Bored with Kegel exercises but want to strengthen the hidden muscles of your pelvic floor? A simple gadget you can use while watching Netflix can help
To build stronger arms you lift weights. For a tighter core, take on Pilates or yoga. And for fit legs, running is an easy go-to. But what about the muscles that can’t be seen but play a huge part in a woman’s life – like pelvic floor muscles.
It’s not exactly a glamourous topic, but one we need – urgently – to talk about.
A shocking 40 per cent of women suffer with issues related to a weak pelvic floor, most commonly incontinence, which manifests as the urge to wee all the time or embarrassing leaks when you pee, laugh, cough or sneeze.
Some women pull down, not up when they do their Kegel’s, which could be making matters worse
And unless you do something about it, the problem only gets worse as you get older. In fact, in the EU more diapers are sold for adult use than for babies.
Weak pelvic floor muscles also contribute to loss of sexual sensation and a persistent bloated tummy.
So, from stronger orgasms to fending off incontinence – which affects a staggering one in four women, – there’s good reason to make toning your down-there muscles a key part of your strength training routine.
One way to do this is with Kegel exercises. These simply involve tightening and letting go of your pelvic floor muscles for a number of reps, a few times a day. But who can remember to do them? And, how do you know if you’re even doing them correctly?
Some physios have suggested women pull down, not up when they tighten their pelvic floor, which could be making matters worse.
But now, as fitness gadgets are released to track everything from sleep to steps to calories, a plethora of products have crossed Healthista’s HQ claiming to help strengthen a woman’s pelvic floor muscles and take the guesswork out of your Kegel exercises.
Trouble is, many such gadgets are complicated. There are wires everywhere and all sorts of bits and pieces to connect and come to terms with.
However, we recently tested one that was super simple and now I for one – having abandoned all other pelvic toning devices that have come my way – have used it daily for a month.
Enter, the Kegel Angel
Created by Dr Michelle Nielsen, a medic who has spent three years working with women strengthening their pelvic floors, the Kegel Angel is an automatic pelvic floor exerciser that does all the work for you.
‘I’ve learned that pelvic floor health is at the core of strength and vitality for all women as there are many issues related to women’s well-being when the pelvic floor is not given the proper attention,’ says Dr Nielsen.
‘It is a very common issue especially women in women in their 40s and 50s and isn’t talked about enough!’
How does it work?
A probe about six inches long and one inch thick is placed into the vagina (this feels perfectly comfortable when I try it), then gentle impulses are sent to the correct muscles causing them to contract and strengthen.
How do you use it?
After applying a little lubricant and inserting the probe, you attach the two wires to a handheld device and sit comfortably or lay back. I try it for the first time on a Sunday afternoon, whilst watching a little Netflix (You, since you ask).
Then, on the handheld device you to choose from 11 pre-programmed cycles. These are in essence pelvic floor workouts for different needs, such as stress incontinence, urge incontinence (find out the difference here), or having a more satisfying sex life.
I choose the latter as I (thankfully) don’t have any continence issues yet…
Then, I basically lay back and let the Kegel Angel do its thing. I could feel it working, like little pulses of tightness my body did involuntarily, thanks to the probe’s impulses running through it. It feels comfortable if a little odd at first but I quickly get used to it and settle down to my programme.
Then, 25 minutes later, I’m done. It’s really that simple. The ‘workouts’ can last anything from 20 to 45 minutes depending on your specific need.
Does it work?
I use it daily for a week and do feel ‘tighter’ down there somehow.
According to Dr Nielsen and her team, doing these Kegel Angel workouts daily for 12 weeks can help you reap the benefits of up to six years of traditional Kegel exercises including better bladder control (I do notice I need the toilet less…), enhanced intimacy and a stronger core.
The Kegel Angel costs £149.99 from Kegel Angel. Healthista readers can get a 20 per cent discount by using the code LOVE20 at checkout. Click here to purchase.