In all honesty, this isn’t a review that I ever imagined myself writing but when the people at Elvie got in touch asking if I would like to trial their most personal trainer, I must admit that I was intrigued. Elvie is an award winning exercise tracker that helps women to strengthen and tone their pelvic floor making it possible to get more out of your kegel exercises.
I don’t know about you, but I never gave my pelvic floor much thought until I became pregnant for the first time. Pregnant women here in the UK are told by doctors to exercise their pelvic floor in preparation for pregnancy and to speed up recovery after childbirth but I think it is fair to say that there has been limited innovation to help them target this essential part of a new mum’s wellness until now.
I know my experience was being handed a print out in my antenatal class telling me how to find my pelvic floor muscles before being shown a terrifying video of a prolapse after childbirth. To be fair, the sight of that forever burned into my retina and the promise of an easier birth was enough to scare me into exercising my pelvic floor from there on in but for many women, knowing that you are supposed to do them isn’t always enough. There’s a small matter of remembering to do them and actually, knowing if you are doing them properly at all. I mean, how do you begin to even measure that?
In other countries such as France, new mum wellness is paramount and all women are offered pelvic floor rehabilitation after having a baby. Women in the UK are just beginning to realise the real importance of strengthening this core muscle and that’s where Elvie comes in. Touted as a game changer and endorsed by physiotherapists, obstetricians and personal trainers across the world, Elvie is revolutionising what it means to be a new mum. Pregnancy puts three times more pressure on the pelvic floor and more than half of new mothers experience health problems as a result of poor muscle strength. This innovative new technology empowers women to get back to normal after having a baby and gives them the knowledge they need to strengthen and tone their most important core muscle.
So what is Elvie? It is a kegel exercise tracker that you use alongside an app. Getting started couldn’t be simpler, you just download the app then connect Elvie to your phone using bluetooth technology. The device itself is pebble shaped and this sits inside with tail part on the outside. It is 100% waterproof and made with medical grade silicone with a seamless design so no exposed parts. It also comes with an additional cover to make the device larger if needed. It has a portable carry case that doubles as a wireless charger and I love how discreet it looks when it’s stored away. I also love that it isn’t pink as daft as that might sound. It’s a really nice looking piece of kit and nobody would ever know what was inside that little carry case once it is closed. The battery life lasts for up to two months and the app tells you when it needs charging which you do through the case and USB provided.
The pelvic floor is a powerful set of muscles that stretches like a hammock between your pubic bone and your tailbone. When healthy and toned, they lift up your pelvic organs for a strong core and great control. There’s a handy little guide booklet to get you started but the app itself walks you through every step of the way. The app sets personal targets and you use your muscles to move a jewel icon on the screen. It really is very responsive and very easy to use. There are a series of workouts, each lasting about 5 minutes and there are different tasks to complete that use the muscles in different ways with things like pulse, lift, hold, speed and step. You start on the training level then work up to beginner, intermediate and advanced. It is basically like playing a game on your phone but instead of swiping at the screen with your finger, you are using your pelvic floor muscles to control the jewel. Now there is something that I never thought I would hear myself say! Ha!
At the end of each workout, you can track your progress which is measured in points called LVs on the app. Obviously like any workout, you will find that results might vary from day to day, being tired or stressed for example can have an impact so it’s good that you can look back on overall progress rather than just from one workout to the next. You can see results with Elvie in as little as two weeks but this is about not only improving muscle tone and strength but also maintaining it, so it is something that you would aim to use long term. You can even set a reminder on the app to give you a nudge each day if you need to.
A strong pelvic floor helps prepare the body not only for pregnancy but ageing and impact sports too. Like any muscle, with a bit of exercise and effort, you’ll feel the benefits. Even if like me you have never had any real problems in this area, you should really see Elvie as a prevention rather than a treatment. I’ve been trialling Elvie for quite some time now to be able to write this full review but I am so impressed that I will continue to use it. With Elvie, there is no more forgetting to make time for my kegels, the app reminds me. There is no more wondering if I am doing them right or for long enough, Elvie tells me that. And I’m not sure if I should be admitting this but the games bring out a strangely competitive side of me that I never knew I had. There is nothing quite like beating your own personal best scores or seeing the progress chart go from keep trying, to great progress right up to perfect!
Elvie is priced at £149 which I know isn’t cheap but this is a seriously clever bit of kit. I think it is a small investment for such an important group of muscles and we are talking about a commitment of a 5 minute workout just a few times a week here. I think it is worth every penny and every minute. Elvie is available now in selected John Lewis stores or you can find out more at elvie.com. But if you have any questions, please shout and I’ll try my best to answer them (or at least find someone who can!)
Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was kindly provided with an Elvie free of charge but all opinions here are my own