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Kegel Exercises

Finding the Right Muscles for Kegel Exercises

Find the right muscles. This is important. Your doctor, nurse, or physical therapist can help make sure you are doing Kegel exercises the right way.
 
When doing these exercises, you should tighten the two major muscles that stretch across your pelvic floor. They are the "hammock" muscle and the "triangle" muscle. Here are three methods to check for the correct muscles:
 
  • Try to stop the flow of urine when you are sitting on the toilet. If you can do it, you are using the right muscles.
     
  • Imagine that you are trying to stop passing gas. Squeeze the muscles you would use. If you sense a "pulling" feeling, those are the right muscles for pelvic exercises.
     
  • Lie down and put your finger inside your vagina. Squeeze as if you were trying to stop urine from coming out. If you feel tightness on your finger, you are squeezing the right pelvic muscle.
     
Don't squeeze other muscles at the same time. Be careful not to tighten your stomach, legs, or other muscles. Squeezing the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder control muscles. Just squeeze the pelvic muscle. Don't hold your breath.
 
Repeat these Kegel exercises, but don't overdo them. At first, find a quiet spot to practice -- your bathroom or bedroom -- so you can concentrate. Lie on the floor. Pull in the pelvic muscles and hold for a count of three. Then relax for a count of three. Work up to 10 to 15 repetitions each time you exercise.
 

Protecting Your Pelvic Muscles

You can protect your pelvic muscles from further damage by bracing yourself. Think ahead just before sneezing, lifting, or jumping. Sudden pressure from such actions can hurt those pelvic muscles. Squeeze your pelvic muscles tightly, and hold on until after you sneeze, lift, or jump.
 
After you train yourself to tighten the pelvic muscles for these moments, you will most likely have fewer accidents.
 
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