There is a profound and widely understood need for large groups of women to take up Kegel-type exercises, notably after giving birth. Putting it bluntly such exercises can hold off incontinence and stop your bits falling out (prolapse).
But the pelvic floor group of muscles also lift and hold your core and so there will be an exercise/performance element to this as well. The more keen athletes amongst you might see the opportunity for an area of ‘marginal gains’ in performance. Certainly, “It REALLY can’t hurt”.
Is it any good?
Well if the packaging, care and thought that seems to have gone into the design of this product is anything to go by; then YES. It is very well presented and just about every angle seems to have been covered in its design … from the font on the pack through to the location of the Bluetooth antenae.
Some More Product Details
There is a near-cylindrical container with a push-open drawer, a bit like a chamber for a sci-fi character being woken from cryogenic sleep. The drawer has a micro USB charging port – neat, as the wired connection is to the container and NOT to the Elvie; the Elvie very cleverly charges wirelessly when inside the container. The container opens, when pressed, to reveal the Elvie unit itself.
As you can see the Elvie is a completely smooth and stretched out egg-shaped unit with a ‘floppy bit’ attached. The floppy bit is the bit that stays outside the body and this aids straightforward removal and, I assume, also contains the Bluetooth antennae. Bluetooth is an extremely low powered signal.
The Elvie is fully washable and is waterproofed to those uses.
You can do the exercises whilst standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Lying and sitting are fine too. Hold the app/smartphone near your belt and follow the instructions. Essentially muscular contractions gently squeeze the device which, in turns, senses this and transmits the nature and strength of the movement to the app. A little red diamond thing moves around the screen accordingly.
The great thing with the app is that you can see your own personal progress. This is probably the sort of ‘wearable’ gadget that is never going to see its users competing socially in league tables. However the app is more than sufficiently engaging to keep you interested and, more importantly, keep you doing the exercises. Having your own progress and activity in front of your eyes is certainly self-motivating for me.
Also, perhaps more importantly, the Elvie specifically tells you if you are performing the contractions in the correct way. Obviously if you’ve been doing them ‘wrong’ then you will find more benefit from doing them ‘right’. Obviously.
There are a variety of exercise types such as those based on quick ‘lifts’ to a certain level and then lifts and HOLD for a certain duration. The app is engaging in this respect and the pulse lift exercises have you aiming for targets on the screen.
And in case you were wondering. “YES” there is a sex benefit as well.
Yes, there are lots of faintly-saucy YouTube videos from Chiaro showing the users’ reactions to the device ‘in use’ and there is no harm in bringing some light-heartedness to an important womens’ issue.
Alternatives: There are a few, somewhat 1970s-looking, alternatives out there. Not for me! But they exist.