Kegel Exercises to Help the Lower Abdomen

Whether you've had children or experience a little leak when you sneeze or cough, you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises. The Kegel exercise is named for the doctor who developed this technique of strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. You can do Kegel exercises anytime, anywhere and no one will know you are working the muscles of your pelvic floor to help strengthen your lower abs.

Benefits of Kegels

When you are standing in line at the grocery store and flexing your pelvic floor muscles, you are not only strengthening your pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles, you are also reducing your risk of suffering from prolapsed organs and a leaky bladder. If you've had children, you may know how difficult it can be to control your bladder due to a weakened pelvic floor. A strong pelvic floor also supports your spine and hips to help alleviate lower back pain. Last, but not least, you can enjoy enhanced sexual pleasure if you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

Kegel Muscles

Make sure you are strengthening the correct muscles when attempting to do Kegel exercises. The easiest way for a woman to find her pelvic floor muscles is to lie on your back and place your fingers on your lower abdomen. Squeeze your muscles between your thighs and around your vagina and anus. You should feel a pulling sensation in your vagina and anus, but your abdomen and buttocks should not contract.

Frequency and Duration

You can perform Kegel exercises while standing in line at the supermarket, sitting at your desk in the office or while riding on an elevator. You can experience improved pelvic floor muscle tone and strength by doing 15 repetitions, three times each day. Hold each contraction for five seconds and then relax for five seconds before starting the next repetition. Do 15 repetitions while lying in bed before you go to sleep or when you wake up. Do your next set in the middle of the day while standing in line at the coffee shop or standing at your desk. Do your final set of Kegels sitting at your desk at the end of the day.

Measuring Improvement

How can you tell if doing all those pelvic floor contractions is doing any good? You should notice that you can hold your urine longer, with less urgency, and you’ll experience less leakage when you cough or sneeze. As you continue to do Kegel exercises, your lower abdominal muscles will grow stronger and your lower back pain will decrease. Over time, you should also be able to hold each contraction longer and contract the pelvic floor muscles tighter.

 

About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.