Kegel Exercises for Men
Kegel exercises for men are an easy, effective, and convenient way for men to support and improve their prostate health and sexual well-being. One of the best advantages of Kegel exercises is that men can do them just about anytime, anywhere—while driving, standing in line at the bank, working at their desk, talking on the phone—and no one will even know they are doing an exercise that can provide better control of urinary flow, improve prostate health, and enhance sexual arousal and ejaculation control.
Numerous studies have shown that Kegel exercises for men can be beneficial for prostate, urinary, and sexual health in men. For example, the impact of Kegel exercises for men were explored in a study of 55 men (average age, 59 years) who had had erectile dysfunction for at least six months. Dr. Grace Dorey, a physiotherapist and specialist in continence at Taunton’s Somerset Nuffield Hospital and North Devon District Hospital, found that after practicing Kegel exercises daily for 3 to 6 months, 40 percent of the men regained normal erectile function, 35.5 percent said they had some improvement in erection rigidity, and 25.5 percent said they experienced no difference. (Dorey 2004)
A review of randomized controlled trials that explored the effect of Kegel exercises for men on urinary and fecal continence and sexual dysfunction found that strengthening the pelvic floor muscles significantly improved urinary continence and erectile function. The author noted that it would be “prudent for all men to exercise their pelvic floor muscles to maintain normal pelvic floor function.” (Dorey 2005)
How Do Kegel Exercises for Men Work?
To do Kegel exercises, you repetitively clench or tighten the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, which is a muscle that stretches from the pubic bone to the tail bone. The PC muscle supports the pelvic organs and also forms the floor of the pelvic cavity, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the pelvic floor muscle. Whenever you try to prevent the flow of urine or the passing of gas, you clench your PC muscle. When you do Kegel exercises, this is the muscle you want to work.
You can become familiar with the feel of the PC muscle if you practice stopping and starting your urine stream a few times in mid-urination. When you do this, do not tighten your abdominal, buttock, or thigh muscles, just the PC muscle, and do not hold your breath. Contract the PC muscle and hold for five seconds, then relax. This equals one repetition. Do 20 to 40 repetitions twice a day to start, and work your way up to 60 reps twice a day. Kegel exercises can be done while sitting, standing, or lying down. If you do them lying down, choose a firm surface and tilt your pelvis upward.
Do I Need To Do Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises for men are recommended for any man to practice regularly (preferably daily), because they not only help keep the PC muscle strengthened and toned, they also help reduce or eliminate prostate inflammation not related to cancer or bacterial infections, which can be significantly beneficial for men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. When practiced regularly, Kegel exercises usually produce results in about four to six weeks.
Kegel exercises for men are also recommended before undergoing radical prostatectomy so the muscles can be strengthened prior to surgery and thus facilitate recovery. Performing Kegel exercises after surgery is also an excellent way to rebuild muscle strength, but they should not be initiated without first speaking with your physician.
Dorey G. Pelvic Floor Exercises for Erectile Dysfunction. Longon: Whurr, 2004.
Dorey G. Restoring pelvic floor function in men: review of RCTs. Br J Nurs 2005 Oct 27-Nov 9; 14(19): 1014-18