Hey, do you need a little help with your Kegel’s? There’s an App for that.

Women on Cell phone MP910220688Are you finding it hard to remember to do your Kegel exercises?

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

Have you been told to do your kegel exercises every day, three times a day, forever? And were you given great advise on how to sneak in your “daily Kegel requirements” during normal every day activities?  I bet you are doing them right now as you are reading this article.

No?

If you are one of the many who forget to do a squeeze while stopped at a traffic light, at each bus stop, while waiting on line at the grocery store or when you are putting away the dishes there is some good news for you. I recently found several Kegel coaching apps to remind you on the iPhone. Some of these apps include specific exercise programs too and range in price from 99 cents to about $5. They all looked interesting, but instead of adding yet another app to my phone I decided to save some money by setting 3 separate daily alarms to give me a “nudge” when it is time to do my Kegel exercises. I guess the trick will be not to turn off the alarm until I actually do my exercises.

Leave a comment and tell me how you remember to do your Kegel’s.

7 thoughts on “Hey, do you need a little help with your Kegel’s? There’s an App for that.

  1. Janine Dalton

    Janine Dalton • Hi Marianne, 

I am not pregnant (I have an 8 and a 3.5 yr old) but actually stopped what I was doing to read this article — based on the catchy headline! I have to say that I find that once you start doing kegels as part of your daily life (I do them when brushing my teeth) you start thinking about it more, and doing it more…..certainly not a bad thing. 🙂 

If you had any resources on exercises to repair/help heal separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) I’d love to see those and I think there are a number of us on this group that would find them useful. 

Thanks, 
Janine

    Reply
    1. Lynn Shulte Leech

      Hi Janine, I’ve been teaching a class on healing a diastasis for the last 5 years and have gotten some great results with my 4 step program. It’s different from the Tupler technique as I don’t believe every woman has to splint in order to heal their separation. It’s body awareness and restrengthening that needs to happen. I can do a Skype session with anyone, anywhere- worked with people in Germany and France and Australia already- so fun! It’s important for people to know there IS something you can do for this and I’d love to help! You can check out my website for more info at http://www.IntuitiveHandsPT.com

      Reply
    2. Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

      Marianne Ryan PT, OCS • Hi Janine, Glad you are keeping yourself in good shape. Right now I am working on producing a bunch of article on what exercises for post partum Mom’s. Just too busy to get them posted until at least Feb. So if you want to please follow my blog. You can find it by reopening the article. 

Good comment Lynn. 
I love sharing ideas with other women’s health specialists. 
I still use Kegel’s when a patient is ready for them. If a patient has a problem with a tight pelvic floor I teach them how to elongate the pelvic floor with breathing exercises performed in different functional positions (sitting, standing, etc) and tell them to wait on strengthening. Static squats are a nice stretch, but I find the dynamic elongation that occurs with breathing exercises to have better carry over into functional activities. Did you ever think of teaching your patients how to perform pelvic floor breathing / relaxation exercises in the squat position. Do you think that would be more beneficial or not necessary? 

Granted, I use a lot of visceral mobilization and muscle energy techniques while I am treating a patient, but once we get things calmed down I like to teach them how to treat themselves through breathing exercise and self massage. 

Also, I noticed there is a trend of people not using kegel exercises and even broached the question with my pelvic floor study group this past week. It seems like we all kind of came to the conclusion that Kegel exercises should be used when appropriate. 
What concerns me is that there is a women, who is not a physical therapist, who is very good at “selling” pelvic health on the internet. And she tells everyone…. NEVER DO KEGEL’S EXERCISES. I don’t agree with her. 
PS this is an interesting conversation, would you mind if I repost it on my blog?

      Reply
  2. Lynn Shulte Leech

    Feel free to repost! 
LIke we both know there is not a straight forward answer that will be perfect for everyone. Each person needs to be evaluated to see what’s going on with their body before we can assume any exercise is best for them. 
I love your idea of breathing/relaxation in the squatting position- which really should happen every time we have a BM if we weren’t sitting on the toilet! I believe in our culture of sitting so much we are creating shortened pelvic floors for most women and doing kegels is just shortening it more. We need to find the proper length/strength relationship and then work on strengthening. Assessment and education are the key factors for what’s appropriate for someone which is what we do so well! 🙂 
Maybe the combo of squatting w/ breathing and also doing kegels should be the message we need to get out. 
Are you talking about Katy Bowmen being the other women out there promoting no kegels? If you haven’t already looked into her work I highly recommend it. It makes a lot of sense when she explains why. Check out her blog at Katysays.com She’s funny too. I just don’t think the body can be fully rehabbed with exercise alone, depending on the issue of course. Fascial release work along with the movement and body awareness piece is a great combo. Love this discussion Marianne. 

Would love to hear more about your post partum exercise advise. What do you recommend? I really encourage moms to avoid high impact activites til 3 months pp. Pelvis is not stable til then. Core work and walking until 3 months then you can start running/ jumping. What do you say?

    Reply
    1. Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

      Hi Lynn, we definitely have some very similar approaches. 

I still believe it would be best if we could see all women for physical therapy treatment after they have a child, like France, but until then I keep on “tweaking” the postpartum program I give as a home program. 
As far as jumping and running goes, if the Mom is still lactating I try to get her to wait at least 5 to 6 months and try to get her to use fast walking, elliptical and water exercises. I am also a fan of the Serola belt w/ pelvic instability, especially with challenging sports that involve running and jumping. If there is organ prolapse, I might suggest that they wear a vulva support belt while exercising. 

I have a question for you. Do you have your postpartum Mom’s use abdominal binders? If so, for how long?… I am not sure how I feel about them, I just don’t like the idea of throwing them on every postpartum Mom. (especially since only 35% of non-complicated vaginal births have a diastasis 6 weeks after delivery.) And there is another author who tells all moms they should use a abdominal binder no matter what. I think it is over kill and a lot of moms are losing basic core strength because they are being told to use the binders, 24/7. 
Do you have any specific precautions, or rule of thumb when it comes to using abdominal binder?

      Reply
  3. Lynn Shulte Leech

    I didn’t find the new group to join. Do you have a link I can follow? 

As far as binding in pp I don’t unless there is a four finger separation or more. I feel you have to bind if the connective tissue is that bad in order for it to heal. I feel you can heal on your own with knowing what to do. I used to follow Julie Tuplers stuff but have created my own program for healing that seems to be doing the trick. With the binding it is not done alone, without doing the exercises. In fact the binder helps women to remember to do the exercises more, restrengthening the abs and helping to heal the split. I do actually tell moms to tie a scarf around their bellies for a day to get an idea of what they are doing activity wise that may be causing some doming or pooching out of the belly. That way they know what to avoid and how to correct it. My feeling is the binding is too dangerous for organ prolapsing issues. We don’t want constant contraction of the abs all day long either. I really stress the difference of exercising times and relaxation times but avoiding the doming of the belly. 
Love the conversation! It’s so great to connect to like minded PT’s!

    Reply
  4. Marianne Ryan PT

    This is the name of the linkedin group I tought you might be interested in:
    Women’s Health Network (PT, OT, Doula’s, Fitness Trainers, Midwives, Doctors, NP, LMT)


    Really good and helpful comments. I would love to hear more about your exercise program. What exercise advise do you give Mom’s who are just a few days postpartum? I tend to give them some breathing exercises, I am confused about when it is safe for them to start some basic Kegels (I know you don’t like them) for muscle “activation”, not “strenghting” exericses.

    BTW, Happy Holidays!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s