Amidst the squats, curls and planks – there’s one less-visible exercise you shouldn’t skip: Kegels.
ICYMI, Kegels involve clenching and releasing your pelvic-floor muscles (the ones you squeeze to hold your pee). Those muscles can weaken over time or after events like childbirth – and can lead to urinary incontinence (a.k.a. peeing yourself). That’s why this pelvic-floor strengthening exercise is so crucial, says ob-gyn Dr Christine Greves. (Also: Kegels may make your orgasms even stronger.)
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Like any muscle-toning exercise, you can take Kegels to the next level with the help of a tool. In this case, that means Kegel balls.
What are Kegel balls exactly? Think of them as little weights for your vagina, explains Greves. They usually consist of one or several balls lined up in a row with a cord at the end. You insert them into your vagina (with the cord hanging out) and contract and release your pelvic-floor muscles around them, Greves says. This can help you isolate those muscles and feel the contractions a little better.
These Kegel balls come in many different sizes and weights, depending on your preference – anywhere from 10g to 100g. Start small and once you feel like your muscles are getting stronger, play around with increasing the weight.
Kegel balls are generally considered safe and studies have shown that they’re effective, says Greves. Just keep a few things in mind: you shouldn’t use these right after you have a baby (you can have vaginal tearing that needs to heal) and don’t leave them in more than six hours. Also, be sure to go for options made with silicone, which won’t irritate your vagina. And clean them after use with soap and water.
Other than that, you’re good to go! Here, a review of the We-Vibe Bloom Kegel Exerciser.
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Not to blow my horn or anything, but I’m a pretty clued up woman. I know how far along Meghan Markle is in her pregnancy, I can pretty much draw up an eating plan and workout schedule in my sleep and I know way more than average about the newest sneaker tech. I’m also au fait with Kegels and pelvic-floor workouts. I know women who’ve given birth are more at risk to have a weak pelvic floor and I know fit girls can have incontinence too. But me? I’m golden.
That is, I thought I was. Unfortunately, I was in for a bit of a shock when I was given the chance to test the We-Vibe Bloom Kegel Exerciser. It’s a pelvic-floor trainer with three weights, all interchangeable, ranging from 10g to 45g. And it can vibrate while you train, so it’s the perfect combination of strength training and pleasure.
Once inserted, you can do various training exercises with it and it comes with a few different benefits: there are 10 preset vibration modes, plus the We-Connect app lets you create your own custom vibes and you can even hook your partner up so you can create vibes for each other. It’s all very, very saucy.
To test it, I Googled a few workout moves and got to work. But I quickly realised that it involves a lot more work than I initially thought. And that my internal muscles are not necessarily as strong as I thought. The vibrations made it a whole lot of fun though and quickly made me forget that I was actually “exercising”. I would recommend using a good water-based lubricant to make the process a lot smoother and enhance sensation.
The Bloom is very pretty and unassuming-looking and it’s waterproof, so you won’t be confined to the bedroom for your “workouts”. It also has a low-power alert and is rechargeable. I must say, I’m not sure I’ve ever been so excited or motivated to work out! In fact, I’m due a workout right now!
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.
Image credit: iStock