Some of you may have heard of Kegel exercises before, and for some, it might be a completely new thing. Regardless of that, I think we should make one thing clear – Kegel exercises for men won’t affect your visible physique!
What I mean is, they’re not meant to tone your “beauty muscles”, nor are they supposed to make you look more handsome.
But they do serve a very important function, just as important you might say…
What are Kegel exercises for men?
Basically, Kegel exercises for men help you strengthen the bladder muscles, which are actually the pelvic floor muscles that help you out in holding your pee. They’re there to control the flow of urine, aka to ward off incontinence, or the inability to successfully hold pee in your bladder.
Oh, and did I mention they also help you last longer in bed? I have a special article on this topic, so make sure to check it out if you’re particularly interested in how to last longer in bed!
The Kegel exercises were developed and introduced somewhere in the second half of the 1940’s, by Dr. Arnold H. Kegel (hence the name), who was an American gynecologist. He did this initially with the purpose to help women with incontinence issues. However, the exercises can be applied to men as well and can help them out in the same department.
Why do men need to do Kegel exercises?
Men may experience incontinence issues due to weak urinary sphincter muscles, prostate surgery, a bladder that doesn’t contract well, and an overactive bladder.
The great thing is that the Kegel exercises are here to save the day! They can help men around the world to improve bladder control or completely regain control of it.
What are pelvic floor muscles?
Both men and women have pelvic floor muscles. These types of muscles (or a network of muscles) are responsible for supporting your bladder and play a big role in controlling the flow of urine. Pelvic floor muscles come in three types:
- Bladder – yes, your bladder is a type of muscle. It has the shape of a balloon and its purpose is to hold urine.
- Sphincter muscles – these are muscles that help your urethra open and close. The urethra is a tube where the urine passes from your bladder, ready to be excreted.
- Pelvic floor muscle (or the PC – pubococcygeus (yes, impossible, I know) – muscle) – this muscle is the one who supports the bladder, as well as the rectum, and helps with controlling the flow of urine.
How to Do Kegel Exercises for Men?
The tricky thing about these exercises is that they’re not hard to do in themselves – the trouble lies in finding the proper muscles that you need to exercise. In fact, at least one-third of people (men and women) who’re doing the Kegel exercises are using the wrong muscles. They’re either working their buttocks, inner thigh muscles, or their abdominal muscles, which is ok if you want to exercise those muscles. But if you want to work on your incontinence and lasting in bed issues, then you need to know how to do them right.
How to Find Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
So, first thing’s first – finding your pelvic floor muscles! If you want to do the Kegel exercises for men right, then you will need to exercise the right muscles.
Don’t worry if you can’t find them in one try – since they’re deeper on the inside, they’re harder to find. So, don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t succeed the first time!
There are a couple of ways you can identify your pelvic floor muscles:
- Stop the flow of urine – next time you go to the bathroom, try to slow down or stop the flow of urine once you’ve begun peeing. If you succeed in doing this, then you’ve hit the jackpot! You’ve just found your pelvic muscles since they’re the ones responsible for stopping the urine flow. Now, you don’t need to do this repetitively; it’s just a way to identify the right muscles.
- Monitor yourself – stand naked in front of a mirror and look at your penis. If you’ve done the locating exercises above try tightening your pelvic muscles (without passing any urine though). If you’ve hit the right muscles, you’ll be able to see how the base of your penis draws, and how the scrotum lifts up.
- Try and pretend that you’re avoiding passing gas.
NOTE: If you’ve correctly located the pelvic floor muscles, you can feel the contraction in the back of your pelvic area more, rather than the front.
How to Do Kegel Exercises for Men
So, once you’ve located your pelvic floor muscles and know how to contract them, it’s time to start doing the Kegel exercises for men!
Start by choosing your position
The good thing about the Kegel exercises is that you can do them in different positions – lying down, standing with your legs apart, or sitting. All you need to take care of is that the muscles of your thighs, your stomach, and your bottom are relaxed.
For example, you can start by lying on your back and waiting until you start to feel how your pelvic muscles are becoming contracted. Once you nail this, you can try out different positions as well.
Contracting the pelvic muscles
The basic is to alternately contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles.
- Contract the muscles 3-5 seconds.
- Relax the muscles also for up to 3-5 seconds.
- Repeat this cycle 10 times in a row.
It’s important to remember that while you’re doing the Kegel exercises, you should keep the other muscles relaxed. Try to avoid contracting the buttock muscles or the stomach and leg muscles. Also, try not to lift your pelvis. You can control this by putting your hand on your stomach to monitor yourself whether you’re contracting your abdominal muscles.
Once you master the art of contracting your pelvic floor muscles correctly, try holding the inward squeeze for longer (up to 10 seconds) before relaxing. If you feel comfortable doing this, repeat it up to 10 times. This can be done three times a day. Make sure you continue to breathe normally while you squeeze in.
Extend the time of the Kegel exercises
As you become better in your exercise routine, you can gradually extend the time of contractions and relaxations. Set a goal of 10-second contractions and relaxations and see the results!
Practice short and long contractions
Change between 2-3 second contractions and relaxations, and longer, 5-10 second ones.
Introduce the Kegel exercises for men into your daily routine
We all know that doing exercises on a regular basis can take some time, especially short exercises such as these ones.
That’s why it’s a good idea to link the Kegel exercises to a daily routine you have – either before or after brushing your teeth, having your morning or afternoon coffee, or maybe in between meals.
Whatever works for you is good, as long as you make a routine out of it, since it’s the only way you can have results!
You should do the Kegel exercises 3-4 times a day and manage to do about 30-40 Kegel exercises a day. Consider making these numbers your ultimate goal for the Kegel routine and try spreading them across the day, rather than doing them all at once.
The great thing about these kinds of exercises is that you can do them basically anywhere and no one will notice! You can do them while you’re at work or waiting at the bus stop, standing in a line at the bank, while riding an elevator, etc. You don’t have to wait to do them only at home!
How Long Before You Can Expect Results from the Kegel Exercises?
All of this, of course, depends on how often you do them (that’s why routine is important), as well as how efficiently you’re doing them.
If you’re doing the Kegel exercises regularly, you should experience the benefits in 3-6 weeks, while sometimes it might even take up to a few months.
But for reaping the benefits of Kegel exercises continuously, you should definitely make them part of your daily routine.
For men who’ve had prostate cancer or prostate surgery – read this!
Kegel exercises can be especially valuable to men who’ve had prostate cancer and/or have had prostate surgery.
This is because the consequences of cancer and surgery may leave a lot of men to battle incontinence, as well as the presence of a catheter.
If you have urine leakage problems when you laugh, sneeze, cough, lift something, or stand up, make sure to do the pelvic floor muscle exercises (or the Kegel exercises for men) which can be of utmost help for your bladder issues. Doing them before triggers like this can be really beneficial.
NOTE: Don’t do the Kegel exercises for men immediately after surgery and with a urinary catheter in place. This can cause bladder irritation and a feeling of discomfort. However, once the medical professionals remove your catheter, you can start doing your Kegel exercises without a problem.
In any event, seek professional help…
If you’re experiencing any bladder issues or problems controlling your bowel movements, you should ask for professional help. This goes especially with accompanying symptoms such as:
- A persistent need to frequently (and urgently) go to the toilet (both to pass urine and for any bowel movements);
- Accidental and uncontrollable leakages of urine or bowel movements, as well as wind;
- Experiencing difficulty to empty your bladder or bowels;
- A feeling of pain in the bladder or the bowels;
- Pain in the back, near to the pelvic floor muscles when you exercise them or pain during intercourse;
You should get checked by a doctor and get a proper assessment of your condition because these kinds of problems aren’t always necessarily connected to weak pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor or Kegel exercises for men are still, at the end of the day, exercises, which means they work best if they’re tailored to the individual.
What I’ve written here can serve you as a guide, and indeed may help some of you, but only if you do it correctly. I have to say I’m not a medical professional so I’m not an authority on this issue, although I’ve certainly done a bit of research for this article, and tried the exercise myself.
As I mentioned above, incontinence or trouble with urine leakage can be a consequence of a number of issues. This is why you should be properly assessed by a medical professional before doing the Kegel exercises for men on a regular basis.
Certainly, make sure to talk to a medical professional if you’re experiencing continuous difficulties with your bladder and bowels.
There are medical/health professionals, who are specialists in pelvic floor muscle issues. People such as pelvic floor physiotherapists or continence physiotherapists can help you out in assessing your own particular pelvic floor function and come up with a specific program of exercises tailored to your own needs and physical condition.
A lot of them may also prescribe you other types of treatment such as biofeedback (techniques that help you control some of the functions of your body) as well as interventions in your lifestyle and lifestyle factors.
Thanks for reading this article and good luck with your first batch of exercises!