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Monday, June 23, 2014

Kegel exercises-edition

What muscles?

Kegel exercising is probably the most important exercise you should do, throughout pregnancy and after delivery, to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. By doing so, you do a lot for those muscles that will be stretched and strained immensely when you give birth. First of all, what muscles do you need to exercise? If you really want to know that ... go to the loo. When you pee, sorry for the unceremoniously simple expression, stop it and start it again. These are the muscles that you need to strengthen. No, sorry, peeing itself is not an exercise, and start-stop peeing is good to begin with, to find the muscles that you want to strengthen (They are also the same muscles that contract during your orgasms, btw). Once you have mastered the basics :) , you should move on, because this start-stop exercise can have some serious drawbacks. Doing kegel exercises with a full bladder might weaken your pelvic floor and it might also increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
Therefore, another way of finding the right muscles would be to put your finger into your vagina and try to squeeze it. That's them.

Daily exercise

First of all, don't forget to breathe. Second, don't work your abdominal muscles or your buttocks, try to relax those and focus on the pelvic floor muscles. If you start practicing kegels, you should maybe lie down on your bed, so that it is easier to focus on the pelvic floor.
The basic routine is that you squeeze these muscles: depending on who you listen to, the number of seconds and times may vary. One good variety is to squeeze your muscles for 5 seconds and afterwards give your muscles a 5 to 10 seconds period of rest. Do that ten times, for one completed exercise and do it three times a day. 
With a little practice, nobody will notice that you are exercising at all.

Once your muscles are stronger, try tightening them over a longer period of time. No, if you aim at hours, you are doing it completely wrong. Still go for seconds. When you are nice/bad, you might do that during sexual intercourse. Hubby likes it sometimes, but at other times, he wants me to 'stop that' (there is a name for 'that', too, it is called pompoir).
What you should do is that after tightening your muscles, you relax them again. This does not mean to overdo the period of rest,  but if you feel you need to go to the loo, you relaxed your muscles quite well. I did not ask about it, but I imagine that if you do not relax your muscles, the strengthening effect you are looking for would be reduced.

For the easiest advanced form of exercises, you can try ten second squeezes and reduce the time you relax your muscles, down to three seconds. 

And a little more advanced is doing your exercises while standing. It doesn't take long to be able to do that while standing, so that you can do your exercises whenever and wherever you want to.

I've got balls :-)

Ben Wa balls are very useful too. They come in metal, glass and silicone and in different sizes and with differing weight. I think the exercise connected to all of them is pretty straight forward. Put them in and keep them there. Obviously, the heavier ones are more difficult to keep in. If yours are silicone, you could squeeze them, too, as an additional way to strengthen your muscles.
It doesn't really matter much, since they simply cannot get lost, unless they fall out, but I prefer those pairs which are connected by a string, so that you can tug them out.

If you are interested in the stimulation they can provide, put them in and go for a busride. (Unless you have Hank at home, ... :-)    )

Jade balls. Not the typical example, but I think they are really cool

Ben Wa balls

-> Kegel exercises can be done everywhere and nobody will notice. I think one good way of doing them is during housework. Doing dishes or folding laundry are great times. You can even do that while watching tv, while queuing, while sitting and writing blog entries, etc. 

-> Doing kegels three times a day, for a few minutes each, is already enough to strengthen these precious muscles.

Have a lovely Monday and a wonderful start into your weeks !


  1. Questions: What do these BenWa balls feel like? Do you have to do a constant Kegel to keep them in? HoH was thinking of using them as a submission exercise. Can you walk around with them in and is it really noticeable?
    Also, do you think Kegels are effective to do basically for the rest of your life after you have a baby? We used to incorporate them into my dailies but I'm over a year post partem and I don't really feel like they're that effective anymore.
    Like, do you have to keep doing them to keep that area in shape, or is there a point where you just don't really have to do them anymore?

    1. Hi Tori, currently I have two pairs of Ben Wa balls. One pair is out of metal but rather small. The weight is within limits and I can keep them in by clenching my muscles, but really have to pay attention, because of them being (too) small. If they were bigger and heavier, I am not sure if I could keep them in. I have had it while walking and not paying attention that they fell out within a few minutes. With the small ones, I feel that they push down, but do not feel anything of them otherwise.
      With the other ones, which are made out of silicone, it is a bit different. They are the size of avocado stones, and I am far more aware of these, since they are bigger but do weigh only slightly more. I like the way they make me feel and they can actually be a big turn on, though it takes some time for me to get there. I can keep those in for hours (one morning, not more than around four hours), but have to clench my muscles a lot and do kegels more or less continuously, but within the house, this shouldn’t be a problem.

      Inside home I don’t mind at all, but even before leaving home, I have felt naughty with them in, just from the knowledge that they are there. Seriously, I would not want to do that without knickers, just to make sure that they do not fall out and down when I am in the supermarket. When I had them in outside home, hubby was with me and he was the one who wanted me to wear them outside. I mean, I feel naughty in such moments, but also dead nervous every time someone looks at me. And you really cannot see anything, unless they fall out. But if you cannot keep them in well enough, you feel how they slowly work their way downward and with every little bit this becomes more awkward when not at home.

      I am not a doctor and still have three months to go before I’ll have my baby, therefore I am not sure if what I can say applies to your situation at all, but I’ll try and just hope that it might be useful information. My mom does kegels and she is way beyond 35 :) and does them primarily because it helps her not to leak. She has been doing kegels for years, but she also said that there have been months and years when she has neglected them completely. She has also mentioned better sex as a reason to do kegels, but I did not want to know more when it took that turn…
      In addition, as far as I know, muscles start to grow weaker again around the age of 35. This also applies to the pelvic floor muscles and since they are also directly responsible for keeping the bladder shut, I think the exercises are useful to do at every age.
      Hmmm, when you say that they are not that effective for you anymore, does that mean your pelvic floor is stronger than before? If there is anything not the way you think it should be, I could only recommend that you see a doctor.

      The first Ben Wa balls that hubby had bought for me were more like Boccia balls. Rather big, but definitely too heavy. I cold not keep them in for more than a few seconds standing. So, what we have learned from that was that it is better to start with rather small ones, because you can use them and the worst thing that happens is that you do not make much progress. But when they are too big and too heavy, they are useless when sitting or standing, because gravity will bring them out. That's frustrating.

      Tori, I hope that some of my answer could help you at all,



  2. Hi Nina,
    Doing your kegels can lead to better orgasms :-) The stronger your muscles are the stronger the contractions from the orgasm. My favorite way to do them is the elevator method. You start with very gently contracting the muscles, and hold, then without letting go, you step it up just a little and hold again. You repeat this over and over without ever letting the muscles relax until they are as tight as you can get them,then relax and repeat. It's called the elevator method because one could describe it as starting at the bottom floor, stopping to pick up more passengers at each floor until it's full to capacity. Happy kegeling!

    1. River, yes, kegels are definitely good for better orgasms, and I think that’s another absolutely positive effect. The elevator method sounds great, I think this is far more advanced than what I have done so far and I am going to try that. It sounds a bit like sorting your muscles piece by piece. :) Thank you for that one, I’ll try to pick up passengers from now on :)



  3. Great post and info Nina. Thank you for sharing. Like River's comment about the elevator method too. Kegels are a good exercise for all women at any age from to help strengthen the muscles to guard against leakage. Haven't tried the Ben Wa balls.


    1. Roz, thank you, I loved River’s comment too, it sounds like a great way to do kegels. I think that doing kegels as a way to prevent or reduce leakage is so important, and from what I also know from my friends and family, it is a problem that many are familiar with. Ben Wa balls can be great fun, but I have not done anything with them lately. I think one of the most important points with them is, to have some that are just right for you. Not too small, not too big, not too light, not too heavy. But when you have them, you can have a lot of fun with them.




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