How to Perfect Your Kegel Routine
Kegel exercises can help reduce symptoms of and even cure some kinds of urinary incontinence and are helpful for both men and women. The basic kegel exercise can be done discreetly anywhere – your office, home, even while you are driving or watching TV.
Step 1: Locate the muscle group. There are a few ways to do this. While peeing, try to stop the flow (do not make a habit of doing this though, as stopping the flow of urination too often can actually weaken your pelvic floor and increase symptoms). If you can manage that, make a note of the muscle group. These are your pelvic floor muscles.
Another way to find the correct muscles is to imagine that you feel the urge to urinate, but are holding it back. This will use the same muscle group.
Step 2: Start easy. Tighten those muscles and hold for 3 - 5 seconds. Then relax for the same amount of time. How long you hold at first should be based on how strong your pelvic floor is already. Repeat this cycle of tense and release 10 times. That is one set.
Step 3: Increase intervals by one second every week until you are doing 10 second intervals. Try to do 3 sets of 10 every day.
Tip – since you can do these anywhere, consider integrating them into your routine. For example, you could do a set every time you brush your teeth.
Want to kick it up a notch? If you are a kegel pro, have been doing the recommended 3 sets of 10 for a while, or just want more of a challenge, consider trying weighted kegels. Using a weight designed specifically for this exercise can increase the benefits. Which weight should you buy? Look for a weight that fits your experience level. And if you want to go high-tech, there are weights that can help you find the right position and even ones that record the strength of your contractions so you can track your progress.
Be careful not to take progress to fast though. Switching to using weights before you are ready or even increasing contraction length too soon can cause muscle fatigue and increase leaks and accidents.