I’ve stressed the importance of pelvic floor (AKA Kegel) exercises for both male and female anatomies, but I admit that I haven’t given as much focus to male bodies. Now there’s a complete exercise program for male pelvic muscle training — Private Gym — including weight training for the penis!Stronger pelvic muscles give you more blood flow to the penis, stronger and more rigid erections, better urinary and rectal control, and stronger orgasms and ejaculatory force. Like any other muscles, they respond to strength training. Private Gym offers both a “basic” and a “complete” training program.
Both include a DVD, an instruction manual, and a book, Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual & Urinary Health. The book presents a ton of anatomical and sexual function information, plus cool factoids that you can throw out at a sex-positive dinner party, such as what “phallocarps” are and which animal ejaculates 4-5 gallons of semen.
This program lets you learn and practice the step-by-stem program with a follow-along DVD. It’s very well done, with clear illustrations and explanations. (I would have preferred it without the background music, though, which I found repetitive and distracting.)
The difference between the programs? The basic gives you a 4-week, progressive, step-by-step program. It’s good, especially for pelvic floor training beginners.
However, I recommend the complete program, which includes the basic plus additional exercises and 4 weeks of resistance training, which you do with the included weights. (Only the complete program includes the weights.)
Yes, weights. You put the weighted ring on your penis and perform the squeeze-release exercises (both slow and rapid) along with the DVD. As your pelvic muscles strengthen, you can add the additional weight which attaches magnetically. You’ll need a rigid erection (with or without medication) in order to use the weights. (You don’t need a rigid erection for the basic program.)
I know, penis weights may seem like a gimmick. But they’re not, I assure you. Don’t take my word for it — here’s what my 57-year-old male tester had to say:
It’s great. It takes you through the things you can do to build up those muscles. This program with your choice of a male or female voice tells you exactly how, when, and for how long, and gives you a signal that makes it so much easier. It’s like the reason you hire a fitness trainer – sure, you can lift weights on your own, but a trainer helps you.
The book is great because it talks about why you’re doing this and gives background information, in easy to understand terms.
When you get more advanced, you can use the weight system. The weights are comfortable, easy to slip on, and they work.
The whole program is well thought out, and very easy and comfortable to use. It’s a great system. I think it would benefit just about anybody.
I was having trouble with getting erections. Using this program, my erections became as firm on their own as when I was using Viagra!
Thank you, Private Gym, for sending me this program for my tester and me to review. This is a powerful tool, especially the complete program, because the weights can make a huge difference.
|Diagram from Wikipedia|
January is “shape-up” month, with every lifestyle magazine and website proclaiming a new exercise program.
I’ve got a shape-up program for you, too, and though it’s a muscle workout, you won’t see the results in the mirror or show them off to your friends — except for intimate friends — and then the results will be felt, not seen.
This workout strengthens the muscles of your pelvic floor — the “PC” (pubococcygeus) muscles that run along the pelvic floor and surround the entire vagina. These are the muscles that contract during orgasm.
Regular pelvic floor workouts, AKA Kegel exercises, lead to more enjoyable sex: easier arousal, stronger orgasms, more pleasure. If that’s not enough, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles also protects against urinary incontinence. (Ah, now I have your attention!)
You’ve been told, “Do your Kegels,” but you haven’t been told how to do them most effectively. Here are step-by-step instructions for your pelvic floor workout, thanks to Myrtle Wilhite, MD, MS and staff of A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center in Madison, Wisconsin:
1. Lie down on your back in a comfortable place with your knees bent. Lying down takes the weight off your pelvic floor and leads to earlier success. Have your tool (if you are using one) and lubricant with you.
- If you’re using a tool, coat it with lubricant and insert it into your vagina until it comfortably slips into place just behind the pubic bone. You can’t push it in too far; it cannot get lost inside of you.
- If you’re using your finger(s), wash your hands first, then coat your finger(s) with lubricant. Next, insert your finger(s) about 2 inches into your vagina.
- You can also practice Kegels with nothing at all inside your vagina, or a hand placed on your perineum, to feel the muscle contract from the outside.
2. Contract your pelvic floor muscles. It will feel like you’re pulling up and in toward your belly button. Don’t push out, unless specifically advised by a health care provider. If you’re using a tool, you should feel it rise a bit. If you’re using your finger, you should feel a gentle tightening around the finger. Try to keep your leg, buttock, and abdominal muscles relaxed, and remember to breathe normally throughout the exercise.
3. Hold the lift for a count of 5. If you’re using a tool, you can add resistance by pulling gently on it as you continue using your muscles to pull the tool inward and upward. Remember to breathe!
4. Relax your muscles.
5. IMPORTANT: After each contraction, take a deep belly breath. Inhale deeply and gently blow out the air while you relax your pelvis completely. This deep relaxation is just as important as the other steps, because the deep belly breath relaxes the muscles that are not under your conscious control.
For much more about Kegels from A Woman’s Touch, click here.
The deep relaxation phase is often omitted when we’re told how to do our Kegels, but they’re as important to practice as the contraction. Many women of our age, especially after a period of celibacy, experience what feels like tightening or shrinking of the vaginal opening because the muscles don’t fully release. This can interfere with our enjoyment of penetrative sex.
“Pay equal attention to the contraction and the relaxation of the muscles that surround the vagina in particular,” says sex educator and counselor Ellen Barnard, MSSW, co-owner of A Woman’s Touch. “Otherwise you may find that these muscles are stiff and inflexible, which will also get in the way of comfortable penetration when you are ready to have it.”
You can practice with your own fingers, a partner’s fingers or penis (fun for both of you!), or a sex product designed for vaginal penetration (that’s the “tool” mentioned above) such as a dildo, dilator, or a special Kegel exerciser.
You can also practice your Kegels without tools or fingers, even on the go: standing in the grocery line, driving, walking, working at your desk, during your Pilates, yoga, or dance class. If you’re doing them in public, be sure you’ve mastered the part about not contracting your buttocks, or anyone standing behind you will see what you’re doing!
Although I’ve directed this article to women, Kegels are also important for men. These muscles located in the perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus, contract during a man’s orgasm. Kegels can make sex more pleasurable for men with age-related, less intense orgasms.
“By strengthening the muscles of the perineum, you will pump more blood to this vital area, achieve greater ejaculatory control, and increase the intensity of your orgasms,” says urologist Dudley S. Danoff, MD, FACS, author of Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health. (Read my interview with Dr. Danoff here.)
Kegels are recommended for all ages, and they’re especially important for Boomers now and through our later years.
Kegels can be fun as well as useful. Though there’s nothing sexual about the pelvic floor exercises per se, there’s nothing to stop you from pleasuring yourself or your partner while you do them, or right afterwards!
(This post first appeared 12/28/12 on the Post50 channel of The Huffington Post here.)
Please read the companion piece to this one: Kegel Exercise “Tools” for Better Sex to learn about cool tools that will make your Kegels lots of fun.