The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles in men and women that support the spine, help control bladder, and aid sexual function. By recognizing your pelvic floor muscles, doing Kegel exercises (a popular pelvic floor exercise), and practicing other pelvic floor exercises, you can increase the strength of these muscles. Over time, you may benefit from strong pelvic floor muscles, including reduced incontinence, reduced back pain, improved core muscle control, and a better sex life.
Method 1 of 3: Finding the Pelvic Floor Muscles
Step 1. Lie on your back and bend your knees
Maybe you've never done pelvic floor exercises. If so, start by finding and isolating these muscles. Place your hands on the pubic bone while forming a "V".
- The thumb and index finger should touch each other, and the palm should be along the pelvic bone and pelvic mound.
- This method of finding the pelvic floor can be used by both men and women. However, it is usually easier for women to use.
Step 2. Push your mid-back into the floor
As you press your lower back into the floor, try to tighten your lower abdominal muscles. Hold this position for 3-10 seconds. Relax the muscles and repeat several times.
- Your fingers should still be on the pubic bone, and down a few inches when you press your back to the floor.
- If possible, try relaxing your glutes, upper abs, and legs.
Step 3. Change the position of the hands and repeat this exercise
Now, spread your legs apart and place your fingers at the distance between your urethra and your anus (your perineum). Press your back back into the floor once more, and try to feel the squeezing and tightening sensation in this area.
- Your fingers should move upward toward your pelvic muscles as you tighten your abdominal muscles.
- If you still can't feel this movement, try stopping the flow of urine when you pee. Feel your muscles work to hold your pee, lift the muscles near your bladder, and try to imitate this movement while doing the exercise above. This method is only recommended to be done once to study the pelvic muscles. Do not repeat this exercise because it will cause bladder disorders.
Step 4. Look in the mirror if the lying down method doesn't work
If you're a man, lying on your back to find your pelvic floor muscles probably won't work. You can try standing naked in front of a mirror. Watch your body as you try to tighten your pelvic floor muscles. If you contract these muscles properly, your penis and scrotum will lift. When you relax your pelvic floor muscles, your penis and scrotum decrease as well.
Step 5. Go to the bathroom before trying the pelvic floor exercises
It helps if your bladder is empty, especially if you are prone to incontinence. The good thing is, if you continue to do this exercise, your incontinence will be much reduced.
Method 2 of 3: Practicing Kegels
Step 1. Find an enclosed private room to do Kegels
When you're first starting out, you'll need concentration to do the exercises effectively. If you're used to it, this exercise can be done in the office, car, or home without anyone knowing.
Step 2. Lie on your back or sit in a chair
Start in a comfortable position and maintain good posture, such as sitting up straight in a chair or lying on your back. Make sure you are comfortable before proceeding.
Step 3. Perform Kegel contractions
Contract the pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds, then release for 3 seconds. Repeat this exercise for 10 times. Do Kegels every day, and increase the number of sets as your muscles get stronger.
- Do 1 set in the first few days, then do 2-3 sets for the next few days.
- After a few weeks of Kegel exercises, begin to hold your contractions for 10 seconds at a time, and rest 10 seconds between contractions. Practice 3 sets per day, or 3 sets in a row every day.
Step 4. Perform quick contractions
Once you're able to contract your pelvic floor muscles, try making quick contractions. Instead of tightening and holding the muscles, contract and release them 10 times in a row. Rest after you do 10 contractions.
- At first, contractions and relaxation are difficult to get into rhythm. Watch your contractions strong and fast. After 2 weeks, this exercise should be easier to do.
- Do 3 sets of 10 contractions each day, then start doing 3 sets in a row.
Method 3 of 3: Train the Pelvic Floor Muscles
Step 1. Perform bridge
Kegel exercises are not the only way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. There are various exercises you can try, and one of them is bridge. Start by lying on your back and bending your knees, leaving a fist-sized space between your legs. After that, tighten your lower abdominal muscles and raise your pelvis off the floor. Stop when your shoulders and knees form a straight line. Hold for 3 seconds and slowly return your pelvis to the floor.
- Repeat 2 times. Try to do 10 repetitions for 3 sets. If you are used to 3 sets, increase the number of reps by 10 reps per set.
- Try not to turn your head when your pelvis is lifted, as this can strain your neck.
Step 2. Perform jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are a great exercise to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Start by bringing your feet together and lowering your hands. After that, tighten your pelvic floor muscles as you jump, spread your legs apart, and raise your arms above your head. Relax the pelvic floor muscles as you jump and bring your feet together and lower your arms back down.
Repeat for 30-60 seconds
Step 3. Practice wall squats
Lean against a wall, and spread your feet hip-width apart. Take a deep breath and tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Then, lower your back against the wall into a squat position (like sitting in a chair). Hold for 10 seconds, then stand back up.
Do 10 reps
Step 4. Perform a "dead bug crunch."
"Lie on your back on the floor, bend your knees and feet at knee height. Extend your arms firmly toward the ceiling. Take a deep breath, tighten your pelvic floor muscles, and straighten your left arm and left leg in opposite directions. Return to starting position, and repeat with the right side of your body.
Do 10 reps on each side
Step 5. Continue to exercise daily for at least 12 weeks
Get used to pelvic floor muscle exercises. The results of the exercise will be seen after you practice regularly for 12 weeks. You can see the results more clearly if you increase the intensity of your workout every week.
- Like any other muscle training, you should drink plenty of water and repeat it every day to strengthen your muscles and reduce weakness.
- When you first start, the pelvic area will be sore. Make sure you rest between sets or do sets at three different times of the day.