The Birth of Kegel Exercises: Dr. Arnold Kegel

kegel exercises involve the proper use and development of the pelvis floor     kegel exercises prevent the collapse of the pelvic floor

Kegel exercises were born In the late 1940’s when Dr. Arnold Kegel made an interesting discovery that brought a successful change to many lives. Until this discovery, many women found that they suffered from urinary incontinence after giving birth. Sometimes something as simple as coughing would cause their bladder to discharge a small amount of urine.

Before Dr. Kegel, this concern was treated either with drugs or even with a surgical procedure that would attempt to alleviate the problem by repositioning the bladder— with limited success.

Dr. Kegel made a great leap of faith and began to suggest to women that a set of muscles deep in the bowl of the pelvis might have something to do with their discomfort. He thought correctly that weakness in these muscles, which were affected by childbirth and also supported the urinary tract could be responsible for the incontinence that these women were experiencing. He began to proscribe a series of exercises, soon to be known as kegel exercises,  meant to strengthen these muscles known as the levator ani, a group of three muscles that form a hammock or sling at the base of the pelvis connecting the front, back and two sides (The pubic bone, the tail bone and the two ischial tuberosities or sit bones).

Women began to return with great results regarding the incontinence but also shared another intriguing bit of information. They were noticing a heightened sexual feeling, some of them reporting that they had orgasms for the first time in their lives.

Dr. Kegel disregarded this detail until scores of women shared the same findings. Kegel exercises were born and have since become standard practice for all pregnant women and have helped many men and women with sexual dysfunction as well.

Can the CoreWalking improve my sex life you ask? I would say that it most definitely can, as pelvic floor exercises are the first and in some cases the most important exercise I teach. It is not my main intent but learning to walk correctly brings the body and its machine-like design into an energetic harmony that will manifest positive results in many areas of your life.

But even more important than sex (is there anything more important than sex?) I am deeply concerned with incontinence. In the late 90’s I volunteered at the Jacob Perlow Hospice at Beth Isreal Hospital in New York City. As a volunteer, I changed my share of adult diapers, and while I found that this most intimate act brought me closer to the patients that I worked with and in some cases allowed for a bonding that began a deep relationship, I also knew that I hoped to spend my waning years with more control over my eliminative functions.

The pictures at the top of this post illustrate the powerful difference between good tone (left) and bad tone (right) in the muscles of the pelvic floor. It shows a condition called uterine prolapse, caused due to poor tone often, but not exclusively, in connection with pregnancy. I use this picture to try and scare my clients into doing correct pelvic floor exercises. I hope it works for you too.

Dr. Arnold Kegel and the birth of Kegel exercises marked a great opportunity for modern man to regain some of the strength that we lost in switching to a technological lifestyle. Working on building the strength of the pelvic floor will have a great payoff in the long run.


Exercise Notes: Everything should be easy
Arches, Hinges and Pulleys