What Are Kegel Exercises & Why You Should Do Them To Strengthen Your Vagina

What if I told you that you could strengthen your vajayjay, allowing you to have better sex (for you AND your partner), and more orgasms with minimal effort? I know, it sounds too good to be true, but I promise you it isn’t. One word: Kegels. I know what you’re thinking—no, Kegels aren’t a new food trend or that noodle dish your aunt makes on Rosh Hashana. Kegels are an exercise, more formally called Kegel exercises. Even though sex can sometimes feel like an Olympic event, Kegel exercises are not done in the gym. Thank god for small miracles. We’re going to do a deep dive into what Kegel exercises are and why you should be doing them, so get ready to get a lil uncomfortable.

So WTF Are Kegel Exercises?

Basically, like 70 years ago, some bro gynecologist named Arnold Kegel noticed that his patients had weak bladders after giving birth. (How he noticed that, I don’t wanna know.) He did extensive research (again, don’t wanna know) and found that by strengthening their pelvic floor muscles, these women would like, pee better. Flash forward, your Kegel muscles are basically the Commander-in-Chief of your nether regions.

To better explain this, let’s brush up on our basic anatomy, or at least, what we learned on Grey’s Anatomy. There is a “sling” of muscles (think a giant-ass maxi pad, *shudders*) lining the inside of your pelvis going from your pubic bone to your anus (SORRY). This muscle “pad” surrounds your vagina, urethra, and rectum and plays a vital role in their functions. OK, I promise you can un-clench every muscle in your body now; it gets less cringeworthy from here on out if you can handle it.

The reason these muscles are important, and why I probably made you crawl into a hole of discomfort above, is because these muscles are basically responsible for how you go to the bathroom. When these muscles are relaxed, you do your business. When they’re contracted, no soup for you. If you’re getting older or getting pregnant, these muscles are likely to weaken, which limits the control you have over your bladder and potentially resulting in more issues than Rob and Chyna’s custody battle.

But don’t freak! The Kegel muscles are relatively easy to work out, and doing so has proven to be super effective, as long as you don’t have any serious underlying medical issues. If you’ve ever peed a little from laughing too hard, coughing, or sneezing, then that sucks read on.

What Are The Benefits Of Strengthening Your Kegels?

Before we get into how you can strengthen your Kegel muscles, it’s important to understand why you should. Remember the episode of Keeping up With The Kardashians where the girls make fun of Kris’ frequent runs to the washroom, and the few times she doesn’t make it on time? After going to the doctor, Kris learns she suffers from stress incontinence, a condition where you pee a little from sneezing, laughing, or coughing, and is super common in women who’ve popped out an entire business so many children. Her doctor recommended Kegel exercises in order to strengthen her muscles and increase bladder control.  don’t know about you, but if Kegel exercises are good enough for Kris, they’re good enough for me. According to Kris: “The family that Kegels together, stays together.” An odd way to phrase it, but hey, I’m not going to argue. Any way I can get invited to that dinner party?

But Kegels aren’t just for menopausal women in Detrol commercials—they can also be good for your sex life. In addition to better bladder control, Kegel exercises have all kinds of ancillary benefits. These include more frequent orgasms (increasing your odds for vaginal penetrative orgasms in particular), increased blood flow to your vagina (which increases arousal and lubrication), and improved sex for both you and your partner—either by making your area tighter, or by decreasing pain you experience during sex due to your new control and ability to relax your vagina.

What Exercises Do You Do For Your Kegels?

First, you need to know how to activate your Kegels. Next time you go to pee, stop yourself mid-stream. The muscles you squeeze to do this are your Kegel muscles. You found them! (Warning: don’t try this experiment too often or for too long because it can increase your chances of developing UTIs. Isn’t having a vagina so fun?)

Now that you know what muscles you’re working with, all you need to do is contract and relax your Kegel muscles as often as you remember. The Mayo Clinic suggests contracting for five seconds and then releasing for five seconds, repeating several reps of these daily. Slowly, as these muscles become stronger, you can work up to a 10:10 second ratio instead. There are also physiotherapists that focus solely on your pelvic floor muscles to help strengthen them.

The great thing about working out your Kegel muscles is that you can pretty much do these exercises anywhere. In the car, at work, while eating. I’m working out mine right now and you would have never known.

Moral of the story: do your Kegels now and thank me later.