10 Kegel Cues

10 Kegel Cues
Image adapted from Bert Kaufman, CC 2.0

Can You See a Kegel?

Picking a visual cue helps ensure proper contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor.

First, read In Defense of the Kegel to learn the basic moves, then come back here and pick your cue.

The cues can each elicit slightly different pelvic contractions. Try them out and see which feel the best.

Contract AND Relax

Each cue includes a contraction and a relaxation phase. Remember, breathe out on the contract cue. Breathe in on the relax cue.

In the descriptions, I start with the “contract” cue, but you will want to make sure the pelvic floor is relaxed before you start Kegeling. For some women, this means prioritizing the “relax” cue.

Also, in the descriptions I often say “slowly” and “gently,” but if you need to build a lot of strength, you will also want to try fast and powerful upward contractions.

Some of the cues I’ve made up; some I’ve adapted from other sources. However, all titles are from my head, so I apologize for terms like “Butt Wire,” but it helps me remember.

The Cues:

  1. The Pull:
    Contract: Slowly and gently pull your vagina up into your body.
    Relax: Gently release your vagina and let it slump back out of your body (Do not push out, just slump out).
  2. The Tuck
    Contract: Slowly and gently tuck your vaginal opening into your body.
    Relax: Gently untuck your vaginal opening.
  3. Butt Wire:[1]
    Contract: Imagine a wire connecting your anus to your pubic bone. Slowly pull on this wire, drawing your anus up and forward.
    Relax: Release the wire.
  4. Tricky Tampon
    Contract: Pretend like you have inserted a tampon. Hold the imaginary tampon in place with your pelvic muscles, while visualizing a hand pulling the string down. The muscles will naturally pull up to stop the tampon from being pulled out.
    Relax: Now relax your muscles and pretend like you are pulling the tampon out.
  5. Blooming Flower
    Contract: Pretend like your vagina is a flower, the petals closing in on themselves.
    Relax: The flower blooms open.
  6. The Bean[2]
    Contract: Pretend like you are picking up a small bean with your vagina.
    Relax: Now set the bean back down.
  7. Blueberries for V[3]
    Contract: Pick up two blueberries, one in the anus and one in the vagina. Without crushing them, pull them into your body.
    Relax: Gently lower the blueberries out of your body, again without crushing them.
  8. Vagina Polka[4]
    Contract: Pretend the tailbone and pubic bone are two ends of an accordion. Play the accordion by squeezing the two ends together (without tilting your pelvis).
    Relax: The accordion opens back up and the two ends move away from each other.
  9. Not Your Average Smoothie
    *This cue often works best by reversing your breathing (i.e. this time breathe in on the contract image and breathe out on the relax image).

    Contract: Imagine a straw running through your vagina to a smoothie that you are sitting in. Suck on the straw and pull that smoothie up through your body.
    Relax: Let go of the straw and let the smoothie ooze back out of your body.

  10. X Marks the Spot[5]
    Contract: The center of the X is your perineum. Pretend like you are pulling all four points of the X into its center, and then lift the compressed X as if it is a platform.
    Relax: Lower the platform and release each end of the X.

If you have other cues that work for you, let me know.

Check out the Infographic and the Printable Version of this list.

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  1. The wire image is adapted from physical therapist Diane Lee.  In Diane Lee and Linda Lee. The Pelvic Girdle: An Integration of Clinical Expertise and Research. 4th ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone, 2011.  ↩ You can buy it HERE.
  2. The bean image is adapted from physical therapist Julie Wiebe at http://juliewiebept.com  ↩
  3. The blueberry image is adapted from physical therapist Julia Di Paolo. Find her post about Kegels at http://maternalgoddess.org/posts/how-to-do-a-proper-kegel/  ↩
  4. The accordion image is adapted from personal trainer Jesse Mundell. Her post on Kegels is at http://www.girlsgonestrong.com/how-to-do-a-kegel-the-right-way–2/  ↩
  5. The X image is adapted from physiotherapist Blandine Calais-Germain. In Blandine Germain. The Female Pelvis: Anatomy & Exercises. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press, 2003  ↩ You can buy it HERE.

2 thoughts on “10 Kegel Cues

  1. An exercise instructor many years ago taught us to pretend that very precious tiny people were boarding an elevator in our vaginas on the first floor. We slowly raised that elevator and its special passengers to the second floor, then the third, fourth, and fifth floors. We lowered floor by floor as well, releasing completely back on the first. It has continued to be a helpful technique.


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