If you are new to kegels and Kehel exercising let’s talk about some important facts that you need to know before beginning.
Kegel exercises are the foundation of most rehabilitation programs for the pelvic floor muscles. Kegels are used for increasing strength to help with issues like bowel and bladder control and increasing support for prolapsed organs. But there are reasons you would not do kegels and reasons to use more caution.
If you have pelvic pain or tight and over active pelvic floor muscles, then kegels are not for you until you have relieved the pain or learned how to relax your over active muscles.
If you are pregnant, we strongly advise talking to your doctor before beginning a kegel exercise program.
Doing kegel exercises before you get pregnant to strengthen your pelvic floor is important to help support the increased pressure a growing fetus will cause but doing kegel exercises when you are pregnant requires your physician’s permission.
- 1 Common Questions
- 1.1 What’s inside the Box
- 1.2 How do I correctly insert the Kehel?
- 1.3 How do I know I am using the right muscles?
- 1.4 How do I know if the Kehel is in the right place?
- 1.5 How do I start exercising with the Kehel?
- 1.6 What numbers are considered good for my pelvic floor and what are considered weak?
- 1.7 Why are my results so low and how quickly will I improve?
- 1.8 Why is the Kehel recording contractions when I am resting?
- 1.9 How do I use the Manual Training and Massage Modes to get stronger?
- 1.10 How do I read the results in “My Calendar”?
What’s inside the Box
How do I correctly insert the Kehel?
First be sure you are signed into your account on your smart phone and then turn the Kehel on and pair it with your phone. The two rounded spheres of the Kehel are inserted into the vagina with the on button with the flashing LED light facing upward. The long tail part of the Kehel is the antenna and this antenna is left outside the body directed toward your cell phone. Your phone should be no more than 5m/16 ft away.
You may sit, lie down, or stand still when doing your kegels but take care to avoid sitting on the antenna. Walking or moving with the device in place will not work well as the Kehel will move, the contractions may not record properly, and the device may lose connectivity.
You may use a water-based lubricant to make insertion easier or you may use a condom over the device with your choice of lubricant.
*Tip: Perform a kegel contraction just before you insert the Kehel into your vagina. It will help you fully relax the muscles.
How do I know I am using the right muscles?
Most women do not know how to do a kegel pelvic floor contraction properly. A kegel involves both a lift and a squeeze of the pelvic floor muscles. You can see this by watching the area between your vagina and anus with a mirror and as you contract you can see this area pucker or move inward.
Imagine you are holding back gas and you should see your anus move inward. The posterior and anterior pelvic floor muscles are closely connected and work together. With the device in place, turn on the steady massage mode on the Kehel for a few seconds and see if you can squeeze the muscles that you feel vibrating.
In the assessment mode or manual training mode you will know if you are contracting correctly as you will see the pink bar graph indicators move upward as you contract and drop to almost zero as you relax. You should not use your stomach, buttocks or leg muscles when you contract. You can place a hand lightly on your stomach or buttocks to monitor those areas.
*Tip: Try to keep a “jelly belly” as you contract and remember to exhale or count out loud with each contraction.
How do I know if the Kehel is in the right place?
Insert the Kehel into your vagina as you would a tampon. The two rounded spheres should be completely insider your vagina as well as about 2 cm/3/4 inch of the tail that is connected to the spheres.
Do not insert the antenna part of the device into your vagina. When the two rounded balls of the Kehel are inserted properly they will rest on the pelvic floor muscles.
When you remove the device after exercising, take a deep breath in and round or slightly bulge your belly and as you INHALE, then gently pull on the tail/antenna next to your vaginal opening to remove the device. By inhaling and bulging your belly you are helping your pelvic floor muscles relax.
*Tip: You can place your smart phone in a plastic baggie when using it with your Kehel to protect it from the lubricant and other fluids.
How do I start exercising with the Kehel?
Reading the instructions that come with the Kehel device or on the Kehel App is an excellent place to start. Fully charge the device by inserting the charging pin completely into the port on the antenna and charging for 3-4 hours. Download the Kehel Joy ON App to your smart phone and register for an account if you want to keep track of your progress.
First, be sure you are signed into your account before using the Kehel. You may begin by performing an assessment to determine your maximum and average strength for the grip and speed tests.
You can then try the grip exercises or the contraction speed exercises on the App. If you find that you have a difficult time with the fishing or weight lifting exercise and you can’t hold the contraction without using your abdominal, buttocks or leg muscles, you may want to try the manual training mode. See our article on the website about what to do if you can’t play the games.
*Tip: Swiping right on the instructions on the App will give you more information for each activity.
What numbers are considered good for my pelvic floor and what are considered weak?
If you can do the first 10 contraction speed exercises and grip strength exercises without fatiguing and using your stomach, buttocks or leg muscles, then you at least have average or more strength.
If you cannot do these exercises without fatigue or muscle substitution you are probably weak or doing the contractions incorrectly. Your numbers may be as low as 5-20 grams per second.
If you are weak you should practice in the Manual Training mode or the Massage mode to vibrate those weak muscles briefly for 3-5 seconds to help you figure out which ones to contract. You can start and pause the vibration from your App.
Your goal is to see your numbers improve as you continue to practice. Just because your numbers are low does not mean you aren’t improving.
If your symptoms such as incontinence or prolapse are getting better then keep working on it. If you are concerned and feel you must know, then please see a pelvic floor physical therapist who will evaluate you and help define specifically what numbers are good for you.
* Tip: Performing Assessments once per week will help you determine if you are improving.
Why are my results so low and how quickly will I improve?
There are no good or bad results, only your individual results. Factors such as having surgery, giving birth, having an episiotomy or tearing during birth, having weak pelvic floor muscles from chronic constipation, and many other factors may influence your personal results.
You may not be able to do your contractions correctly or strongly enough to play the games but don’t worry because there are many more women that cannot do them either. You have taken the first step to getting stronger by using the Kehel.
If you are weak you may begin with the Manual Training mode and begin working toward getting stronger.
Start with shorter contractions of 2-4 seconds and make your resting time double your contraction time. If you are contracting for 3 seconds, you should be resting for 6 seconds.
We recommend using your Kehel 2-3 times per week. You can do an assessment each time or play the games or use the manual mode.
Make it enjoyable and don’t worry about the numbers too much. Your results may vary from session to session depending on how fatigued your pelvic floor muscles are when you start, your position when you are exercising such as lying, sitting, or standing, or other factors.
Continue with your exercises and over time you should see your strength and speed graphs improve. You will improve as quickly as the time you put into it.
*Tip: Work out each session until you are fatigued but not so tired that it affects your function the next day.
Why is the Kehel recording contractions when I am resting?
Learning to relax your pelvic floor muscles is as important as learning to contract them. The Kehel recordings can help you learn how to relax. It should not be recording when you are resting with the device in your vagina unless you are moving around, coughing, or anxious.
If you have overactive pelvic floor muscles, they may not know how to relax. First lie on your back and prop a few pillows under your knees to make sure you are in a comfortable position. If that doesn’t work, then try to reposition the Kehel by pushing it in slightly further to see if that changes your results. You can also try to inhale through your nose and slightly bulge your belly as you breathe in. Then blow out gently through your lips. Repeat this breathing in through your nose and exhaling though your lips a few times letting your belly rise up as you breathe in to help relax your pelvic floor muscles.
If you continue to have problems or you have pain, then you will need to see your physician or pelvic floor physical therapist.
*Tip: Breathing is important when exercising because the pelvic diaphragm and the respiratory diaphragm have to work together. Exhale as you contract and inhale as you relax.
How do I use the Manual Training and Massage Modes to get stronger?
If you are too weak to play the contraction speed and grip strength games, you can use the Massage and Manual Training Modes to exercise your pelvic floor muscles.
Start with the Massage Mode with the device inserted into your vagina. Using your smart phone click on the STEADY massage to turn it on keeping the intensity slider on the low/minus end. When you feel it gently vibrating, try to contract the muscles that you feel being vibrated. Hold the contraction for 4-5 seconds then turn off the massage and rest for 8-10 seconds. Continue to practice in this manner until you feel you know which muscles to contract.
You can also practice your quick flick contractions by turning the massage mode on quickly for 2 seconds and contracting then off and resting for 4 seconds.
To use the Manual mode, you can do 5-10 repetitions of 4-5 second contractions with 8-10 seconds rest. You rest time is usually double your contraction time. If you cannot hold a contraction for 4 seconds, then try 2-3 second contractions and 4-6 second relaxation.
As you get stronger you can practice with 6-10 second contractions. Work on these exercises 2-3 times per week for 2-3 weeks, then repeat your Kehel Assessment again and retry the games.
If you still have problems with the games, practice some more with the Massage and Manual Training Modes. It is important to also practice your kegels on the days that you are not using the Kehel.
*Tip: Remember to exhale as you contract and be sure you are fully relaxing after each contraction. Counting out loud as you contract your pelvic floor muscles ensures that you are exhaling.
How do I read the results in “My Calendar”?
At the top of My Calendar you will see these categories: Assessment, Manual, Grip, Speed.
These are the four exercise modes that track your efforts as you use the Kehel.
You can see your results by the week, month, quarter, or year.
For example, if you click on the Assessment->Month, the graph will show you the results of your assessment for that month.
The results are displayed with the results in grams/second on the vertical line and the days of the month on the horizontal line.
By clicking on the circles at the bottom of the screen, you can change the graph to show your maximum and average grip strength and speed.
Your maximum grip strength and speed will vary depending on how strongly or quickly you squeezed each session.
The average grip strength or speed measure is a better indicator of how strong or quick you are. This may vary from day to day but overall you want to see a progression from lower numbers to higher numbers and when you look at your results for the month, quarter or year the pink tracing should trend upward.
The darker pink dots on each tracing is the average for that day.
Please give yourself some time to improve and realize that you will not be a superwoman for every session. Similar to your gym visits somedays you feel like working very hard and other days it was an accomplishment to simply go to the gym. Be easy on yourself and remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. As you continue to practice over time, your pelvic floor muscles will get stronger and quicker.
* Tip: Make sure you are logged into your Joy ON account and have and internet connection to save the data on My Calendar.