5 common mistakes when doing your Kegels

Kegel exercises are important to our wellbeing as they provide us with methods to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises offer an array of benefits including improved blood circulation, enhanced orgasms, and an improved pelvic floor. It is important that users perform Kegel exercises correctly and as designed, because doing Kegels incorrectly can negate the desired outcomes of performing the exercises. Users are prone to make Kegel mistakes when they do not understand the exercise being performed. Nonetheless, we have put together a list of five common mistakes when doing your Kegel exercises so that you can avoid a few of the most common Kegel errors and get the most out of your exercise.    

Kegel mistake n°1: Squeezing the wrong muscles

One of the most common mistakes users make when performing Kegel exercises includes targeting and squeezing the wrong muscles. (1) Dr Pamela Levin explains, “If you put your hand on your abdomen and you feel your belly muscles clenching, you’re not squeezing the right place. If you feel your butt cheeks tightening and coming up off the chair, then you are not squeezing the right place.” It is important to ensure that you are performing Kegel exercises as instructed. Many users often believe that squeezing their buttock muscles is an indicator that they are doing the Kegels correctly. (2) In fact, the squeezing of the buttocks may be a sign that you are doing Kegels wrong. Squeezing your butt will not strengthen your pelvic floor muscle, and it should remain relaxed during Kegel exercises.

Devices such as Perifit exist to prevent you from doing Kegels incorrectly. Perifit considers the user’s specific needs and body type. In addition, it will help you determine the most useful Kegel exercises for your own body and help ensure that you are targeting and training the correct muscles. 

Kegel mistake n°2: Tightening instead of strengthening

Another common mistake that leads to users doing Kegels wrong is working out the intended muscles incorrectly. It is important that the proper workout be utilized for the intended muscle, because strains to the pelvic floor can be irreversible. Take the time to learn how to do Kegel exercises correctly. It is crucial that users understand that Kegel exercises do not involve tension to the buttocks, thighs, or abdomen. Instead, when exercising, it is significant that you find a comfortable position that enables you to contract and isolate the pelvic floor muscle without tension and perform these exercises without pain. 

(3) Keep in mind that pelvic floor training is about strengthening without tightening. A pelvic floor that is greatly tightened, is as injured as a pelvic floor that is weak. Both a weak pelvic floor and highly tightened pelvic floor will lead to loss of bladder function. The aim is making the pelvic floor stronger.  Therefore, users must be sure to relax, breathe, and strive to perform the Kegel exercises as designed. 

Kegel mistake n°3: Forgetting the “relaxing” part of Kegels

Forgetting to relax is another common error that users make and that frequently  leads to Kegel mistakes. Kegel exercises are more than just contractions and entail letting go and reducing tension externally and internally. (3) Great Kegel results are often achieved via robust contractions, however the pelvic floor muscle can become fatigued very quickly. Therefore, it is paramount that users relax during break periods so that they can give the next contraction maximum effort. 

(4) In addition, contracting pelvic floor muscles will help build strength, however, being conscious of those muscles and how they function remains important. Not releasing your contractions fully may overwork or over-tighten these muscles. This can cause damage to the pelvic floor. The ability to relax these muscles can be extremely beneficial during childbirth because it facilitates the baby’s movement through the birth canal and reduces the probability of vaginal tearing. 

Kegel mistake n°4: forgetting to work on your breathing technique

In addition to relaxing, (5) Kegel users must remember to breathe, and improve their breathing technique. A strong breathing technique will greatly reduce Kegel mistakes. Holding your breath can cause you not to get the most out of your Kegel exercises, and this creates an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. This heaviness will mislead you by making your muscles feel tight and give you a sense that the Kegel exercises are working. However, they are not in fact working as designed and you could be putting pressure on your pelvic floor which may cause it to become damaged. 

(5) One way to overcome this challenge is to be aware that it is an issue. Be conscious of your breathing patterns and habits during exercise. Most of us will hold our breath during exercises, unconsciously making Kegel mistakes. Remember to develop a breathing pattern. This will not only improve the outcomes of your Kegel exercises, but it will help improve your posture and overall effectiveness in terms of performing Kegel exercises. 

Kegel mistake n°5: being inconsistent with your training routine

One of the most common errors that leads to doing Kegels incorrectly is simply being inconsistent. (5) If you are doing Kegel exercises correctly and frequently, you should see results within a week. If you are not seeing results, you may need to request a meeting with your healthcare physician to discuss the situation.  

(4) Nonetheless, all exercises require patience, effort, and consistency. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscle is no exception. You will want to ensure that you are setting aside at least five minutes each day to complete your routine. In addition, you want to set aside time so that you can do the Kegel exercises properly and without being rushed. Because doing Kegels wrong can not only be a waste of your precious time but can also damage your pelvic floor muscles. 

To avoid doing Kegels incorrectly and repeating some of the most common errors associated with Kegel exercises, consider Perifit as your pelvic floor trainer. Perifit uses the biofeedback approach to provide you with instant feedback on your pelvic floor strength and the quality of your contractions (Kegels) by using its internal sensor and mobile app. This device uses a mechanism, which can be accessed through your smartphone,  to provide pelvic floor biofeedback training to all users regardless of age or pelvic floor condition. Perifit offers a fun and engaging way to increase your pelvic floor strength.


Learn more:

 

References: 

  1. Penn Medicine, “Are you doing your Kegel Exercises Correctly” date accessed on 08/29/2021: https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/womens-health/2015/may/how-to-do-kegel-exercises-correctly
  2. YouTube, “The 5 Kegel Exercises to avoid!” date accessed on 08/29/2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10muCEsbuV8
  3. Perifit, “Kegel 101: How do you do Kegel exercises?” date accessed on 08/29/2021: https://eu.perifit.co/pages/content-67-kegel-101
  4. Intiminia, “Are you doing Kegel’s wrong? 8 Kegel mistakes and tips to improve” date accessed on 08/29/2021: https://www.intimina.com/blog/8-kegel-mistakes/
  5. Elvie, “5 common mistakes when doing your Kegels” date accessed on 08/29/2021: https://www.elvie.com/en-us/blog/5-common-mistakes-when-doing-your-kegels