As I sit here flexing the muscles of my pelvic floor in a quest for that gorilla grip, I can’t help but wonder: Is this exercise?
As it turns out, kegels do burn calories, but not a lot. That said, depending on how you do them, you might be getting a solid ab workout while you’re at it.
“Kegel exercises are a workout and can tone your muscles in the pelvic floor area,” says Shannon Chavez, a certified sex therapist. “When we do kegels, muscles contract and relax in the pelvic bowl of the body. Pelvic muscles are referred to as PC, or pubococcygeus muscles, which are a hammock of muscles that hold in all the organs in the pelvic area including genitals, rectum and bladder.”
Considering that calories are a measure of the fuel our bodies use to function, yes, any movement whatsoever does burn calories, even if that movement is happening in your rectum. It takes fuel to do things like run a mile, vacuum your apartment and clench the muscles of your hoo-ha (gender-neutral). Without calories, your body would eventually be unable to do the basics like digest, breath, and again, clench the muscles of your hoo-ha. So, to the extent that your eyeballs can’t even move left to right without calories, yes, doing kegels requires calories.
But it doesn’t have to sound quite so pathetic. To an extent, doing kegels is like doing a super-isolated type of ab exercise. I mean, your pelvis is part of your abdominal region, right?
Okay, moving on.
Perhaps clenching your genitals doesn’t seem much like exercise, but people who repeatedly make minor movements throughout the day burn more calories than those who don’t. For example, flexing your pelvic floor and your abdominals overall while you read this here article could burn a few calories. If you did that whenever the thought came to mind, whether you’re doing dishes or checking emails, that all adds up over time. In fact, fidgeters can burn between 100 to 800 calories per day. So, just fidget with your incredibly powerful downstairs bits.
Genuinely, though, if you work on doing kegels while also engaging your entire core, you might see a difference over time. For example, fitness influencers and Arnold Schwarzenegger promote the practice of “ab vacuums,” wherein you suck in your stomach as close to your spine as possible. This can help tighten your hips and abs, adding up to a smaller waist. If you’re able to do so while also clenching your pelvic floor, then buddy, you’ve got yourself a compound exercise.
Basically, want an absolute super-soaker, boa-constrictor-strength set of reproductive organs and a snatched waist? Just clench in public. Clench right now. Clench any time. It counts for something!