How To Do Kegels

The kegel is one of the most basic pelvic floor exercises. The muscles involved in kegel exercises are difficult to see, so many people wonder if they are doing them right. Here are some tips.


Identifying the Muscles. If you can stop your urination flow mid-stream, you have identified your pelvic floor muscles. Stopping urination can be an effective way to find the muscles, but do not regularly complete your exercises while urinating.

Slowly increase your endurance. Performing with an empty bladder, try to tighten your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds. Then relax them for 5 seconds. Try to do 5-10 reps on your first day. Gradually increase to holding for 10 seconds and relaxing for 10 seconds.

Avoid. Be careful not to contract the muscles in your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Also, avoid holding your breath. Breathe freely during the exercises to keep from stressing the rest of your body.

Repeat 3 times a day. Aim for at least 3 sets of 10 repetitions per day.

Keep it up! Just like any other muscle in the body, it takes time to build strength. It generally takes at least 2 weeks to see results. There are free apps available for download that can help you to remember.

Kegels are not appropriate for everyone, many people have muscles that are hypertonic (too tight) that cause pelvic floor dysfunction -including incontinence and pain. For these people it is most appropriate to do reverse kegels.


Feel the difference. In order to do a reverse kegel, start by gently contracting your pelvic floor to feel what tightening the muscles feels like. Now relax, and let that tension go. Feel the difference between tension and relaxation.

Lengthen. Lay on your back. Try to visualize that the muscles between the pubic bone and tailbone lengthening by gently moving your pubic bone towards the ceiling and moving your tailbone towards the surface you are lying on. Imagine that the pelvic floor muscles are getting longer as this happens, creating more space in your pelvic floor.

Breathe. Relax your pelvic floor at the same time that you take a deep breath in. Don’t move your pelvis as you do this. Keep your spine still and let the movement occur in your pelvic floor.

Be patient. It takes time to feel the relaxation or lengthening of these muscles. This can be practiced in sitting and standing as well.

Practice both relaxation and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles for best results.

If you have more questions about pelvic floor health please call me at 816-607-3747 or E-mail me at I offer a free 20 minute discovery visit in my Lee’s Summit, Missouri office.


Dr. Katy Rush

The Perfect Pelvis

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."