Move over Kegel exercises – there are other pelvic floor moves to strengthen, tone, and relax these muscles helping significantly improve your sex life.
Both men and women have pelvic floors. The pelvic floor muscles support the pelvic organs (sort of like a hammock) located in the lower abdominal cavity. In men, these organs include the bladder, bowel, and prostate, and in women, the bladder, bowel, and uterus.
Your ability to control urine release, bowel movements, and flatulence is due to the pelvic floor muscles. Contracting these muscles, like when performing a Kegel exercise, will tighten openings of the vagina in women, along with the anus and urethra. To pass bowel movements or urine, you will relax the pelvic floor muscles.
These same muscles aid sexual function in both men and women. For men, having strong pelvic floor muscles is vital for erectile function and ejaculation. It also contributes to arousal and a stronger, more satisfying sexual sensation for women.
Below the belt pelvic floor muscle training
If your love life could use some support, paying attention to the health of your pelvic floor muscles is a wise move. Here are five zpelvic floor strengtheners that can improve your sex life, urinary health, and functioning.
1. Swimming laps
If you enjoy swimming and have access to a pool, swimming laps are perfect for toning the core muscles and your pelvic floor and benefit cardiovascular health.
2. Air squat
Here’s a move using your body weight to stretch your hamstrings while strengthening your pelvic floor. You will feel the movement mostly in your thighs and glutes. Perform an air squat by:
- Placing feet shoulder width apart and keep heels flat on the floor during each squat
- Keeping your hips down and back as you squat to get the hips below the knees. Be sure your knees do not go past your toes while squatting
- Keeping your lumbar curve maintained throughout the move without curving out
- Looking straight ahead to keep your chest flat
3. Pilates one hundred
Pilates is excellent for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Many Pilates moves utilize these muscles as a natural muscular support to perform these exercises.
The Pilates one hundred exercise is a classic mat exercise. Begin by lying on your back on the carpet or a supportive mat. Next, elevate your legs, bend your knees in a tabletop position, keeping your shins and ankles parallel to the floor. Once in the position, vigorously pump both arms up and down, close to your body. For the first five pumps, inhale through your nose, then exhale for the next five pumps through your mouth. Do 10 sets of 10 to reach one hundred.
4. Diaphragmatic breathing
At the base of your lungs is a large muscle called the diaphragm helping you breathe by inhaling and exhaling. This same muscle also is hugely beneficial for pelvic floor health and functioning. Diaphragmatic breathing, called belly or abdominal breathing, also helps with relaxation, increases blood oxygen, reduces blood pressure and heart rate.
A quick summary of diaphragmatic breathing is to breathe slowly and deeply through the nose as your stomach moves out and then let out the air through pursed lips as your stomach deflates.
The move can be done either lying down or seated.
This popular exercise is a winner for engaging your pelvic floor muscles and will strengthen your entire core.
To perform a plank, follow these directions:
- Proceed to the floor face down in a plank position, then bring your forearms and toes upward, touching the floor.
- Keep elbows directly under your shoulders with forearms facing forward.
- Keep your head relaxed, staring at the floor
- Draw in your navel toward your spine to engage the abdominal muscles. Your torso should be straight, rigid, and in a straight line extending from head to toe, with no bodily sagging.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then relax on the floor.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.