What is the Kegelmaster™?
Have you ever been told to – “just do your Kegel exercises”? Most women are given this “well-meaning” advice at some point in their lives. In reality, performing Kegel exercises without resistance does not provide the muscle development needed to build up a healthy pelvic floor.
Kegel (squeeze, hold and release) exercises were developed in the 1940s by the late Dr Arnold Kegel, a Los Angeles Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Dr Kegel’s research discovered that vaginal muscles could be isolated and strengthened through resistance exercise. This in turn could prevent and repair mild to moderate prolapse, stress and urge incontinence and sexual dysfunction, whilst eliminating the need for drastic and invasive surgery. He investigated the anatomy and physiology of the vagina and bladder and soon found that by strengthening the vaginal muscles most women could reduce their symptoms to a sufficient degree where surgery was no longer necessary.
What Dr Kegel found was that the Pubococcygeus or PC muscles, which make up the major muscular support of the floor and roof of the vagina, were excessively relaxed or overstretched in women with stress incontinence. These PC muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock, holding in the pelvic organs. When these muscles are relaxed both the bladder and the vagina can pouch down, the uterus and vagina can also fall or prolapse down under the pull of gravity, toward and even through the vaginal opening. He concluded that all women should be doing resistance pelvic floor muscle exercises for their general health. The principle behind ’Kegel’ exercises is to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, thereby improving the urethral and/or rectal sphincter function.
Kegel exercises were never meant to be performed on their own!
Dr Kegel proved that simply giving women instructions to do squeezes without resistance resulted in a less than 5% cure rate. He discovered that exercising the vagina and pelvic floor with resistance cured incontinence in 93% of women.
Kegel exercises must be performed properly, using the right set of muscles!
It is now medically proven that 25% of women who attempt to do Kegel exercises unknowingly do them improperly, causing greater damage and worsening their incontinence.
The most common problem with women who just do Kegel exercises without resistance is contraction of the abdominal muscles at the same time as the PC muscle. When this occurs the abdominal muscles, which are bigger and stronger push down on the pelvic floor and can actually make the problem worse.
Why Do We Need Resistance?
With resistance you can accomplish a myriad of things; you can lose weight, gain strength, (both muscular, bone and connective tissue) and improve your cardiovascular health (your heart is your most important muscle). You can also prevent disease, increase mobility, lower your cholesterol, reduce stress, increase your energy level, combat the aging process and enhance your appearance (shape and tone).
In short, without overstating the positive effects, we believe a significant way to increase the overall quality of your Kegel exercises is through progressive dynamic resistance training. The Kegelmaster™ uses resistance to challenge the muscles to adapt and improve in strength and endurance. This adaptation occurs at the cellular level in the muscle fibre.
For the caveman it meant moving trees and stones. For us (slightly) more advanced homosapiens, there are many different choices. Your options may include the use of barbells, dumbbells, free weights, and machines. There are machines that use weight as resistance; there are machines that use water as resistance; there are even machines that use hydraulics as resistance.
The Kegelmaster™ offers women a safe and effective way to do Kegel exercises with added resistance to rapidly produce stronger vaginal muscles. Resistance is the key to effective Kegel exercises. If we use weights at the gym, or at home to improve our bodies, then women should seriously consider using progressive dynamic resistance when doing their Kegel exercises.
The main thing to do is to focus on working the muscles. The most important concept in resistance training is PROGRESSION. To make changes in your body you must continue to challenge the muscles by gradually but consistently increasing the load placed on them.
This is where one of the basic tenets of training comes to light – the S.A.I.D. principle. The Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands principle means that your muscles will adapt only to the demands placed on them. Therefore, for continued improvement, you need to place ever-increasing demands on your muscles. You can do this by:
- adding an extra repetition
- increasing the resistance
- shortening the rest intervals
All three of these techniques are examples of progression.
“One of the fun things about using the Kegelmaster™ is that you can actually see the progress you are making by the number and position of springs in the unit. It’s always such an accomplishment when it comes time to increase the resistance”.