There is a common misconception that the vagina becomes looser (or “baggy”) after a woman has experienced child-birth, or if they had a massive amount of sex. Take it from me, that’s a load of rubbish. I have had 2 children, and I maintain a very active sex life, and I have an extremely tight body – yes, this does include my vagina.
Now, I’m not claiming to be the able to lift weights from my vagina. However, there is a report of a Russian woman able to lift a 14kg weight from her vagina. I lift weights and can just about lift that with my bicep curl, let alone from my vagina!
I am a qualified advanced fitness coach. To pass my exams, I used sex as a reference tool to remember what muscles did what, and how they worked. My partner at the time thought it was hilarious when I would say “oh, we’re using this or that muscle and in this way”. Hilarious – but it did help me pass my exams!
You need to remember we use many muscles when we have sex. And that we girls are able to make our vagina tighter through exercise and muscle control. Guys penises, on the other hand, are not muscle. Therefore, they cannot be made bigger through exercise. In fact, the bigger that men develop their general muscles through exercise, the smaller their penis looks! Funny how perception works, isn’t it?!
Obviously, and as medical experts recommend, you should refrain from sex for 4 weeks after giving birth. This allows your body to heal, particularly your abdominal and vaginal areas which have been put through some serious trauma. And I use the term “trauma” intentionally. I can’t imagine too many men actually passing something the size of a watermelon through their nether region!
Seriously, we need to understand several things about how the female body and its muscles are affected by giving birth, and also through illness and ageing.
Perhaps the most important, and the most affected by these issues, are the “pelvic floor muscles”. They are part of the group of muscles making up our “core”. They play a key role during exercise – indeed, they are important for almost all forms of activity.
The pelvic floor muscles work deep within the abdomen (tummy) , and combine with back muscles and the diaphragm (breathing muscle) to support and provide stability to the spine. They also help to control pressure within the abdomen; and they play an important role in bladder and bowel control.
So, given the areas they work within, support and provide stability to, it’s no surprise at all to learn that the pelvic floor muscles are critically important for sex.
Funnily enough though, these muscles are largely hidden and often difficult to engage and strengthen without proper technique. One of the best ways to find and understand them is to try to hold the flow of your urine mid-way, so you can feel the muscles working.
Exercising for the pelvic floor
As men have pelvic floor muscles also, and can enhance their sex lives through exercises to strengthen them, I will refer here to the “pelvic floor” rather than the “vagina”, so everyone can relate better. But remember girls, that the muscles of the vagina are part of the pelvic floor for our purposes.
Pelvic floor exercises are sometimes referred to as “kegel” exercises. Kegel balls can be used to help women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. However, you need to remember that these, of themselves – as distinct from the exercises mentioned below – do not increase your libido. But if you are unable to train due to a medical condition, then these may help you.
I recommend actually exercising the area in the same manner you do during sex. That way, you will tighten your vaginal wall at the same time as you strengthen your pelvic floor area. As exercise is known to raise the libido – thereby raising the desire for sex – there is an extra benefit in these exercises.
People who do regular pilates and yoga will understand how these exercises work. If you’re not into pilates or yoga, then the following suggestions may help.
Probably the most important sensation to remember is to get the feel of “squeezing”, And, yes, you can be do this at home.
However if you are a member of a gym or thinking of joining one, Ann Summers recently conducted a survey the results of which suggest that some 25% of regular gym attendees have had at least one sexual encounter with anther gym member. So, if your single, there may be the added benefit of putting the “practice makes perfect” idiom to work with another gym junkie!
So, whether you’re at home alone or at the gym, here are some useful exercises to help in the sex stakes.
The hip raiser:
Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat. Keep your arms by your sides with your hands facing upwards. Lift your hips until the body is in a straight line and hold for 3 seconds, really squeezing your bottom as you do so. Then, slowly release back down to the start position. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets. You will notice the difference in no time at all, even within a week!
The bodyweight squat:
Place your feet hip-width apart, push your bottom back, bend your knees and keep your heels pushed into the floor. Hold for 10 seconds then come back up. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets. This will also strengthen the quads (thigh muscles). It’s also great for the butt.
Place your hands and knees on the floor – yes, that’s it – “doggy style”!
Lift one leg up at a 90 degree angle, squeezing your buttocks as you do so. Move as little as possible, using your core to stabilise yourself. Then lower the leg. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets. Of course, do each leg. This exercise is great for the pelvic floor area, butt and the core.
Step out to one side, bending the knee of the leg that you stepped out with, and push your butt forward, then return to the original position. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets.
This can also be done as a normal lunge. And when you are more advanced, do this with your hands above your head so you achieve better engagement of your core, thereby maximising use of the pelvic floor muscles. Again great for quads, butt and core areas.
These above exercises will provide both mental and physical benefits and can help improve your sex life.
Oh, and another great, fun exercise – try squeezing your partner’s penis while he is inside of you. It makes a great kegel ball – and trust me, he will love you for it. x.