Kegel Exercises For Men – My Complete Guide

If you suffer from premature ejaculation, kegel exercises are one of the classic ways you can develop better control during sex.

In some ways they can work really well – there’s no doubt that strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can give you the ability to temporarily hold back ejaculation.

But there’s an essential point that I feel is worth mentioning right at the start: it’s just as important to learn when to do them during sex as how to practice them in your own time.

I know from my personal experience, and from the hundreds of comments and emails I get about kegels on this site, that kegels are effective – but only if done correctly.

The 2 key points to understand about kegels

I’m going to quickly share 2 key points for those that are put off by the size of this article. So even if you choose to skip all the details below, understanding the next 2 points will help you a lot:

  • Don’t do kegel squeezes, pumps or contractions continuously during sex. Yes, it can help you get a bigger erection, but it can also make you ejaculate quicker.
  • Only do the strong kegel hold if you feel you’re close to ejaculating, and you want to block it. Once the feeling passes, focus on relaxing during sex, perhaps doing reverse kegels to help you.

Get those 2 points right, and you’ve won half the battle. Now let’s take a few steps back and take a look at the why and how to do kegels.

Background information

What are Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises are the act of intentionally tensing or relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor, which is why they are often referred to as pelvic floor exercises. pelvic floor muscles diagram

It’s somewhat confusing to understand, but there are three main muscles involved:

  • Pubococcygeus muscle (PC)
  • Bulbocavernosus muscle (BC)
  • Iliococcygeus muscle (IC)

Some online articles only talk about the PC muscle, but it’s actually the BC muscle at the base of your penis which is most important for ejaculation control.

At first it may just seem like one large and weak muscle group, and that’s totally normal when you start out. In time you’ll get better at pinpointing different muscles rather than the entire pelvic floor.

How do I know if I’m using the right muscles?

Everyone knows how to flex their biceps or pecs. But tensing your PC or BC muscle isn’t something you can do in front of the mirror, and the visible results are much more subtle.

The easiest explanation is that the muscle you use is the same as the one you use when stopping yourself from urinating mid flow.

So next time you go to the toilet, try to mentally squeeze the muscle at the base of your penis to stop the flow. If you can do it, or even just reduce the flow, you’ve found the right muscle.

If this still doesn’t make sense, there are other ways to be sure you’re using the right muscle. Take a quick look at my article about locating your pelvic floor muscles if you need to.

Aren’t there different types of kegels?

When you see my weekly plan below, you’ll notice there are different types of kegel exercises. You still use the same muscle, but just training it in different ways, for example:

  • Quick pumps or squeezes – when you contract or squeeze the muscle fast and then release. You can then do lots of these in quick succession.
  • Holds – contract the muscles and don’t let go for a certain amount of time.
  • Reverse kegels – instead of contracting, you actively relax. It’s almost like the pushing feeling you would have when squeezing out urine, or even a number two. More on that later.

When, where, how often and how many to do?

Some people say you can do as many kegels as you like. I don’t agree with that though. Yes, you can do kegels in any place you feel comfortable, though it’s best to start in a private space.

But the important thing to remember is that they aren’t that different from other muscles; if you push them too hard, you can end up with tense or sore muscles.

When I first started doing kegels, I wasn’t told this and did them in vast quantities. And although I didn’t have any problems, some people have written to me saying that they did too many after reading other websites and now feel tight or sore.

For this reason it’s best to start out doing them every other day. Once you’ve built some strength and tone you can do them more often. But even then you should always rest at least 1 or 2 days a week.

And there’s no need to do thousands of them every session. You wouldn’t do that to your arms or chest, so there’s no need here either.

When do you do kegels during sex?

Kegels are in fact a ‘last line of defense’ to hold back ejaculation. If you feel yourself getting too aroused, or reaching the point of no return, ideally you should take some other action, like changing positions or rhythm.

But if you don’t take action quickly enough, or you’re taken by surprise by your own arousal, then doing a kegel squeeze can help stop you ejaculating.

Then once your arousal subsides a little, you can rest, change positions or do whatever else you need to recover. Kegels are therefore not a single solution to premature ejaculation.

In fact, during sex you should be doing the opposite of the strong kegel hold: you should try to keep those muscles relaxed. That’s why it’s important to balance your exercise routine with reverse kegels and relaxation in general.

The key is to develop a balanced control of your pelvic floor muscles.


My kegel exercises routine

As long as you don’t overdo it, I think you can make your own routine up. But the following routine comes from my personal practice, and is based on a combination of experience and research.

If you feel the routine is too hard, just reduce the sets and times to suit you and build up slowly. You may also find it helpful to speak to a medical profession first, especially if you have any medical conditions. Ask them if doing pelvic floor exercises will be safe for you.

Finally, in the exercises I refer to just the BC muscle, because it’s the one most involved in ejaculation control at the point of no return.

However, when starting out it’s fine to think of the whole pelvic floor as one muscle group if you struggle to isolate that muscle. Even if you’re also contracting the PC muscle, it doesn’t matter as it will help strengthen your pelvic floor as a whole.

 A) Practicing kegel exercises when flaccid

I recommend spending 2 to 3 weeks only practicing kegel exercises when flaccid. You don’t need to try them during masturbation or sex until you’ve done some groundwork.

Note: a reader asked about the word ‘squeeze’ which I use in the routine. You don’t squeeze with your hand, but you squeeze/contract/tighten the muscle using mental control.

Week 1

Do this kegel routine every other day:

  • Squeeze the BC muscle for 1 second and then release. Try to relax for a second when you release. Do this 10 times in a row.
  • Rest for 30 seconds. During this, and every other rest, try to relax the BC muscle and your whole body.
  • Do this first set 5 times. So you do 5 sets of 10 quick squeezes or pumps with 30 second rests.
  • Squeeze and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Rest for 15 seconds.
  • Repeat that step 4 more times. So you do 5 sets of 5 second holds.
  • Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds if you can.
  • Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat that step twice more. So you do 3 sets of 10 second holds.

Week 2

Again, you can do this routine every other day:

  • Do a kegel hold for 1 second, 15 times in a row.
  • Rest for 20 seconds.
  • Repeat those steps 4 more times.
  • Squeeze the BC muscle for 5 seconds, followed by a 15 second rest. Then repeat 5 times.
  • Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds then repeat twice.
  • Do quick 1 second kegels 30 times. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat twice.
  • Squeeze and try to hold the kegel for 30 seconds continuously. Rest and then try again twice more. If you can’t manage 30 seconds, just hold it for as long as you can comfortably.

Week 3

As before, you can do this routine every second day. In between each of these steps you can rest for 30 seconds.

  • Perform a fast kegel squeeze, or pump, 20 times. Repeat this 3 times with a 30 second break between each set.
  • Do a strong kegel squeeze for 5 seconds, 10 times in a row. Try to relax completely for 5 seconds between each 5 second squeeze.
  • Squeeze for 10 seconds, 5 times in a row. Relax for 10 seconds in between each squeeze.
  • Squeeze and hold for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest. Repeat once.
  • Squeeze and hold for 40 seconds, followed by a 20 second rest.
  • Squeeze and hold for 60 seconds, then relax completely.

Week 4 onwards

After 2 or 3 weeks of kegeling every other day, you should have a clear idea of where you’re at. If you found a particular week too difficult, you can repeat it or go back to the week before.

If you made it through and are starting to feel some control, you can get creative and mix your kegel exercise routine up. Maybe one day copy the idea of the first week, then the second practice day use the format from the third week.

You can add length of time to sets, and you can increase the number to complete during the fast ones. It’s really up to you, and muscles generally respond better to variety.

B) Doing kegel exercises with an erection

After 2 to 3 weeks of practice when flaccid you can try to do kegels with an erection once or twice a week either instead of, or as well as, the normal practice. Your main kegel routine should still be done when flaccid, even once you’ve been doing it for a long time.

You can practice similar movements as you did before, but with an erection. It’s up to you how many you do exactly and it will partly depend on your ability to maintain an erection while kegeling.

You can do a couple of sets of 10 to 30 fast pumps, followed by a couple of longer holds of 30 seconds. Then try for a minute if you can.

The main use of the strong kegel hold is stopping yourself from ejaculating during sex. And in my experience, this usually only requires a strong hold of 10 to 20 seconds, maybe a little longer sometimes.

So there’s no need to train yourself to hold it for longer than a minute. If you can do a strong hold for a minute, then you’re probably way beyond what you’d ever actually need to do.

Safety points to consider

1. If you start to feel tense or sore during or after doing kegels exercise, take time off to let your pelvic floor muscles recover.

2. If you have problems getting or maintaining an erection after you start doing kegel exercises, stop doing them. It’s probably a sign you’ve either done too much, or done them incorrectly. So rest for a week or two and see if the problem resolves.

3. Don’t hold the squeeze too tight or you could strain the muscle. It should be tight enough to engage the kegel muscles, but not so tight it takes serious effort and feels uncomfortable.

4. Don’t forget to relax in between sets. This is an important part of getting the pelvic floor muscles balanced. The aim isn’t pure muscle strength, but a balance between strength, tone, control and the ability to relax the muscles at will.


Part 3: Putting it all together

Testing out your hard work

Once you’re confident that you can hold a kegel squeeze comfortably for 30 seconds, it’s time to see if you can hold back ejaculation during masturbation.

You need to have a good understanding of where your point of no return is to be successful. If you do it too early or too late then it won’t work. This can take some practice!

The idea is not to simply keep going whilst holding a kegel and hope you don’t ejaculate. Instead, you should build yourself up to the point where you would ejaculate if you didn’t do the kegel squeezing motion.

As you reach that point, stop what you’re doing and do a kegel squeeze until your arousal level drops down. Getting the timing right is half of the battle; no matter how well trained your muscles are, if you time it wrong, it won’t work.

And then of course if you have a partner, you can try it with them. It may help to ask them to work with you to start with. If you’ve done the start and stop method together already, then this is just another tool to add to that. If you haven’t, I recommend starting now.

What about advanced and reverse kegels?

Some websites and guides say that you should work on isolating those various pelvic floor muscles with advanced kegel exercises.

My personal opinion is that there’s no need to stress about developing a perfect ability to isolate them. As long as you’re doing your kegel holds with the same muscle you use to stop yourself peeing, you’ll be fine.

Reverse Kegels are probably more important to learn, though they’re still something of a new concept, and there isn’t much information about them in the medical world.

The main concept behind them is that keeping the pelvic floor muscles relaxed during sex is important. And reverse kegels can be a very effective way of helping you achieve that relaxation.

In my experience, reverse kegels are considerably harder to master than normal kegels, but I’ve had some great success when doing them during sex to help keep my arousal level in check.

You might also like

As well as the exercises I’ve talked about in this article, it can be useful to work through a complete guide to premature ejaculation. So you might like to check out my recommended premature ejaculation books.

And if you need something to help you out straight away, or even while you’re learning these techniques, I recommend trying out one of these desensitizing sprays and creams.

141 Comments

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    • Hi Hajde
      If you can isolate the BC muscle, then that’s the one to squeeze. But if not, just try to squeeze the whole pelvic floor area, which will then probably engage all the muscles, and that’s fine too.
      Ethan

  • Hey quick question I want to start your routine on Monday but for the first 2-3 weeks am I not allowed to masturbate and be sexually active or am I just not allowed to do kegels while I masturbate and sexually active.

    • Hi Darrell
      It’s fine to continue with normal sexual activity – both alone and with your partner. If you want, you can try to do the kegels during that time too. It’s fine to practice both the kegels for kegels sake, and also during sex to see how it’s progressing.
      Ethan

  • Dude I don’t get one thing. Should I do kegals or reverse kegals? You’re confusing when you say this is better than the other.

    • Hi Ronny
      Sorry if the articles are a bit confusing! I keep meaning to clarify them, but I’ve edited them several times to try and do so, and they remain a bit confusing I think! The problem is that the whole concept of kegels is a bit confusing, and the more you try to really understand them 100% and then share that knowledge, the harder it gets…
      Anyway, to answer your question, do both. They both have their place, both when practicing alone and during sex. You use the same muscles, but to do do different things, and at different times.
      So:
      Practice alone: do both equally.
      During most of the time you have sex: do general relaxation, and reverse kegels to help you relax if you need to.
      If you think you’re going to ejaculate – do a normal kegel squeeze to stop it.

      Hope that helps!
      Ethan

    • Hi Hussein
      I don’t know a lot about specifically doing kegels for that condition, so don’t feel qualified to tell you exactly what you want to know about it. But if you do an online search for ‘kegels for enlarged prostate’ you can find several medical websites which do discuss it, as well as giving advice about other exercise and health choices that can help you.
      Ethan

  • Sir.. Doing kegal twice a day daily..Improvement in erection.But some soreness i feel..So isnt it good to do it on alternate days that too once a day?

    • Hi Vineeth
      I would definitely rest it you’re feeling sore, yes. And doing it only once a day, or on alternative days should help avoid soreness.
      Ethan

    • Hi there
      Tensing the abs is something which happens naturally when doing reverse kegels. If anything, it would make it harder to do normal kegels with tenses abs, as far as I can tell.
      How long have you been trying them for? It might be that you just need some more practice to develop the muscles better. If you try to stop yourself peeing, do you also need to tense your abs?
      Ethan

  • Hello, first off great article , thank you for takingv the time to Put it together. I have 1 question, I can’t seem to squeeze and hold for any longer than 3 or 4 seconds , will I e able to once I’m doing this routine on a regular basis?

    • Hi Henru
      Thanks! It’s always much appreciate to know readers like the articles.
      Don’t worry – it’s totally normal to struggle at first. If you keep practicing, you’ll almost certainly be able to hold it for longer. Give it a couple of weeks, and you’ll notice the difference.
      Ethan

  • Great article Ethan, thank you. I have been trying to do kegels for the last 2 months with some success. But I think I have also been doing what you said not to – holding kegels all the time when I have sex. I will try not to in the future and see what happens. Thanks again. J

    • Jim
      You’re welcome! Yes, that’s a classic misunderstanding that usually comes from people reading short articles about PE online which don’t go into enough detail. Hopefully you’ll find you can last even longer by stopping that and trying to keep as relaxed as possible during sex.
      Ethan

  • Hello Ethan, Thanks for your article. I have a doubt: Most of the literature I have read about kegels says that we should do them twice a day or even 3 times a day. My question is Can I do the routines that you give us in your article twice a day? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Omar
      You’re welcome. The thing is that there’s no official guidance on how many kegels are effective and safe to do. I err on the side of caution to encourage guys not to overdo it, and because I don’t think it’s necessary to train them so often. In the same way as going to the gym twice a day to work on the same muscles would be fairly pointless. You probably could do my routine twice a day and be fine, if that’s what you really want to do. Just take it easy and don’t do them too hard or too quick.
      Ethan

  • I’m a registered nurse and a male. There is a lot of awareness of women’s health, but very little for guys. I’ve seen men ask physicians about how to improve their erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, etc and have the doctors not even able to meet their eyes because they’re ashamed of the topic..

    This is an excellent article. Hopefully, with the internet and people like yourself posting articles like this, men can start dealing with their health issues.

    • Hi Bk
      Thanks very much for your comment and kind words! It means a lot to me when readers write things like this, so it’s very much appreciated:-)
      Ethan

  • Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. It’s the best site about kegels I’ve read so far!

  • hi,
    first of all, its a great post and very informative and we are all very greatful for yout time.
    i have read about kegals while pumping (penis pumps) is that alright, probably better for advanced kegals since you’re already erect, also can you follow the same routine as you would with flacid, secondly why do you believe that advanced kegals should only be done once or twice a week and rest should be with flacid and finally after a few months, how many days a week would you recommend.
    regards

    • Hi Ashton
      Do you mean doing kegel exercises while using a penis pump which is meant to help with getting erections or increasing penis size? I think it’s ok, as long as you take it easy and don’t do too much.
      In terms of erect or flaccid, I think it’s probably best to do the majority of the kegels practice when flaccid. My main reason for suggesting this is to stop guys getting into the habit of doing kegels when erect. It’s better to keep the pelvic floor muscles relaxed when erect and having sex, and only do the kegel hold at the point of no return.
      And since you can train the muscles equally when flaccid or erect, I think it’s better to do it when flaccid so you don’t associate having an erection with doing kegels.
      Does that make sense?
      And after a few months, I think it’s fine to keep working on them a few days a week to maintain the form. Just don’t go crazy doing them too much!
      Ethan

  • Hi, i started doing kegels 3-4 days back and have been able to hold the PC muscle contraction for almost 20sec or sometimes even longer. Am i doing something wrong here? shouldn’t it be fewer secs?
    Also when i contract my PC muscle, it feels like my buttocks muscles are also contracting at the same time, but when i do with my legs apart i mean like in pooping position i can only feel my anus retracting. Am i doing it right?

    • Hi there
      If you can hold it for 20 seconds, it means you have some strength in the muscle already, which is good. But there’s no real need to hold it tightly for 20 seconds, and you could end up straining the muscles if you keep doing that. I think holding it for 5-10 seconds is enough when practicing.
      And it’s normal to engage to PC muscle when you do kegels, with or without tensing the buttocks. If you can, try to learn to contract the muscle at the base of the penis without tensing your buttocks. It’s fine if you feel a contraction by the anus too, as the muscles are connected in the pelvic floor. But if you can, focus more on the muscle that you would use to stop yourself urinating.
      Ethan

      • Hi Ethan,
        Thanks for your reply, is it normal to have such strength at the start? I mean i never had any problems with erections or anything. But as a beginner who just started doing kegels, i think i should take it as a positive sign? :D. Also when i try to do kegels when flaccid, my penis or scrotum hardly contracts but i can feel my muscle contracting, but when i do kegels semi-erect its completely different like fully erect.
        Also great article, detailed and informative :))

        • You’re welcome. To be honest, I really don’t know how many guys have some strength there already, and to what degree. I think it probably is good that you have some control there already, and it should make the whole process easier hopefully.
          It’s also normal to have less movement in the penis and scrotum depending on whether you do kegels when flaccid or erect, so nothing to worry about there.
          Thanks for the compliment too – glad you liked the article.
          Ethan

  • Hello, Ethan.
    Great article.

    Concerning the “overdoing” matter, I have a doubt. I’ve been doing kegels every other day for more than a month. At first it did wonders for my erections, that we’re getting harder and harder. Than I incorpored weights in my training, and I felt like I over did it, I went back to the regular training, but it’s been a week since it became harder for me to get an erection. Should I cut the training completely? Did anybody who emailed you about the matter told you how long it took to the muscles go back to normal?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Gigo
      Glad you liked the article. Do you mean you were doing weighted kegels? I think it’s definitely a good idea to stop kegels altogether if you feel like you’ve overdone it. Give it a rest for a couple of weeks, and during that time do gentle stretching exercises, yoga, meditation or any activity you find relaxes you in general.
      To be honest, most people just comment saying they overdid it, but then don’t come back to tell me if it went back to normal. So I assume in most cases it does at some point, otherwise they might be back asking for more help!
      Ethan

  • Hello Ethan

    You mention the iliococcygeus muscles at the beginning of the article as one of the three muscles that can be toned using Kegel exercises.

    But what about the ischiocavernosus muscles that located alongside the cruras of the corpora cavernosa, is it not possible to exercise these too? Or, is it just harder to isolate them so know that you are exercising them?

    All the best.

    • Hi Geoff

      I think they will probably be engaged anyway when doing kegels, but I don’t know if it’s possible to isolate them, to be honest! And as far as I understand it, the ischiocavernosus muscles are connected to erection strength rather than the ejaculatory response. If you’re interested, this research paper gives a very clear explanation. It’s a bit old, but does answer an important question.
      So for now, I wouldn’t worry about isolation and just focus on the main concept of stopping the ejaculation in the same way as you would peeing, using the BC muscle mainly.
      Ethan

  • Excellent article, Ethan.
    I have a different issue and i am hoping if i can get some help from you. I am 29 and erections are pretty good and no complaints with that. The issue is just opposite,, late ejaculations. After reading your article it got me thinking that i would’ve overdone kegels unknowingly, as i keep doing it and i enjoy it too, especially during sex. However, despite a long sex, i can come only aided with a bit of masturbation. (No problems during masturbation) and too hard with actual sex. Like kegels; is there an exercise to fasten ejaculations?
    Thanx

    • Hi Sherry
      Thanks for the compliment – I’m glad you liked the article!
      I think perhaps the best thing is to try not to do any kegels during sex, and perhaps stop doing them at all in your own time. And is there anything else that could be causing the lack of stimulation – like too much lubrication during sex, or positions not squeezing you tightly enough? Maybe if you find a position which you find it tighter, it could help. At the end of the day though, some people do find they need a specific technique to help them get off. And in your case it could be that you’ve trained yourself to only ejaculate through masturbation. In which case, it might also help to stop masturbating for a couple of weeks – assuming you do in your own time – and if you watch porn, stop that too. Then you may find that when you have sex, it’s easier to orgasm.
      Ethan

  • Hey Ethan,

    Thanks for this brilliant post! I’ve started following the routine you laid out, doing the exercises every other day. I’ve only done it a couple of times thus far, but since doing it yesterday, my muscles have been feeling a little sore and I haven’t been able to get an erection. I interpret this as nothing more than the post-workout soreness/weakness that happens with all muscles in general. Do you recommend I keep doing the exercises (after a one-day rest period), ignoring the soreness and weakness if I do experience any? Or do you suggest I take a complete break until I can get a full erection again?

    Thanks again for the work you’re doing, will really appreciate a reply!

    • Hi Huz
      Thanks for the compliment about the article – I’m glad you found it useful. I would say definitely lay off until you’re completely ok again. Not being able to get an erection after just a couple of times of doing kegels is a bit strange, so I think you need to rest. If you start again later, do it more gently to start with and build up the strength. And don’t forget to do reverse kegels too!
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan, i hope you still reply to these comments.
    I was wondering would kegel exercises help me with excessive precum? I am 19 years old, didn’t really have any problems with ED or PE, but it really makes me uncomfortable when i make out with girlfriend and my underwear gets all wet. It really ruins my confidence. If kegels are not right thing for this problem, can you please tell me anything i could try?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Nikola
      Yes, I’m still going with the comments!
      To be honest, the best way to deal with this is to accept that it’s a normal thing and just the way your body is! Excessive pre-cum isn’t that uncommon, and not something that can be easily stopped. There is a medication which can help apparently, but it’s not really necessary and also messes with your hormones. Kegels might help a little, but there’s no evidence for it. I also personally think that doing too many kegels to keep yourself dry might result in other problems with the pelvic floor muscles.
      So the best thing is most likely acceptance of the way your body is, and maybe getting some pants which absorb liquid more than others.
      Ethan