Kegel barbells are designed to help you strengthen your pelvic muscles much the same way that squeezing a rubber ball in your hand helps strengthen those muscles when an accident, illness, surgery or natural aging weakens them. Using Kegel barbells helps you identify and focus on the muscles that need to be strengthened.
Your pelvic floor muscles form a natural girdle that supports your bladder, rectum, urethra and uterus. These muscles weaken over time and can also be affected by pregnancy and childbirth. When the pelvic floor muscles weaken, it can contribute to incontinence and interfere with bowel control as well as make sex less pleasurable. Like any other muscle, your pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened through consistent, focused exercise.
Kegel barbells are a pair of small, soft balls with smaller and more solid balls inside of them. The outer balls are connected by a short cord. Another, longer cord is attached to one of the balls to facilitate removing the barbells. You insert the barbells with the cord facing downward, much the same way you would a tampon. This positions the barbells so that they are stacked vertically inside of you. When you rock in a chair, swing on a swing or walk, the weight of the inner balls causes them to rock. This alone will not strengthen your muscles, but it produces a pleasant sensation that reminds you to tighten your pelvic muscles. It also helps you to focus on the specific muscles that require strengthening.
Empty your bladder before beginning. Insert the barbells with the string outside and lie flat on your back on your bed or the floor. Press your lower back down to ensure that you are not arching it. Inhale and tighten your muscles the same way you would if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Concentrate on pulling your internal muscles in toward your spine and up toward your navel as you count to three. Exhale and breathe normally as you keep your muscles as tight as you can for a slow count of five. Relax your muscles. Repeat at least nine more times. As the exercises get easier to do, try them sitting up or standing and keep increasing the repetitions until you can comfortably do three sets of 12 at least three times per week.
Tips and Hints
Set aside a regular time to do your exercises, such as when you first wake up in the morning, or while watching TV or a movie in the evening. Wash your Kegel barbells with hot water and antibacterial soap after every use to ensure that they are clean and ready to go for the next time. Keep them out of the reach of children.
Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.