The Kegel is a pelvic floor exercise, named after Dr. Kegel, who in 1948 devised the exercise to help control incontinence in women after childbirth.
Kegel exercises are simple clench-and-release exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is really a series of muscles and tissues that form a sling, or hammock, at the bottom of the pelvis which holds the organs in place.
According to the Mayo Clinic, many factors can weaken pelvic floor muscles, including the surgical removal of the prostate and conditions such as diabetes and overactive bladder. This can lead to incontinence of both urine and feces.
Kegel exercies for men provide many benefits like prevention of pelvic organ prolapses and leakage of urine and feces.
They can also enhance sexual enjoyment. Kegels improve ejaculatory control and can lead to stronger, firmer erections.
Some studies suggest that Kegel exercises might also benefit erectile dysfunction. However, further research is needed.
To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream or tighten the muscles that keep you from passing gas. These are your pelvic floor muscles. If you contract these muscles while looking in the mirror, the base of your penis will move closer to your abdomen and your testicles will rise.
Another way to locate the pelvic floor muscles is by inserting a finger into the rectum and squeezing it without tightening the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks or thighs.
With an empty bladder, tighten the pelvic floor muscles and hold for a count of 10. Then completely relax the muscle for a count of 10. Perform 10 Kegel exercises, three times a day.
An elevator analogy can also illustrate the exercise. The anus represents an elevator. The goal is to bring up the elevator over five seconds to its maximal level and then bring it gradually back down to the resting level.
Most men notice some improvement after four to six weeks. It could take up to three months to see a significant change.
Don’t overdo Kegel exercises though. Muscles that are worked too hard become tired and unable to fulfill their necessary functions.