Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, involve squeezing and then relaxing in either slow or fast succession the muscles in the pelvic and genital area.
These exercises are designed for many purposes – improve on bladder and bowel control, ameliorate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, and improve on control against premature ejaculation.
In many ways, the exercises are easy to perform considering that no piece of equipment is required – just as long as you have pelvic floor muscles, then you can exercise these for the above mentioned purposes.
But there are many things that you must remember before performing the exercises for best results.
Contraction Of The Correct Muscles
Your first step is the identification of your pelvic floor muscles. Sit down, tighten your muscles around your genital and anal area, and lift up your buttocks as if you are trying to stop the passage of water (i.e., urine) and wind (i.e., gas) at the same time.
Better yet, try to stop the flow of urine when you are in the toilet, relax the muscles and empty your bladder completely. You may feel a slight pull on your penis during the contraction.
During contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, you should feel an upward and inward movement instead of a bearing down effort. You can check whether you are exercising the right muscles by remembering these dos and don’ts:
- Do put your right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on your buttock so that you can feel that these are not moving during contractions.
- Do keep breathing while performing the exercises.
- Don’t squeeze your legs together.
- Don’t contract your stomach, buttock and thigh muscles because these are the wrong muscles groups to exercise in this instance.
You must practice on your pelvic floor exercises until you have identified, contracted and released the right muscles in the right manner.
Fast And Slow Contractions
Repetition is the best way to train the pelvic muscles in a manner similar to training muscle groups by weightlifting. But one too many repetitions of the same movement can result in an exercise plateau, thus, the necessity for alternating slow and fast contractions.
Slow contractions aid in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
- Slowly lift your pelvic floor muscles for a 10-second count.
- Hold these muscles in for 10 seconds more.
- Relax the muscles and rest for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the contraction-release cycle for at least 10 times.
You may experience difficulty during your first few sessions, which is understandable. You can hold the contraction for 1-2 seconds and then gradually increase the time until the 10-second mark is reached.
You should concentrate on lifting, so to speak, your pelvic floor muscles while holding the contraction for as long as you possibly can.
Fast contractions strengthen the pelvic floor muscles’ ability to cope with sudden pressure such as when sneezing, coughing and laughing.
- Quickly lift your pelvic floor muscles.
- Hold the contraction for just a second.
- Relax the muscles and then rest for another second.
- Repeat the cycle for 10 times more.
This is an easier exercise because of the quick 1-second contraction-release-rest cycle but it also takes practice to master.
Frequency Of Exercises
You can perform pelvic floor exercises anytime, anywhere! But avoid overdoing it as too much can also be hazardous. When you feel sore around your pelvic area, you are probably overdoing it so lessen your number of repetitions or stop altogether to let the soreness subside before exercising again.
Experts suggest 10 contraction-release-rest cycles each when getting out of bed in the morning, after lunch, while doing your afternoon chores, and before going to bed. You can increase the sets to 15 as your endurance improves.
You should be able to see results within 6-12 weeks of proper and regular pelvic floor exercises. Your erections will be longer and larger as well as longer in duration, which means greater sexual satisfaction for you and your partner.