Maybe you’ve heard before how important it is to do Kegel exercises before, during, and after pregnancy to strengthen your pelvic floor. Over the last ten years, some studies have showed controversy about whether or not Kegel exercises are actually beneficial for your vaginal health. So here’s our take on the whole deal.
Kegel exercises are absolutely beneficial! The muscle of the pelvic floor is like a big hammock, with the bladder, uterus, and colon all resting in it, nestled comfortably. If that hammock isn’t strong, things are going to start to sag or worse, tip out of it completely. The medical term for this is prolapse. No woman wants this!
But, and here’s where the controversy lies, if you strengthen the pelvic floor so much that it stays nice and tight, it will be so strong that it can hold your baby up during birth. we don’t want that either. So there has to be a way to meet in the middle.
Imagine that you were able to work just your tricep muscle in your arm, that chicken wing would get nice and tight, but if you never work your bicep, your arm would both look silly and react poorly when trying to lift something heavy. You need to work both sides of your arm to have the best effect.
The same goes for the Kegel muscles and in this case, the alternate muscle group are the glutes. Strong glutes will keep the Kegel muscles in check, lengthening them, keeping them toned and flexible without becoming so strong that your body becomes a steel trap for your baby. So, yes, we recommend Kegel exercises, in the same ratio that we recommend doing squats to work the glutes.
Don’t know how to do them? Well let us explain. Squats are simple. Standing straight up, bend your body down like you were sitting in a chair, and then stand back up. If you have a lack of balance, you can hold onto the back of a chair to assist you but try not to engage your arm muscles here, this is all about your booty and yes, you should feel it working. Kegels are a little more difficult to explain, but once you have it down, you can do them anywhere. Do you know how to engage your pelvic muscles to stop the flow of urine when you are sitting on the potty? That’s it, that’s a Kegel exercise. Don’t consistently do this to stop urine or you could wind up with a nasty urinary infection, but it’s a good way to learn the feeling and sensation of strengthening those muscles.
Our recommendation, if you have been doing neither one consistently, is to start with 30 each, Kegels and squats, each day. And they don’t have to be done at the same time. Do ten Kegels and then later, catch up with ten squats. A few times a day and it will get easier, both to perform and to remember.
Your body will thank you for this preparation. Not only will you be more toned, flexible, and prepared for labor, but you can potentially avoid the pregnancy complaint of urinating every time you laugh or sneeze. This can also help with sciatica pain and lower backache throughout pregnancy and labor.
As a side note, not that you needed any more encouragement, but consistent squats will give you a more shapely derrier and consistent Kegel exercises can also increase satisfaction during orgasm. It’s a win-win-win in every way.