Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles (also called your pubococcygeus or PC muscles). These exercises can help with stress incontinence and some people say they help with ejaculatory control.
They have also been recommended as a way of changing how sexual response, including orgasm, feels. Like any exercise, it's possible to do Kegels wrong and it's also possible that doing them correctly could exacerbate a problem you are experiencing.
If you want to try kegels to address a physical concern you are having, I recommend consulting first with a trusted health care practitioner (ideally with a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic rehabilitation) to make sure that you are doing the exercises in a way that helps and doesn't hurt. The information below is general and may not apply to you, but it's offered for some context.Here's How:
Find Your PC Muscle
Many people begin doing kegel exercises but are actually squeezing the wrong muscle. Before you start the exercises, find your PC muscle, make sure you know where your PC muscle is and what it feels like.
Squeezing Exercises: Find Your Baseline
The basic exercise can be done anytime and anywhere. Just squeeze your PC muscles as hard as you can, and hold them. You're doing a kegel exercise. Start by squeezing and holding for a count of 3-5 seconds, then release and relax for 5 seconds. When you release, notice how your muscles feel. The first time you exercise see how many times you can do it before you feel your muscles getting tired. Consider this your baseline.
Squeezing Exercises: Use Sets of Repetitions
Your exercises will be most efficient and have the most impact if you get into doing sets of repetitions of the squeezing. Once you've found your baseline, you can work from there. If you can, start with doing 5 repetitions (squeeze/hold/release). Judge for yourself how long you can hold the squeeze for, but don't push yourself too much at first.
Build Up Strength
Once you've found your baseline, do your exercises, and every couple of days increase both the length of time you hold the squeeze for, and the number of exercises per set. As a guideline, try to work up to a point where you can hold the squeeze for ten seconds. And try to work up to doing ten reps per set. So you squeeze, hold for ten second, release, relax for ten seconds, and repeat ten times.
Practice Every Day
Try to take three or four times in the day to do your exercises. Again, everyone is different, but as a guideline try to do ten reps per session, holding for ten seconds on each exercise.
Vary Intensity and Time
You can also try to vary the intensity of your squeezing and the amount of time you hold the squeeze in a set. Once you're comfortable that you're doing the exercises properly try a set where you do rapid squeeze and release. Experiment with how long you can comfortably hold a squeeze. Remember not to push yourself to the point of pain or discomfort.
Using Kegel Products
Some people will use a toy or kegel exercising product to add resistance. This is not necessary, and while some sex educators suggest it increases the usefulness of the exercise, doing them on your own is still a great way to develop your PC muscle. If you are interested in purchasing a product for kegel exercises, make sure it isn’t too large, as this may get in the way of exercises more than it will help them.
Incorporating Kegels into Sex
Once you're comfortable with them, try incorporating kegel exercises in your masturbation. Do them while you're getting warmed up, doing them before you have an orgasm, and even try to do them while having an orgasm. You may notice that kegels change the way your sexual excitement and your experience of orgasm feels. For some men, kegels can be a way of "pulling back" from the edge of ejaculation, and can allow them to better control ejaculation.
- Isolate the PC muscle. At the beginning, remember to regularly check that you are exercising your PC muscle, and not other muscles. Avoid contracting your abdominal, thigh, or buttocks muscles, or squeezing your sphincter muscle only. This is something many people do, but it reduces the effectiveness of the kegel exercise Concentrate on your breathing and trying to keep yourself relaxed, and only tense the PC muscles you are using. Try not to tense up your whole body.
- Finding time to do your exercises. You don't need to set aside a big chunk of time to do kegel exercises. Do a few reps while waiting for a stop light to turn green. In the last ten minutes before lunch, when you're sitting at a desk, do a few reps. Do them while you're waiting for the movie to start, or a commercial break to be over.
- Don't overdo it.Like any exercise, it's important to build up slowly, and pay attention to your body. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, you are pushing yourself too hard. It is possible that you could strain the muscles and aggravate a current problem, when you are trying to resolve it.