Although the first thing that would come to your mind when you think of Kegel Exercises is ‘pregnancy’, there’s a whole lot of other things to these exercises than you generally know about.
Kegel exercises are usually recommended for women who have just delivered a baby. Owing to their weak pelvic floor muscles (which get stretched to their maximum during childbirth), women are asked to do Kegel exercises to regain the strength and support of these muscles.
Why do men need Kegel exercises?
However, Kegel exercises are not restricted to women alone. Even men can perform these exercises on a regular basis to improve their pelvic floor muscles. This in turn would help them overcome a number of medical ailments like lower back pain, incontinence, post urinary dip, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low libido and andropause (male menopause) etc.
Kegel exercises can also increase the effectiveness of the ab workouts. Combining the traditional ab crunch with kegel contractions places extra pressure on the abdomen and make the muscles in this region work over time. And this can effectively improve the progress of an existing workout routine.
What is a Kegel exercise device? How is it different for men and women?
Kegel exercises are usually performed with the help of devices. These devices are clinically tested and come with weights attached to them (for women) or act as one solid unit (for men). And while women would need to slide these devices into their vagina, men would need to slide the devices into their anus.
Kegel devices for men: How to use one:
Follow these steps to perform a Kegel exercise at the comfort of your home or office.
Step 1: Locate your pelvic floor muscle by contracting the muscles in and around the urethral and rectal regions. Act as if you were urinating and stopped in between. When you do this, you will feel a slight pulling sensation near the anus. If so, then that is the muscle you would need to target.
Note: You may want to make sure you got the right muscle by repeating the procedure mentioned above for at least a couple of times. Exercising the wrong muscle would not have any effect on the body.
Step 2: Wash the Kegel exercise device in warm water and apply a lubricant over it so that it doesn’t cause pain or discomfort when being inserted into the anus.
Step 3: Slowly insert the device into the anal canal, making sure you stop halfway in between (the device should be able to remain in place without dropping out).
If you find it difficult to do this while standing, consider placing the device under your buttocks and sitting on it so that it slides gently into the anal canal.
Step 4: Use your pelvic floor muscles to squeeze the device lightly. The contraction should make the device move upwards (or rather inwards) a bit. Hold the contraction for about 6 seconds and then release it.
Note: As and when you contract your pelvic floor muscles, your testicles would lift a bit. This is a clear indication that you are doing the exercise correctly and targeting the right muscles.
Step 5: Follow this up with at least 6 more contractions for one set. And perform at least 10 sets on a daily basis. Take adequate rest in between consecutive sets.
Note: It may take some days (or even weeks) for you to master the exercise. You can also perform this exercise on alternate days if you find it hard to cope with the pressure.
With time and regular practice, you would start to note a positive change in your pelvic muscles, which would reflect on the rest of the body as well.