Kegel exercises are a series of pelvic muscle exercises designed to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. They tone and strengthen the pubococcygeal (PC) muscles — three sets of muscles that run like a hammock from your back to your pubic bone, encircling the openings to the vagina and the rectum. Doing them is well worth the effort because they’ll help you reach orgasm more easily and feel it more intensely. And they are easy to do anywhere, anytime.
The anus is the main area contracted when a Kegel is done because the pubococcygeus muscle begins around the anus and runs up to the urinary sphincter.
During orgasm, these PC muscles contract rhythmically and the stronger the contractions are, the more intense the sensation will be. In men Kegel exercises lift up the testicles strengthening the cremaster muscle and the anal spincter. And a woman with strong PCs can grasp her partner’s penis and heighten his sensations by contracting and releasing her muscles.
Both men and women find their PC muscles by stopping the urine stream. Women can locate them by inserting a finger into the vagina and trying to squeeze it. Men can insert a finger into the rectum and do likewise.
Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and get into a sitting or standing position. Then firmly tense your pelvic floor muscles. Try it at frequent intervals for five seconds at a time, four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. To get the maximum benefit, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Also, try not to hold your breath. Just relax, breathe freely and focus on tightening the muscles around your vagina and rectum.
Perform a set of 10 Kegel exercises at least three times a day. Note that the exercises will get easier the more often you do them. You might make a practice of fitting in a set every time you do a routine task, such as checking e-mail or commuting to work.
How to Do Kegel Exercises
The basic Kegel: Slowly contract your muscles, drawing inward and upward. Hold for a count of three; then slowly relax for three seconds. Repeat as many times as you can, working up to 25 or 30 three-second squeezes.
Flutter Kegels: Squeeze and relax the PC muscle rapidly, in a pulsing motion. In the beginning aim for consistency of pulses, rather than speed; that will come with time and practice. Work up to 25 or 30 pulses.
The Kegel push-out: After releasing the contraction, gently push down and out with your PC muscles (no bearing down!). Create Kegel sequences that combine long and short repetitions with push-outs — for example, 10 short squeezes, 10 long squeezes, and five push-outs (any sequence will do).
Elevator Kegels: Picture your vagina as an elevator shaft, with the elevator car at the opening of your vagina. Slowly tighten your muscles as you imagine raising the elevator, pausing at the top, and then lowering it again. Repeat 10 times.
Finally, to really work the PC muscles, do Kegels in various positions — while sitting, standing, lying down, or kneeling — two or three times a day. If you do them regularly, you’ll feel the difference in eight to 12 weeks.