Kegel Exercises can Help
Strengthen Your Core

Kegel Exercises, named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, are isometric exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.

The exercises are designed to strengthen the pubococcygeus muscles, and consists of contracting and relaxing the muscles which form part of the pelvic floor (sometimes called the "Kegel muscles").

The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and abdominal contents, and generally kegels are used to treat urinary incontinence, especially after pregnancy.

But Kegels can benefit everyone (both men and women) not just people who are suffering from urinary incontinence.

The pelvic floor muscles are part of the deep core, and they are neurologically linked to the abdominal muscles. All this means is that, working the pelvic floor can help to increase abdominal muscle strength and improve pelvic and low back stability.

If you've read about the transversus abdominus, then you understand that spinal stability should always precede movement of the arms and legs.

Physiologist have shown that when the pelvic floor muscles are engaged, the transversus abdominus and the internal obliques work at a slightly higher level to keep the lower back stable.

In many core training programs, therapists begin by cueing contraction of the pelvic floor muscles before the abdominals.

Once you develop coordination in your pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles, they will naturally contract to keep your lower back stable and decrease your risk of back pain.

How to do Kegel Exercises

Doing Kegels is simple and you can do them anywhere.

It can be tricky at first trying to figure out if you're doing it correctly, but one cue is to imagine the feeling of stopping the flow or urine by squeezing your pelvic floor muscles.

Some recommendations are to hold each contraction for 5-10 seconds and repeat for 10 times in a row.

Kegels can be done during many times throughout the day, and are recommended as a supplement to core training for people who suffer incontinence or lower back pain.

In addition, when you practice the drawing-in maneuver you should also contract your pelvic floor muscles to get an even better contraction.

To read more about Kegels check out this article by the Mayo Clinic on Kegels.

I hope that helps to give you a perspective on Kegels.

Yours in Health

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