Andrew Siegel, MD Blog # 163
There has been a great deal of hubbub on the topic of pelvic floor exercises for men this past week, with the publication of a review article in the Gold Journal of Urology reviewing the benefits of pelvic floor muscle training in males:
and with Tuesday’s New York Times article entitled Pelvic Exercises For Men, Too.
and with the launch this week of the first comprehensive, interactive, follow-along exercise program that helps men strengthen the muscles that support sexual and urinary health www.PrivateGym.com.
The story was carried in the NY Daily News
as well as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Tampa Bay Times and many other media outlets, including Live With Kelly and Michael and Doctor Radio.
There has been some misinformation regarding the proper technique of pelvic floor muscle exercises, and I would like to set the record straight. On one of the radio shows I listened to, it was stated that kegel exercises are akin to “pushing down, grunting and doing the Valsalva maneuver (medical term for pushing and straining).” The truth of the matter is that kegel exercises involve pulling in and up without grunting, just the opposite of straining. One strains to move their bowels, whereas when one kegels they accomplish the opposite—tightening up the sphincters to NOT move their bowels; in fact, doing kegels is a means of suppressing bowel as well as urinary urgency.
In the 1940’s, gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel popularized pelvic floor muscle exercises for females—particularly for women who had recently given birth—in order to improve urinary and sexual health. But Kegel exercises are NOT just for the ladies. Men have the same pelvic floor muscles as do women and they are equally vital for sexual and urinary health. The pelvic floor muscles form the floor of the all-important “core” group of muscles and contribute strongly to men’s ability to have control of their bladders and colons and are play a crucial role in erections and ejaculation. The pelvic floor muscles are what allow the blood pressure in the penis at the time of erection to be sky high—way above systolic blood pressure—allowing for bone-like rigidity. These muscles are also the “motor” of ejaculation.
Doing Kegel exercises properly is fundamental to reaping the benefits derived from getting your pelvic floor muscles in tip-top shape. So how do you know if you are contracting the pelvic floor muscles properly?
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly when you see the base of your penis retract inwards towards the pubic bone as you contract your pelvic floor muscles.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly when you see the testicles rise up towards the groin as you contract your pelvic floor muscles.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly when you place your index and middle fingers in the midline between the scrotum and anus and contract your pelvic floor muscles and you feel the contractions of the bulbocavernosus muscle near the scrotum and the pubococcygeus muscle towards the anus.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly when you can pucker your anus (not the gluteal muscles) as you contract your pelvic floor muscles. As you do so, you feel the anus tighten and pull up and in.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly when you get the same feeling as you do when you are ejaculating as you contract your pelvic floor muscles.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly when you touch your erect penis and feel the erectile cylinders surge with blood as you contract your pelvic floor muscles.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly when you can make the penis lift up as you contract your pelvic floor muscles when you are in the standing position.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly if you can stop your urinary stream completely when you contract your pelvic floor muscles.
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly if you can push out the last few drops of urine that remain after completing urination when you contract your pelvic floor muscles
- You know you are doing your Man Kegels properly ifafter doing a pelvic floor muscle training regimen you start noticing improvements in erectile rigidity and durability as well as better quality ejaculations, ejaculatory control and improvement in urinary control.
Andrew Siegel, M.D.
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Author of: Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health; available in e-book (Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo); paperback now available:
Private Gym website where pelvic floor instructional DVD and resistance training equipment are now available:
Tags: Andrew Siegel MD, anus, Arnold Kegel MD, bulbocavernosus muscle, core muscles, ejaculation, erection, ischiocavernosus muscle, Kegel exercises, Kegels, Man Kegels, pelvic floor muscle exercises, pelvic floor muscle training, pelvic floor muscles, penis, Private Gym, pubococcygeus, sexual and urinary health, testicles, urination