The Secret to a Better Orgasm: Kegel Exercises
You may like to focus on muscles at the gym, but what about in the bedroom? Weight training shouldn’t just focus on your quads, calves, biceps, or shoulders, your pelvic floor muscles should also be put in the rotation. Yes, we’re talking Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises. These workouts are not only important when you’re strengthening your vagina post-childbirth or controlling urinary incontinence, but can also improve the intensity of your orgasms. Pelvic floor exercises are a must for everyone (even men).
When exactly did this become a thing?
Let’s start with a little history. While you may have heard about it more thanks to the Internet, when celebrities talk about doing Kegels or videos showing you exactly how to do a rep, the exercises were developed in the 1940s. American gynecologist Dr. Arnold H. Kegel developed them as a nonsurgical way to help women who had issues with leaking urine. He saw major success with the exercise, with a 93% cure rate. No wonder we still talk about Kegels today!
What are pelvic floor muscles?
It’s a struggle to work on something you can’t see. Pelvic health expert and Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health Medical Board Member Dr. Kathleen Novicki shares what are pelvic floor muscles.
“Pelvic floor muscles are the support structures that hold all our organs up against gravity and supports hips and lower back and comprises of ligaments and muscles and connective tissue,” Dr. Novicki says.
An easy way to find your pelvic floor muscles is by stopping the flow of urine when you’re sitting on the toilet. Don’t do this too often, just until you figure out how it feels. You can also insert a finger or tampon into the vagina and squeeze the muscles around it. The muscles you feel “lifting” are the ones we want to work on.
As I said before, doing these exercises don’t just help when you’re having issues. Dr. Novicki explains how a healthy pelvic floor can also help your orgasms.
“When we have a healthy functioning pelvic floor that brings blood flow into the area, we have an elastic, flexible pelvic floor. It is highly sensitive so we can gain pleasure from even the slightest sensation. In addition, a strong pelvic floor muscle can contribute to a stronger and more pleasurable orgasm,” Dr. Novicki says.
Just like a normal workout, you can do this with or without weights. Why use weights? It gives your muscles something to contract around and you can easily feel if you’re doing the exercise correctly. Also, like weight training, it will strengthen and tone your muscles faster. We recommend working with a pelvic health therapist to monitor your progress
If using an exerciser*, like Exercise Her, wash your hands and lubricate the exerciser. Slowly push into vagina past PC muscles, leaving cord outside of the body for easier removal. Then do the following:
To do one rep
- Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles.
- Hold for 1-10 seconds.
- Fully relax your muscles.
Complete three sets with 10 to 15 reps in each set. Rest for one minute in between sets. Make sure you clean your exerciser before and after each use.
*Exerciser may be used during menstruation only in tandem with a pad; do not use exerciser and tampon at the same time.
Tips for beginners
If you’re a beginner here are some great tips. The main message: start slow.
Try the heaviest weight first and use it while lying down to gain awareness of your pelvic floor muscles. Dr. Novicki explains that “when a muscle is weak, sometimes you have a low sensitivity. That’s why we may recommend you start with the larger weight so you can get a sense of what you’re gripping.”
Start with one-second squeezes and then gradually increase to 10-second squeezes while lying down. Once you’re comfortable, do the exercises standing up.
To do the exercises correctly, fully relaxing the muscles after each squeeze is key. If you’re having trouble, try breathing with full inhales and exhales. Be mindful of lower body muscles contracting and relaxing.
How do I know when to change weights?
We recommend exercising with each weight for four to six weeks (or for however long your health care provider recommends) before moving to the next one.
“When you are doing repetitions, if you’re finished and you feel like you have another two or three reps in you then it’s time to move up,” Dr. Novicki adds.
While these exercises are mostly known as something for women, men can also benefit. These can help improve incontinence, manage prostate pain, and increase sexual pleasure.
Pelvic floor exercises are a simple routine to add to your day. Give it a try and you should start seeing results within a few weeks or months!