If you've ever struggled with pelvic floor issues or just want to achieve greater control over your muscles for other health reasons, you might have come across the term "Kegels." While Kegels are an excellent way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, they're not the only exercise that can help. Enter, Reverse Kegels – a lesser-known, but equally important method of improving your pelvic floor health. In this article, we will be discussing what Reverse Kegels are, their benefits, and most importantly, how to do them correctly.
What are Reverse Kegels?
Reverse Kegels are the opposite of traditional kegel exercises. While the Kegel exercise involves contracting and tightening your pelvic floor muscles, Reverse Kegels focus on relaxing and lengthening them. This can help to balance muscle strength and flexibility, improve bladder control, and even relieve pelvic pain.
Benefits of Reverse Kegels
Some of the significant benefits of Reverse Kegels include:
- Improved bladder and bowel control
- Reduced symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, such as pain or pressure
- Prevention and treatment of pelvic organ prolapse
- Enhanced sexual function and pleasure
- Increased overall pelvic floor muscle strength and flexibility
How to Do Reverse Kegels
Before jumping into the Reverse kegel exercises, it's essential to familiarize yourself with your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles form a supportive sling at the base of your pelvis, surrounding the bladder, bowel, and uterus or prostate. While it might seem counterintuitive, the first step in any pelvic floor exercise, including Reverse Kegels, is locating these muscles. Here's how:
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Identifying Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
- Stop urinating midstream – the muscles you're using here are your pelvic floor muscles.
- Imagine stopping the passage of gas – the muscles that are contracting are also part of your pelvic floor.
Once you've identified these muscles, you can begin practicing Reverse Kegels. It's important to do these exercises while maintaining proper posture and relaxed breathing for optimum results.
Step-by-Step Guide to Performing Reverse Kegels
- Begin by finding a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.
- Relax your entire body, especially your abdomen, buttocks, and thigh muscles.
- Take several deep breaths to relax further and prepare for the exercise.
- Gently push down on your pelvic floor muscles – imagine you're trying to pass gas or gently move your bowel.
- Hold this position for 3-5 seconds, continually breathing deeply and remaining relaxed.
- Release the muscles slowly and intentionally, as if you're letting go of your breath or a balloon.
- Repeat these steps 10-15 times per session, and try to do at least 3 sessions per day.
How To Do Reverse Kegel Example:
Emma started experiencing pelvic pain after giving birth to her second child. After some research, she discovered Reverse Kegels and decided to give them a try. She begins her routine by sitting comfortably on a chair, taking a few deep breaths and relaxing her body. She slowly pushes down on her pelvic floor muscles, imagining she's trying to pass gas, and holds this position while continuing to breathe. After a few seconds, she gradually releases the muscles and repeats the exercise for her desired number of repetitions.
Now that you know how to do Reverse Kegels, you are well on your way to improving the strength and flexibility of your pelvic floor muscles. Remember to be patient, consistent, and gentle with yourself as you learn to control and relax these muscles. With practice, you'll find relief from pelvic pain, improved bladder control, and many other benefits that come with balanced pelvic floor health. Don't forget to share this helpful guide with friends and family, and explore our other articles on Pelvic Floor Therapy to deepen your understanding further.