If there is one thing that is better than sex, it’s great sex. There are many things that you can do to make your sex life better.
However, many women tend to overlook the one thing they can do to significantly improve their sexual experience that doesn’t cost anything.
While there are many things you can buy from adult stores and brands to bring an extra spark to your bedroom, one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do is Kegel exercises.
You might instantly associate these exercises with postnatal care or aging. However, they can be incredibly useful for women of all ages. In this guide, we are going to look at how you can use kegel exercises to have better sex.
What Are Kegel Exercises?
Before you jump straight into doing Kegels, you need to know what they are. Kegel exercises are movements that help to strengthen the muscles that make up the pelvic floor. They are most commonly performed by women, however, they can also be done by men.
Kegel exercises involve the voluntary contraction of the Kegel or pelvic floor muscles. The movements can be sustained or rapid.
These exercises are often performed to improve urinary incontinence, however, they are also useful in improving sexual function in men and women.
Identifying Kegel Muscles
In order to successfully perform Kegel exercises, you will need to know which muscles you are supposed to be contracting. There is a simple, fool-proof method of identifying your Kegels which we will outline below.
Step 1: get comfortable in a sitting or lying position. Imagine the sensation of urinating. This can be easier with a full bladder but safer with an empty bladder.
Step 2: imagine that you have to stop the flow of your urine mid-pee. This should cause your Kegel muscles to react.
Step 3: pay close attention to the muscles that react when you imagine stopping the stream. These are your pelvic muscles and are what you should be using during your Kegel exercises.
It is important that you don’t actually stop your urine flow as a Kegel exercise as this can lead to painful urinary tract infections.
Sitting Fast-Twitch Exercise
There are two main types of tissue in your pelvic floor muscles, some that are fast-twitch and some that are slow-twitch.
The fast-twitch muscle fibers are there to help you react quickly to things. It is these fibers that help you stop a leak of urine when you sneeze or cough.
These are very important muscles to tone. Below is a guide to fast-twitching exercises you can do while sitting down.
Step 1: sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Focus your attention on your pelvic floor muscles. You can use the imagined urine method to get focused more easily.
Step 2: clench your pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to squeeze or hold something
Step 3: hold your Kegels in this position for 2 seconds before releasing.
Repeat this exercise 10 times per set. You should aim to complete at least 3 sets per day. These can be done in one sitting or spread throughout the day when you have time.
Sitting Slow-Twitch Exercise
Toning and strengthening your slow-twitch muscles is just as important as your fast-twitch muscles. The slow-twitch muscles aren’t going to help you avoid accidental urination during sneezing or coughing fits.
However, they do help to keep your internal organs in place and supported. They can also help you go longer between needing to use the toilet.
Step 1: sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Focus your mind and attention on your pelvic floor muscles as before.
Step 2: clench your pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to prevent yourself from passing gas. You should feel this contraction toward your butt as well as your Kegels.
Step 3: hold this contraction for between 5 and 10 seconds before relaxing. You should aim to increase the time holding the contraction as your muscles get stronger.
Again, this exercise should be repeated 10 times per set. You should aim to complete 3 sets per day.
Horizontal Kegel Exercise
There are also some Kegel exercises you can do while lying on your back. This can be more comfortable or more convenient for some people. It can also help you to focus on your pelvic floor muscles when you aren’t distracted by things around you. This exercise can be performed lying on your bed or on the floor.
Step 1: lie flat on your back on the floor or on your bed. If you need to, you can bend your knees and place your feet flat on the bed or floor to make things more comfortable for you. Your hands should be gently resting on your stomach.
Step 2: focus your attention on your pelvic floor and contract them. You should make sure that your stomach muscles aren’t working. If your hands detect your stomach muscles contracting, refocus on your Kegels and contract them again.
Step 3: Once you have contracted your pelvic muscles and not your stomach muscles, you should hold it for between 5 and 10 seconds before releasing.
Complete this exercise 10 times per set and 3 sets should be completed each day to improve the strength of your muscles.
Standing Kegel Exercise
If you particularly struggle with discomfort in your pelvis or incontinence when you are standing, it is possible to practice some Kegel exercises while you are in a standing position. This is great to do when you are queueing in a store.
Step 1: make sure that you are standing straight upright with good posture. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Make sure that you are focusing on your Kegel muscles.
Step 2: contract your pelvic muscles fully. You should feel them move up and inward. With this exercise, you may feel some additional tension in your thighs. This is fine, however, you should not feel any tension in your stomach.
Step 3: hold this contraction of your pelvic muscles for up to 10 seconds before relaxing. You should see how long you can hold this contraction to challenge your muscles.
As with the other exercises, this contraction can be repeated 10 times in a set and you should aim for 3 sets of this exercise per day to see a significant improvement in your Kegel muscle tone.
When Are Kegel Exercises Beneficial?
There are many things that can cause our pelvic floor muscles to lose their strength throughout our lives. Many of these things include pregnancy, childbirth, aging, surgery, and excessive strain from excess weight and constipation.
When our pelvic floor muscles have weakened, it can lead to increased instances of incontinence and less enjoyable sex.
If you struggle with leaking a small amount of urine when you sneeze, laugh, or cough, known as stress incontinence, Kegels can be very effective for you. If you suffer from urinary urge incontinence, where you feel a sudden, strong urge to urinate, Kegels can also help reduce these symptoms.
If you struggle with severe stress incontinence, or you experience overflow incontinence, Kegel exercises are likely to be less effective at treating these issues. However, they can still be beneficial in general.
How Do Strong Kegels Improve Sex?
By now it is probably quite clear how Kegel exercises can help to improve issues with minor incontinence. However, you might be wondering how they can be helpful in improving your sex life.
One of the main ways that Kegels can improve your sex life is actually a benefit for your male partner. When you are able to strongly contract these muscles during penetrative intercourse, it can make sex feel even better for your partner.
Thankfully, the sexual benefits of strong pelvic muscles aren’t exclusive to your partner. Women have reported feeling stronger orgasms because the muscles can contract harder when you reach climax.
There is also an argument for the fact that having better control over your pelvic floor muscles and putting effort into keeping them tight and strong can have a positive effect psychologically. This can lead to a better experience in the bedroom.
When To Do Kegels
Completing 10 sets of Kegel exercises 3 times a day can seem like a lot of time to spend contracting your pelvic floor muscles. However, it is easy to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine.
Because they can be done in sitting or standing positions, it is easy to do these exercises during your working day or during your commute. You can even do them while you are waiting in line to check out your groceries.
When To Expect Results
If you manage to complete your Kegel exercises on a regular basis, you can expect to see results in as little as a few weeks. The results that you are likely to see include fewer leaks from stress incontinence.
If you want the results you see to continue, you will need to make Kegel exercises part of your daily routine permanently.
What To Do If You Are Struggling
If you attempt to complete Kegel exercises but are finding it difficult or experiencing any discomfort when performing the exercises, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.
A visit to your doctor or OBGYN can help you learn how to do the exercises properly and make sure that there aren’t any underlying issues that are causing your discomfort.
Kegels are a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and can lead to better sex for you and your partner.
There are many other benefits to incorporating these exercises into your routine to improve your pelvic health and overall well-being.