Kegel Exercises for Men and Women

What Are Kegel Exercises?

muscles-of-the-pelvic-floor-diaphragm-levator-ani-coccygeus-pubococcygeus-iliococcygeusKegel exercises are exercises that strengthen the perineal muscles, which are located in the area around the vagina and urinary opening, bladder and rectum in women and the area between the scrotum and anus in men. In other words, they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (pubococcygeus muscle – P.C.) in both men and women that support the bladder and rectum.

They were originally developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel to help pregnant women with urinary problems specifically to strengthen and give voluntary control of P.C. muscle.

Who should do Kegel Exercises?

  • All men and women
  • Obese people
  • Pregnant women
  • Postpartum
  • Previous surgery e.g. prostate. Men who scheduled to have a prostate surgery, start doing your Kegel exercises at least 6 weeks before the surgery.

Benefits of Kegel Exercises

  • Kegel_Exercises_for_Men1Prevents leakage of urine or feces with coughing, sneezing, lifting, and other stressful movements.
  • Enhance sexual function
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Help with the symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) and symptoms after any treatment of BPH such as:
    • incontinence and dribbling
    • interrupted or weak stream
    • urgency, frequency, nocturia
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Ease of childbirth and help restore muscle tone in the vagina after childbirth.
  • Prevent hemorrhoids with pregnancy.
  • Decrease &/or prevent prolapse of pelvic organs
  • Improve the ability to pass stool
  • Increase circulation in the genital area

Identify the Pelvic Floor Muscles

So, where is my P.C. muscle? There are a couple of ways to identify your pelvic floor muscles. One way is by sitting or standing on the toilet while urinating and try to stop the flow of urine. Do it couple of times and see how it feels. If you can do that, then you have successfully located your pubococcygeus muscle and you can squeeze (Kegel exercise) the same muscle when not in the toilet.

If you cannot stop the flow of urine, women can insert a finger or two into the vagina and attempt to squeeze down on your finger. If you feel pressure on your finger, you have squeezed the P.C. muscle. Men can place one or two fingers on the area between the anus and the scrotum (the perineum) and lightly tighten that area. Imagine lifting the scrotum or penis using the muscles of the perineal area.

Performing Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises can be done anytime and anywhere, while driving, watching TV, at work or even while taking a bath, but it is best to develop a strategy and devote 5-10 minutes per session in a quiet room at first until you become an expert.

Some points before you start

  1. Do not use your abdominal, back buttocks or leg muscles but keep them relaxed during the squeeze.
  2. Empty your bladder before starting.
  3. Breath normally
  4. You should feel only the muscles around the anus contracting like it’s pulling inside preventing from passing out gas.
  5. It may take few months before you see any noticeable benefit so be patient.
  6. Do not perform Kegel exercises while urinating. Just do it to identify the proper muscles.

Let’s get started

Basic Kegel Exercises

  1. Contract and hold your pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds.
  2. Slowly release the muscles and relax for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat the cycle again.
  4. Do a set of 10-20 contractions at least 4-5 times every day.

Do a 5-10 very quick contractions after you finish the sessions described above.

It might take some time to do 20 contractions at each time but this is ok. It is more important to do the exercise correctly and start with 5-10 contractions and holding for 5 seconds each and build up slowly to reach a 20 contractions  holding 10 seconds each at each time. You are probably doing the exercise wrong if you can hold for more than 15 seconds if you have just started.

Progressive Kegel Exercises

This is another way of exercising your pelvic floor muscles but it is recommended for those who have mastered the Basic Kegel Exercises.

  1. Squeeze a little and hold for 5 seconds
  2. Squeeze harder and hold for another 5 seconds
  3. Squeeze as hard as possible and count another 5 seconds
  4. Release a little and hold 5 seconds
  5. Release a little more and hold another 5 seconds
  6. Release and relax completely

Remember that it may take several weeks to months to feel a difference or see an improvement of your symptoms. Do not be discouraged. Check repeatedly if you do them correctly. It is a good idea to put reminders on the fridge, the car, office or bedside table and develop a strategy so that you do not forget to do them.

Do not forget to share this article with your friends and relatives.


About Naturopathy by Savvas Ioannides
Savvas Ioannides is a Naturopathic, Herbal and GAPS Diet practitioner who studied at Nature Care College in Sydney. Savvas uses holistic and natural therapies including Herbal remedies and Nutrition to boost your vitality and help you achieve optimum levels of health.

2 Responses to Kegel Exercises for Men and Women

  1. Nice bit of information on Kegal exercises Savva. Thank you 🙂


  2. NidhiSEO says:

    Good information about kegel exercises and i have also the related information on kegel exercises


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