I have to confess I hate doing kegel exercises. You’d think I’d be motivated after having 4 kids (including twins) and a pelvic floor like a leaky bucket. But no. I couldn’t ever get myself to do them.
Part of the problem was that however many I did, it didn’t seem to make any difference. Still a leaky bucket. What was the point?
So I pretended it didn’t matter.
Until I discovered “hypopressive exercises”.
If you’d like to read more about my story, check out my podcast: Stress incontinence and how to fix your weak pelvic floor.
It doesn’t feel like you’re doing an “exercise”. Just breathing in a particular way. It’s hard to believe that they make a difference. But my pelvic floor strength went up from 0/5 to 2/5. Incredible!
They’re a relatively new form of exercise that has become popular in Spain, where I live. The idea is that you create a low pressure area in your abdomen.
Many women have problems with their pelvic floors thanks to increased abdominal pressure. Think months of a baby or two pressing down on your pelvic floor.
The muscles in your pelvic floor get tired. Which isn’t surprising really!
When you do a “hypopressive exercise”, you create low pressure in your tummy. You blow out as hard as you can and then inflate your lungs without actually breathing in. (To start with you’ll need to hold your nose. At least until you get used to it.)
That’s pretty much it!
It’s incredible to think that doing that a few times will help. But I’m not the only one they’ve helped!
As with kegels, you can do hypopressive exercise in those few minutes here and there. Stuck at the traffic light, waiting at the school gate.
My favourite is after my swimming session when I get a 3 minute sauna. (Or 5 minutes now that I’ve managed to rearrange my routine to buy an extra 2 mins!)
It’s fair to say that there’s more medical research behind kegel exercises. Kegels remain “the” recommended exercise by the medical world.
But there are women who just don’t seem to find kegels do it for them. And who’s to say you can’t do both?
Another confession. I still don’t do kegels! I don’t know why! But I do manage some hypopressive exercises each week.
In my mind the exercise that I actually do is better than “the perfect exercise I don’t do”!
Come and join my challenge! It’s a little taster of my 30 Day Pelvic Floor Solution. I’ll send you a new exercise every day for 5 days. You can see if you like them. And how easy they are!
Dr Orlena is a health coach. She helps busy mums go from "I can't lose weight" to feeling fit and fabulous. Find out more about her here.