What are Kegel Exercises
You probably know where your biceps, hamstrings, and quads are located. But, chances are you have never heard of your pubococcygeus (PC) muscles.
The pelvic floor is formed by what is known as the Kegel muscles. The Kegel muscles stretch from the urinary sphincter to the anus, holding the pelvic organs in place and providing support for the prostate, bladder, and rectum.
Benefits of Kegel Exercises
Since the prostate is supported by these muscles, they are important to sexual health. Everything in the body is linked and these muscles connect closely to the penis. Kegel muscles are the natural remedy for men wanting to last longer in bed. Below are some proven sexual benefits gained from strengthening these muscles:
- Erections are stronger (men’s Kegels)
- Erectile Dysfunction is cured
- Ejaculations are stronger
- Ejaculation control is better (treatment for premature ejaculation)
The most common reason that Kegel exercises are recommended for men though is to treat urinary incontinence problems. As the pelvic muscles weaken with age, many men find it harder to control their bladders and can experience embarrassing problems when they sneeze or laugh. Kegel exercises alleviate or cure this problem as well as bowel incontinence problems.
Kegel exercises offer many benefits for women, such as strengthened orgasms and incontinence treatment. By doing Kegel exercises, the vagina is toned and tightened, giving women better childbirth endurance.
How to Find the Kegel Muscles
Locating the pelvic floor muscles is the hardest part of doing Kegel exercises. Many people end up exercising their abdominal or buttock muscles instead of the pelvic floor muscles. Isolating the right muscles can be done in several ways.
Method 1: Stopping Urination
While you are midway through urinating, try to stop urinating. It is the Kegel muscles which are in charge of this. However, you will still have to be sure that the other muscles in the area (your butt, abdominal, and leg muscles) are relaxed. Be sure you are not holding your breath or you will end up using your abdominals instead of Kegel muscles.
It is important to note that this method is only used to locate the Kegel muscles and starting and stopping urination can cause infections of the urinary tract.
Method 2: Stopping Flatulence
An alternative to the urination method is to pretend that you are trying not to pass gas. The motion should feel like you are pulling your rectum in towards your body but the rest of your surrounding muscles should be relaxed.
Method 3: Finger in Anus or Vagina
This is the most sure-fire way of locating the Kegel muscles. You put a finger in your rectum or (for women) into the vagina. Then try to squeeze your muscles around it – these are the Kegel muscles. Again, you must make sure that the muscles in the surrounding areas are relaxed and that you are breathing.
How to Do Kegel Exercises Properly
These exercises are easy once you locate your Kegel muscles; just contract the muscles and hold them. Even with all the conflicting advice about how long to hold the contracted muscles and how many repetitions to do, the general advice is hold contractions at least 5 seconds, take a break, then contract the muscles for another 5 seconds.
Ideally, you should be doing about 100 Kegel contractions per day. If you have weak Kegel muscles, then it might take you some time to build up to this. Some people find interesting ways to incorporate Kegel exercises into their daily lives, such as doing Kegel exercises while stopped at a red light or while waiting in line.
Using Kegel Balls
Kegel exercises do not need specialized equipment. You can enhance your workout by using what is called Ben Wa Balls, Pleasure Balls, or other Kegel exercise weights. You can find Kegel balls in different sizes, strung together or separate. Traditional Kegel balls were metal, but the balls today are usually medical-grade silicon formed around metal weights.
Use balls for Kegel exercises by inserting them into your rectum or vagina. The Kegel muscles are exercised by working to hold the balls in place. For beginners, the larger and lighter Kegel balls are easier to use while the heavy Kegel balls are for advanced users.
These are not the only options for Kegel exercises. There are stores online, selling Super Kegel Exercisers along with video options for understanding the benefits of using Kegel balls and exercisers.
Tips for Doing Kegel Exercises
- Kegel exercisers for men are difficult to use when first beginning an exercise program. Try laying down while doing them to make it easier.
- Always take a break after each contraction, no matter whether using or not using any kegel exercise device. The break should last as long as the contraction did. So, if you did a 5 second contraction, take a 5 second break.
- When using Kegel weights, be sure to relax all other muscles and breath during your exercises. You can check for abdominal muscle contraction by placing a hand on your stomach.
- Make sure your bladder is empty before doing reverse Kegel and other exercises.
- To maintain the benefits of Kegel, you must keep doing the exercises.