Everyone deserves to have amazing, thoroughly enjoyable, beyond-satisfying sex. So if you knew there were certain workouts that could notably improve your sex life, wouldn't you want to try them? Even if you're not exactly what one would call a typical "gym rat"? I'm not kidding around: There really are a number of workouts that can make sex feel better, that have nothing to do with planks or push-ups and everything to do with the one, the only, pelvic floor.
If you're sitting there scratching your head and wondering what the heck a pelvic floor even is, allow me to hit you with some knowledge: MaryEllen Reider, co-founder of Yarlap, a women's wellness device that helps maintain bladder control and tones pelvic floor muscles, is an expert when it comes to all things related to your pelvic floor, which is a part of your body that, if I had to guess, you've probably never even stopped to think about before, let alone truly exercised. But according to Reider, the pelvic floor is a lot more important than you might assume, and it definitely deserves more of your attention, especially if you're looking to improve your sex life.
In case you need a quick little anatomy lesson, the pelvic floor muscles support your pelvic organs and run along the bottom of the pelvis, aka the lower part of your torso.
"Imagine your pelvic floor muscles like a hammock with the muscles running front to back between your pubic bone and base of the spine," Reider tells Elite Daily over email. "The pelvic floor muscles support the pelvic organs (like your vagina, uterus, bladder, and bowel) and keep everything in place."
Reider explains that when that "hammock" gets weak or damaged, it starts to sag and give out, which can cause the organs to sort of fall on top of each other. When this happens, she says, the pelvic floor can cause incontinence (aka bladder leaks or an overactive bladder) which, you know, doesn't sound great.
BTW, if you're rolling your eyes at all of this and assuming these things only happen to the elderly or to women who've just given birth, think again. "Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles can start in your 20s and by the time you are in your 30s, and self-taught kegel [exercises] could be useless because the signals to move from your brain to muscles are lost or weakened," Reider explains. Well that's wonderful news — not.
The fix? Strengthen your pelvic floor with some simple exercises that'll get the muscles back into their natural position, or ensure they're not going anywhere if they haven't shifted in your body just yet. Working out the pelvic floor, Reider tells Elite Daily, helps you avoid problems like urinary incontinence, painful sensitivity during sex, and vaginal prolapse (aka when organs around the pelvic floor fall out of their usual positions).
And yes, Reider also says that exercising this part of your body is key for improving your experiences in the bedroom. "When it comes to intimacy, your clitoris runs along the pelvic floor muscles," she tells Elite Daily. "When you exercise your pelvic floor muscles with kegels, you are also using the muscles used during orgasm. Stronger pelvic floor muscles usually means a stronger response to orgasm." Yeah, now you're interested. Enter kegel and pelvic floor exercises, which are designed to improve pelvic floor muscle tone, and as a result, significantly boost your pleasure during sex.
The thing is, though, according to Reider, many women who try to do kegel exercises are actually doing them incorrectly, as she says people will often use their rear ends or abs while performing the exercise, when really, all the effort should come strictly from your pelvic floor muscles. "If you do [these exercises] wrong, your pelvic floor doesn’t get the benefit," Reider says. "Kegels are only as safe and effective as the protocol, so make sure you are doing them correctly."
That's where a device like Yarlap could help a girl out. According to Reider, Yarlap uses low-level electrical stimulation to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which not only helps you avoid issues like incontinence, but often heightens your ability to feel sexually satisfied in a totally unique way, whether you're getting freaky with a partner or all on your own. Sounds pretty enticing, right? Plus, Yarlap is FDA-cleared, according to a press release about the product, so you can rest assured it's safe to use.
But if you're not about using the device (BTW, Yarlap is $200, so I can't say I blame you), Reider has a general pelvic floor sequence that might please your muscles in a big way, sans technology. "Every woman is unique, so below [is a] very general suggestion that should be tailored to how strong she feels her pelvic floor muscles are," Reider explains.
To begin, sit up tall and lean slightly forward. Focus on the pelvic floor muscles and relax your thighs, glutes, and stomach muscles. This is key, according to Reider: You do not want to use the wrong muscles. "Breathe out and gently tighten around your front passage," she explains. "Hold that for around three to 10 seconds, [until you] feel a lift in the muscles around the vaginal wall."
Relax, breathe, and let your muscles have a small rest period of three to 10 seconds, says Reider. Then, contract the muscles in both the front and back of your pelvis, she explains, making sure you're mindful to focus more on working those front muscles. Reider recommends repeating this brief exercise about 10 times in one sitting, maintaining correct technique and form throughout.
Try to do the sequence three times a day, she says. It might sound like a lot, but you can really do the exercise anywhere, at any time. And TBH, if it's all in the name of an incredible sex life, I, for one, am here for it.