If you’re interested in maintaining your sexual health, then you’ve probably heard about kegel exercises. Kegel exercises work out the pelvic floor muscles.
While they’re often associated with women, who can achieve a different set of health benefits from working out these muscles, kegels can be immensely beneficial for people of either gender.
Learning to control these muscles can have a drastic impact on your sexual ability and function. If you’re hoping to learn more about kegel exercises, then you’ve come to the right place.
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A kegel exercise is a form of muscle contraction that targets the muscles in your pelvic floor. By exercising and strengthening these muscles, you will be able to enhance their function. This is appealing to both males and females.
The pelvis is the area around your groin that holds your sexual organs, and the pelvic floor muscles are a series of tissues and organs that form a muscular ‘hammock’ at the base of your pelvis.
This is what keeps all these organs firmly planted in place. If you don’t have a strong pelvic floor, then you will have a hard time controlling things in the area – meaning you may be prone to incontinence, have trouble holding back your ejaculation, or have difficulty keeping your poop in.
One of the coolest things about kegel exercises is that you can do them anytime, anywhere. They don’t require any obvious motions aside from the clenching of your pelvic floor, so you’re able to do them at work, on the bus, or even while you’re talking to people (though beware, if you do this, people are going to think that you’re looking at them a little intensely.)
There are a number of benefits that you might experience if you begin doing kegel exercises. Remember, the effects might not be apparent for anywhere from 2-4 weeks after you begin a regular routine of kegel exercises. The most important thing is to not give up.
Here are some of the most common benefits that you could experience. Many of them are related to sexual health, however, some benefits will only apply if you struggle with a certain condition or issue.
- Improved sexual function. Many men report that they are able to develop much stronger erections when they do kegel exercises, and also that they are able to maintain these erections for a longer time.
- Reduced ejaculation time. Men who struggle with premature ejaculation will delight at the benefits that kegel exercises can provide. By strengthening the pelvic floor, men can actually learn how to shut off the ejaculatory response. This means that you can have an orgasm, but actually keep the semen inside your body – meaning that you won’t lose your erection.
- Increased ejaculation volume. Many men find some satisfaction in shooting out a lot of semen when they ejaculate. There’s some debate as to whether or not this is healthy, but unless you want to delve in Taoist perceptions on sexual health, I won’t get into them here.
- Helping to prevent incontinence. Urinary and fecal incontinence occurs when a person is unable to hold in their pee or poop. This often happens when someone doesn’t have very strong pelvic floor muscles. Doing kegels can help restore strength to these muscles.
Now that you know a bit more about them, you’re probably pretty eager to figure out how to do kegal exercises. The first thing that you need to do is actually identify the muscle groups that you’re working out. Flexing your kegels isn’t as easy as simply flexing your biceps, because you can’t see what you’re doing.
There are several ways that you can do this. The first is to start peeing, and to cease the flow of urine midstream. This is the same muscle group that you will be using. This will seem similar to the muscles that you would use for preventing yourself from passing gas, but they are not the same.
Alternatively, you can use the manual method. Laying down with your knees bent and your pants off, you can place two fingers on your perineum. Flex this muscle. You should feel it push slightly outwards and upwards underneath your fingers. Continue flexing and relaxing this muscle until you’ve developed a solid mind-body connection and you can move the muscle without actually needing to touch it.
The most effective form of kegel exercise follows a simple formula: flex, relax, release.
Note: this is a bit different from the standard kegel exercise routine that most people flaunt on the internet, which suggests that you simply flex and release the pelvic floor muscles. This would be akin to doing a dumbbell rep in which you only lift the barbell before relaxing your muscles. You aren’t extending and contracting the full range of the muscle, and will thus just build up tension in the region.
You can do kegel exercises sitting, standing, walking, or lying down. If this is your first time working out these muscles, you may want to try it lying down for simplicity.
Now that you have the pelvic floor muscles identified, flex them. You may feel your penis move slightly, especially if it’s erect. Contract the muscles and hold them tight. Try not to clench any other muscles, like your abdomen, and make sure that you’re breathing.
If you find that you are clenching your anus, then you’re not using quite the right set of muscles. Many people experience this. If this is the case, use the manual method as described above and identify which muscles you’re actually supposed to be using.
Once you’ve flexed for a few seconds – maybe three or four when you’re first beginning – relax for at least five seconds by completely un-flexing the muscles. When you first do this, it could be helpful to flex and relax a couple times before continuing the routine, just so you can become familiar with the motions.
The next thing to do, which isn’t always mentioned in other kegel instructions, is to actually release the muscle. This allows it to complete a full range of motion – much like you lower your arm to release the dumbbell before letting go, you want to release your pelvic floor to complete the motion of a rep.
Doing this can be a bit tricky at first. To release the pelvic floor, you essentially want to relax the same set of muscles that you relax when you are letting your urine out. The same set of muscles that leads to that characteristic, relieving, “ahhh….” sensation that you feel when you pee.
You may feel your anus push out slightly when doing this. Try to focus more on your perineum. Again, it’s almost vital that you actually place two fingers on the area so that you can be sure that you’re relaxing the right muscles.
Relax the muscles for a few seconds, then go back to step one and repeat for at least 10 reps. Try to shoot for at least 3 sets a day.
Doing kegels is important, and is best done under the supervision of someone who can determine whether or not you’re doing them properly. Studies have shown that doing kegels improperly can actually increase your chances of developing incontinence.
Asking when to do kegel exercises is like asking when you should meditate. You can do it literally anywhere, at any time. This is one of the reasons that kegels are so great.
Kegels can be done in the morning, as soon as you wake up – this is a great way to get things flowing down there, and can help you channel sexual energy throughout the rest of your body.
Kegels can be done on the drive to work, adding a bit of a workout routine and a sense of accomplishment to an otherwise tedious task. They can be done at work, on your lunch break, on the walk home, or while you’re watching a movie.
- One way to remember this is to add a set of kegels to other aspects of your daily routine – such as when you’re brushing your teeth. This will act as a reminder to keep kegels on your daily agenda.
- Doing a couple of kegels after you pee can help squeeze out the last few drops.
- Activities that heavily target your core, like coughing, sneezing, or laughing, can be made more comfortable by doing a kegel before and during.
Basically, if you think about kegels, you should start doing them right away. This will encourage you to build healthy and reliable habits in which you’re always doing kegels.
There are a number of devices out there that have been developed to help enhance the results of a kegel workout. Some of these devices are basically big buttons that pulsate while you sit on them.
This encourages you to utilize certain muscles while you’re sitting. Some of these devices can even be linked up to a smartphone app that sends you reminders to do certain forms of kegel exercise.
While kegel devices may be helpful encouragement, they certainly aren’t necessary. You can do kegels without any sort of tool.
Even if you don’t want to use a kegel exercise device, kegel weights are another option entirely.
The use of kegel weights is basically the same as weight you would add to a barbell at the gym. It allows you to work out the muscle more intensely, providing a different degree of workout.
Kegel weights can be bought at many sex shops. You could also make your own. Store-bought ones usually involve some sort of bracelet with a little weight attached to it, around 2.5 ounces or so.
Making your own is as simple as tying a weighted object, like a stone or crystal, to an elastic band and fastening it around your penis.
Kegels are a fantastic way to improve sexual health for both men and women. If you weren’t aware of the benefits of these powerful exercises, now you have a complete methodology to help bolster your sexual health.
Kegels can be done with or without weights, and they can be done anywhere at any time.