Kegels might be counterproductive
If we can agree here and move on, I would like to point out that typically the reason your girlfriend/acquaintance/associate is suggesting Kegel exercises is for Pelvic Floor Disorder, weak pelvic floors, and prevention by attempting to strengthen the area on which we are focusing. Turns out that every woman is different and need to address these issues in ways that are pertinent to their bodies. Something to consider: some women tense here constantly, and tightening something that is already tight will actually only add weakness… and more tightness.
Let’s take a step further back, to the causes we can look at that will make every hard earned Kegel negated ?. There are forces in the body that are in action at every moment. There are certain ways your body stacks up in a standing position that create more or less downward force which will create pelvic floor weakness OR strength. Check out our picture here, if my pregnant lady hips are forward over the tops of my feet, then my pelvic floor is turned off and I am using the wrong poor little muscles to hold myself upright. However, if I back my hips up over my heels, then I am automatically strengthening my pelvic floor and my glutes (no mom butt here! Fingers crossed).
You can see this relationship of the pelvis and pelvic floor again while sitting. Couch sitting encourages your pelvis to tuck under (see image). You think you are comfortable, your head is telling your back to shut up ‘cause you need this. But if you’re quiet and you focus, your body is probably aching here, you are sitting on your sacrum (not what that’s for). So whenever we can, when we muster the mindfulness, we untuck the pelvis, sitting on the SIT bones or ischial tuberosities (thaaaaat’s what those are for!) Even better, take this position of the pelvis to the floor. More space in the hips, strength to get up and come down every time, BOOM!
So that all makes sense, right? Ready for the lastly then? OK. Lastly, kegels tend to shorten the muscles of the pelvic floor, over time this can definitely still mean those muscles lose their elasticity and sag. When we untuck the pelvis to sit and to squat, we are creating taught length here that allows for a strength that can last and hold things in place.
I feel good about this, I think we really got somewhere today, thanks for sticking it out.
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