Yes, you heard it right. Men should strengthen their pelvic floor muscles too! Don’t let the common misconception that only women can have weak muscles in that area stop you from exercising them yourself. It can actually be very beneficial for men when done right. If you’re wondering what a pelvic floor is, it’s a collection of muscles in your pelvic area that encompass your bladder and bowel as well as the uterus in women. Weight, surgery, or age, can impact the muscles and tissues in that area.
Keep reading to learn how a weak pelvic floor can affect your life.
Symptoms of a Weak Pelvic Floor
Bladder & Bowel control
Since the pelvic floor muscles support your bladder and bowels, if they aren’t strong, it can cause many problems in that area—specifically the loss of control over your bladder and bowels. According to USMD Hospital, if the pelvic floor is weakened it can prevent the sphincter muscle from working correctly, allowing leakage. Whether it’s a little or a lot, losing control over these things can make doing your day-to-day life difficult.
For men, a weakened pelvic floor can actually lead to performance difficulties, such as erectile dysfunction (ED). The muscles that are found in that area contract to help men to maintain climax control during intercourse. However, when the muscles aren’t functioning properly, blood flow to the area is compromised as well as fewer contractions. For many, this is a nuisance to deal with and can lead to self-esteem and mental health difficulties, if not appropriately addressed.
Exercises to Try
Kegels aren’t just for women! Studies show that men who do pelvic floor exercises were able to reduce symptoms of certain issues like erectile dysfunction, so don’t feel shy about trying something new. Kegels are a simple exercise once you get the hang of things. You can do them either lying down or standing up, whatever is most comfortable for you. Simply contract the muscles in your pelvic area for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this process a few times a day.
Glute bridges are a great exercise to add if you want to incorporate pelvic floor strength training into your gym routine. While the main target with glutes is your butt, the upward motion and squeeze at the top can improve your pelvic floor. To make things a little harder, add some weights to the exercise. This will help to really build muscle in that area. However, make sure that you’re not overdoing it, as too much weight on your pelvis can actually make things worse.
Squats are another exercise that can be very helpful when done right. When doing squats, your focus is usually on your butt and thighs. But in this case, your main focus should be your pelvic area. Meaning when you normally contract your butt muscles as you come up from a squat, try doing a kegel instead. You’ll still be targeting other areas of your lower body, but this just helps put a strong focus on your pelvic floor. To maximize your squats, take things up a notch by incorporating X3S Bench. This machine will help squat like a pro, while also toning your legs and strengthening your pelvic floor.
Since your core and pelvic floor muscles are so close to one another, strengthening your core area is beneficial. Having a strong core can help to support your pelvic floor and reduce weakening in that area. There are many beginner-friendly exercises that you can do to keep your muscles strong. However, similar to glute exercises, don’t overwork your core as it can damage your pelvic floor muscles. Using a machine that allows you to control the intensity of the workout like the AbCoaster PS500 is a great way to get a nice core workout in while also staying safe.
For the Time Being
Exercise will help your pelvic floor muscles, but it will take time to build strength in that area. With that being said, experiencing symptoms like bladder leakage or erectile dysfunction can have a massive toll on your mental health and confidence. So consider visiting your doctor to see if they have any recommendations of things that you can do in tandem with exercising. They may prescribe you medication for ED or suggest a treatment plan for bladder/bowel control while you wait for your muscles to strengthen back up.
While urinary issues or sexual dysfunctions like ED can be the result of a weak pelvic floor, they can also result from more significant issues. If your problems persist, despite using methods like strength training or ed medications, make sure to follow up with your doctor when necessary.