Kegel exercises for men
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
You may have heard about Kegel exercises, but the chances are you’ve heard they’re something that women do. What if we told you research has shown that Kegel exercises can be good for men too and can help with bladder control, erection problems and even premature ejaculation?
Interested? Here we’ll explain all you need to know about Kegel exercises, including how to do Kegel exercises for men and how they can help.
What are Kegel exercises for men?
Kegels are a type of exercise that strengthens your pelvic floor muscles. This is basically the set of muscles that run under your bladder and help hold it in place. They also help you pee and are involved in erections and ejaculation. You do Kegel exercises by deliberately contracting (tightening) your pelvic floor muscles, holding the contraction, then relaxing and repeating to strengthen the muscles. Don’t worry, we’ll explain this in more detail below.
Your pelvic muscles explained
You can think of your pelvic floor muscles as a sheet of muscle that lies flat beneath your bladder. They run from the base of your tail bone (coccyx) at the back to the base of your pubic bone at the front of your body. Your pelvic floor muscles help to support and hold in place your bowels, bladder, prostate gland and the tubes that connect your bladder to your penis called your urethra. The muscles help control the flow of urine out of your bladder and along your urethra, as well as the flow of semen fluids out of your prostate.
When you’re younger your pelvic floor muscles are strong and taut, but they can weaken and sag as you age, particularly if you’ve had prostate surgery. As your pelvic floor muscles weaken you can have problems with both incontinence and erections.
How do Kegel exercises help men?
Kegel exercises can help both men and women have better control of their bladders as well as help reduce and stop problems like incontinence. But what do Kegel exercises do just for guys?
For men specifically research suggests that they can reap sexual benefits from doing Kegel exercises too. Research has shown that strengthening pelvic muscles may help men overcome erectile dysfunction (ED), helping them to achieve and maintain their erections. Some research also demonstrates that stronger pelvic floor muscles can help men hold back and have more control over their ejaculations, assisting with premature ejaculation.
Kegel exercises for men step by step
Step 1 – Find your pelvic floor muscles: First you need to locate your pelvic floor muscles. The best way to do this is to stop yourself peeing, as your pelvic floor muscles are the ones you tighten to cut off your flow of urine.
Try to focus on which muscles you contract when you stop. You should feel them tightening and lifting from beneath your testicles and along your perineum to your anus. Your anus will probably clench too.
Step 2 – Get comfortable with contracting your pelvic floor muscles: Once you’ve found your pelvic floor muscles practice contracting (tensing) and then relaxing them until you can do so with ease.
Step 3 – Do your Kegel exercises: Breathe in and contract your pelvic floor muscles and hold that contraction for five seconds, then release, breathe out and relax. You’ve just done your first Kegel exercise. Try repeating that five-second contraction again another 10 times.
Step 4 – Build up your strength: Like with any muscle-building exercise it can take time to build up your strength. Aim to do 10 sets of Kegels three times a day – you’ll likely have to gradually build up to this. So, how many Kegels should a man do a day? Over time you may be able to increase this to sets of 20 Kegels, three to four times a day.
One of the best things about Kegel exercises is that you do them whenever you’re standing up and standing still, like on public transport or in the queue for the bar. You can squeeze your Kegels wherever’s convenient – just make sure you’re not pulling a face.
How do you know if you are doing Kegels correctly?
When you do Kegel exercises and you contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold that contraction for five seconds, then release. You should feel the muscles you use to stop yourself peeing tighten. You may also feel your perineum lift and tighten and your anus contract. Don’t tighten your buttocks or stomach though and don’t press down with your pelvic muscles.
Can you overdo Kegel exercises?
Like any exercise you can overdo it. With Kegels this shouldn’t cause any lasting harm, but you may feel some soreness or pain as your overworked pelvic floor muscles recover and your bladder control may temporarily take a hit. Don’t push yourself too fast with Kegel exercises – take the time to build your strength up slowly.
What else should you do if you have erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction isn’t something to ignore. ED can have a huge impact on your mental health and on your relationships. It can also be a sign you’re developing a serious underlying health condition. If you have ED the most important step to take is to see your doctor and get to the bottom of what’s causing it.
Although you can also find a lot of advice online about ED, not all of it can be trusted. There are plenty of myths and misinformation about ED out there, but you can avoid it by sticking with trusted sources, like FROM MARS. We offer information and guidance about ED as well as medically proven treatments like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra). We never take ED lightly and we’re here to help.