I’d never heard about the Kegelbell pelvic floor exercise device until someone mentioned it in a Facebook group. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect to hear about this kegel exercise device.
Recently, I’d been released from pelvic floor physical therapy, which my urogynecologist had recommended. I won’t get into the gorey details of why I’d seen that doctor or why she’d referred me to that kind of PT.
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But let’s just say this: if you’re a woman of a certain age who has given birth vaginally, well, then you know what that experience can do to your body.
Also, pelvic floor issues can affect how well (or poorly) you poop. That can eventually affect how you prep for a colonoscopy.
Of course, pelvic floor physical therapy had included lots of pelvic floor exercises for me to do at home. However, the therapists never recommended I use a device to help with Kegel exercises.
What are Kegel exercises
In case you’re not aware, Kegel exercises work the muscles of the pelvic floor. You can usually mimic a Kegel exercise by stopping yourself mid pee. The muscles that you use to stop your urine stream are the same ones you use to strengthen your pelvic floor.
I can do Kegel exercises until the cows come home. In fact, I did them daily through my time in PT and after as well. I can do Kegel exercises while driving my car.
Exercises from my pelvic floor PT
Also, I went through the regimen of other core-strengthening exercises my PT required. This included glute bridges. However, I truly didn’t succeed at doing pelvic floor exercises and seeing the results I desired until two things happened.
One, I got the Kegelbell training kit and began using it regularly. And, two, I started following the Harecore on the Floor strength calendar through the Peloton app.
What is the Kegelbell pelvic floor exercise device
So, what is the Kegelbell training kit and why is it called a pelvic floor exercise device? Well, Kegelbell is a play on the word Kettlebells, which are weights you might use at the gym. Like Kettlebells, the Kegelbell device uses weights.
The Kegelbell is an egg-like device or a mini Kegel ball, with a flagellum attached. Yeah, it kind of looks like a yellow plastic sperm cell. It is made from medical-grade silicone.
Anyway, you hang a tiny weight on the tail. Then, you insert it like you might a tampon. Finally, you do your Kegel exercises with the Kegelbell in and the weights attached.
Kegel pelvic floor exercises with weights
The Kegelbell training kit comes with five exercise pieces. This includes two egg-shaped inserts or devices with a tail (different sizes–30 mm and 35mm egg) and three tiny bell-shaped weights.
The weights are 30 g, 60 g and 120 g. They are designed to be used alone or you can nest them, like Russian dolls, if you need more weight.
The kit also comes with an instruction pamphlet and drawstring satchel for storing everything.
How to use kegel exercise weights
I recall the instructions in my Kegelbell training kit suggesting that you start with the smallest “egg” possible and also the lightest weight. So, I used the 30 mm egg and the 30 gram weight, which, like I said before, you hang from the “tail.”
By the way, thirty grams is just slightly more than an ounce. It’s not much weight at all.
But, just to make the point, a dozen pennies, a lightbulb and a slice of bread each weigh about 30 grams.
Choose size and weight device you want to use
So, you would choose your egg-shaped device and your weight, insert and start doing your Kegel exercises.
What was remarkably different for me was two things. One, I was standing doing my Kegel exercises. (I do them while taking a shower). Before, I would be laying down on my back.
Two, my muscles had something to grip against, if you would. That made the Kegel exercises more efficient on my pelvic floor.
How do Kegel weights work
Of course, there was a third “force” at work here to make the Kegels more effective. And that was the device with the weight hanging down, outside my body.
I told you that I started using the 30 gram weight. I did try out the other two weights, too, but they just made the device too heavy. No matter how hard I squeezed my pelvic floor muscles doing my Kegels, the device just wouldn’t stay in. So, like I said, I started with a 30 gram weight.
Best way to do Kegel exerciese
I knew from going to pelvic floor PT that the best way to do these Kegel exercises was almost like a reverse tabata. So, rather than a 2:1 ratio–exercising for twice as long as the recovery–you use a 1:2 ratio.
Therefore, if you squeeze a Kegel for 10 seconds, you rest for 20 seconds. Do it for 15 seconds? You rest for 30 seconds. And so on.
How often to do Kegelbell training
The instruction manual that came with my Kegelbell offered suggestions on how often to do these pelvic floor exercises. It said that I should be using this device three times a week for about five minutes.
Also, I recall the instructions saying that sometimes you might exercise your muscles to the point where they let go. That was normal.
So, there were some days that I might get through only two or three of my 1:2 reps before the device would slip out. On other days I could get through my whole shower and be ready to dry off–all the while doing the 1:2 reps.
Where I saw a difference with my pelvic floor exercises
The Kegelbell literature says that some women see improvement in just a few weeks. This was not me. Then again, I was starting my regimen after years of neglecting my pelvic floor.
Both of my children, born vaginally, are in their 20s. So, it had been a long time since I’d let that part of my body “go.” But no more.
Anyway, what really made the difference for me was starting to follow the Peloton strength training program in conjunction with using the Kegelbell.
Specifically, I’ve been following the unofficial Hardcore on the Floor Facebook group. This Peloton strength training group has a monthly calendar of daily strength training exercises. Included in this workout schedule is daily core work. Also, there are weekly Barre and Pilates classes along with glutes and legs, among other parts of the body, on alternating days.
How strength training helped my pelvic floor
It was about six months into nearly daily core classes, along with regular strengthening through Barre, Pilates and glutes with squats and lunges, that something changed. I noticed that when I was doing my pelvic floor exercises with my Kegelbell, suddenly I could feel my glutes and lower core engage whenever I squeezed. This never happened before.
In addition, one day I decided to try a heavier weight with my Kegelbell. I took the 30 gram bell weight off and added the 60 gram one. After just two weeks of using the 60 gram weight, I noticed even more improvements in my pelvic floor.
Why core and glute strength matters
I recall my pelvic floor physical therapists talking about the importance of strengthening the core and glutes. That’s why they had me doing glute bridges, among other exercises, along with Kegels.
In fact, I’ve since done some reading on the role strong glutes and core play in a stronger pelvic floor. And here’s what I discovered.
One, the muscles that support the pelvis, in general, are the glutes. Two, a stronger core helps support your bladder and colon, which, in turn, can help prevent or improve organ prolapse. Three, taken all together, you are likely looking at a stronger pelvic floor.
How I believe Peloton barre and Pilates helped
I do wonder if it was the addition of Barre and Pilates mat classes that really pushed me to a place I could never get before. Pilates teachers talk about zipping up the pelvic floor, and I know that some of the micromovements in Barre really target muscles I never knew I had.
Finally, here’s an additional benefit that I never expected: my low back doesn’t hurt anymore. I know that the core includes the front body and back body. But I do recall my PT telling me that weak pelvic floor muscles can also contribute to lower back pain. Well, that’s all gone now, too.
Did you know that a Kegelbell is an FSA eligible item?
Peloton postnatal classes helped, too
Recently, I started taking the Peloton postnatal classes (reviewed here), even though I’m 25 years–yes, years–postpartum. Robin Arzon teaches eight postnatal core classes.
The core classes focus on breathing techniques to strength your TVA–transverse abdominus. It is through learning this breathing technique and engaging my TVA that I took my Kegelbell exercises to the next level. So I would recommend you check those classes out, too.
Final thoughts in this review of the Kegelbell pelvic floor exercise device
Either way, it’s all working for me now, and it leaves me feeling strong and empowered. In fact, by seeing results that have nothing to do with how my clothes fit or the number of my scale, I’m inspired to keep working at it. Whereas using my Kegelbell in the shower used to be a chore, now I want to use this device regularly and keep up my pelvic floor exercises. I don’t want to lose any of the strength I’ve gained.
It’s the same with the Peloton strength-training classes and the Hardcore calendar. While I may not get to it every day, if I get in one strength class, it is alway core. Because, like with the Kegelbell device and my pelvic floor exercises, I don’t want to lose any of the gains I’ve achieved in the last few months. It all has really changed my body.
Finally, I’ll admit that at first I didn’t want to spend the money on the Kegelbell. But given how much I’d spent in co-pays at PT without these results, buying this pelvic floor exercise device was money well spent. If any of the issues I’ve described sound like you, I would strongly recommend you use this link to treat yourself to a Kegelbell training kit. You’re worth it.