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The Ultimate Vagina Workout

The Ultimate Vagina Workout (AKA Vag-WOD) - So you too can have a Vagina that can crush (wal)nuts! Just kidding - whilst a strong vagina can make sex better, it is also important for overall health, proper posture, incontinence and leakage, and core strength.

What is A Kegel?

The Mayo Clinic has the most in-depth article about 'how to do/what is a kegel' if you are interested; in a nutshell, 'kegel' is a name for an exercise - that is, small contractions of your pelvic floor muscles (same as squat, deadlift, etc.).

To do Kegels, imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you're lifting the marble. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three.

Ok, but, how do I even know it's working....?

You can test if your kegels are working by seeing whether you can stop your pee mid-stream. Buuuuuut... if you want to get fancy (and tone your pelvic floor at the same time) there are some pretty nifty gadgets on the market to do so. We covered this a little in our blog on sex toys, with regard to things like Ben Wa Balls, but there are now devices (rather than toys) that you insert vaginally that are paired with an app. They use games where a character jumps (for example) and you squeeze the device. It measures both the strength of your muscle, whilst getting you to do kegels, and gives you feedback on your progress. You can buy devices like that, here! There are also devices like iStim, that use electrical stimulation if you have more severe incontinence issues.

The Workout

Bridge - Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat. Push down through your feet to lift your bum. You can do 3 sets of 10, and a longer hold.

Pelvic Thrust - Place your shoulder blades on a firm surface (like a chair/table), so that your upper body is lifted. Feet are flat, about hip width apart. Let your hips dip slightly, then lift to a tabletop. You can do this weighted, but be aware of how your back feels. Do 3 sets of 10.

Weighted Squats - Place feet a little wider than hip width. You can start unweighted. As you stand up, imagine a string being pulled from your vagina up through your head, so squeeze like a kegel at the bottom of the squat, THEN lift to stand. Start with 3 sets of 10, and gradually increase to 3 sets of 20.

Clamshells - Lie on your side, prop your head up, and slightly bend your legs keeping you knees together. If you have a light resistance band, you can loop it just above the knees. Keep the ankles together, and open the knees like a clamshell. Do 3 sets of 10.

Pelvic Tilts/Clocks - Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. This Pilates move requires you to imagine your pelvis like a bowl. As you lie flat think about scooping the pelvic bowl in toward the belly button, then return to flat. For clocks, think about moving in a circle with your pelvis, slowly moving around the numbers of the clock but keeping the pelvis level. Do 3 sets of 10, of each.

Adductor Ball Squeeze - Lying flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat, place a slightly soft ball (soccer ball etc.) between your knees. Squeeze, engaging the kegel muscles and the adductors; do 3 sets of 20.

Dainty Toe Taps - Lie flat on your back, then lift your knees and feet to 90 degrees. So, your feet are lifted, and knees are directly above hips, and feet are out straight. Tap each toe to the ground, slowly and carefully, then return to 90 degrees. Slow and steady is key, and be sure to engage your core and keep your pelvis flat (don't hyperextend and let the low back lift). Do 3 sets of 10, work towards 3 sets of 20.

Kegel Cat Cows - Finish up with a classic - get onto all fours, knees beneath hips and hands beneath shoulders. Arch and flex your back, taking nice deep breaths, and then performing a longer hold kegel on the arch (cat) and releasing on the cow. Think about doing 1 set of 10, but really squeezing and holding that kegel for several seconds!

One Last Note

With all these moves, be sure to engage your pelvic floor, using kegels, and pulling the belly button in towards the spine. The video linked here features several of these moves if you are looking for more instruction. They are all available via ACE fitness videos, or just a google search if you are unsure on how a move looks!

The Role of Vaginal Health & Tone

Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, including pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, aging, excessive straining from constipation or chronic coughing, and being overweight.

You might benefit from doing Kegel exercises if you:

  • Leak a few drops of urine while sneezing, laughing or coughing (stress incontinence)
  • Have a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine (urinary urge incontinence)
  • Leak stool (fecal incontinence)

Remember, strong core muscles also are beneficial - especially for women who have carried children. Diastasis recti - the splitting of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy - often goes unnoticed and can last for years postpartum. Weaker core muscles can contribute not only to a weaker pelvic floor, but also to back pain. Even if your kids are all grown up, if you feel like your core is weak, or has been weakened by this, these exercises are great to reengage and knit those muscles back together!

Now, who's ready to get their kegel on?!