Kegel exercises were developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel. Your basic kegel exercise involves simply squeezing your pelvic floor muscles as if to stop the floor of urine or prevent flatulation, though this may not be as simple as it sounds. A kegel exercise device helps you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor Problems
Weak pelvic floor muscles may cause a number of physical problems. Incontinence, premature ejaculations and decreased sexual pleasure are just some of the issues you can experience if your pelvic floor muscles lack strength.
Benefits of Kegel Exercises
Strong kegel muscles may even improve your ab workouts. Performing a kegel contraction when doing an abdominal crunch makes your ab muscles work harder, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., a professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala. in an article for "Fitness."
Where You Can Perform Kegel Exercises
You don't need a home gym to perform basic kegel exercises. You can exercise your pelvic floor muscles almost anywhere, including in your home, office or while driving. When using a kegel exercise device, however, privacy is essential. A full-length mirror in your home allows you to monitor your progress as you exercise.
Locating the Pelvic Floor Muscles
Begin your kegel exercise program by locating your pelvic floor muscles. These are the same muscles that control the flow of urine, so practice stopping urination mid-stream. Once you've learned to control these muscles, you can begin performing kegel exercises with the exercise device.
Your Pubococcygeus Muscle
The specific muscle targeted by the kegel device is the pubococcygeus, or PC, muscle. The PC muscle runs from your tailbone to your pubic bone. Both men and women have a PC muscle and for both genders the PC muscle regulates the flow of urine and supports the pelvic organs. For men, this important muscle also supports erections.
How to Use the Device
Begin by placing the lightest weights in the device. Place the trainer over your erect member. Sit on the edge of a chair with your knees apart or stand in front of the mirror and use your pelvic floor muscles to raise and lower your member. Stay as rigid as possible while you lift the device between 1/2- and 3/4-inch with each repetition. Within a 10 to 15 minute session, you should perform three sets of six repetitions each. Repeat every other day for best results.