kegels, resulting in 30 daily kegels.

Do This Routine Daily

Now that you have a routine, make it a point to do kegels every day. This is how you get the best results. You should start noticing a stronger pelvic floor in six months.

Track Your Progress

Like with all other exercises, tracking your progress helps keep you motivated to continue your daily kegel regimen. Once you get the hang of kegels, try increasing your reps.

Instead of doing two reps of three kegels, try doing two reps of four kegels. If you can do this comfortably, write it down.

Do you want to take your kegel routine to the next level? There are products that help you with your kegel gains. First off, try a kegel trainer.

These are devices you insert in the vagina and you hold them in your vagina while doing kegels. But be sure you clean them to prevent infection!

There are also kegel apps that track your kegel progress.

When Is the Best Time to Do Kegels?

Remember how we suggested putting your finger in your vagina to feel the squeeze? Once you become accustomed to kegels, you don’t need to do this step (though you can).

You can do kegels anywhere. They’re discreet and no one can tell you’re doing them. But with our busy lives, it can be difficult to remember your kegel gains. Here are some suggestions for a kegel routine time and place.

While You’re Waiting

Are you on hold? Is your significant other taking forever doing whatever it is they’re doing? Are you waiting to pick the kids up from school? Instead of getting frustrated, take this time to get some kegel gains in.

Stopped at a Red Light

We all get antsy when at a red light. Instead of grabbing your phone, do some kegels. It’s a fun way to pass the time, you get extra kegels in, and you won’t look like that jerk on the phone while driving.

While Running Errands

Running errands can get so mundane. Spice up your errand run by doing kegels. You can squeeze in a few quick kegels while at the dry cleaners, at the ATM, and grocery shopping.

While Cleaning and Doing Chores

Like errands, doing chores is also mundane. If you hate cleaning, kegels help spice up domestic duties. Get some kegel action in while doing laundry, dusting, washing dishes, or your extensive spring cleaning list.

The best part? Since you’re home, you can use one of those fun kegel gadgets to amp up your kegel gains!

See a Gynecologist If Kegels Aren’t Helping

A kegel routine helps everything from urinary accidents to a stronger vagina. But are kegels not helping any of the issues you’re facing?

If you’re in Houston, Texas, contact us. We specialize in conditions such as prolapse, stress incontinence, and vaginal dryness.

6 Common Symptoms of a Weakened Pelvic Floor


Are you concerned that you might have a weakened pelvic floor? Here are 6 of the most common symptoms you need to watch out for, and some options for treatment.

Weakened pelvic floor?

It’s a case of “don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”

What is it, you ask? The pelvic floor, or, more specifically, the control of the pelvic floor.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, tissue, and ligaments at the base of your pelvis. They act as a sling or a hammock, supporting organs like the bladder, bowel, and uterus. In other words, the pelvic floor has an important job to do.

Many people — in fact, up to a quarter of women — will experience pelvic floor dysfunction at some point in their lives. The prevalence of these disorders increases with age.

Many causes contribute to this common condition, including complications from childbirth, an injury to the pelvis, obesity, previous pelvic surgeries, or simply getting older. Many times, the exact cause is unknown.

If you’re concerned you might have a weakened pelvic floor, here are six common symptoms to look for.

Leaking Urine or Incontinence

When you feel a sneeze coming on, do you get nervous that you may leak? This is a common symptom of a pelvic floor issue, and the severity can vary greatly from person to person. This symptom is more common in women in men and tends to get worse with age.

Leaking urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercise can be an indicator that something is wrong with the muscles controlling the bladder. The leaking can be a minor spotting, or it can be embarrassing uncontrollable wetting.

Make an appointment with your doctor if this is an ongoing issue for you.

Chronic, Radiating Pelvic Pain

Pain in the pelvis isn’t normal. A problem with your pelvic floor can manifest as chronic pain, diminishing your quality of life.

This pain may radiate throughout the entire pelvic region, and you may feel it in your lower back, genitals, abdomen, or rectum. If you’re frequently dealing with this type of pain, it’s best to see a doctor and determine the exact cause.

Pain During Vaginal Intercourse

The muscles that make up the pelvic floor are crucial to making vaginal intercourse enjoyable.

If these muscles are damaged, weakened, too tight, or otherwise dysfunctional, they can cause intercourse to become painful. In women, this is a common symptom of pelvic floor disorder or organ prolapse.

No matter your age, there’s no need to suffer from this. If you are experiencing pain during vaginal intercourse, a visit to a doctor is in order. There are many options that can help alleviate the problem.

Constantly Feeling the Need to Urinate (Or Not Making it There On Time)

Do you feel as though you always need to urinate, but are unable to go once you get to the toilet? Or, perhaps you occasionally have trouble getting to the bathroom in time. This is known as bladder incontinence, and, as you may know, it can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem to have.

Because of the pelvic floor’s role in supporting the bladder, these are both very common symptoms that warrant further investigation and care.

Bowel Issues, Leakage, or Constipation

Just like the bladder, the rectum is also supported by the pelvic floor.

Muscle or nerve damage in the pelvic floor can cause issues with bowel movements. You might experience a more frequent urge to go. You might also find yourself becoming constipated, needing to strain when defecating, or experience leakage when passing gas.

Women experience this symptom more often than men.

In some cases, patients might even experience fecal incontinence, a loss of control of the bowel. This is a symptom that can cause frustration, depression, and a loss of quality of life in many patients.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

If pelvic floor weakening or dysfunction exists, both women and men can experience pelvic organ prolapse.

Prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ (like the bladder or, in women, the vagina) “falls” downwards due to weakened muscles that are unable to support its weight. Prolapse can happen to both men and women.

This isn’t necessarily as medically serious as it might sound; however, prolapses can range in severity and can cause major discomfort and ongoing problems.

In women, the symptoms of a prolapse might be a feeling of pressure, dropping, or pulling in the vagina. Prolapse can also cause pain during sex and frequent bladder infections.

In men, a prolapse might cause a “bulge” in the rectum that creates a constant feeling of needing to have a bowel movement.

Options for Treating a Weakened Pelvic Floor

Living with a pelvic floor disorder can be frustrating, painful — even embarrassing. It can affect the overall quality of your life. The good news is that there are many treatment options available for this common issue.

Some patients can achieve great results using muscle strengthening techniques (Kegels). When done routinely and correctly, Kegels can provide improvement for many of the common symptoms.

There are also medications that can help with bowel issues or incontinence.

Surgery is generally the last resort. Luckily, new technology means there are many more options for surgeries now, including minimally invasive, robotic, or laparoscopic procedures that can greatly reduce recovery times.

Contact Us for Help

If you are one of the many women in the Houston, Texas or surrounding area suffering from any of the above-listed symptoms, we encourage you to reach out to our urogynecology, or UroGYN, practice today.

There are many ways to treat the symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor, and you might be surprised to learn of the treatments available that don’t require surgery.

Pelvic floor issues not only cause pain, but they can also cause embarrassment, frustration, and a loss of quality of life. There’s no reason to continue living with these problems. Contact us today, and we’ll work together to treat the issue so you can live without the worry.