Although many people work out to carve the body of their dreams, making you look attractive is not the only aim of an exercise. Any safe physical activity can improve your health. And some exercises focus only on your health. For example, male pelvic floor exercises, which are known in general as kegels. This type of training will have no effect on your appearance, but it can significantly boost your wellness! Read on to find out what muscles these exercises train, why you need to perform them, and how to do it correctly.
What Is A Pelvic Floor?
Our body is a complex system where everything has its place and performs a certain function. Even if you can’t see or feel how a certain part of your body operates, it doesn’t mean that it is not important. This is especially true when it comes to your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are located within your pelvic cavity, so obviously you can’t see them. They make up the interior lining of the cavity and separate it from the region which includes your genitalia and anus – perineum.
The pelvic floor has a few gaps which allow for urination and defecation. Perhaps it goes without saying that it plays an important role in these two processes. Besides this, these muscles support your bladder and intestines through tonic contraction and are responsible for the resistance to increases in intra-pelvic/abdominal pressure when you cough or lift heavy objects (7).
Why Do You Need To Do Male Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Oftentimes people begin to pay attention to certain parts of their body only when these parts fail at performing their functions. But what if you could do something to prevent a potential problem? This is what male pelvic floor exercises are designed for. You could say that these are exercises for a male pelvic floor dysfunction, since their main purpose is to strengthen your pelvic floor. This type of exercise was first described in 1948 by Arnold Kegel. Initially, kegels were used to help female patients with stress incontinence that occurred after childbirth. However, later on, this type of training was used to help anyone with such conditions as (1):
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lower urinary tract symptoms
- Post radical prostatectomy
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Premature ejaculation
You can successfully reach your goals and prevent or manage the above-listed conditions if you perform kegels correctly and consistently.
You may also need kegels if your pelvic floor muscles are weakened by some of the following factors (5):
- Being overweight
- High-impact exercises
- Persistent heavy lifting
- Surgery for bladder or bowel problems
- Long-term, persistent coughing
How To Perform Male Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Step 1. The Functional Stop Test
Next time you use the bathroom, stop your urine flow halfway through the process. Pay attention to how you do it. Notice what muscles are involved.
Keep in mind that you should not practice stopping and starting the urine repeatedly as an exercise, since it can harm your health. Holding your urine can add to a bladder infection, damaging your normal urinary reflexes. You should not do the functional stop test more than once a week.
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Step 2. The Rectum As Your Window To The Pelvic Floor
Place one or two fingers on the space between your scrotum and anus. Lightly tighten that area until it feels firm to touch. Think of lifting the scrotum or penis using these muscles.
Step 3. Putting It All Together
Perform the exercise in front of the mirror. If done correctly, you should be able to notice how your penis and scrotum slightly lift. Feel which part of your body is engaged in that process. Feel which muscles you use. These are your pelvic floor muscles.
How To Perform Male Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Now it is time to answer such questions as “How do you do pelvic floor exercises for male rectal incontinence?”, “How to do male pelvic floor exercises?”, and “How to perform male pelvic floor relaxation exercises?”. Without further notation, here is how (6):
- Get in a comfortable position. You can lie on your back until you get the hang of kegels, and then progress into sitting or standing.
- Contract your pelvic floor muscles. Hold the contraction for 3 to 5 seconds.
- Relax the muscles for 3 to 5 seconds.
- Keep contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. Repeat the whole cycle 10 times.
During the performance of an exercise, make sure that you don’t contract any other muscles and avoid lifting your pelvis. To detect any unwanted action, place a hand on your stomach.
To achieve better results, gradually extend your contraction and relaxation time, working your way up to a 20-second cycle. You can also spice up your training and boost your results by including in your routine some shorter 4-6-second cycles.
To experience the benefits of your male pelvic floor exercises, try to do at least 30-40 cycles a day.
Kegel Routine Tips
Although these exercises require no equipment and can be performed by any man, anywhere, and at any time, there are some recommendations and tips that can help you get the most out of your male pelvic floor physical therapy exercises. Here are some of them (3, 8):
- Be consistent. Perform the exercise regularly, preferably at the same time each day.
- Spread your Kegels throughout the day. Since you can do it anywhere, fit in a set of exercises every time you do some routine task: when you brush your teeth, wait in a grocery line, use an elevator, or wait at a stoplight.
- Stay motivated. Remember the benefits and track your progress to stay motivated.
- Try not to let it show. During the performance of the exercise try to avoid tightening your buttocks, abdomen, and thighs; do not hold your breath; don’t raise your eyebrows, shoulders, or toes.
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How Long Before Pelvic Floor Exercises Work Male?
This depends on your performance. If you do the male pelvic floor exercises regularly and properly, then you may expect the first results in a few weeks or months. To strengthen your muscles and be able to enjoy the benefits of this training in the future you need to be consistent, and make kegels a part of your daily routine (2).
If you often lift heavy things, suffer from constipation, or experience any of the problems mentioned in this article, then male pelvic floor exercises could be of great help to you. They can strengthen your pelvic floor, helping you gain more control over your bladder and preventing or fighting incontinence. These exercises require no equipment and can be performed anywhere and at any time. Before getting down to doing your kegels, please consult with your doctor. Make sure that you do everything correctly, and stay healthy and strong!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Kegel Exercises for Men: Benefits (2021, medicinenet.com)
- Kegel exercises for men: Understand the benefits (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Kegel Exercises: Treating Male Urinary Incontinence (2020, webmd.com)
- Kegels: Male Pelvic Floor Exercises (2016, med.umich.edu)
- Pelvic floor muscles in men (2020, continence.org.au)
- Step-by-step guide to performing Kegel exercises (2019, health.harvard.edu)
- The Pelvic Floor (2021, teachmeanatomy.info)
- What to know about Kegel exercises for men (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)