Word on the street is that many of us trying to make an effort to practice Kegel exercises (those exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles so that our vaginas stay tighter to deal with incontinence, to recover from childbirth, and to just, you know, have better sex) have been doing them wrong.
According to Women’s Health, “women usually work out the wrong muscle group, which can lead to even more problems than not doing them at all.”
According to experts, we’re squeezing too hard, and we need to try reverse Kegels, and we need to bring awareness to our pelvic floors using visualization, and blah, blah, blah. All sorts of elaborate directions just for someone to turn around and tell you months down the line that you’re still doing it all wrong. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
You can try and perfect the Kegel with the tips offered via Women’s Health (even though no one gives you a full-on visual of how to do it…I guess that would be awkward), or you could try something different that you might actually enjoy and that can work your entire body. As a yoga lover, I’ve learned that certain poses can work wonders when it comes to strengthening your pelvic floor. So just in case you’re interested in doing something a little more straightforward, or, you would like to integrate both Kegel and yoga exercises into your tightening practices, heeeeeeeere we go. *in a Slick Rick voice*
The Locust Pose
Good ol’ Salabhasana. The locust pose not only helps to tone the back of your body but by working on the glutes (if you’re doing it right) you’re working on the pelvic floor. The test is to ensure that you’re using both the hamstring and glutes to lift your legs. It’s quite an uncomfortable pose, but it’s worth it.
Flat on your belly, arms at your sides, lift your palms up. After taking a deep breath, slowly lift your chest, arms, and legs off of the floor while tightening your core and glutes on the way up. Hold for as long as you can and then slowly release the pose.
This pose is the beez and the neez for your perineum if you do it right. Start with your right leg. Bend it forward, right knee over your right ankle while straightening your left leg back and grounding your heel into the ground. Lift your body up, arms spread out to the sides and, again, focus on grounding your heel into the floor to get that kegel exercise going.
Nothing like lifting your pelvis up and holding it to really work that entire area (and don’t forget your butt!). Flat on your back on the ground, put your feet flat on the ground, close enough (but not too close) to your butt where your fingertips could tickle or touch the back of your ankles. When that’s accomplished, lift your hips up into the air as high as you can and then hold, clenching the glute muscles.
This one is tough, but don’t be afraid to put in work! Lift your arms, then bend your knees and push your hips back in a squat as though you were about to sit back in a chair. But don’t bend so far back that your hips are lower than your knees. Try to keep your back as straight as possible, not bending/crouching too far forward in the pose.
This pose is all about the pelvis.
Start off kneeling on the floor. Sit back so that your butt is on top of your heels and try to lower your upper body to the ground, arms either splayed out in front of you or rounded out to the sides, towards your butt. The pelvic muscles contract a great deal in this popular restorative pose.