If you’re interested in kegel exercises, you’ll find out exactly how to do them in this step by step guide. I’ll be suggesting a 4 week kegel routine you can practice, and also answering the most commonly asked questions.
You’ll learn exactly how kegels work, with an emphasis on developing better ejaculation control. But you can also adapt the same exercises for other issues such as improving erection strength or incontinence.
Importantly I’ll also discuss how to put the training into action during sex. This is a key point as you can make things worse for yourself by doing kegels at the wrong time.
Please note that this article is about what I call normal kegels, and there’s a separate article describing reverse kegels.
Part 1: key background information
What are Kegel exercises?
In reality there are three different muscles which can be toned by doing kegels:
- Pubococcygeus muscle (PC)
- Bulbocavernosus muscle (BC)
- Iliococcygeus muscle
Most people only talk about the PC muscle, but in reality it is the BC muscle which is most important. It can take a while to develop a finely tuned understanding to isolate the correct muscles when kegeling.
At first it may just seem like one large and weak muscle. But in time you will hopefully get better at pin-pointing the right muscles.
How do I know if I’m using the right muscles?
Everyone knows how to flex a bicep or your pecs. But tensing your PC or BC muscle isn’t something you exactly do in front of the mirror! The easiest description is usually that the muscles you use are the same as the ones you use when stopping yourself from peeing mid-flow.
If this still doesn’t make sense, there are other ways to be sure you’re using the right muscles. Take a look at this separate explanation of how to locate your PC muscle. You can head on over there and then come back when it seems clear to you.
Aren’t there different types of kegels?
When you see the training program you will notice that there are different ways of exercising your PC muscles. You are still using the same muscle, but just training it in different ways, for example:
- Quick pumps or squeezes – this is where you contract, or squeeze the muscle fast and then release. You can then do lots of these in quick succession.
- Holds – this is where you squeeze the muscles and don’t let go for a certain amount of time.
- Reverse kegels – this is where instead of contracting you actively relax. It is almost like the pushing feeling you would have when squeezing out urine, or even a number two. More on that later though.
- More advanced kegels – there are various forms which involve better knowledge of the 3 individual kegel muscles. Don’t worry about this for now though!
When can you do kegel exercises and how often should you do them?
You will often hear that you can do Kegels whenever and wherever you want. And that you can do them as often as you like. This is only partially true.
Yes you can do them in any place. Though it might be weird if you do them at the dinner table! We suggest starting in a private place so you can concentrate.
And make sure you know you can do them without pulling a strange face. Sitting or lying down is best rather than standing up.
But I have personally done them while driving and while working on the computer. I’ve also done them on buses and trains without anyone noticing.
Remember that your kegel muscles are not that different from other muscles. If you push them too hard then you can make them too tense, or worse.
Some guys find it can make premature ejaculation worse if they over-train them. And it’s not uncommon to make your ejaculation control a bit worse at the beginning also.
For this reason it’s best to start out doing them every other day. Once you have 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.
When should I actually do kegels during sex?
Guys often here that kegels are the key to curing premature ejaculation. They train the muscles as advised by a standard short article online. Then they have sex and oops, they ejaculate even sooner than they used to. What’s going on?
The point with kegels is not to train such strong muscles that you hold them tight all the way through sex. This is ironically even more likely to make you ejaculate sooner.
Kegels are a ‘last line of defense’ to hold back ejaculation. If you are battling PE anyway, then you should really try to stop yourself in a different way when you feel the point of no return approaching.
But if you fail to take action sooner, or you are taken by surprise by your own arousal, then doing a kegel squeeze can help stop you ejaculating.
Then you can rest, change positions or do whatever else you need to recover. Kegels therefore are not a single solution to PE. You need to combine them with other techniques such as the stop and start method for example.
In fact, during sex you should be doing the opposite of Kegels. You should try to keep those muscles relaxed. This is one good reason that it’s important to balance your exercise routine with relaxation and even reverse kegels.
The key is to develop a balanced pelvic floor. Not one which is too tense, nor one which has no strength.
Part 2: kegel routine
Ok, so you want a precise kegel routine which you can practice. The thing is, as long as you don’t overdo it, you can really make your own routine up. There is no one routine recommended by scientists, urologists or researchers.
The following routine of kegels for men comes from my own practice. It is based on personal experience, and from a mind-melting amount of research into the topic.
So you could say I read dozens of different ideas for routines and then tried to create one which was as balanced as I could.
I did the following routine and it worked well for me. Please note though that you need to take responsibility for your own health and well-being. If you feel the routine is too hard, then reduce the sets and times to suit you.
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. This is because it is the one most involved in ejaculation control at the point of no return.
However while you start it is fine to think of the whole pelvic floor as one muscle group if you struggle to isolate that muscle. Even if the PC muscle is also contracting, it doesn’t matter as it will help strengthen your pelvic floor as a whole.
Just remember that it’s the same muscle used for stopping yourself peeing that you are mostly aiming to focus on tensing and relaxing in the exercises.
A) Practicing kegel exercises when flaccid
I recommend spending 2-3 weeks only practicing kegel exercises when you have no erection. You don’t need to bother trying them during masturbation or sex until you’ve done some groundwork.
Do this kegel routine every other day:
- Squeeze the BC muscle for 1 second and then release. Try to relax for just under a second when you release. Do this 10 times in a row, taking around 10 to 15 seconds to complete the set.
- Rest for 30 seconds. During this, and every other rest, make sure you relax the BC muscle and your whole body.
- Do this first set 5 times. So you are doing 5 sets of 10 quick squeezes or pumps with 30 second rests.
- Squeeze and hold the muscles contracted for 5 seconds.
- Rest for 15 seconds.
- Repeat that step 4 more times. So you are doing 5 sets of 5 second holds.
- Squeeze and hold the kegel muscles for 10 seconds if you can.
- Rest for 30 seconds.
- Repeat that step twice more. So you are doing 3 sets of 10 second holds.
Again, you can do this routine every other day:
- Hold the kegel for 1 second 15 times in a row. Do this to the count of between 15 and 20 seconds.
- Rest for 20 seconds.
- Repeat those steps 4 more times.
- Squeeze the BC muscles 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 2 times.
- 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.
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.
- Hold a kegel for 5 seconds 10 times. Try to relax completely for a couple of seconds between each 5 second kegel.
- Hold the kegel for 10 seconds 5 times. Remember to relax for a moment in between the 5 times.
- Hold it for 20 seconds twice with a short break in between.
- Hold it for 40 seconds once.
- Hold it in for 60 seconds or for as long as you can.
Week 4 onwards
After 2 or 3 weeks of kegeling every other day you should have a clear idea of where you are at. If you found a particular week too difficult, then you can repeat it or go back to the week before. There is no race here, and you need to take things at a steady pace.
If you made it through and are starting to feel some control, then you can really start to 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. So don’t be afraid to experiment a little with your sets and order of doing kegel exercises.
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. Just don’t do nearly as many. 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 10-30 fast pumps, followed by a couple of longer holds of 30 seconds. Then try for a minute if you can. If you think about it, the main use of kegels is stopping yourself from ejaculating during sex.
This means that you probably only need to be able to hold the squeeze for anything between a few seconds and a minute. It will depend on your particular body as well as other factors such as the position you’re in and your arousal levels.
So if you are able to hold a kegel squeeze for a minute when erect, you are probably well within the time you will eventually need.
Key points to remember
1. If you start to feel tense or sore during or after doing kegels exercise, then take time off to let your BC and other pelvic floor muscles recover.
2 If you start to have problems getting or maintaining an erection after you start doing the kegels, again stop for a while. If the problem persists, then you may need to check with a doctor what’s going on.
3. Do not hold the squeeze too tight when kegeling or you could cause yourself an injury. It should be tight enough to engage the kegel muscles, but not so tight it takes serious effort and makes you sweat or shake!
4. Do not forget to relax in between sets. This is an important part of getting the pelvic floor muscles balanced. You are not aiming simply for pure muscle strength. But a balance between strength of squeezing, tone, control and the ability to relax the muscles at will.
Part 3: Putting it all together
Testing out your hard work
Once you are confident that you can hold a kegel squeeze comfortably for 30 seconds, feel free to have a crack at trying to 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. Rather you should build yourself up to the point where you would ejaculate if you didn’t do the kegel squeezing motion.
Stop what you are doing and do a kegel squeeze until the urge passes. Getting the timing right is half of the battle. No matter how well trained your PC muscles are, if you time it wrong, it won’t work.
So don’t lose heart if you have a few failed attempts. With some trial and error you should be able to work out how long before ejaculating you need to start the kegel hold.
And then of course if you have a partner, you can try it with her/him. It may help to ask them to work with you to start with. If you’ve done the start-stop method together already, then this is just another tool to add to that. If you haven’t, then I recommend you start now…
What about advanced and reverse kegels?
Some sources will say that you should work on isolating those various pelvic floor muscles with advanced kegel exercises. Some Urology sources like MedicineNet don’t bother and just talk about ‘PC muscles’ as if there was only one to worry about.
For example if you look at the compilation of kegels videos for men, you’ll note that nobody mentions isolating them as being crucial.
My personal opinion is that there’s no need to stress right now about developing a perfect ability to isolate them. As long as you’re doing kegels with the BC muscle between the anus and testicles, then you should be fine.
Even if the other muscles are still getting involved a little beyond your control at first. In time and with practice the more detailed control may come naturally.
Reverse Kegels are possibly more important to learn, though they are still something of a new concept, and there isn’t much said about doing them amongst the medical world.
The main concept behind them is that keeping the pelvic floor muscles relaxed during sex is important. You only need to do kegels at the last moment as I said earlier. But it might be possible to do more than relax, and by reverse kegeling help yourself to last longer.
Doing kegels can certainly help with premature ejaculation. However, as I discuss at length in this article, they probably won’t be enough on their own.
There’s a lot more to learn about ejaculation and arousal control, so I do recommend looking beyond kegels and trying other exercises too. For more ideas, you might like to check out the different premature ejaculation guides.