Pelvic Floor Exercises
THEY were once derided by red-blooded males as the preserve of pregnant women and New Age gurus. But pelvic floor exercises could soon become a part of every man’s fitness regime: research suggests they can dramatically improve sexual prowess.
A study conducted on a group of male impotence suffer's found that almost half regained a normal level of sexual performance after being put on a course of pelvic exercises. The men, all of whom were unable to maintain an erection for more than 30 seconds, found they could perform for up to five times longer after spending 30 minutes a day strengthening their pelvic floor muscles.
Health experts said yesterday that the research highlighted the major benefits that such a regime could have on the sexual prowess of all men, as well as the 10 per cent of Britons who suffer erectile dysfunction.
Of the 55 men recruited for the study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, half were given lifestyle advice alone — such as reducing alcohol intake — while the rest were put on a regime to strengthen their pelvic floor.
Kegel Exercise Study
The majority of those doing the exercises, which involve tensing the ischiocavernosus and bulbocavernosus muscles around the perineum — the area between the scrotum and the anus (known as kegel exercises)— showed marked improvement in maintaining an erection.
The exercises involved contracting the pelvic floor muscles for 10-second periods — while standing, sitting or lying down — as if the man was trying to stop a flow of urine or wind escaping. While the 28 men given lifestyle advice showed no improvement after three months, those exercising recorded a marked improvement.
By the study’s end, all 55 had been put on exercises, with 40 per cent attaining normal erectile function, and another third showing improved performance. Grace Dorey, visiting professor at the University of the West of England, Bristol, and lead author of the research, said that the results showed that pelvic floor exercises should be the first treatment for all men with erectile disorders and weak erections.
Such exercises could also prevent impotence in men, and even improve the performance of those who do not have problems. “It was a real surprise,” she said. “Strengthening up the muscles not only improved strength, but also endurance.
“When men are going through a normal sex life, they should be looking to these exercises to extend their sex life. If you are performing reasonably well, this research would suggest that you may be able to improve your performance further,” the professor said.
Catti Moss, the general health spokeswoman for the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “A wide range of people could benefit from this.
“We have always known that people who exercise regularly last better and last longer in health terms, but now it appears that this could apply to sex as well.”
Sam Fields - Men's Health