Does a Kegel Exercise Program Prior to Resistance Training Reduce the Risk of Stress Urinary Incontinence?

Donelle Louise Cross, Marilynne N Kirshbaum, Lolita Wikander, Jing-Yu Tan, Simon Moss, Daniel Gahreman

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This comparative pre–post intervention study investigated the feasibility and benefits of Kegel exercises amongst incontinent women, prior to commencing resistance training (RT), to reduce the risk of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) compared to a group of women without prior Kegel exercises (KE). Incontinence severity index (ISI) score, pelvic floor muscle strength (PFMS), and body composition (such as body mass index (BMI), fat, and muscle mass), were obtained pre and post intervention. Results demonstrated that RT reduced SUI to a significantly greater extent only if preceded by KE as was observed in the Kegel exercise plus RT group (KE + RT) over time. The improvements in total ISI in both the KE + RT and RT groups were large (d = 1.50 and d = 1.17 respectively). A two-way ANOVA indicated a statistically significant improvement in average PFMS within the KE + RT group over time and between the two groups. A positive correlation was found between the average strength of pelvic floor muscles and SUI. Participants in KE + RT group demonstrated a significant increase in muscle mass (p ≤ 0.001) and concomitant reduction in fat mass (p = 0.018). This study determined a dedicated program of KE preceding a RT program improved average pelvic floor muscle strength and was effective in reducing SUI among incontinent women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1481
Pages (from-to)1481
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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