This Vibrating “Personal Trainer” Promises Stronger Muscles Down There

Image: Courtesy of Minna Life.
If you don't know how to do a Kegel, you're in the majority. If you don't even know what a Kegel is, you've still got company: According to sex-toy maker and sexual-health company Minna Life, over 50% of 15- to 44-year-olds "don't know" or "aren't sure" how to do a Kegel, while 17% don't know what Kegels are. A quick definition, for that latter group: Kegels are pelvic-floor muscle contractions (in other words, what you'd do if you tried to stop urinating mid-stream). Think of your pelvic floor as a hammock made of muscles and tissues; it's situated at the base of your pelvis and keeps your reproductive organs in place. By strengthening that hammock's muscles, you can enhance sexual response, balance, posture, and bladder control. Liz Miracle, MSPT, WCS and consultant for Minna Life, wants you to be doing more Kegel exercises — using Minna Life's kGoal (get it?!?) device and app. "The reality is that strong, healthy pelvic-floor muscles help manage changes in the body during significant life stages," Miracle explains, "yet most women don’t exercise the area because they don’t know if they are contracting their muscles correctly or they consider the exercise too boring." kGoal was designed to address both the confusion and the boredom associated with Kegels. The device is a vaguely penis-shaped silicone pillow filled with air, attached to a smaller arm that stays outside of your body when you insert the pillow (it looks like a We-Vibe). When you squeeze your pelvic-floor muscles with the kGoal inserted, it vibrates; the harder you squeeze, the stronger the vibration. And, because it's 2015, the device hooks up to an app that tells you exactly how hard you are squeezing, guides you through exercises, and charts your progress based on a benchmark measurement taken the first time you use it. At this point, you may be wondering why, exactly, you would want a $150 training system for muscles you may not think much about — especially if you don't happen to suffer from back or pelvic pain or reduced bladder control, all of which are common side effects of a weak pelvic floor. The thing is, Miracle says, every woman could benefit from regular Kegel training. Kegels can improve muscle control during sex (meaning better orgasms) and prevent urine leakage even in those who don't think of themselves as incontinent. kGoal's Kickstarter backers were certainly enthusiastic about the product: They preordered it to the tune of $266,917 over its six-week campaign (far surpassing the goal of $90,000). So, does kGoal deliver? Though it's advertised as right for everyone, that's a difficult promise on which to make good when you're talking about women's bodies. kGoal's pillow deflates and inflates, so you can adjust to your vagina to a certain extent, but there will be women for whom this device literally isn't a fit (to wit: Arielle Duhaime-Ross, who reviewed it for The Verge). As for me, I was able to insert and remove the device without trouble, and I appreciated the instant feedback of vibration calibrated to muscle-contraction intensity (vibration in that area is a welcome sensation in any case). If you're curious to try kGoal for yourself, as of today, it's available for purchase online. You may just want to incorporate it into your workout routine for good.

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