Top 10 Kegel Exercise Mistakes
The Top 10 Most Common Kegel Exercise Mistakes Women Make
The Kegel Exercise for women is truly an important and vital aspect of female reproductive health. Effective Kegel Exercises are crucial to the prevention of many common female reproductive health related issues including urinary stress incontinence, constipation, pelvic organ prolapse, uterine, bowel or bladder prolapse, sexual penetration intercourse pain and other sexual dysfunction.
Despite the importance of this exercise many women are never instructed on how to properly perform the exercise or are never able to successfully integrate the simple exercise into their lives. Many woman fail to adequately prepare their pelvic floor structure for pregnancy, childbirth or common everyday stress and strain. Below are the top 10 most common mistakes women make.
10. Not scheduling a regular set time for yourself and/or for your Kegel Exercise. Not integrating it into your life.
It sounds simple, but not scheduling a regular time to do Kegel exercises can be enough to prevent you from ever succeeding at them, even if you do them occasionally.
Experts agree that you shouldn't count on doing Kegel exercises during other activities or when you think about it throughout the day, such as when you are driving a car or engaged in some other activity.
Blocking out a regular set time every week to dedicate to yourself and Kegels can be difficult and for some people nearly impossible. This is true for any exercise program. The most effective technique for integrating Kegels into your life is to set the time immediately before or after an event you do regularly. Such as in the morning before you start your normal routine or at night after the kids are in bed, I.e. an event that you know you will engage in every day.
This will give you the greatest probability of making Kegel exercises habitual, even if you initially make the sessions very short, you do want to stick with the time slot you have set for yourself so that it becomes a habit and part of your life.
9. Not sticking with Kegel Exercises long enough to see positive and encouraging results. Giving up too soon.
Keep your kegel exercise program going for long enough to see some results. Don't give up because you don't see immediate results, and definitely don't give up as soon as you do see positive results.
Typically 3-5 weeks of regular kegel exercises will be enough to notice a perceptible improvement in pelvic floor muscle strength, a significant decrease in incontinence and a noticeable improvement in sexual pleasure.
If you already have significant symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, such as frequent incidents of incontinence or some noticeable prolapse you will likely need to exercise for at least 8-10 weeks before you notice a significant improvement.
The message here is to be patient with the results. Kegel exercises should become a normal routine part of your life, that keeps you healthy for the long run. So, continue to exercise, the results and benefits will come.
8. Skipping workouts or forgetting to exercise for periods of time
If there is not an event that you can use to trigger your Kegel exercise routine try using an alarm or some other signal to remind you that it's time to exercise.
Research has shown that women who use a simple wristwatch alarm are far more likely to stick with an exercise program.
7. Insufficient Frequency of Exercise
Exercise frequently enough that it becomes a habitual part of your life. A set time every day can be the most effective because then there is never any confusion and less chance to forget. You integrate the Kegel exercise into your daily life (like brushing your teeth).
The most successful women make time for themselves every day, even if every other day is a light day. Making the time for Kegels every day will ensure that you stick with it and that you do enough for the exercises to make a difference.
If a daily routine sounds like a lot, don't be concerned, a good kegel exercise session will not take more than 10 minutes and a light routine can be done in just 2 minutes.
Eventually you should be able to reinforce your workout in between sessions, by contracting the pelvic floor muscles and squeezing for periods of time. However, in the early weeks you will want to make sure you use the Kegelmaster™ until you can feel your pelvic floor muscles.
6. Damaging your Pelvic Floor with other Strenuous Activities
Avoid activities and movements that damage your pelvic floor. Heavy lifting, straining on the toilet, being overweight, and a chronic cough can all weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
More surprisingly, so can excessive or inappropriate exercising. Women who participate in sports or exercises that increase abdominal pressure are at risk of pelvic floor damage too. Sports that involve running and jumping, and activities such as abdominal crunches, can place undue pressure on the pelvic floor muscle.
You want to be conscience of your pelvic floor and take care to protect it. As your pelvic floor becomes stronger you decrease your risk of damage from strenuous activity, but you never want to strain the pelvic floor to damage. This can be a setback that takes several months to recover.
5. Not making Kegel exercise part of your daily life and routine
Incorporate kegel exercises into your daily life. This doesn't just mean that you "squeeze and lift" your pelvic floor muscles while waiting at traffic lights or while cooking a meal. It means learning and adopting correct posture in your daily life and developing coordinated breathing. The pelvic floor muscles work in coordination with the abdominal muscles forming a "girdle" around the lower part of the body, and providing support to the lower back. Using these core muscles effectively will assist you to gain and maintain a stronger pelvic floor.
4. Trying to do too much too soon
Don't try to rush the progress. Patience is key. You want to concentrate on proper form. Make sure you are targeting the correct muscles, holding the resistance long enough to feel the "burn" in the muscles. That is the release of lactic acid and this is the process where the muscle fibers are actually strengthening. You also want to make sure you maximize the range, if a resistance level is too high and prevents you from working the muscle through the entire range you are getting less benefit than if you had less resistance and worked the muscle through a wider range of motion. This will create strong and longer muscle fibers and maximize the exercise.
3. Not tracking or measuring your results with a metric
As with any type of program for improvement, whether it be for strength training, weight loss or another form of personal improvement, experts agree that if you don't measure your results using a metric you are less likely to achieve beneficial results.
The importance of this factor is often overlooked. When you are on a strict diet, a diet that is working you know it because you get on a scale every day and check your progress. You use your weight as a metric and that is what keeps you going. Think about how energized and enthusiastic you feel when you see that you have lost weight and how down you feel when you see that you haven't lost weight or worse yet gained weight. Any time you embark on a program of personal improvement you need to identify a measurable metric that you can track or you will miss out on one of the most important motivating factors that will keep you with it.
This is particularly true with muscle building and maybe nowhere is this more true than with the Kegel exercise. If you just try to squeeze as hard as you can, you will have no way of knowing when the level of resistance is increasing or decreasing.
The Kegelmaster solves this problem by giving you 15 levels of resistance or in the case of the Advanced Kegelmaster 64 levels or resistance. So as you progress you can easily measure and track your progress.
2. Not Using Resistance
Imagine a body builder trying to build strong muscles without ever lifting a weight; this would be impossible or at the very least a colossal waste of time.
There are many different types of exercise aids available, and research has shown that many are definitely effective. Devices with visual feedback are especially useful in showing you what happens inside your body when you try to contract your pelvic floor muscles, and in motivating you to keep going by demonstrating that your exercises are working. Exercise aids are extremely beneficial to women who can't - or don't want to - access specialist health practitioners, but even women who consult a specialist gain substantial benefit from the use of an exercise aid within an ongoing home-based program.
1. Incorrect form that is not targeting the correct muscles
Find out how to exercise correctly. There are many sources of information on correct kegel exercise techniques. Many women choose to approach a health professional, hoping that they can describe exactly how to produce that elusive squeeze. Unfortunately, this isn't always the best strategy, since research has shown that over half of all women are unable to produce a correct contraction from verbal or written instructions. If you are lucky enough to be within reach of a women's health physical therapist, they may be able to use ultrasound or other equipment to help you learn the correct technique. So explore the services that are available to you.