Almost everyone knows what Kegel exercises are, but do you know what reverse Kegels are? Reverse Kegels are more confusing compared to traditional Kegels which is why many individuals avoid learning about them.
What Is A Reverse Kegel?
A reverse Kegel is an exercise suitable for both males and females that teaches you to relax the pelvic floor muscles and to make it more flexible. The pelvic floor muscle functions to:
Provide support to the pelvic organs such as:
Controls the urinary and anal sphincter
Affects the intensity of orgasms.
The concept of reverse Kegel is similar to stretching any other muscle in your body.
While Kegel exercises are used to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles, reverse Kegel exercises relaxes and releases the muscles to create a balanced pelvic floor. The Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia explains that the pelvic floor can become too tight and can cause various issues such as:
Dyspareunia (pain during sex)
Difficulty emptying the bladder
Reverse Kegel is therefore especially beneficial for individuals who experience tension and spasms in the pelvic floor (pelvic floor dysfunction) as it helps to relax the pelvic floor which leads to improved bladder control and bowel movement.
Although reverse Kegel exercises are suitable for both men and women, the benefits may differ for different genders.
Reverse Kegels Versus Kegels
As briefly mentioned above, Kegel exercises strengthen and tone the pelvic floor muscles while reverse Kegel exercises elongate and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Contrary to popular belief, both Kegel exercises and reverse Kegels should be incorporated when trying to build muscle strength. Combining both Kegel and reverse Kegel exercises helps you achieve better results in a shorter time compared to if you were doing only regular Kegel exercises.
Benefits of Reverse Kegels
The benefits for reverse Kegels can differ between males and females. In women, reverse Kegels can help with:
Issues with urinary incontinence
Pain during sex to make it less painful
Chronic pelvic pain
Improved sex life
Makes vaginal orgasms more likely
In pregnant women, reverse Kegels can help you learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles making it handy for childbirth.
In men, reverse Kegels have been shown to improve:
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
Increase control over penile muscles
Sexual strength and stamina
Reverse Kegels can also help you to last longer in bed. When the pelvic floor muscles are strong or tight, you get aroused quickly. Reverse Kegels train your ability to relax your pelvic muscles so you can slow down and keep at an even level of arousal.
Generally, reverse Kegels strengthen the. Pelvic floor muscles regardless of gender which can help to prevent and manage issues such as:
Pelvic organ prolapse
Relieve pelvic tension
Increases stability and strength of the lower back and hips
Locating the Pelvic Floor Muscles
It is important to locate the correct muscles before attempting a reverse Kegel.
Method 1 – This method is suitable for both males and females.
Relaxing the pelvic floor muscles – This is similar to the sensation or urinating or pooping.
You may find it easier to empty your bladder and bowels before doing reverse Kegels to avoid any unwanted accidents.
Method 2 – This method is for males only.
Apply internal pressure to the back of your penis against the muscles you contract when performing a Kegel.
The easiest way is to push out as if you are going to fat, exhale fully, and move that pressure away into your penis.
Method 3 – This is suitable for all genders.
Begin with a regular Kegel.
Breathe deeply and identify the pelvic muscles
Release the Kegel and stretch the muscles as much as possible.
The pelvic floor muscles should feel elongated.
The pubic bone and tailbone should feel as if they were stretching apart.
The anus and vagina will move downwards.
This is the reverse Kegel exercise.
If you are not sure on how to locate the muscles, just keep practicing as if you are getting ready to pee. Males can keep trying as if pushing against the penis. Do not worry and be patient as it can take some time to understand the sensation. You will eventually feel more natural doing it.
The key to reverse Kegel is visualization and deep breathing. You can also use a mirror to look at the contraction and relaxation. In the mirror, you will see the anus release and the perineum move downwards to the mirror.
Should I Master Standard Kegel Exercises First?
It can be helpful for you to first learn how to do a normal Kegel as it enables you to identify the correct muscles and understand how to control them better.
How To Perform Reverse Kegels
After locating your pelvic floor muscles:
Reverse Kegels can be performed anywhere anytime, you can do it while lying down, standing, or sitting.
Once in position, breathe in deeply and focus on your pelvic floor.
As you inhale, feel your pelvic drop slightly and relax downwards.
You can use a mirror to help you.
If performed correctly, the space between the anus and vagina moves downwards while the space between the tailbone and pubic bone expands.
Hold the reverse Kegel for 5 seconds and release for 5 seconds. Do this 10-times. This is a set.
Repeat the set two or three times a day.
Make sure you breathe while performing reverse Kegels.
Breathe all the way into the stomach instead of only your chest.
Reverse Kegels can be performed in any position you desire.
Once in position, contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to hasten the micturition process.
This relaxes the muscles.
Release the muscles surrounding the anus and feel your perineum move downwards.
Lift your testicles and penis as you try to contract the from penile muscles.
If done properly, you will feel that there is more space between the tailbone and pubic bone.
Hold the reverse Kegel for 5 seconds and release for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times, this is a set. Do 2 to 3 sets daily.
After you have mastered reverse Kegels, you can always increase the duration and number of repetitions of your reverse Kegels. Always remember to breath and keep your abdomen relaxed as holding your breath results in tension in the body and that is counterproductive in reverse Kegels.
Reverse Kegel Exercises for Women
Here are some examples of reverse Kegel exercises for women:
Happy baby pose
Lay on your back and lift your legs with the knees bent with your hands holding the ankles.
Open your knees wider than your chest.
Bring it upwards towards your armpits.
Hold this position or gently rock yourself side to side,
Place your knees and hands on the mat.
Spread your knees apart with the big toes still touching.
Bow forward with the torso downwards and arms stretched outwards in front of you.
It is similar to prostration.
The diaphragm works with the pelvic muscles to relax the muscles and for pain relief. The National Association for Continence has recommended to place a hand on your chest and another below your rib cage on your belly.
Inhale to the count of three and exhale to the count of four.
As you inhale, relax your pelvic floor.
When you exhale, the pelvic floor returns to the resting state.
Practice this exercise 5 to 10 minutes daily.
Lay on your back with the soles of your feet together.
Move your knees outwards to the sides.
You can place pillows underneath your knee for additional support.
Reverse Kegel Exercises for Men
Move the pelvic muscles
By relaxing and loosening the pelvic floor muscles, you may experience relief from pelvic pain. Begin by:
Slowly lift the testicles upwards towards the body.
This helps to tighten the pelvic muscles.
Relax the pelvic floor and the testicles will hand loose.
Repeat this movement and focus on the relaxation stage.
This exercise can be performed while seated. Start by:
Resting your feet on the floor and relax.
Make sure your legs are uncrossed.
Relax your jaw, abdomen, and thigh muscles.
Allow the pelvic floor muscles to relax.
Breath in five times and expand your waist.
When Will I See Results?
Like Kegel exercises, it can take weeks or months before you notice any results from reverse Kegels. Do not get discouraged. Be patient and do not force your body to avoid your pelvic muscles becoming tired, sore, and rigid.
If you get bored, you can always combine both standard Kegels and reverse Kegels for a challenge. The combination of standard and reverse Kegels can help you regulate the tone of your pelvic floor muscles and build a stronger mind-muscle connection.
If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop doing your reverse Kegels as it is usually a sign that the exercise is not being done properly. In this case, it may be helpful to seek advice from your doctor or a qualified physiotherapist as reverse Kegel is physical therapy for the pelvic floor.