Throughout history, men have had a widespread reputation of being muscular – and being intentional about their muscle-building. Men of all ages can be seen working their quads, triceps, and abs in gyms across the globe. While the overwhelming reason for building muscle strength may be that men want to feel good about how they look, there are numerous benefits to strength training, including better erections, more stamina, and better bladder control.
The sexual and urologic benefits of strength training pertain to exercise that focuses on the pelvic floor, otherwise known as Kegel exercises. Typically, the perception is that Kegels are for women. This is not the case, because women aren’t the only ones who have pelvic floor muscles. Men also rely on muscle strength in this area to support bladder control and for adequate penile function.
Benefits of Kegel Exercises for Men
One of the advantages of Kegel exercises is that they can be done anywhere and anytime and no one will know. Men can practice the controlled squeeze-and-release of the pelvic floor muscles at their desk, on their drive to work, or while winding down in their recliner at the end of the day. The functional reasons for doing these discreet exercises include a desire to increase ejaculatory control and sexual arousal, to support prostate health and to minimize the accidental urine leakage that often occurs with age.
The value of Kegel exercises for men has been confirmed in numerous research studies. In one research project including 55 middle-aged men with erectile dysfunction, researchers found that participants achieved varying degrees of improvement with consistent Kegel performance for 3 to 6 months. In a follow-up questionnaire, 40 percent of study participants stated a return of normal erectile function. Just over 35 percent indicated improvement in penile rigidity. Approximately 25 percent said they did not feel Kegels made a difference in erectile function. In another study, medical school researchers at Ohio State University concluded that pelvic floor exercises increased erectile responsiveness.
Should All Men Do Kegel Exercises?
Studies suggest that most men can benefit from the daily performance of several sets of Kegel exercises. The practice is easy to develop by paying attention to which muscle contracts to stop the flow of urine. This is the muscle to contract during Kegels. As important as the contraction is the full release of the squeeze. Some researchers have suggested that Kegels are especially useful for men who are scheduled to have radical prostatectomy as a way to promote recovery ahead of surgery.
For some men, pelvic floor exercises can worsen chronic pelvic pain symptoms or chronic prostatitis. Therefore, it is recommended that any man with pelvic symptoms speak with his doctor before beginning a pelvic floor routine.
We proudly serve men in the Plano area with personalized care and state-of-the-art modalities. For more information on treatment for erectile dysfunction and other urologic conditions, call (972) 403-5425.