Andrew Siegel MD 4/11/14
Limber hip rotators,
A powerful cardio-core,
But forget not
The oft-neglected pelvic floor
Three Important Muscle Groups
Sex is an activity that involves many muscles that coordinate with seamless efficiency. Three muscle groups are vital for sexual functioning—core muscles, which maintain stability and enable pelvic thrusting; external hip rotators, which enable outward rotation of the thighs; and the floor of the core muscles—the pelvic floor muscles (PFM)—which support erectile rigidity in men and clitoral erection in women and contract rhythmically at the time of orgasm in both men and women. When these muscles are in tiptop shape, sexual function will be optimized. Obviously, cardiac (aerobic) conditioning is a prerequisite for any endurance athletic endeavor, including “sexercise.”
The All-Important Core: The Missing Link
The core muscles are the cylinder of torso muscles that surround the innermost layer of the abdomen and function as an internal corset and shock absorber. In Pilates they are known as the “powerhouse,” as they provide a much greater contribution to overall strength than do our limbs. Our core provides stability, alignment and balance and allows the peripheral muscles an effective springboard from which to push off and work effectively.
The major muscle groups in the core are the following: in the front, the transversus abdominis and rectus abdominis; on the sides, the obliques; in the back, the erector spinae; the roof is the diaphragm; and the floor consists of the pelvic floor muscles. These are both stabilizers that maintain the spine and pelvis in alignment and movers as they rotate the torso and extend (straighten) and flex (bend) the spine.
The core muscles are a “missing link” when it comes to fitness, often neglected at the expense of other muscles. Tremendous core strength is evident in dancers, swimmers, and practitioners of yoga, Pilates and martial arts. It is impossible to use our arms and legs effectively in any athletic endeavor without engaging a solid core. Likewise, it is not possible to use our genitals effectively during sexual activity without engaging our core muscles. One can think of the core as the “sexual engine.” A stronger core results in greater sexual “horsepower” and more powerful pelvic thrusting.
Rotation of our hips is a vital element of sexual movement. The external rotators are a group of muscles responsible for lateral rotation of our femur (thigh) bone in the hip joint: piriformis, gemellus superior and inferior, obturator internus and externus, and quadratus femoris. My medical school anatomy professor referred to this group as the “muscles of copulation.” The gluteals and the ilio-psoas deserve mention as well, because of their important contribution to external rotation.
The Floor Of The Core
The pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) make up the floor of the core. The deep layer is the levator ani (“lift the anus”), consisting of the pubococcygeus (PC muscle), puborectalis, and iliococcygeus muscles. The superficial layer is the bulbocavernosus (BC), the ischiocavernous (IC), the transverse perineal muscles (TPM), and the anal sphincter muscle.
The PFM muscles are of critical importance to sexual function. The other core muscles and the hip rotators deal with the kinetics and movements necessary for sex, as optimal sexual functioning demands a powerful sexual engine that enables coordinated pelvic thrusting and hip rotation. However, the PFM are distinctive as they directly involve the genitals. The BC and IC muscles engage at the time of sexual activity, stabilizing the erect penis so that it stays rigid and skyward-angling with excellent “posture.” They compress the deep roots of the penis, responsible for the transformation of the penis from plump to rigid and maintaining that rigidity; additionally, they compress the urethra (urinary channel that runs through the penis) rhythmically at the time of ejaculation. In the female, these muscles are responsible for clitoral erections and contract rhythmically at the time of orgasm.
Movement And Motion
Unless we are dealing with Tantric techniques, sex is all about movement and motion—it is a kinetic chain, a series of coordinated events in action. It involves the smooth and efficient integration of your core muscles and external rotators in which both pelvic thrusting and lateral rotation of the hips work effectively together to forge a well-choreographed, dance-like motion.
Q. Why did Willie Sutton rob banks?
A. Because that’s where the money is. When it comes to sex, the PFM are where the money is.
Wishing you the best of health,
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Author of Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health: available in e-book (Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo) and paperback: http://www.MalePelvicFitness.com
Co-creator of Private Gym pelvic floor muscle training program for men: www.PrivateGym.com Gym—also available on Amazon
The Private Gym is a comprehensive, interactive, follow-along exercise program that provides the resources to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that are vital to sexual and urinary health. The program builds upon the foundational work of Dr. Arnold Kegel, who popularized exercises for women to increase pelvic muscle strength and tone. This FDA registered program is effective, safe and easy-to-use. The “Basic Training” program strengthens the pelvic floor muscles with a series of progressive “Kegel” exercises and the “Complete Program” provides maximal opportunity for gains through its patented resistance equipment