Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

5 Exercises Better Than a Kegel

December 20, 2021

With any pelvic floor dysfunction, there is so much more to look into aside from simply the pelvic floor. The term “Kegel” was first used in 1948 by a professor of gynecology Dr. Arnold Kegel to describe a pelvic floor contraction. While it has now become a household term, there is so much more to evaluating and resolving pelvic floor dysfunctions than just Kegel’s.

One study looked at other exercises that are more effective than a Kegel at strengthening the pelvic floor. Below are 5 exercises we commonly utilize in our Boulder Physical Therapy practice and the percent more pelvic floor muscle activation found while performing them as compared to a Kegel alone.

  1. Bridges- 56% more effective

  2. All fours hovering- 49% more effective

  3. Lunge- 42% more effective

  4. Squat- 30% more effective

  5. Clamshells- 25% more effective

To exercise these properly as per the original study design designates, perform a pelvic floor contraction just prior to each rep of each exercise.

For assistance designing an appropriate exercise program for your pelvic floor dysfunction, contact the pelvic health experts at Mend.

Crawford B. Pelvic floor muscle motor unit recruitment: Kegels vs specialized movement. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. April 2016:S468.