If you have a vagina – and particularly if you’ve had children – you probably know all about your pelvic floor.
But pelvic floor exercises aren’t just for tightening those internal walls and improving urinary function after giving birth – people with penises can benefit too.
Someone with a penis may have a weak pelvic floor for a number of reasons, including being overweight, having surgery for bowel or bladder issues, persistent or heavy lifting, and long-term persistent coughing.
Age factors in too, with pelvic floor muscles weakening over time and causing problems for men and women alike.
If you have a weak pelvic floor, you may notice leaking of urine or faeces, a sudden need to pee, or erectile dysfunction.
Intimate Health Expert Stephanie Taylor, Founder of Kegel8, adds: ‘Just as a pelvic floor can be weak, it can also be too tight – which can often happen to regular gym-goers.
‘This results in a hypertonic pelvic floor – permanent tightening of the muscles, which can lead to severe pain in the rectum, genital area and even the lower back.’
Thankfully, it’s something that can be worked on. There are also plenty of additional benefits, from sexual function to greater control of your urine, that you’ll see from exercising your pelvic floor.
Benefits of pelvic floor exercises
Stephanie tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Many people with a penis aren’t aware they have a pelvic floor, let alone know what it does, yet it’s vital to keep it strong just like any other muscle group.
‘In the first study of its kind, academics from James Cook University in Australia found that erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE), usually treated with drugs or suggested lifestyle changes, can be cured by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.’
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles supporting the bladder and bowel, wrapping around the prostate gland and the inner parts to the penis and stretching from the anus to the pubic bone.
According to Stephanie, the way it’s connected to these organs means a strong pelvic floor can impact your toilet habits and your sex life.
‘Keeping everything that’s “down below” in the right place, strong pelvic muscles can improve your performance in the bedroom by encouraging more blood flow to the area and giving you greater control over when you finish,’ says Stephanie. ‘It can even gift you more powerful and frequent orgasms.’
She adds: ‘Another benefit of working your pelvic floor is you’ll help keep embarrassing leaks at bay or be able to nip them in the bud before they become a serious problem.
‘If you’ve recently had surgery on your pelvic area, particularly on your prostate, Kegel exercise can also help speed up your recovery. It can also protect you from painful rectal prolapses.’
How to exercise your pelvic floor if you have a penis
Pelvic floor exercises are quick, easy, and can be incorporated into your daily routine for as little as two minutes at a time, two to three times a day.
You don’t need to head to the gym – instead, you can do these exercises wherever you are, without detection.
Stephanie’s penis pelvic floor workout tutorial
- Sit, stand or lie somewhere comfortable and relax your thighs, buttocks and stomach.
- Tighten the muscles of your anus as if you’re trying to stop passing wind, then relax. Try to do this without clenching your buttocks, stomach or thighs.
- Clench the muscles you use to stop urinating mid-flow, then unclench them.
- You can check if you’re doing this correctly by touching just behind your scrotum; you should feel this area lift away from your fingers as you clench.
- Clench these sets of muscles, hold them for 10 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds
To learn how to engage your pelvic floor muscles, Stephanie advises: ‘First, you locate your pelvic floor to develop a mind-muscle connection. Clench the muscles around your anus as if you’re holding wind.
‘Next, tighten the muscles around the urethra as if you were trying to stop urinating. Voila, these are your pelvic floor muscles.’
She recommends starting with ten reps and then gradually increasing until you feel stronger – just as you would with any muscle workout routine.
If you want to level up these exercises, it might also be worth investing in a trainer.
‘The average person can only exercise 40% of their pelvic floor muscles in this way,’ says Stephanie.
‘Instead, consider using an electronic pelvic toner, such as the Kegel8 V For Men Pelvic Toner, which can reach 90% by sending small, painless electrical currents directly to the muscles, contracting and releasing them for you.’
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