How to do Kegel Exercises that Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor


Hi, I’m Michelle Kenway and welcome to Pelvic
Exercises. Today I’m going to teach you some strategies to find and feel your pelvic floor
muscles working. If your pelvic floor muscles are weak (or if you’ve never exercised them
before) it can be really hard to know whether you’re actually contracting those muscles
at all, or whether you’re doing the exercises correctly. It’s really important that you
know how to find the muscles and feel them before you start exercising them. Before we start doing that, I’d like to show
you how to find where your pelvic floor muscles are. This is a pelvis (a female pelvis) just
like yours. Just to orientate you, these are your pubic bones at the front, and this is
the tail-bone at the back. Underneath is the pelvic outlet. Now your pelvic floor muscles
actually sling, like a hammock, between the front bone and the tail-bone, and they’re
a supportive hammock in through that area, holding your insides in and helping you with
your continence. So they perform a very important role in that
area. There’s a couple of layers through that area, and these bones here are the bones that
you sit on. You can see that they’re not muscles outside your pelvis; they’re actually inside.
They’re not your buttocks. They’re not the inside of your thighs. They’re actually inside,
in and around that area where you sit. All right, now I’d like to show you some techniques,
to find and to feel those muscles working. The first technique I’d like to show you is
a technique that involves you feeling or using a finger on your perineum, which is the area
between your vagina and your anus to actually feel that area of skin lifting as you contract
your pelvic floor muscles. A proper pelvic floor contraction feels like
a lift and a squeeze inside that area. It feels like tightening and squeezing in through
the anus (or your back passage.) It feels like a lift and squeeze through your vagina,
and also it feels like a tightening, squeezing sensation in and around your urethra (or the
urine tube) where your urine passes through. So that action happens inside, in that sort
of an action. Let’s try and do that and find that feeling
by actually touching our perineum. To get yourself comfortable to perform this
technique if you lie on your side (and I’ll use a pillow between my legs so I can
access that area of my perineum.) Lying on your side, take your first or second finger
and place it on that area of skin between your vagina and anus. You can do this with
clothes on (as I’m clothed now) or you can do this directly onto your skin. Now if you
feel that area (lying comfortably there, make sure you’ve got a really nice inward curve
in your back,) what I want you to do is try and lift and squeeze through your back passage.
Try and draw up through your vagina. Try and tighten around the urethra, as you’re feeling
that area. What you should feel is that the area of skin above your finger (or that your
finger’s resting against) just lifts inwards slightly. Can you feel that as you draw up
and in? Can you feel that area just lift inwards just a fraction? Can you keep lifting it?
Can you keep going and keep breathing? Keep lifting inside and keep breathing, and slowly
lower it right down and fully relax. How did you go? Could you feel those muscles contracting?
If you can feel an area lifting, that’s your pelvic floor muscles. If you can feel a bulging,
you’re probably not doing the right action. Okay, let’s try again. See if you can feel
that area between your vagina and anus lifting up inside. Here we go, ready? And go: Lift
it up inside, keep lifting keep lifting keep lifting and squeezing through that area and
keep breathing. Slowly, relax it down. That’s definitely an exercise worth practicing. All right, let’s move on to our second strategy
to find your pelvic floor muscles. The second technique is to help you find and feel the
muscles in and around the front part of your pelvic floor. The area in and around your
urine tube (in and around the urethra,) which can often be very hard to find and feel. The
first thing you need to do is sit yourself nice and tall, so good posture is very important
for pelvic floor exercises. The second thing you need to do is take your hands and place
the heel of your hands over those pelvic bones at the front there. Then point your fingers
down in the direction of the pubic bones that I showed you before. So you’re resting your
hands gently over your abdomen (you can also do this exercise lying down if you prefer,
too.) What you need to do is try and visualize or imagine drawing your fingers together and
drawing those bones (of your pelvis) together (the bones underneath your fingers so that
they’re moving together. Obviously you can’t move your bones, but try and imagine that
you’re actually doing that and you should actually feel your lower abdominal area tightening
just a fraction. Let’s try and do that. Try and feel that area
moving, and those bones moving together and that area tightening in and around that area. Can you feel that contraction? Keep holding
it. Keep holding it. Can you feel the area around the urethra just tightening a fraction?
and relax down. Did you feel a gentle inward movement of your lower abdomen? That tells
us that you’re actually contracting those lower deep core muscles, as well as some of
your pelvic floor muscles. Let’s try that one more time. Hands over your
hip bones (your pelvic bones,) fingers over those pubic bones, and try and imagine drawing
your hands together, but using your muscles. You can also imagine trying to stop the flow
of urine, so if you’re drawing up and squeezing through your urethra (that urine passage,)
try and hold that there. Keep holding it. Keep holding. Keep holding and relax down,
and rest. Okay, how are you going with all those techniques?
Going okay? Let’s start to try and use a third technique which involves actually feeling
the muscles inside your vagina. This is a technique that physiotherapists use to assist
and feel how your muscles are working, and to check and see whether your muscles are
strengthening as well. So, if you imagine my hand is my vagina, the
back vaginal wall is the wall that’s closest to the rectum (or back passage) and the sides
of the vagina on the circumference of my hand. So use one or two fingers (lubricated,) and
you can try inserting them (so if I insert them this way, so you can see what I’m doing,)
in and against the vagina to a depth of about three to four centimeters. What you’ll feel
is the back wall of the vagina just tightening and lifting slightly forward against your
fingers. It’s just a very very gentle movement (so you’ll see just a gentle lifting forward
of that back wall as you lift and squeeze in through your pelvic floor muscles) and
down. If you separate your fingers apart, what you
should feel is the sidewalls squeezing together against your fingers, so a gentle squeeze,
inside. You’re looking for both actions to happen at the same time as you contract your
pelvic floor muscles (the back wall of your vagina moving slightly forward, and the sidewalls
actually squeezing towards the mid-line.) Now, the best position to practice this is
is lying on your side once again. So let’s go back into side-lying (that first position
we were in,) coming down, once again put a pillow between your legs. Lying right down.
Obviously then, you’d be disrobed in a private place. Lubricate one or two fingers, and actually
use those fingers inside the vagina, against the back wall or the side walls. Try to draw
up and in and try and feel your vagina tightening and lifting and squeezing as you contract
those pelvic floor muscles. Remember once again it’s important to have an inward curve
in your back and keep breathing normally as you hold your pelvic floor muscle contraction. Let’s try that together if you’re trying that
now. Inserting your fingers into the vagina, and try to lift and squeeze inside (keep breathing
and lifting,) breathing and lifting, breathing and lifting and then relaxing fully and letting
the muscles completely relax back to their comfortable resting position. Remember it’s
important to take a moment to rest and recover your muscles before trying again. You’re trying
to feel that lifting and squeezing action (once again, not a bearing down action.) You’re
not feeling your bottom muscles tightening. You’re not feeling your inside thigh muscles
tightening. All that exercise, all that action is taking place inside your pelvis. Okay. So let’s summarize what we’ve done today.
We’ve talked about the location of your pelvic floor muscles, inside your pelvis. We’ve also
talked about some strategies to finding your pelvic floor muscles. We’ve talked about using
your finger on your perineum to actually feel a lifting sensation. We’ve talked about trying
to use your hands on the front of your pelvis and trying to feel a gentle tightening feeling,
(a tightening in and around the front part of your pelvic floor.) Very finally, I showed
you how to actually feel the muscles inside your vagina. So once again, it’s a matter of practicing
regularly and finding out which technique works best for you. You’ll find that after
practicing using these techniques you should no longer need to use them as often or frequently
when you’re practicing, and you’ll start to feel the pelvic floor muscles working without
using those techniques at all. Practice makes perfect. Here’s to your healthy pelvic floor with lots
of pelvic floor practice.

99 Replies to “How to do Kegel Exercises that Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor”

  1. Hi animal – yes dealing with vaginismus is challenging, it involves learning to relax the pelvic floor muscles which can be just as challenging as learning to contract them – best of luck!

  2. Hi Atlantis Yes these exercises improve the tone of the pelvic floor muscles so they are important for women and men lifelong, and especially after childbirth and with menopause for women

  3. I am very overweight and wet my self at least 3 or 4 times a day due to stress incontinance.  I cannot get my fingers into my vagina or my hand around my  perinium to feel if the techniques are working.  Will the first exercise where you just feel the pelvic floor moving up work for me and help my stress incontinance.?   Thank you  and well done on such a great video.

  4. Im 16 and keep having frequent urination,but have been tested many times; no bladder infection. Will Kegels help?

  5. Hi Michelle
    I have sent you an email a few days ago. You;ve asked me to comment on a video instead so I really hope you will answer. I have given birth vaginally 2 months ago. Around 4 weeks postpartum Ifelt a bulge what happens to be my anterior wall. Anyway. I have been to the doctor for a few times. They aren't answering my questions straightforward so I'm hoping you will and answer me honestly. 
    Many questions but I really need your help!!!
    1.If my pelvic muscles are damaged from birth will pelvic exercises still be able to strengthen them and support the pelvic organs?
    2. Is it true that in most cases the organs go back up a few weeks/months after birth ( I am 22 years old)
    3. Will kegel balls help me exercising muscles?
    4 the MOST important questions that no doctor wants to answer straight forward is: does breastfeeding affect prolapse? 5
    And does breastfeeding aggrevate prolapse? 
    6If i quit breastfeeding is there a big chance the problem will go away or become less? I know breastfeeding is best but I really need an honest answer as this is affecting me  very badly. 

    Many thanks

  6. In case you've an Android phone, it is helpful to stay connected with nearest toilets: http://bit.ly/K6yFbF
    or NearestToilet.com. It's good to have access to many toilet maps this app offers when traveling

  7. hello, how do you differentiate the contraction of your perineum versus the contraction of your anus. When I put my fingers at my perineum and did the exercise, I felt like I did it wrong cause I felt my anus tighten up. Thank you

  8. Hi ! I am a french physiotherapist specialised in pelvic floor training. I was just watching a few of your videos & I just wanted to congratulate you ! I'm so happy everytime I meet someone who understands the way to properly work on pelvic floor, and you're definitly one of those ! Plus I also like the way you talk your patients through the exercises. Bravo !

  9. Hi Michelle, Thanks for this informative video.  My question is;  is adding resistance good/even needed to strength the PC muscles?  I am looking at purchasing the feminine personal trainer similar to the PelviBar.  Thanks in advance  for your response.

  10. I just finished watching your video again, and the thought of putting your fingers inside your vagina sounds a bit dangerous. (The reason I'm having surgery is from me bleeding while trying to apply jelly and estrogen cream, while I was wearing a pessary.) I worry that I could possibly harm myself, internally.

  11. Hello Michelle.
    Thank you for a detailed explanation. I haven't been able to find this information in the description, perhaps it is common knowledge, but I was wondering if these exercises are appropriate throughout the entire pregnancy?

  12. I am currently pregnant and have been doing the exercises for about 3 months but not everyday. Thank you for this guide. I really was able to feel a lift up when i did the movements to check for the pelvic floor muscle. This has reassured me that i am doing them correctly.

  13. I'm a great fan of Michelle Kenway – she is a pioneer in safe exercises for women with a weak pelvic floor or prolapse – her books and films are available in the UK here http://goo.gl/QsW2ZT

  14. I just can't feel my pelvic muscles…. I try to do these exercises but I keep raising my buttocks or using my stomach…. I need help

  15. Is it possible to become "sore" from doing this exercise as you would feel sore from working out? After doing this exercise for some time, the muscles feel tired and I physically can't continue. Is this normal?

  16. Using your fingers to feel the muscles, my gyno told me to use a tampon lite to exercise my muscles to get my vagina used to an object and continue to keep going up in size that way I can enjoy sex much better. I always wonder how come women who don't suffer from vaginimus don't have to use these exercises?

  17. Spent ages looking for a good video for my partner. This one actually explained things well and showed examples so she could understand and learn. Bit low streaming quality but hey, information was golden. Good video =)

  18. Hello. Your video is easy to understand and very helping me to knowing and locate my pelvic floors muscles. I'm still new to this kegel exercise and still learn how to do it. I'm struggling with vaginismus and i heard that doing kegel exercise is quite helpful. Do you have video on how to do the exercise for women who has vaginismus? Like which kind of exercise i should do? Thank you.

  19. hi michelle, its a great video thank you so much. my problem is i feel nothing during sex. there's no sensation in my vagina. there is little in clitoris. but not enough to reach orgasm. i think my pc musles are weak. and i started working out. I m wondering, will pc musles help me to have pleasure?

  20. Hi Michelle 🙂 I'm a 14 year old girl that has a not so great bottom part.. And I've been doing kegel exercises for a couple of days now but every time I look down there it seems like it's getting worst and idk what to do. I hope you can help me

  21. Hi.I'm glad to know your video and esy to understand. I heard about about kegel exercise before but i never do it before. After watched your video then i tried kegel exercise and it's quite hard for me. Bit hard hard to feel it like when i tried to squeeze. I'm still new and trully beginner to do kegel but i would like to improve so i can do the right way for kegel. Please give me tips to do that. Thanks.

  22. Thank you so much for uploading these helpful videos, Michelle 🙂 

    One (embarassing, tmi )question: why do i feel my vagina opening is loose/big, can't squeeze but inside works well doing kegels? Is it normal?

  23. Hi Michelle, my mum recently found out that she has stage 2 pelvic prolapse. She may have to put the ring inside, But she is afraid and doesnt want to. So will this exercise help her?

  24. Does those exercises fit for men ? Because I am a male and I am lack of breath support, people says that when you exhale you have to contract your lower abdominals inwards. And I am not able to do that, when I try to contract my tummy below belly button I am  contracting upper tummy instead of lower one. So I found this video, it looks like what I was looking for, but it says that it is for women.

  25. Thank you for your great video. How many times in a week and for how long should I practice Kegel Exercise?
    Sometimes when I contract my pc muscles, I get headache!! Why is that?

  26. Can you please discuss Kegels vs Squats (glute work)? My UroGyn surgeon and OBGYN just say Kegels, Kegels, Kegels. Some PTs say Glute strengthening (squats, etc) is just as, if not more important. What is your opinion, Michelle Kenway? (I always appreciate your YouTube video insights.)

  27. Really hope this makes me stop urinating in my pants while I'm pregnant when I cough or sneeze… So embarrassing!

  28. Hi Michelle. Firstly thx for uploading video's on Youtube.
    Recently i started pain in my Pelvi and sometimes get exhausted due to pain. Apart from excerise is their any diet which i have to follow.

  29. Will the Jade Egg increase the bladder prolapse? Or can I go ahead and use it for the back muscles. Thank you for your help.

  30. does it kinda have to feel like you have to poop a little but not really??? I don't know how to do it really help!!!

  31. i finally found a copy of your book & it's on its way, wound up paying $60 for it including shipping! Wish there were more available in US. Thanks for your help!

  32. Hello michelle, so recently, about 2 weeks ago i ended up doing intense reverse kegels after doing 3 months of hard regular kegels every day. well, ever since then, i have weak erection or unable to get one, some pelvic aches and testicular pain, pain at the base, as well as feeling as though I cant push out anymore. Some people have said i strained a muscle, but I wanted your opinion on it.

  33. hi I have a question I have birth to my child last mouth she weighted 7lb 15oz but my it ripped so I was wondering if I exercise it does it get tighter or it can't?

  34. I'm 67 years old. my uterus are lower, can the exercise helping me? I don't want to do the surgery. What I'll should do?

  35. can I literally do kegels almost anytime anywhere? and how long do you do them at a time and how often? Lets say I did it for ten minutes two times a day… how much does that really help? thanks for the video.

  36. hi michelle i've already asked u this question but u didn't reply i will really appreciate it if u do. is it safe to squeeze my muscles more than 10 seconds each? the more u hold it the better ? or should i stop at a mxm of 10 seconds noting that i can last for 50 seconds. i just want fast results. plz tell me what to do thank u

  37. Is there a reason why whenever I try doing this it makes me feel sick? I'm 9 weeks and want to start doing these but each time I do I feel sick.

  38. Hi Michelle. In your video there is mention about the time to spend doing these exercises or the period we need to see the results. Could I know this please? Thank you so much. I loved your explanation. Fouzia.

  39. Hello there this is my first time trying to do kegels. I think I did them right. How long will it take to tighten the vagina. I have 2 kids vaginal birth. I was just wondering because my husband said i feel looser down there. That made me feel horrible and ashamed. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you for reading and responding.

  40. This video is from a while ago, but I recently saw it and have some questions; I am really new to this, and when I do the techniques in your video, I'm really not sure if I'm actually doing them correctly. Is it normal for me to feel very aroused when doing this exercise because I do, it's a little embarrassing to admit. I try to tighten my pelvic area for 10 seconds or longer and it's almost unbearable because of the sexual intensity (painful almost). Also it's really hard to not hold my breath with squeezing around that area, is that normal? I try to breath when squeezing but I automatically hold my breath because when I breath in and out it feels like I'm releasing when I want to squeeze. Also how do I know I'm releasing correctly? I don't really feel much of a release when I stop squeezing.

  41. hai I had an surgery when my L1.in spine was fractured in an accident I am 42yrs old lady I lost my bowel and bladder sensation and also numbness in my buttocks doctors advised me for kegel exercise but due to numbness I can't feel the contraction and relaxation of muscles I am trying does it help me . can I gain full control of urination advise me which exercises help me please help

  42. Thank you so much for a very sensible and detailed description of these actions. I've always been physically active and, despite being disabled for the last 13 years, have continued to do all I can. But about a month ago, I began to notice a bulging when I went to the bathroom… one that grew worse as I walked. When I investigated, I found a sizeable bulge from my vagina.

    About two weeks ago it became really intolerable as I couldn't walk across a room, never mind go for a walk, without beginning to feel pressure– enough to feel like I was giving birth and the baby was crowning! Now, I'm 57 years old and it's been years since I could conceive so I knew THAT was impossible.

    Until then, I had assumed I had hemorrhoids, except it wasn't painful, as most hemorrhoids are described. In fact, thinking back, I now realize this is a condition that has been getting worse over the past few years. But it would improve spontaneously, too. Still, it's never been this bad.

    The only time I had heard of a prolapsed uterus in All Creatures Great & Small, in cows. But never women. So I looked it up and, sure enough, my symptom match every symptom described. One thing I noticed was that, first thing in the morning, I often feel fine for a few hours. So I thought bed rest may be all I need. But I've tried that for two weeks and I still have the same problem. And it's really a nuisance: Both the bedrest AND the prolapsed uterus. Plus, it's worsening my primary condition.

    So I am going to try your methods to see if I can correct this problem. If I don't see improvement in a week or so I will see a doctor. I have not rushed to the doctor now because, thanks to my primary condition, any surgery is risky. And that seems to be the only course for a doctor. I will report back after a week to let you know how I am doing.

    One question. In my case, do you think I should start with doing each exercise 3 times per day sufficient? Or should I do more?

  43. I know this video is old, but it doesn't feel like anything is "lifting" to me it just feels like it tenses up a little there. Is that what you meant or do I still have to feel it lift up?

  44. Hi Michelle!
    Thankyou for this wonderful, informative video. It was very easy to understand. I have an issue and request your expert opinion. While trying to do the exercise, I unconsciously tend to hold my breath simultaneously. I heard that it's not advised. So what should I do? Thankyou

  45. I’m only 15 and experiencing frequent urination which has gone now but experiencing discomfort down there and like an electric pain …especially after exercising I started getting pain in my tummy and felt like my vagina was ginna fall or smthn. It was so painful that I kept my hand in the vagina and pushing upwards thing it’d help but the pain went after 5 mins but I keep getting discomfort and can’t jump around ..it feels better when i do the push thing from my vagina but it feels better when u do it from my anus …I have no idea what’s happening to me .dint want Vaginal prolapse at this age

  46. I can’t seem to do this right. I read that you’re not supposed to flex your butt muscles. But no mater how hard I try, those always move, I can’t get them to relax. I’m can’t get my pelvic muscles to move and my butt muscles to stop moving.

  47. Hi I need help with this, I tried doing the exercise and when I was tensing my abs and buttocks going up with my hips I had to hold my breathe doing this and as a result after doing these for 10-15 mins I felt really lightheaded and faint afterwards, should I not be holding my breathe ? Tho if you contract your abs you can’t breathe as they go loose again I don’t get it

  48. Can these exercises help me for first time sex..its been 4 months of being married but i am still a virgin because evertime when i try it with my partner i feel so much pain and stop him. Please guide me some tecnique which can make it easier to break the hymen.

  49. dnt care about where the muscles are located… get to the point & show us the exercises. 🤦🏽‍♀️ Fast Forward to 2:13

  50. While breathing in pevic floor should contract and as breath out pelvic floorshould relax …like that ony

  51. Hi Michelle. My 45 year old male who is having pelvic pain suddenly. I have been to a pelvic physiotherapist yesterday. I just wanted to get your opinion on prognosis. If one is to do kegels and the other exercises recommended for this syndrome what percentage of patients come out either pain free or with minimal pain?

  52. Hi, Could you please tell me whether I can try this out for vaginismus or are there any videos of you I could try for vaginismus?Love watching your videos.Thank yo

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