Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men

Exercise of any type has numerous physical benefits including a stronger body and mind, plus reduced stress levels. Many men find that with the right exercise, you can reduce urine leakage, and even improve your sex life! These exercises target the pelvic floor muscles as well as your bladder. Together they'll teach you how to strengthen the male bladder, improve your control and help you deal with urine leakage.

What are Kegel exercises for men?

Pelvic floor exercises, commonly known as “Kegel exercises”, consist of repeatedly clenching and releasing the muscles which support the bladder and bowel in order to strengthen them.
Many factors can weaken the male pelvic floor  muscles with age, which can lead to bladder weakness, especially if the man has had prostate problems.  Male pelvic floor exercises  are easy exercises you can do to help strengthen the muscles around your bladder and control urinary incontinence

Do men have a pelvic floor?

Yes – while the pelvic floor muscles have typically been associated with women, men have a pelvic floor too. When the male pelvic floor  is not working properly, it can lead to bladder and bowel problems , as well as genital issues such as erectile dysfunction. 
The male pelvic floor muscles are found at the base of the pelvis, and stretch from the pubic bone at the front to the tail bone (coccyx) at the back. They sit below the bladder and bowel, and contract and relax to control the bladder and bowel. 

What are the benefits of Kegel exercises for men?

Male pelvic floor exercises  are a recommended therapy for men with overactive bladder symptoms , especially for men experiencing urinary incontinence after prostate surgery. Repeated clenching of the male pelvic floor muscles can suppress bladder contractions, helping to manage overactive bladder.
Kegel exercises can also help to treat nocturia,  reducing the urge to urinate frequently at night and improving quality of sleep as a result. 
Kegel exercises may also help with managing erectile dysfunction, as the pelvic floor muscles help to increase blood flow to the groin and are active during sex. This means that strengthening the pelvic floor muscles may also improve sexual functioning. 

How to do Kegel exercises for men

How to find your pelvic floor muscles

Before doing the exercises, you need to learn how to find your pelvic floor muscles. One way to do this is by tightening the same muscles you use while trying not to break wind. Alternatively, another way is to try to stop or slow down the flow of urine whilst urinating. The muscles you use for both of these are your pelvic floor muscles.

Stopping and slowing down the flow of urine is not a pelvic floor exercise and shouldn't be used as an exercise, as it could disrupt the normal emptying reflex. It's simply a way to locate the right muscles. If you have trouble finding the right muscles you can consult a physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor muscles.

Advice for beginners

If you're new to the exercises you can do them lying down. Initially your muscles aren't strong enough, so you need to have them work against gravity. Lying down also makes it easier to feel that the right muscles are working and that they're clenched to the maximum. Try to find the position in which you are most comfortable. You can lie down with your knees bent and feet on the floor, or with your legs resting on a pillow or chair seat.

Illustration depicting 10 times strength

Strength

Clench and hold your pelvic floor muscles for a second or two. Relax for 10 seconds and then repeat, building up to 10 repetitions. Try not to squeeze your buttocks or tighten your thighs or stomach at the same time while doing this exercise.

Illustration of a stopwatch

Perseverance

Use the same technique as for the strength exercise, but this time instead of repeating short clenches, clench 10 seconds, building up to 10 repetitions. Relax for 20 seconds between each repetition.

Illustration of person and their abdominal muscles

Resistance

Kick it up a notch by adding abdomen resistance when you do the strength and perseverance exercises.

Illustration of person with symbols pointing outwards from torso

Pro tip: Hard contractions

Feel like you've mastered the exercises above? Try using fast, hard contractions to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as hard as you can and then let go straight away. Repeat up to 10 times.

Remember, good results take time and it will take several weeks before you notice improvement. Until then, make sure you do these exercises daily.

Illustrationg depicting bladder control

Bladder control

Regain control of your bladder by scheduling your toilet visits and keeping track of the amount of liquid you drink. For example, if you drink a litre and a half of water a day, it's perfectly normal to visit the toilet up to 8 times a day. If you need to urinate more often, use the pelvic floor exercises above to regain control.


Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly should help to manage the symptoms of urinary incontinence, although they may take a few months to have an effect, and work differently for each person. For more information on how to keep control of urine leakage, visit our top tips and advice , or discover our best products  to help you manage male incontinence.


References

https://www.medicinenet.com/urinary_incontinence/article.htm#urinary_incontinence_ui_introduction

https://www.continence.org.au/who-it-affects/men/male-pelvic-floor-muscles

https://www.healthline.com/health/kegel-exercises#for-men

https://www.uclahealth.org/urology/prostate-cancer/kegel-exercises-for-men

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