What are Kegel Exercises?

If you’ve ever wanted to have stronger orgasms or better erections, it may be time to start exploring the benefits of Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises were invented by Arnold Kegel in 1948 and provide a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. The main muscles in the pelvic floor involved are the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, the bulbocavernosus (BC) muscle, and the ischiocavernous (IC) muscle.

The PC muscle is a large muscle, stretching from the pubic bone to the tailbone, and is the most well-known of the pelvic floor muscles for its involvement in Kegel exercises. The PC muscle serves many important roles in the pelvic floor, including supporting lower organs (such as the bladder, small intestine, and uterus in women), urinary and bowel movement functions, and contracting during orgasm.

The BC muscle is important in men because, due to its prime location around the base of the penis, it is responsible for helping squeeze out urine and semen from the urethra, as well as squeezing more blood into the penis. The IC muscle sits right next to the BC muscle and helps to maintain erections.

Benefits of Kegel Exercises

Researchers have found the benefits of Kegel exercises to extend to both women and men.  In men, they help to control premature ejaculations, facilitate stronger erections and better orgasms. For  women, the benefits of Kegel exercises can include stopping urinary incontinence and increasing the intensity of orgasms.

Do Kegel Exercises Make You Tighter?

Kegel exercises won’t literally make a woman’s vagina tighter. The real reason people ask “do kegel exercises make you tighter?” is because they want to give their partner more pleasure during intercourse. Toning the pelvic floor muscles that surround the vagina means you can squeeze your muscles during intercourse, thus providing the pleasant sensation of tightening around your partner’s penis. It will take several months of doing the exercises to be able to give your partner’s penis a squeeze, but it’s well worth the effort because stronger pelvic floor muscles mean stronger orgasms!

How to Locate the Correct Muscles for Kegel Exercises

For women, one easy way to locate the muscles is to simply lie down, insert a finger into the vagina, and then squeeze around your finger. If you cannot feel anything then you may want to try this with two fingers. If you still can’t feel anything, then your muscles may be very weak.

There are three easy ways for men to check if they’re engaging the right muscles. First, the next time you go to urinate, briefly stop the flow of urine mid-stream as best you can – this will help give you an idea of which muscles need to be engaged. The second way to find the muscles is by palpating for them with your fingers. While laying down, use a few fingers to push down gently on your perineum (the area between the anus and the scrotum). If you try to squeeze the muscles you used to stop yourself from peeing, you should be able to feel a contraction under your fingers. The third way to locate these muscles is while you have an erection. By contracting the muscles during an erection, you should be able to see your erection rise a little bit, and then drop back down when you relax.

Introduction to Kegel Balls

A good way for women to workout out their pelvic floor muscles is by learning how to use Kegel balls. Kegel balls – also known as Ben Wa balls – come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, materials, and weights. The benefits of kegel balls are an improved pelvic floor workout. Please note that you should check with your physician before using Kegel balls if you are pregnant or recently gave birth, have pelvic pain, have an active pelvic infection, or recently had gynecological surgery.

It’s best to start with a low weight for your Kegel balls and work your way up slowly to a heavier weight so as not to strain the muscles of your pelvic floor and cause injury. While perhaps counter intuitive, newbies to Kegel balls will actually want to start with larger balls as opposed to smaller ones. The pelvic floor muscles will be gripping the balls to stop them from falling out, and it is easier to prevent something larger from falling out than something smaller.

It’s also important to consider the physical size of your vagina when choosing a size. If you naturally have a small internalize size, you may need to start with the small Kegel balls and eventually go down to the mini sized balls. This applies in particular if getting the larger balls inside of you is painful or not possible.

When it comes to choosing a material for your Kegel balls, it’s best to go either with pure silicone, glass, metal, ABS plastic, or jade. It’s also a good idea to choose balls that have a removal string. And don’t forget to get some lube as well! This will help the insertion of the Kegel balls to be comfortable. Just be sure that you aren’t using silicone lube with silicone Kegel balls; when in doubt, opt for a water-based lube to be on the safe side.

How to Use Kegel Balls

In order to insert the Kegel balls, lie down in a comfortable position and apply a generous amount of lubricant to your vaginal opening (and inside the vagina, if you’d like). You may also want to apply lube to the Kegel balls themselves before insertion. Once everything is lubed up, start to insert the first ball into the vagina, followed by the string and the next ball. Push in the balls as far as is comfortable for you. The removal string should hang outside of your vagina.

Proper placement of kegel balls assures the full benefits of kegel exercises.

 

Your body will need to tighten its pelvic floor muscles to keep the balls in, so feel free to go about your day with the balls inside of you. The balls can be left in for up to six hours, depending on which ones you’re using. Read the instructions to learn how to use your specific set of Kegel balls. Keeping them in longer than recommended can overexert your pelvic floor muscles and lead to injury. The balls should feel secure in your vagina – if you feel like they’re about to fall out, push them deeper into the vaginal canal. You can also use the balls to practice strengthening your pelvic floor by performing sets of PC squeezes with the balls in. See below for instructions on how to do these.

Kegel balls can also be used during sex play. Some women enjoy having the Kegel balls in them while being stimulated with a vibrator. Others enjoy engaging in anal sex while the balls are in their vagina – the balls push against the G spot , facilitating a G Spot orgasm (note: Kegel balls are NOT designed to be inserted into the anus – they are designed for the vagina only). You can even leave the Kegel balls in during vaginal penetration with a penis or dildo to create new sensations for the both of you. No matter how you decide to use your Kegel balls –  remember to wash them thoroughly with soap and water after each use.

How to Do a Kegel

These can be done by actively engaging the muscles and squeezing for five seconds, and then taking a five second rest break. Do this four or five times in a row, up to three times daily, slowly working your way up to sets of ten. Make sure you don’t skip over the relaxing part of the exercise!

When learning how to do a Kegel, it is important for the muscles to move through their full range of motion in order to get all the benefits. Make sure you are incorporating breathing in your exercises. Kegel exercises are the same for men as for women. Once you have learned to isolate the correct muscle group, incorporate the contract-and-release technique of Kegel exercises into your daily routine for maximum benefit.

Do Kegel Exercises Work?

Do Kegel exercises work? The short answer is “Yes”. However, it will generally take three to six months of doing regular exercises to see improvement. If you are struggling to perform pelvic floor exercises on your own, or are experiencing pain while doing any form of Kegel exercises, it’s a good idea to seek out a physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor.

How a Sex Coach Can Help

Many sex coaches are very aware of the big benefits of Kegel exercises for sexual dysfunction and teach their clients Kegel exercises and associated breathing techniques. A sex coach can also motivate you to keep up your regimen, train you to control your ejaculation, or help you develop to have stronger orgasms. It’s always helpful to have a coach to keep you focused and working on your goals! (And here’s some guidance on finding the best professional sex coach for you.

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Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman, MA is the Co-Creator of the Somatica® Method and Co-Founder of Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in San Francisco, where she works with clients to have profoundly pleasurable and fulfilling lives. She has co-authored multiple academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Celeste has her MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and her BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Celeste has taken the Hakomi Pro-Skills Training as well as multiple other trainings on sexuality and relationships. Celeste also has a Certification in Sexological Bodywork from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS).