The Kegel exercise exercises a muscle commonly referred to as the PC muscle (the pubococcygeus muscle). The exercise is named after Dr. Arnold Kegel.
The goal of the Kegel exercise is to strengthen the pelvic floor. This is a group of muscles that control urination and defacation and help support pelvic organs. (Men: if you reach orgasm too quickly during intercourse, Kegel exercises daily for three months help prolong the time to orgasm.)
The Kegel exercise is simple and can be done at any time, anywhere, by both men and women. No one can see what you are doing. For example, you can do the Kegel exercise sitting at your desk, or in your car, while standing waiting for a bus or watching your favorite t.v. show.
The Kegel exercise
The exercise involves alternating between contracting and relaxation your pelvic-floor muscles.To start the exercise:
- Locate your PC muscle. If you are not sure where to find the muscle, focus when you urinate. Once your flow begins, try to stop it mid flow. The muscle that you are tightening to stop the flow is the PC muscle. Do it several times to help locate the muscle. You can confirm that you found the muscle by inserting a finger (men: in your anus with lubrication, women: in your vagina). Squeeze the PC muscle in an attempt to try to grip your finger. If you are able to do that, you have found the PC muscle.
- Squeeze the PC muscle as hard as you can.
- Hold for a count of between 3 and 5 seconds.
- Rest for 5 seconds.
How many sets
- Five repetiitions equal one set.
- Do as many sets as you can before you feel the muscle getting tired. Work toward a minimum of 5 sets.
- Once you get the level of doing 5 sets, continue to build up. For example, gradually build up squeeze time to 10 seconds at a time. Work up to 10 repetitions per set.
- Just like with any exercise, the more you regularly you do the Kegel exercise, the more beneficial it is. Try to exercise three to four times a day.
Fine tuning the Kegel exercise
- You can vary intensity of your squeezes and the amount of time you hold a squeeze in a set.
- Avoid contracting your buttocks or abdominal muscles.
- Do not push to the point where you feel pain or discomfort.
Men: When you perform the exercise correctly, you should be able to feel or see the testicles lift. This can take time. If you practice the routine regularly, you should notice an improvement in 4-6 weeks. (If your testicles don't lift, it doesn't mean you are doing the exercise incorrectly. Some men do not experience a testicle lift).
NOTE: Avoid devices which claim to strengthen pelvic-floor muscles. Even if they do work, they are not necssary.