Nov 20

How can I strengthen my pelvic floor without kegels?

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There is a huge myth in the world that kegels are the only answer to getting your pelvic floor in shape. But lots of people wonder – how can I strengthen my pelvic floor without kegels??

A Kegel is the ‘lift and squeeze’ of your pelvic floor (so named after the MAN who ‘invented’ them) and it’s basically the only thing that most people talk about when it comes to pelvic floor health and I just don’t understand why!

Kegels can be really helpful. If the pelvic floor isn’t activating properly it can be really important to learn how to consciously activate the pelvic floor and teach it to switch on. And there is lots of evidence to show that they can be beneficial (although I would highly recommend you go to a women’s health physio to ensure you are doing them correctly).

But one of the analogies I often use with my clients is that doing kegels is a bit like doing bicep contractions instead of bicep curls to get strong biceps. All muscles need weight and movement to gain strength and the pelvic floor is no different.

In 2016, Crawford et al did a study to find out the pelvic floor response to a list of exercises compared to kegels. Here is what they found:

Percent Greater Than Isolated Kegel

  • 1. Lunge: 42% (0-80) p<0.001
  • 2. Squat: 30% (-40-75) p<0.001
  • 3. Side Lying Bent Knee Lift: 25% (14-72) p<0.001
  • 4. Side Lying Straight Leg Circle: 25% (-33-63) p<0.001
  • 5. Butterfly: 36% (-25-90) p<0.001
  • 6. Bridge: 56% (15-82) p<0.001
  • 7. Corkscrew: 21% (-50-57) p<0.001
  • 8. Hovering: 49% (-12-80) p<0.001
  • 9. All 4s Bent Knee Lift: 30% (-22-71) p<0.001
  • 10. Cat Into Cow: 41% (-5-73) p<0.001
Each of the ten movements produced a mean statistically significant increase in PF activity than traditional (stationary) Kegel exercises.

So if you’ve been wondering “how can I strengthen my pelvic floor without kegels?” – as you can see, kegels are not the only answer to improving your pelvic floor function. This is what Centred Mums classes are all about! 

Get in touch if you want to find out how Centred Mums can help you with your pelvic floor health.

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