Principles of pelvic floor training
Squeeze hard with good form
Pelvic floor training is closer to weight training than it is to cardio training. In particular, they share an emphasis on proper form (cf. Kegel 101) and intensity over quantity.
As anyone who does weight training knows, to strengthen your pelvic floor, you need just a few strong contractions rather than 200 quick flicks.
Thus when the games request a maximum contraction, you need to squeeze as hard as you can without harming the quality of your Kegel.
Be deliberate when doing pelvic floor exercises
Since the pelvic floor muscles are not visible and often ignored until problems arise, pelvic floor training is also about rebuilding the brain-body relationship.
Thus, all of your Kegels should be focused and deliberate. That is, you shouldn't be thinking about something else at the same time. Pelvic floor muscle exercises should be all about conscious squeezing and relaxation. This will help you refine your control over those muscles and ultimately give you dry pants and better sex.
Enjoy your pelvic floor training
Finally, remember to enjoy the relaxation part of your training.
The pelvic floor is such a central area that relaxing it allows the whole body and mind to follow. Researchers have found that the women who succeed with their Kegel program are those who find the practice both fun and relaxing.
How often and how long should I train my pelvic floor muscles?
It all depends on your needs and condition.
If you are trying to get quick relief from incontinence symptoms by strengthening your pelvic floor, we recommend a weekly training regimen of at least five 10-minute sessions.
If you're just trying to maintain an already healthy pelvic floor, a weekly training regimen of two 10-minute sessions is acceptable.
Since the pelvic floor muscles fatigue pretty quickly, the quality of the Kegel contraction may be hard to maintain in prolonged sessions. Thus, it's better to do multiple 10-minute sessions of pelvic floor muscle exercises rather than a few 30-minute sessions.
And remember, the more serious you are about relaxation, the more you can train without risking moving toward an excessive tightening of the pelvic floor muscles.
Your physiotherapist can provide some guidelines on the training frequency you should aim for based on your personal condition.
In which position should I train my pelvic floor?
As soon as it is feasible, we recommend that you train in the position that is the closest to the one you want to improve on.
Indeed, training in a standing position involves lifting your pelvic floor against gravity and encourages your pelvic floor muscles to work well in this position.
So if you want to stop urine from leaking when you run, we recommend that you train in a standing position.
And if you are trying to improve your sex life, we recommend that you train in both lying and standing positions.
However, the standing position comes with some challenges and will be manageable only when the Kegel form is perfect and the pelvic floor muscles are strong enough.
If you are training with Perifit then the sitting position is not recommended as it can be painful and apply pressure to the ON/OFF button of the probe.
Am I done with my pelvic floor exercises?
Pelvic floor muscles training is undoubtedly excellent for dry pants, pelvic issues rehabilitation/prevention, and better sex, but the human body works as a whole.
To achieve a well-aligned body and prevent muscular imbalances, one should also take care of the pelvic floor's antagonist muscles: the glutes.
So, whenever possible, give Perifit a break and add a few squat sessions throughout your day. Strengthening the glutes pulls the sacrum backward, which in turn stretches the pelvic floor and contributes to both its length and tone.
In conclusion, you should aim for:
- Hard, deliberate contractions with proper form followed by deep relaxation
- Frequent short sessions instead of occasional long ones
...and add some exercises targeting your glutes (without Perifit)!