Most people who’ve heard of Kegel exercises think of them as exercises for women, primarily used following pregnancy to help restore bladder control and re-tone stretched and weakened pelvic floor muscles. But in fact, Kegels can offer some powerful benefits for men as well, including better bladder and bowel control and possibly better sexual performance. The key to unlocking those benefits: Make sure you do the exercises correctly:
Identifying the right muscles
Kegels work on your pelvic floor muscles, so the first step is understanding where those muscles are and how it feels when you tighten them. To locate your pelvic floor muscles, stop urinating in midstream. The muscles you engage to stop the flow of urine are your pelvic floor muscles. For men, imagine trying to pee up a tree.
Performing the exercise
Make sure your bladder is empty before beginning. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Now squeeze the same muscles you use to stop urine flow, holding for three seconds before relaxing. Be sure to focus on your pelvic floor muscles, and try not to engage your thighs, abs, or seat. Avoid an initial reaction to draw in and hold your breath, and instead make sure to breathe normally during the exercises.
Repeat a few times, increasing the number of reps as you become more comfortable with the exercise. Ideally, you want to aim for 10 reps, three times a day.
Once you become adept at identifying and tightening your pelvic floor muscles, you can even do them while sitting and standing. It’s a great way to make good use of time stuck in traffic jams! If you experience pain when doing these exercises or if you continue to have problems with incontinence, call us at (800) 771-1953 to schedule an evaluation.