When we think of kegel exercises, most of us associate them solely with women. Typically, women do kegel exercises to help strengthen their pelvic floor muscles as they get older, give birth or following significant weight gain.
Women typically do them because these life experiences can weaken the floor muscles, which help support the womb, bowels and bladder. If the muscles become too weak, things could get downright uncomfortable.
But did you know men can benefit from the clench and release workout known as kegels? It’s true. In fact, we dare say kegels are the exercise you’ve been missing.
As we mentioned above, kegel exercises are geared toward strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. In men, these muscles support the bladder and bowels.
Put plainly, if you’re having issues controlling your bladder or bowels, kegel exercises could be an excellent way to help with those issues. Plus, anything beats adult diapers, right?
And listen, we’re not making a joke of it. There are plenty of reasons why you might have issues controlling your urinary or bowel movements — prostate removal, overactive bladders, diabetes, etc. We get it.
But, let’s say you not experiencing problems with bladder or bowel control. Can you still benefit from kegels?
Well, here’s a fun fact for ya, rockstar: kegels have been shown to drastically improve erections, performance and orgasms in men suffering from sexual dysfunction issues.
A study by BJU International found that in a group of men aged 20 and over who were experiencing erectile dysfunction, 40 percent no longer suffered from erectile dysfunction after performing kegels for six months. But even if they didn’t kick it completely, another 35.5 percent found their ED issue significantly improved.
There’s also significant — and impressive — research to suggest that kegel exercises can help men with premature ejaculation. In one study, which surveyed a group of 40 men, 82.5 percent were able to gain control of their ejaculatory reflex after just 12 weeks of kegel rehabilitation exercises.
In short, kegels are excellent for men no matter what your health condition is. Do them.
Kegel exercises are very easy to do once you understand the muscles you’re working with. However, locating those muscles can take some time.
Identifying your pelvic floor muscles is actually pretty simple. Next time you’re hanging a pee, try stopping and then starting your stream again. The muscles you just contracted are the pelvic floor muscles.
Or, another method doctors advise is trying to hold in a fart. Sounds funny, but the same exact muscles you use to hold in a fart are the same muscles you use to cut your urine stream, and those are your pelvic floor muscles.
There’s also another method where you insert a finger in your rectum and try to clench down on it, but uh, we figure a lot of you won’t be too stoked on that one. But hey, if you are, by all means, bud! Do your thing!
The point is, locating the muscles is often the most difficult part about this exercise.
Once you’ve located them, however, kegels are really simple.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your best bet is to contract those muscles for three seconds, then let them rest for three seconds. Contract them again, and release. Do this for 10 “reps,” and then stop.
Do at least three sets of 10 reps daily.
There are a couple tricks involved, however. While you’re contracting this muscle group, it’s important to make sure you’re not working any other group. Pay special attention to your thighs, glutes and abdominal muscles.
Focus solely on those muscles.
Also, try this exercise a few different ways. You might find that it’s easier to do while sitting down as opposed to standing. You might find that once you’ve done it long enough, you should try it while walking. The point is, keep trying different things and different ways.
The nice thing about kegel exercises is that you should start feeling the benefits relatively quickly. In the above studies, patients and participants worked on their pelvic floor muscles for between three and six months, and found marked results in their sexual performance. Given the muscles involved, it could also help with urinary and bowel issues.
You may start seeing a difference in a couple of weeks, depending on how adamant you are about keeping up with everything.
Of course, if you’re concerned about incontinence or sexual dysfunction issues, you should talk to your doctor. But it may also be worth starting up a kegel exercise routine while you’re at it.