Throughout our lives we find ourselves constantly changing and developing. The passage of time helps us grow in almost every aspect of our lives.
Whether it’s personality, intelligence, or even physical strength, time often improves things for us.
It’s not all positives though. Just as time grants us these boons, the further we go into life the more it starts to take away from us. Our bodies, in particular, are subject to this degradation, and over time will get weaker even in places you’d never thought possible.
One of these areas is the pelvic floor. An important muscle group which covers almost the entirety of the bottom of our bodies. When the pelvic floor starts to weaken, all kinds of problems can start. Most commonly, incontinence.
We aren’t just victims, stuck in time’s passenger seat!
There are many steps we can each take to keep our bodies functioning much longer than our original expiry date. When it comes to the pelvic floor muscles, this is just as true, and Kegel exercises are the weapon of choice for many people around the world.
Even younger people who aren’t yet suffering any negative effects can do Kegel exercises to keep their muscles in tip top condition.
For many people though, these exercises aren’t the easiest to do. It can be difficult to even correctly identify which muscles you should be using, let alone how to exercise them effectively.
Kegel balls are the perfect solution to these problems, as they make the exercises easier to perform and much more effective.
So, let’s start with the basics: What are Kegel exercises and what exactly do they do? Well in order to understand this, we need to take a more in depth look at the pelvic floor muscles.
What Is The Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor muscles essentially form a large hammock which covers the whole of the bottom of your torso. Its job is to hold of your lower internal organs in place, including the vagina, bladder, rectum, and lower parts of the colon and intestinal system.
When everything is working properly, the pelvic floor supports all of these organs as well as helping control the flow of fluids and solids out of your body when you need to.
The pelvic floor muscles can become less effective throughout your life though, and when this happens it can have a massive impact on your general life.
A dysfunctional pelvic floor can take two different forms, either too tight, or too loose. Each one has a different effect on your body.
Having a pelvic floor that is too tight is a situation in which the muscles have become very firm and inflexible. This is called having hypertonic muscles, and can have many different effects including:
- Difficulty and pain passing urine, stopping and starting of the flow of urine, suddenly feeling the need to urinate.
- Constipation, difficulty passing stools due to the tightness of the muscles around the anus.
- Pain in the lower trunk area including the back, abdomen, sides pelvic, and genital areas.
- Pain during intercourse or difficulty even engaging in intercourse, in some cases vaginismus.
- Premature ejaculation.
A loose pelvic floor is the complete opposite, and the muscles have become much looser, more flexible, or even saggy. This is called having hypotonic muscles, and can cause:
- Incontinence where small amounts of urine may leak out throughout the day, when coughing, or when sneezing.
- Diminished enjoyment of sexual intercourse, difficulty reaching orgasm.
- Sagging of the lower internal organs (bladder, intestines, rectum) into the vaginal cavity.
- Vaginal prolapse in women, or anal prolapse in both men and women.
Most of the time when you read about pelvic floor muscles, it will be recommended for you to perform Kegel exercises regularly to help tighten the pelvic floor.
This is only appropriate for a loose pelvic floor though, and further tightening a pelvic floor that was already tight isn’t going to do you any good.
You should instead focus on a pelvic strengthening regime, which improves the overall health of the area. In very rare cases you could even be suffering from both kinds of pelvic floor dysfunction at the same time.
This manifests itself in something called trigger points, where certain areas of muscle are suffering from either tightness or looseness.
An overall regime is the only way to properly deal with these problems.
What Are Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises are the most effective way to target and improve the health of your pelvic floor muscles.
Many of us don’t even know what these exercises are, let alone how to effectively use them. At its most basic level, a Kegel is an incredibly simple exercise that can be done at almost any time.
A standard Kegel is simply the clenching upwards and inwards of all of the muscles of the pelvic floor, holding it for a short time, and then releasing it.
There are also reverse Kegels which are the opposite. You push your pelvic floor muscles down and outwards as far as you can, hold it for a short time, and then release it.
Sounds easy, right?
Once you get the hang of it, it is! Unfortunately, many of us struggle to not only identify the right muscles to be clenching, but also how to actually move them independently.
It’s not uncommon for a beginner to Kegel exercises to tense virtually their entire body while trying to target their pelvic floor, which actually provides no benefit to the areas you’re trying to improve.
The best way to identify the muscle group is in the bathroom.
Next time you go to the toilet, try to stop the flow of urine part way through. The muscles you feel tightening to stop your urine are the front half of your pelvic floor.
Similarly, next time you feel yourself trying to hold in a fart or poo, take note of the muscles you feel being used in the bottom of your torso. These are the muscles that form the rear half of your pelvic floor.
When you want to perform Kegel exercises your goal should be to engage only these muscles.
Many people will clench their buttocks, abdomens, or even back muscles. While you might find it helps you with your Kegels, regularly tensing other muscles could lead to new problems further down the road.
A helpful tip for Kegels is to visualise the entire process.
An effective Kegel will feel like a rising and falling motion happening within your body or falling then rising if you are doing reverse Kegels. While you attempt to move these muscles actually picture the parts of the body moving along with your breathing.
Once you master the movement of the right muscle group, you should be aiming to hold each Kegel for around ten seconds.
This will be incredibly difficult for a beginner, but over time your muscles will strengthen, and you’ll find it easier and easier to hold.With one Kegel mastered, most doctors recommend aiming for three sets of ten Kegels every single day.
As with much advice you find on the internet, you should still use your own judgement!
If you find yourself unable to find your pelvic floor, move the muscles, or even have worries about the number of Kegels you are doing then contact your doctor.
There are health professionals specially trained to assist with your pelvic floor, and they’ll be able to do a much better job helping you than any article or video.
Benefits Of Kegel Exercises
At this point, we’ve covered what the pelvic floor is and that Kegel exercises can help strengthen them.
There’s one question that we haven’t covered though: Why would you bother?
Many of us will have been perfectly happy with no knowledge of any of this, so how would it possibly serve to make our lives better?
Perhaps the biggest overall benefit to strengthening your pelvic floor is the massive amount of help it can give you with incontinence. There are many, many different kinds of incontinence split across both exits of our body.
The vast majority of these are caused by some kind of problem with your pelvic floor. Whether it’s weakness, looseness, insensitivity, spasms or loss of control, each type of incontinence will have some relationship with your pelvic floor and its current condition.
By regularly engaging in Kegel exercises, you can start to return this important part of your body to some of its previous glory, and in the process improve many of your incontinence problems.
This isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight, but if you keep at it you should see results over the course of a few months.
Another area you can feel great benefits from Kegel exercises is in the bedroom. Both men and women stand to gain some noticeable improvements in various aspects of their sex lives.
Female Benefits To Kegel exercises
For women, it often comes down to the simple concern over whether their vagina is tight enough.
We should start by saying that this will never be a real consideration. It’s near impossible for a woman’s vagina to become so loose that it doesn’t function perfectly acceptably during sex!
Even with the tightest vagina imaginable, when a woman becomes aroused their vagina grows to several times its original length and width
What actually gives the feeling of tightness everyone craves are the pelvic floor muscles, which control the opening of the vagina.
As the pelvic floor ages and loosens, women will mistakenly think that their vagina is becoming looser, and sex isn’t as good as it once was.
Regular Kegel exercises counteract this and can help keep sex feeling just as good as it always did!
Male Benefits To Kegel Exercises
Men might not have a vagina, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits for them too!
Having a healthy functioning pelvic floor and doing regular Kegel exercises to assist can greatly improve your bodies blood flow in and around your pelvis.
This can have meaningful benefits to your penis, improving things such as how long your erection lasts, the size of your erection, and even how firm it is!
It’s not like you’re going to magically grow several inches just by doing Kegel exercises, but you can have a noticeable improvement to your erections.
A strong pelvic floor can also help men with their performance, allowing them to last much longer in the bedroom.
The same muscles that you clench to stop yourself from urinating are the ones that control your ejaculation.
Having greater control over these muscles means that you can keep going for longer in the bedroom, and for some men can even help with premature ejaculation! With practise some men can even maintain an erection after ejaculation, letting them have multiple orgasms in a single session.
What Are Kegel Balls?
For a guide focusing on Kegel Balls, we’ve already covered quite a lot of information, but haven’t really talked about Kegel balls yet.
What exactly are they? And why would you want to buy them?
Kegel balls are one of the simplest sex toys available. They aren’t even specifically sex toys, and in many cases, they’ll be recommended by doctors to help people suffering from incontinence
They can go by many different names, including love balls, pleasure balls, or ben wa balls.
The simple function of a Kegel ball is to be worn inside the vagina to stress the pelvic floor muscles.
You can combine them with your Kegel exercises for a more intense workout, or simply use them on their own.
The weight of the balls can give you pelvic floor a good workout just by wearing them!
Types Of Kegel Balls
Kegel balls might be simple, but they aren’t all created equal.
They can be made of a variety of different materials, and even be completely different styles to each other. The most common types of Kegel balls include:
- Regular Kegel balls: These are the most basic variant and are simply designed to be used when doing Kegel exercises. They are quite rigid and tend to be available with removable weights which allow you to tailor your workout to exactly your own preferences.
Duotone Kegel balls: Duotone balls are designed with your pleasure in mind. They’re usually hollow and contain a second ball inside. Historically duotone balls would have a solid exterior and a mercury centre.
Both designs have the same functions, when you wear them they can jiggle around and vibrate inside your body, stimulating at the same time as working your pelvic floor muscles.
- Vibrating Kegel balls: These are exactly what they sound like, Kegel balls with vibrators inside them. These are designed with pleasure in mind much more than exercise.
String-based Kegel balls: String-based balls are a variant of Kegel balls which have multiple balls attached to each other.
These are great for people who don’t like the idea of having multiple separate balls inside them at the same time by making them easy to insert and remove in one go.
The vast majority of these balls will be made of silicone, as it’s one of the easiest materials to manufacture.
It also has the bonus of being easy for your body to grip onto, so keeping these balls inside you is much easier than some other materials.
Another common material used is stainless steel, and in rarer occasions you may find Kegel balls made of precious stones like jade.
These precious balls not only provide the functions of other Kegel balls, but can also fit in with individual beliefs about the properties of these stones. Another consideration for you to make when choosing Kegel balls is the size and weight of the balls.
You might think that smaller and lighter balls will be easier to use, but in fact larger balls are much easier to keep hold of when inside your body, even if they might be a little more difficult to insert.
As you become more experienced, you’ll probably want to move on to smaller and heavier balls.
How Do You Use Kegel Balls?
With all the theory-based things covered, let’s move on to something more practical. How do we actually use Kegel balls? Well it’s a relatively simple process.
The first part of using Kegel balls is inserting them.
For the most part, it’s just like putting in a tampon. You just need to make sure that it’s far enough in to be comfortable and not fall out, but not so far in that they’ll be difficult to remove.
When you use larger Kegel balls you might find it a little more difficult to actually get them inside.
It’s a good idea to keep some lubrication handy to help with the initial insertion. Arousal can also be helpful. If you’re viewing this as a purely physical activity, then your vagina may not be as willing to take the balls.
If you spend a little time turning yourself on, then inserting the balls can also be made easier. When you manage to get the balls inside and are comfortable with how they feel, you have two options.
You can either choose to hold you Kegel balls in place without any additional interaction, or you can choose to do your normal Kegel exercises while wearing them.
The balls you’ve chosen can influence this as different Kegel balls are designed for different purposes. If you decide to do your Kegel exercises while wearing your Kegel balls, everything functions exactly the same.
You get the bonus though of the extra weight and resistance. This can make your Kegels both more challenging, as well as much more effective.
If you decide to wear your Kegels without actively interacting with them, you’re free to do whatever you want to.
Some like to simply wear them while sitting on the couch watching TV. Others like to wear them while doing chores around the house. Some even like to take it further and head out and about in public places while wearing them.
There’s no real guide to how long you should wear Kegel balls, so you have to use your own judgement.
You probably tire quicker if you are actively doing Kegel exercises, so you might want to remove them at the end of the session. If you’re simply wearing the balls while going about your business, you can keep them in much longer
Just pay attention to your own body and if you feel yourself tiring then take the balls back out.
Another important part of wearing your balls is your breathing.
There is a style of breathing known as Kegel breathing where you basically synchronise your breathing with the rise and fall of your pelvic floor muscles.
If you find yourself struggling to keep your balls in place, adopting this kind of breathing can help you focus and make it easier.
If you still find it difficult to keep the Kegel balls inside, then you might consider a different set to make things easier. Going for a larger ball or choosing a material less smooth can help.
Are Kegel Balls Safe?
The last consideration you might have before using Kegel balls yourself is how safe they are.
There are many sex toys on the market and nearly all of them have some risks associated with them. Kegel balls though suffer from none of these issues.
As long as you keep them clean and well looked after, you’ll have no issues at all.
After all, doctors recommend that we take care of our pelvic floors, so anything that helps with that must be good for us. The only real danger of using Kegel balls is doing them when you don’t need to.
For example, if you have a tight pelvic floor then doing Kegels to tighten it further isn’t going to help.
Similarly, doing reverse Kegels to loosen an already loose pelvic floor is just going to make things worse.
For most people this isn’t going to be much of a consideration, as nearly everyone benefits from regular Kegels, but if you do have any pre-existing medical conditions then it’s worth checking with your doctor to make sure that you aren’t going to make things worse.
Kegel balls can be a great tool to help with your pelvic health all throughout your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, everyone can benefit!
So check out our range of Kegel balls today and start your own journey to a happy, healthy, pelvic floor.