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Help with Pelvic Floor Exercise

by Rob

Thank you for the information on pelvic floor exercises, I am hoping it will help me regain the quality of erection I had in my youth! I am having problems feeling the contraction - I think I am using the right muscle. I have been practising for more than a week now. How long should it take to feel something? I am getting frustrated with it now and feel there is no point to doing it if it is not working.

Answer - Help With Pelvic Floor Exercise
Hi Rob,

Firstly, I know how you feel - sometimes targetting the right muscle anywhere on the body with different exercise can be frustrating as other muscles can help out when we don't want them to! But the good news with targetting the pelvic floor muscle is that there is not much else that can help us out so you probably are contracting the right muscle.
What I have learnt though that the more frustrated we get the worse it gets. I still have this problem with other exercises from time to time and have found it is best to have a break and try again another time. The more stressed we are the more other muscles are liable to try and help, when we don't want them to. When we are relaxed it is much easier to target the right muscle.

The Nerves that control the muscle.
It is very difficult to give specifics as we are all so different, but the chances are you are doing everything right, but a week is not very long. It can take the body a while to adapt. It can take a while for the nerves that control the muscle to re learn the movement. Once the nerves have learnt to fire efficiently again, and with intensity, the muscle will start to work more and more. But this process may take a little while.

Things to check:

Being Relaxed
Never hold your breath (this will raise blood pressure too much)
Trying to enjoy the exercise and being relaxed can help so much. Your legs, buttocks and every other part of your body should be relaxed. Just take a moment to close your eyes, focus upon your breathing and relax your body before exercising your pelvic floor.

Targetting the correct muscle
Imagine you are trying to stop a stream of urine, this is the muscle you need to be contracting. If you are still unsure you can double check when you next go to the loo, by contracting the muscle and seeing if the the stream slows down a little. (Only try this as a check - it may not a good idea to do it regularly)

You may find it helpful to also focus upon squeezing the anus as if to stop wind. Both of these actions will result in your pelvic floor muscle being stimulated.

Ensure your legs and buttocks are relaxed.

Have you got the best position?
Experiment with standing, sitting, lying down and crouching. It can be easier to contract the muscle more forcefully when the knees are closer to the chest.

Sensing the contraction
Once you're happy that you are using the correct muscle you can sense it from within your body. Find a comfortable place, relax, close your eyes and focus upon your breathing just for a few seconds. Sense where all your limbs are and relax them. Then squeeze the pelvic floor and gradually increase the intensity. Never increase it that much that you start to tense any other muscle or have to hold your breath. Staying relaxed - focus upon the sensations within your body.

Feeling the contraction.
Place your fingertips on your perineum as you carry out the pelvic floor exercises. You may feel the contraction anywhere from your anus to your scrotum, move your fingers around this whole area to detect a movement. You may be more liable to feel something when you are totally relaxed and your knees close to your chest.

Don't Overdo it
Just relax and enjoy the process. This will be something that you will be doing for the rest of your life so there is no rush. Bit by bit, month by month you will start to notice small improvements.
Just as with any muscle your pelvic floor muscle needs time to build. Once it has been stimulated you need to give it time to adapt and grow. This amount of time needed depends upon the intensity of the exercise. It is good to listen to your body - if you feel an ache or fatigue in this area then it is definitely a good idea to rest for a day or so.

I hope this helps - let me know how you get on.

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