When it comes to Kegel exercises, we all know the deal. Train your pelvic-floor muscles and reap many a benefit – better sex, increased arousal, reduced chance of prolapse and incontinence. It also helps to prepare your body for pregnancy, childbirth, ageing and impact sports. And we know the deal with how to train as well – with or without Kegel trainers, you contract your internal muscles for a few seconds at a time.
Enter: Elvie – Your Most Personal Trainer
I’ve only ever used the standard devices (yoni eggs, Kegel balls) when I’ve done Kegels and have always struggled to stay motivated to keep using them because it’s so hard to know if you’re doing the right thing. And, to be honest, when I got the Elvie Trainer in front of me, I thought it was just another device that you slipped inside before doing the usual reps of contracting your pelvic-floor muscles (for some reason I completely ignored the charging cable that was included in the box).
It was only when I sat down and read through the instructions that I realised Elvie wasn’t like any Kegel trainer I’d ever used before – it comes with an app and is Bluetooth connected! And its biggest perk is that because you connect the device to the app, you can track your progress, i.e. you can see exactly how hard (or soft) you are flexing your internal muscles because every time you contract your pelvic-floor muscles, Elvie registers the contraction and translates it onto your screen by moving a little marker in line with your effort.
So How Does It Work
I had to download the Elvie Trainer app before I could begin – and charge the little guy up. Once downloaded, the user-friendly app took me through a few questions so that I could customise the experience to me.
Once Elvie was charged (you charge the device in the case and just an hour’s charge will give you up to a month of use), I had to connect it, via Bluetooth, to the app on my phone. Once connected, I inserted the device with the tail on the outside and prepared myself for whatever I was about to be put through.
When using Elvie, you have the choice of either lying down on your bed or standing with your feet hip-width apart (after some trial and error, I chose lying down – I was much more comfortable and had more control over the device than when I was standing – I think I’m going to have to work up to standing up). Once you’re in a comfortable position, you then follow the app through a series of exercises that focus on things like lifting, pulsing and holding. Best of all, your total daily exercise time is five (yes, five) minutes. You no longer have the excuse of not having enough time.
What’s so great about this device and app is that what you’re doing with your pelvic muscles is directly translated onto your screen. I tested it a few times before I started the exercises and every little contraction I made moved the marker. And the harder you contract, the more the marker moves. If the marker doesn’t move, you know you’re doing the wrong thing.
The app also gives you advice if you struggle doing any of the exercises. The first time I had to pulse so that the little marker moved to hit different targets, I got 0/5 (it’s a lot harder than it sounds, okay!), so the app let me know that I need to squeeze until I hit the marker. It also lets you know if you’re contracting badly. For example, I was pushing down instead of up and the app let me know that this can lead to problems later on, so I should focus on trying to push up rather.
The app, itself, is really cool. It’s so easy to use, has great graphics and it gives you a little progress report after each set of exercises so that you know how you did. It’s encouraging to see where you’ve done really well and motivating to see where you need more work.
What Does It Actually Feel Like?
Elvie is small enough to be easy to insert (although a little water-based lubricant is always advisable to make insertion even more easy) and once it’s inside, you don’t really feel it. For me, doing the exercises was really eye-opening because it made me realise that although, in theory, I know what to do to contract my pelvic-floor muscles, in practice, I missed the mark quite often and am definitely squeezing my glutes, which I shouldn’t be.
Having the app to show me that I’m not doing the right thing is so beneficial because I can immediately correct myself, instead of wasting my time and missing out on the benefits by doing the wrong thing. It’s really a nifty device and I’m excited to keep using Elvie and see how things change as I move through the different levels.
The Elvie Trainer is available at Matilda’s.co.za. Use the promo code “WHELVIE” and receive a 10 percent discount on the Elvie Trainer (valid from 15 May 2018 to 15 June 2018) when you shop at Matildas.co.za.