Exercises for Specific Muscles--The Kegel
Many people have heard of Kegel exercises because they often come up in different circles of conversation. Any exercise has a basic function and most have particular muscle groups that they are intended to strengthen. Think about running, for example. It strengthens the heart and lungs, the legs, and many other muscles in the core and hip area. Or think about a different kind of exercise, such as weight lifting. Weight lifting as a whole is intended to increase muscular strength. The particular exercises you do when lifting weights often focus on and isolate specific muscles and muscle groups. Exercisers can pick and choose which of the many possibilities they want to include in their weight lifting workout, focusing on the ones that work their desired muscle groups. Kegel exercises are no different. They are specialized exercises designed to work one particular part of the body.
Benefits of Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are named for the doctor who discovered them. The muscles these exercises work are the muscles attached to the pelvic bone which basically hold in all your pelvic organs. These muscles are important because they are used during sexual intercourse, child-birthing, and other activities, like urinating or stopping urine flow. It is important to have strong pelvic muscles because it increases the pleasure for both people during sexual activity, it helps make birthing easier with less chance of tears and rips, and it can help prevent incontinence or leaking urine when sneezing or coughing. Especially after childbirth, many women have problems controlling their urine flow because these muscles become weak. After childbirth—and before, for that matter—is a good time to start performing Kegel exercises because they can help prevent problems and frustration later on.
If you are confused about which muscles these exercises work, think about stopping the flow of urine. Those are the muscles attached to the pelvic bone. Once you isolate them and know how to contract them, it is easy to do the exercises because Kegel exercises are basically all variations of tightening and releasing these muscles. It is recommended that people do about 200 of these exercises a day to achieve the optimal results. Although this seems like a lot, the good news is that you can do these exercises anywhere because no one even knows that you are doing them. You can do them while sitting in the car, on the train, in the office, in a meeting, etc. All you have to do is tighten and release these muscles. Although it may be hard to do them at first, it will get easier to hold the muscles in a contracted position as the muscles get stronger. To vary the exercises, you can try contracting and releasing more slowly, holding the muscles in a contracted position, or bulging the muscles out at the end.
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