How to REALLY Do Kegels: Things I've Learned In Rehab

PLEASE READ THE COMMENT DISCUSSION ON THIS POSTING, SINCE THERE ARE VALID CONCERNS BEFORE FOLLOWING ANYTHING IN THIS POSTING. Let me be perfectly clear: This is NOT a posting about how to heal back pain. This remedy is for MY back pain, conjured after a few hours of one-on-one time with a physiotherapist who took $65 an hour for his diagnosis. If you have back problems, go to a professional because there’s no way you should be self-diagnosis, ‘cos that could seriously fuck you up.

THIS is about the proper way to do Kegel exercises, why getting the technique is right, and a bit of a warning about doing them wrong, as I’ve learned from personal experience.

Again, got back problems? There are professionals you need to see, not laypeople’s blogs because you think they know their shit, right? Okay. Good. Disclaimer done. Here you go:

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Well, I’m seeing a physiotherapist for rehabbing regarding my sorry-ass back after blowing it out in September. I’m apparently on track to be “healed” sometime in February. No, seriously.
Despite losing 50 pounds via cycling a couple thousand clicks and climbing some 45,000+ steps and yoga and shit, my back just up and died something fierce. Apparently all that activity is precisely why
Physiotherapy’s interesting when you have a good practitioner. I landed myself a geek who recognises the smarty-pants geek in me, and he’s breaking down very clearly all the ways my body works so I understand the mechanics behind what’s failed inside me, and how to circumvent such failures in the future.
Part of this means I’m learning about my body in a very new way.
Ironically, the number one thing I’m supposed to be doing in order to prevent this injury from ever, ever returning? Kegel-based exercises. As I wrote on Twitter, at the end of the next three months, I’ll have the strongest, most powerful twat in the world. Why? Because I’m to do 360 Kegel-based repetitions a day. Yes, 360 vagina-clenching excercises. Not like I was Little Miss Stretched-Out in the first place, either, so I’m a little daunted by the extent of these, urm, repetitions. I shall be She of the Vice Grip, I tell ya.
The exercises are things like leg-lifts, pelvic-thrusts (again, something I thought I kinda had down…) and other moves to be done only after I’ve clenched a la Kegel (then, after each rep, I’m to completely release the Kegel, then clench again — the purpose is to reeducate it as to how and when to fire).
Here’s the thing about Kegels, apparently: People overclench ab-area muscles when they’re supposed to ONLY clench the pubococcygeus muscles on the pelvic floor. But how do you know if you’re clenching ONLY those muscles? Turns out you can tell if you’re firing the right ones. And it’s important you’re doing it the RIGHT way, because the wrong way can hurt more than help you. Keep reading.
First, if the texture of your belly changes — you see it contract or tighten or suck in — you’re not isolating the PF muscles. You’re tightening the ab region, and it actually will have the opposite effect on your PF control because you’re syncing their reaction into the contraction of other muscles, making them reliant on the others and not self-sufficient, hence how injuries happen. Your PF muscles, or your “core” that you hear so much about, are probably the foundation upon which all skeletal and muscular health in your body rest upon. They are crucial to us all, and not just for orgasmic bang-for-bucks.
To test if you’re nailing the right muscles, find the front of your hip bones, where they scoop down toward your groin, and there’s a little soft valley on the inside of that bone, toward the mons on women, where, if you press when you clench your PF muscles in a Kegel rep, you’ll feel the muscles tighten under your fingers. So, clench only your pee-stopping mucles and see if it’s tightening under your finger whilst NOT tightening any of your main abdominals. If you’ve managed that, congratulations, you’ve just completed a textbook Kegel rep.
I’ve never known about how important it is to fire ONLY the Kegel muscles and make them work in isolation of other muscles. I’ve always known Kegels had merit beyond the heightening of orgasm control and all that, but I’ve never known that they are pretty much the number-one most important muscle group for lower-back health.
It turns out having total Kegel control is really important for me in particular because they’ve sufficiently become so reliant on other muscles that portions of the muscles have lost their power, causing the base on which the hip and pelvic bones are supported to become destabilized, meaning my right hip wobbles a bit when standing/walking/mounting stairs, and thus causes other areas to overabsorb vibration and movement, hence fatigue followed by total blow-out.
I’ve also discovered that, according to professionals, I have a “too flexible” back. I always knew I was bendy, but I had no idea I was more bendy than most. Not that I’m complaining. 😉
360 Kegels a day? I still haven’t reached that goal — it’s a LOT. But soon. And I’m looking forward to ensuring my body works the right way from top to bottom. It’s phenomenally empowering to know just what the cause of my grief has been, but also how to fight it in the future. Here’s to empowerment! Here’s hoping you learn from my past mistakes, too. Do your Kegels the right way, since, according to the physiotherapist, most people are way, way off the mark, and inevitably pay the price for it.
[By the way: If you go to the gym, focus on firing the PF muscles before you do any weightlifting reps, and release them at the completion of each rep. I knew to do this, but evidently, like I say, have been doing it wrong via non-isolating, for years.]

6 thoughts on “How to REALLY Do Kegels: Things I've Learned In Rehab

  1. Panthera Pardus

    *blink* I’ve so been doing ’em wrong. I had no idea, but what you say makes sense. I’ve been doing ’em wrong for _years_.
    Dangit. Gotta start all over again. 😉
    Thanks for the post. This is good stuff.
    Panthera Pardus’s last blog post..Clover clamps.

    Reply
  2. badinfluencegirl

    posts like this scare me a lot.
    you have some solid information here but you also have some mild inaccuracies and generalizations that are not true of every body.
    for example, if your hip wobbles out when you climb a step it signifies a weak gluteus medius and not a weak pelvic floor. furthermore, there is a whole beautiful network of muscles working in your pelvic floor and NOT JUST ONE. pc muscle to stop pee? awesome. but there is a whole pile of other stuff in there too.
    most of this is great but anyone with an injury that just follows a post like this is going to hurt themselves.
    and i hope to god when you say leg lifts you don’t mean “lie on back and lift leg to and from vertical from the floor”
    okay i’m ranting and i’m probably offending you so i’m outtie.
    badinfluencegirl’s last blog post..cee pee arrgh

    Reply
  3. Kat

    Strange that I have heard about these exercises. Someone told me that it would help have control over those muscles which seem to have a mind of thier own during play. Many a vibrator has become broken, many a plastic speculum broken, many a gynecologist who got stuck when trying to get a sample from me…all because I dont know anything about these.

    Reply
  4. A Scribe Called Steff

    NOPE, not offended. I totally should have put a disclaimer and forgot to, have now remedied that.
    I said pee-stopping MUSCLES. Plural. I know it’s a group of several muscles.
    And you’re such a smartie, it’s totally my glute-medius that has caused my major injury, but it’s Kegel-based ones I’m to do to heal that.
    And anyone with an injury who follows internet-based advice without seeing professionals for body-specific advice related to them is an idiot — it’s dangerous. (Another reason why I hate the American lack-of-care system, because people use the internet too much to self-diagnose and shit.)
    But, yes, I deliberately used the PLURAL on all references to PF muscles. I know there’s several. It’s a couple of the smaller ones that are my problem, that have led to the weakening of my GM.
    Anyhow, no worries and thanks for speaking up.

    Reply
  5. hans

    I presume for males the PC exercises have the same indicators for doing it wrong? It should, I think. Could you please ask your physiotherapist? Thnx a bunch.

    Reply

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