Kegels: Are They Bad for You?

November 30, 2023

Kegel exercises have long been a topic of debate when it comes to pelvic floor health. Are they truly effective, or could they potentially worsen the situation? As someone who has dedicated over two decades to helping women with pelvic floor issues, I have my own perspective on this matter. It’s important to consider the individual circumstances and understand what your pelvic floor truly needs.


To comprehend the Kegel dilemma, you must first grasp the nature of these exercises. A Kegel involves the contraction and relaxation of your entire pelvic floor muscle group. Picture it as a bowl of muscles within your pelvis, lifting and relaxing. The question then arises: Should you engage in Kegels or not?


It’s essential to recognize that, for many women, the pelvic floor is often both tight and weak, not loose and in need of strength. This distinction is crucial in understanding why Kegels may not be the ultimate solution. If your pelvic floor is already tight, simply squeezing it more won’t yield the desired results. Instead, relaxation is the key.


Consider the analogy of a bicep muscle. If your bicep is already contracted at its maximum, further squeezing won’t make it stronger. It’s the same with your pelvic floor. If it’s perpetually tight due to lack of proper blood flow and incorrect strengthening methods (like excessive Kegels), it won’t respond favorably. What it needs is to find a relaxed state before it can effectively engage in strength-building activities.


Doing countless Kegels won’t change this dynamic. It’s vital to first learn how to relax the pelvic floor and bring its tone back to a neutral state. From this baseline, you can gradually incorporate strengthening exercises.


For women with a tight pelvic floor, excessive Kegels may lead to pelvic pain, worsened leakage, and even referred symptoms. The pelvic floor must learn to relax before it can effectively strengthen. So, if you find yourself squeezing incessantly, it’s time to reconsider your approach. Relaxation and movement are key.


Remember, as young children learn to potty train by moving and engaging their pelvic floor, adults should prioritize movement to engage this crucial muscle group. It’s not about sitting and squeezing; it’s about getting up and moving, allowing your pelvic floor to naturally strengthen through appropriate exercises.


So next time you’re at a red light, instead of doing Kegels, consider the benefits of getting up and moving when you have a few minutes. There are exercises available on our YouTube channel that can help you strengthen your pelvic floor without relying solely on Kegels. The key is to find a balanced approach that addresses the unique needs of your pelvic floor.


In conclusion, the decision of whether to Kegel or not to Kegel depends on your individual circumstances. A comprehensive understanding of your pelvic floor’s needs, coupled with the right exercises, can lead to improved pelvic floor function without solely relying on traditional Kegel exercises.


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