You Flex Your What? Kegel Time!
As a young woman, I had heard about kegeling here and there…. But I didn’t fully understand what all the hype was about. I had always thought of it to be some weird thing that Gwyneth Paltrow decided to do with her vagina, and that maybe it was a fad. Now bear with me…. Those were my thoughts when I was 16, and I would indeed love to try vaginal steaming- You go Gwyneth!
It wasn’t until I was 17, getting into weight training, that I walked into a pharmacy in Barcelona and saw a pink little ball with a string attached to it. I don’t know why I felt so drawn to it, but I picked it up and asked the pharmacist what it was. “In simple terms, it’s like weight training for your vagina”. Little 17 year old Julie was MINDBLOWN.
Lift weights with your what?
You can weight train your genitals? You can have strong genitals? Even though this sounded like fun to me, I didn’t yet realize that kegels are the most underrated exercise of all time. Most people don’t even realize they need to do kegels until they pee every time they laugh or sneeze- when this is a simple solution!
So yes, you bet your ass 17 year old Julie bought a kegel ball with her parents money that day, and went home to experiment. Upon inserting the ball, I was flabbergasted at how heavy it felt and how hard my vagina had to work in order to carry it- the same way I felt trying to do a dead lift or a squat- why is this so?
So What is it?
Kegel is just a fancy word for training your pelvic floor muscles. These fancy muscles, as pictured, are responsible for supporting organs like your bladder and uterus, as well as controlling the opening/closing of your anus, urethra, and vagina. Just like any other muscle, if it is weak… it doesn’t do its job. There are many things that can lead to weak pelvic floor muscles, but some of the most common things include childbirth, surgeries, constipation, age, cancer, ect.
When we have weak pelvic floor muscles, we can have issues such as incontinence (unable to control bladder or anus) resulting in leaks from both sides, lost sensitivity during sex, and poor erections. Clearly, non of those are desirable realities, and they can be aided in the right direction with Kegel training.
Kegel training is essential for incontinence, since the very issue is poor control of the sphincters that control the urethra and anus. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles have shown great success for those who suffer from leaks. Plus, they are highly recommended to pregnant women, since strong muscles= easier birth and recovery!
Mind-blowing Orgasms & Ejaculation Control
As a young woman, I hadn’t experienced any leakage issues, but quickly discovered that kegels made my orgasms feel like fireworks. Like any other exercise, they stimulate blood flow to the area, and produce the same contractions you would have when you orgasm. Along with that blood flow, they help our penis owning friends control ejaculation- many reporting a stronger force of ejaculation. So, next time you have sex or self pleasure, practice lightly squeezing your pelvic floor muscles, you will last longer and pleasure will feel greater. My friends and I joke that those are the “leg jerking” orgasms, or you might slightly blackout- who knows.
One thing I really hate is that kegels are marketed as a way to make a vagina “tighter”, or something exclusively for women. Thats a pretty poor marketing scheme, because the reality is that kegels tone the muscles in both genital types. They make the vaginal wall more elastic, active, and sensitive. They maintain blood flow so you can have stronger and longer erections, while not finishing prematurely. Having strong pelvic floor muscles means you can actively kegel on your partner, and be able to feel more during sex: try it out! If you are having vaginal sex, ask your partner to flex inside of you or you flex around them. Its a wonderful skill to up your sensitivity with your own body.
Now, I'll be writing a post on kegel devices, but you can do these right at home without the use of any products! Using weighted kegel exercises in the future will help you get even stronger- I can fully move a kegel ball up to my cervix, push it back down, and push it back up with ease. This did not happen overnight, and is pretty intermediate.
I would recommend moving to a kegel product once you feel you’ve mastered some simple exercises- these work for all genitals, so don’t be shy!
Note*: Since kegels stimulate blood flow and contractions, don’t be alarmed if you feel slightly aroused (hands-free!). It is not uncommon to reach orgasm from kegels alone.
5 sets of 20
If you aren’t sure how to kegel, simply urinate and stop the stream: that is a kegel. While laying down or standing, simply pulse your kegels in the above recommendation. This gets you used to using your muscles, and learning to control them.
Flex and Hold
I like to do these while standing to make them more challenging. Do a kegel, and hold it for 10 seconds, then release them. Make sure when doing these, you aren’t trying to flex your legs or glutes.
Flex on my amazing butterflies.
Try these exercises once a day for a week and see if you can note any clear differences... I know I did!