Kegel exercises for women to prevent and help fight urinary incontinence.
Have you recently experienced an embarrassing moment of ‘leakage’? No need to feel ashamed. Many women experience urinary incontinence, thanks to stress or weakened pelvic muscles during and after pregnancy.
How do Kegel exercises work? A Kegel exercise is designed to help support your urethra, bladder, uterus and rectum to prevent incontinence and increase bladder control.
Kegel exercises are a great for women of all ages, and ideally should be a part of your daily routine. They can even be mixed with exercise such as yoga. Today, we’ll show you the best Kegel exercises for women and how to do Kegel exercises to achieve maximum control over your bladder.
Kegel exercise 1: The Slow Pelvic Tilt
Step 1 – Stand up.
Step 2 – Tilt your pelvis forward and backward. As you slowly thrust forward, bring attention to your pelvic floor muscles.
Step 3 – As you exhale, practice gently contracting your pelvic muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and release the contraction.
Step 4 – Release and inhale as you tilt back.
Recommended frequency – Eight slow reps, followed by eight fast reps, three times a day
Kegel exercise 2: The Bridge
Step 1 – Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and arms relaxed by your sides.
Step 2 – Lift your pelvis and contract your pelvic muscles.
Step 3 – Lift and lower your bent legs off the ground, as if you were marching. Once you’ve lifted each foot five times, release your pelvic muscles.
Recommended frequency – Three sets of five for each leg
Kegel exercise 3: The Side Leg Lift
Step 1 – Lie on your left side with your left knee slightly bent, and your right leg extended straight out on top.
Step 2 – Raise your right leg up and down five times. Each time you lift, contract your pelvic muscles.
Step 3 – Move your right leg so it’s slightly in front of your left leg.
Step 4 – Lift and lower your right leg five times.
Step 5 – Switch so your right leg is positioned slightly behind your left leg.
Step 6 – Lift and lower your left leg five times.
Recommended frequency – Five sets with each leg
Kegel exercise 4: The Butterfly
Step 1 – Lie on your back with your knees bent and drawn in toward your chest.
Step 2 – Open your bent legs out to the sides as far as they will go.
Step 3 – Inhale and contract your pelvic muscles.
Step 4 – Tilt your pelvis slightly forward.
Step 5 – Release your pelvic muscles as you return your legs to centre.
Recommended frequency – Three sets of five reps
Women sometimes wonder if they are engaging their pelvic floor muscles correctly. The best way to ensure you are is to visit your local Women’s Health Physiotherapist who has their own ultrasound and get a professional assessment.