Pelvic Exercises for Men – Health Professional Guidelines

the male pelvic floor

Pelvic exercises for men are exercises to help men achieve and maintain healthy pelvic floor muscles.

The following Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy techniques teach men how to locate the pelvic floor muscles and strengthen for improved erectile function, continence and rectal prolapse support.

Read on now to learn about:

  • Pelvic exercises for men;
  • The male pelvic floor and pelvic floor muscles;
  • Symptoms of male pelvic floor problems;
  • Causes of male pelvic floor dysfunction;
  • How to do pelvic exercises for men;
  • Training guidelines and tips for pelvic exercises for men;
  • When and where to seek help.

Download our complimentary Pelvic Exercises for Men pdf physiotherapist training guide below. Please refer to Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men DVD for further health professional assistance.

Pelvic Exercises for Men

Pelvic floor exercises for men can help with:

  • Erectile dysfunction;
  • Bladder problems;
  • Bowel problems;
  • Rectal prolapse; and
  • Post-surgical pelvic floor problems.

About the Male Pelvic Floor

The male pelvic floor is positioned at the base or lower opening of the pelvis in and around where a man sits. The position of the male pelvis is shown right.

The pelvic floor is a supportive hammock consisting of the pelvic floor muscles, nerves, blood vessels and strong connective tissues. The male pelvic floor slings from the pubic bone at the front underneath the body to the lower margin of the tailbone (coccyx) at the back (shown right), and between the sit bones from side to side. The male genitals (penis and scrotum) are situated below the level of the male pelvic floor.

The male pelvic floor performs 3 main roles:

  • Control and emptying of the bladder and bowel;
  • Support for the pelvic organs (bladder and rectum); and
  • Sexual function (erection and ejaculation).

Male Pelvic Floor Muscles pelvic exercises for men

Male pelvic floor muscles sit in layers within the pelvic floor (shown right). They have an opening allowing the urine tube (urethra) and the back passage (anus) to pass through. The male pelvic floor muscles consist of two types of muscle fibres; fast and slow twitch. The slow twitch fibres are the most predominant and these fibres work constantly for support and control. Fast twitch fibres contract quickly to prevent urinary leakage.

Male pelvic floor muscles are susceptible to injury and dysfunction. Pelvic exercises can be effective in treating a range of male pelvic floor problems.

Symptoms of Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

  • Involuntary leakage of urine with increased pressure (lifting, sneezing, coughing)
  • Involuntary loss of urine associated with a strong urge to empty the bladder
  • Loss of urine after bladder emptying (post-void dribble)
  • Inability to voluntarily stop or slow the stream of urine once started
  • Lack of control over passing wind and/or bowel movements
  • Difficulty achieving or maintaining and erection

Causes of Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

A range of factors can cause pelvic floor dysfunction in men including:

  • Constipation and long-term straining
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Bladder or spinal surgery
  • Surgery for prostate cancer
  • Chronic cough caused by lung disease or smoking
  • Heavy lifting
  • Increasing age

How to do Pelvic Exercises for Men?

In men pelvic floor exercises feel like a definite lift and squeeze in and around the urine tube (urethra) and the back passage. Pelvic floor exercise does not involve squeezing the buttocks or inside thighs. Using the correct pelvic exercise technique is vital to ensuring the success of your pelvic floor strength training program.

Techniques to help find pelvic floor muscles for correct pelvic floor exercises:

  1. When emptying the bladder try to stop or slow the flow once started using a lift and squeeze of your pelvic floor muscles. This technique should only be used once a week to locate the pelvic floor muscles and not used as a regular exercise to avoid urinary retention.
  2. Try to lift and squeeze the ring of muscles around the anus as if trying to avoid passing wind. You should feel a definite squeeze and lift. Sometimes this can be easier performed lying down when first starting out.
  3. Use a full length mirror to watch as you lift and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. You should see a visible lift of your scrotum and a drawing inwards of the penis
  4. When finished emptying the bladder a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles can cause a squeeze out effect of any remaining urine. This can be a useful technique to test using the muscles of the pelvic floor and and also for men to overcome post void dribble.

Pelvic exercise strength training guidelines for men

  • When commencing training using your training program start out with the number of exercises you can comfortably manage using correct technique.
  • Lift and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles in and around the urine tube and the anus or back passage.
  • Try to maintain the lift and squeeze of your pelvic floor muscles as you continue to breathe throughout for up to 8 seconds.
  • Relax and lower your pelvic floor muscles back to their original resting position.
  • Rest sufficiently for your pelvic floor muscles to recover and repeat this exercise again for up to 8 seconds.
  • Try to repeat your pelvic exercises for up to 8-12 consecutive contractions to complete one full set of exercises.
  • Aim to perform 3 sets of exercises every day.

pelvic floor exercises for menTips for Successful Pelvic Exercises for Men

Pelvic floor muscle exercises are much like any gym-based muscle strength exercise; train your pelvic floor muscles using similar principles to gym-based muscle strengthening.

  • Focus on quality pelvic exercise not quantity. When starting out your aim should be to use the correct kegel technique for quality contractions.
  • Kegel exercise can be more manageable performed lying down initially, progressing to sitting and standing with improved strength and control.
  • Start with the number of repetitions or exercises that you can comfortable perform and gradually build up over time. Many men are unable to hold and maintain their pelvic floor muscle contractions when first commencing kegel exercise.
  • If you become fatigued stop, rest and recover before recommencing your exercises.
  • Gradually increase the strength of your muscle contractions as your pelvic floor strength improves.
  • Always contract your pelvic floor muscles before and during any increased effort or exertion including when you cough, sneeze and lift.

PDF  Download our complimentary Pelvic Exercises for Men pdf training guide.

Pelvic Floor Exercises for MenFor further information about how to do pelvic exercises for men please refer to Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men DVD

When and Where to Seek Professional Help?

If you remain unsure about correct pelvic exercises for men, or if you see no improvement in your symptoms after 3 months of dedicated pelvic floor exercises, seek the help of a Continence Nurse Advisor or a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. To find a pelvic floor health professional in your area speak to your doctor or contact The Australian Physiotherapy Association phone 03 9092 0888 or The Continence Foundation of Australia by phoning the free National Continence Helpline 1800 33 00 66.

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We Welcome Your Comments


  1. Hello there,
    I have been trying to do kegels and I was concerned about one thing if you could help me with that. So when i do kegel, I contract my anus and the muscles behind penis due to which penis is retracted upwards and anus inwards along with my abdomen which is also contracted inwards. I do breathe during this contraction and relaxation but i am confused about the part where lower abdomen contracts. Sequence is that anus contracts inwards, penis upwards, testicles upwards and lower abdomen inwards simultaneously and then relax. So am i doing it right or not.?? and i start panting after the kegels for few seconds.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Naeem
      This is correct. If the lower abdominal muscles do contract they will be below the navel where a large pair of briefs would sit. The focus should be on the pelvic floor muscles however not the abdominal muscles. Try to breathe normally throughout your exercises, your ability to do this will improve over time with practice.

      Keep up your good work!

  2. Hello. I tried this exercise . Yesterday in standing position when i tried to lift and squeeze my p***s lift up little move in when i started breathing it came down. Shall i do this
    exercise. So i tried the exercise after the exercise i had pain in my testicles and little pain in anus. Shall i continue or stop.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Thank you for your comments & questions. If the pelvic floor is weak it can be difficult to keep the testicles lifted and the penis retracted as you breathe – this should improve as pelvic floor strength improves with practice. Pelvic floor exercises should be pain free, it is important to relax the pelvic floor muscles completely having contracted them, take a deep breath before repeating this exercise. Also avoid contracting too strongly when first starting out, the contraction should be gentle.

      All the best

  3. Hello. Are these exercises good for man who have strong or normal pelvic floor. Is there any symbtoms if he do these exercises and how long he has to do these exercises.

    • Michelle Kenway says


      Pelvic floor exercises are good for all men and important lifelong. Pelvic floor exercises should feel comfortable and pain free, sometimes the pelvic floor muscles can feel a little tired towards the end of a set of exercises and they should be allowed to recover before the next set of exercises.


  4. hello, I have been through rectal prolapse surgery in month of april 2012 and for few days not more than a week i was put with catheter and now i am feeling hesitancy and incomplete urination feeling after urination and it irritates me alot because it makes me feel that i still have urine left in somewhere my blader or in vein of penis so i have to stand and wait for complete urination for a long in bathroom which makes me so upset. please guide me how to come over of this problem.. i also had been to doctor who did my surgery , he gave me medicine for preventing UTI and suggested me perianal exercise but i am having this problem and it is irritating me a lot i am 23 years old. please help me to solve this problem.

  5. Wish me luck for, I am starting the exercises today

  6. Wow, I wish I had this information last year after my operation. I left the hospital with a pat on my back and a "see you later" but not much else. Pretty soon my life changed and I became totally focused on my continence or lack there of, all I could think of and talk about with family was my incontinence. For some reason they were not as interested in it as I was.
    So I'm off to the mirror to find my pelvic floor.
    thanks again

  7. Hello Michelle,
    I have been worried about my incontinence as an operation has been suggested. I had a radical prostatectomy 10 years ago and my incontinence is becoming worse. Your article on men's incontinence is most helpful.
    Thankyou very much for this helpful information.