Kegels for men? Is it possible, and why would one do them? This pelvic floor exercise is both possible and recommended for men of many ages and in many situations.
Can men do Kegels?
Yes, men can do Kegels! Kegels help men strengthen their pelvic floors.
Women do Kegels for a number of reasons, including to help prepare for pregnancy and prevent pelvic organ prolapse. For women, these exercises strengthen the area supporting the bladder, bowel, and uterus.
Men also have a pelvic floor. For men, the pelvic floor is the muscles, nerves and tissue holding up the rectum, bladder, and prostate in the pelvic area. While men are less likely to experience severe prolapse, there are many benefits to strengthening that area in men.
What do Kegels do for men?
The pelvic floor is an often-ignored, very important piece of muscle that needs to be worked out much like other muscles in the body. There are numerous reasons to do Kegel exercises for men. Benefits include combatting some of the issues that result from a weak pelvic floor – namely incontinence and leaking of urine and feces. But men often do Kegels to improve the following:
Speed the recovery after the surgical removal of the prostate.
Help combat the symptoms of conditions like an overactive bladder or diabetes.
Gain better control of the bladder and urine flow.
Help with the dribble that can sometimes happen after urination.
Help with fecal incontinence and gas.
Help with other pelvic floor dysfunctions.
Improve overall sexual health; individuals have reported a greater control of ejaculation and more enjoyable orgasm.
A weak pelvic floor might be the result of surgeries, constipation, heavy lifting, long-term strain (such as coughing from smoking) and natural aging. Patients in those categories should take special care to ensure they are engaging the right muscles and strengthening the right area.
How do I know I’m engaging my pelvic floor muscles?
Since it’s a rarely used area of the male body, it can be a little bit hard to figure out if you’re engaging the right muscles. You should feel the muscles inside of your pelvis squeeze and lift.
Squeezing the wrong muscles may lead to either no positive benefits or strain in different parts of the body, so it’s important to engage the right muscles.
Here are a few different ways of finding your pelvic floor muscles:
While urinating, try to stop and start your urine stream a few times midway through emptying your bladder. (Note that this is NOT how to do Kegels for men but merely how to find the right muscles. Avoid doing this repetitively as it can affect your bladder health.)
Tighten the muscles that you use to stop yourself from passing gas. The right muscles should have a pulling sensation. Try to do this without squeezing your buttocks.
Stand in front of a mirror naked and attempt to tighten your pelvic floor. If you’re doing this right, you’ll see the penis draw in and the scrotum lift up.
Men typically need to do the exercises three times per day for about a month in order to see some of the benefits of Kegels. For guys who haven’t locked the right muscles, there may not be an impact. Schedule time with a trusted urologist to make sure you’re engaging the right muscles and talk about your other pelvic floor issues.
What are some Kegel exercises for men?
Before you get started with exercises, keep a few things in mind:
It’s important to engage the right muscles. Do not push down; imagine that you’re trying to lift the muscles up. Also, do not tighten your buttocks, stomach or thighs.
Remember to breathe normally. If you feel a headache coming on, remind yourself to breathe and consider taking a break.
If you feel like you have a stomachache, you may be overcompensating with other muscles.
Make sure your bladder is empty before you start doing male Kegel exercises.
Please do NOT attempt Kegel exercises while wearing a flexible catheter.
Exercise #1: Male Kegels
This exercise can be done lying down, standing or on all fours. Many people find it easiest to try lying down first or lying on one’s side. As you improve, you may be able to do them while sitting or even walking.
Tighten and hold your pelvic floor muscle for about five seconds.
Fully relax your pelvic muscles, letting go.
Repeat this process about 10 to 20 times for a full Kegel routine.
This routine should be done about three to four times each day.
Exercise #2: Squeeze and Release
This exercise is like a faster Kegel.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles as quickly as possible and release immediately.
Rest for about three to five seconds.
Repeat this “squeeze and release” movement for 10 to 20 times.
Do this routine about twice per day.
These are the most basic Kegel exercises. Men’s health may also be positively affected by other types of pelvic floor work, like the bridge pose in yoga or squats, but those exercises shouldn’t be attempted for many patients without the supervision of a physical therapist first.