Rethinking Kegels: A Pelvic Health Perspective

June 5, 2024

In the world of pelvic health and fitness, the topic of Kegel exercises often takes center stage. For many, it’s seen as a go-to solution for pelvic floor issues such as incontinence, pelvic floor muscle weakness, prolapse, pain,and more. However, is this approach always effective or even necessary?

Recently, I came across an advertisement for a new pelvic floor program that emphasized starting with basic Kegel exercises and incorporating them into everyday life and fitness activities. While this approach may seem logical on the surface, as a pelvic health professional with over two decades of experience, I’ve come to question its effectiveness and suitability for everyone.

Let’s delve into why the traditional approach to Kegels may not always be the best solution.

The traditional teaching of Kegels involves consciously contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, often accompanied by specific cues or exercises. However, this approach fails to consider how our bodies naturally engage these muscles during daily movements.  Think about it: when you lift a water bottle or walk up a flight of stairs, you don’t consciously tell your muscles to contract. They engage automatically as part of the movement process. Similarly, expecting individuals to consciously Kegel during every activity overlooks the natural coordination of muscle function.

Instead of focusing solely on Kegel exercises, I advocate for a holistic approach to pelvic health and fitness. This approach involves educating individuals on how their pelvic floor muscles function within the context of their overall movement patterns.

In my practice, I emphasize pelvic floor workouts that encourage natural muscle engagement without the need for conscious Kegeling. These workouts focus on movement quality, posture, and alignment, allowing the pelvic floor muscles to activate reflexively as part of functional movements.

While Kegels have their time and place, they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. Many individuals may find greater success by focusing on overall movement quality and allowing their pelvic floor muscles to engage naturally.

As we navigate the realm of pelvic health and fitness, it’s essential to challenge conventional wisdom and explore alternative approaches. By shifting our perspective away from solely relying on Kegels, we can empower individuals to achieve optimal pelvic health through holistic movement practices.

So, the next time you hear about Kegels, consider whether they align with your body’s natural movement patterns and overall wellness goals. Remember, pelvic health is about more than just isolated exercises-it’s about embracing movement in its entirety.

As always, here’s to a healthy and empowered journey towards pelvic wellness!

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