Yes, men do have a pelvic floor!
Most women are aware of the importance of kegel exercises to strengthen their pelvic floor, especially after giving birth. But men have a pelvic floor too! Marcus Chung, a personal trainer we have tried and tested, tells us why the man in your life should be exercising his pelvic floor.
Why do pelvic floor exercises?
Strengthening pelvic floor muscles around the bladder, penis, and back passage can help stop incontinence, make sex better, and help with prostate health in men. Aim to do pelvic floor exercises twice a week – this will get tangible results as well as minimise the complications that can arise beyond 40.
How to find your pelvic floor
Frankly speaking, imagine yourself peeing at the urinal, then putting the brakes on the flow to help you find where the mysterious levator ani is. Practise bracing it effectively without abrupt movement. Now, try holding it under tension for 10 seconds over 5 sets.
You could also lift the levator ani upwards, increasing activation with the anterior (front) diaphragm. Hastily forcing pee out would be contrary to the lifting motion we want. Execute 20 firm lifts over 3 sets.
Read more: Postpartum Movement and the Pelvic Floor
Other pelvic floor exercises
Because the adductors attach themselves to the pelvic floor (levator ani), I would encourage you to relax the legs and abdominals, and try to zone into the levator ani in isolation without compensating with the use of other muscles. Working it all as a compound is not wrong – in fact it’s fundamental to all calisthenic exercises – but in this context, try to separate the many spokes from the wheel with muscle control.
The pelvic floor can also be activated like the four quadrants of a pie. Resting two fingers gently between the navel and the pubis will assist in locating the upper two quadrants. Attempt to independently activate the left from the right. A successful brace will push tissue into the corresponding finger, locate and strengthen the weaker quadrant. Next, locate the bottom quadrants responsible for faecal management. Try these contra lateral squeezes with 15 reps per side, over 3 sets.
And don’t forget…
Other factors to consider for overall wellness include eating a balanced diet of whole foods and less processed foods. Break a sweat with leg workouts, do hip mobility drills, and practise sensate focusing with your partner to hone that sensitivity to touch. It’s never a bad idea to make her feel loved, seen and accepted.