1. Kegels are exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor — aka the muscles that support your bladder, uterus, and intestines.
2. But most people actually do Kegels wrong.
3. You want to squeeze and lift your pelvic floor like it's an elevator.
4. You can also ask your gynecologist to check out your ~technique~.
It takes two seconds for your gyno to tell you if you're using the right muscles, and they can give you pointers if you're having trouble, so ask them during your next appointment, says Minkin. They can also give you an idea of your current pelvic tone, if you're curious how strong you are down there.
5. You can actually see your muscles working if you do them correctly.
6. You can pretty much do them anywhere.
7. Pelvic floor strength is important for not leaking urine — which, sorry, you'll probably do at some point in your life.
8. You can do them during sex, so go wild.
9. In fact, they'll improve your sexual sensation in general.
10. At the very least, you're going to want to start doing them during pregnancy when things get crazy down there.
11. You should also get in the habit of squeezing before sneezing — and other things.
12. Kegels don't necessarily tighten your vagina, but they do improve the "tone" and give you the capacity to grip those muscles tighter.
13. There are some people who shouldn't do Kegels.
14. Everyone's routine will be different, but in general, you want to do enough Kegels that your last few reps are a challenge.
15. And don't worry, you're probably not going to overwork your vagina through too many Kegels.
Theoretically, sure, it's possible to overwork or pull your pelvic floor just like any other muscle, but neither Minkin nor Hoefs has ever witnessed it in any of their clients. You might feel a little soreness just like you might when starting another fitness routine, but that's generally as far as it will go. If you feel more severe or lasting discomfort, definitely tell your doctor.
16. You might be able to reduce lower back pain through Kegels, too.
17. If you're an athlete, you definitely want a strong pelvic floor.
18. There are some products out there that can help you out.
They're not necessary by any means, but there are a ton of products on the market designed to help walk you through your Kegels, as well as track your reps and progress. Some even reward you with ~vibrations~, if you're into that. "Kegelcisers, as I call them, can be very helpful for people who need a little more guidance," says Minkin. Products like kGoal, KegelSmart, and Elvie are good places to start.