Can be broken down into 3 main zones
1. Anal region – this one is the easiest and most often used
ALL MEN KNOW HOW TO STOP FROM BREAKING WIND IN PUBLIC PLACES – sometimes we just don’t bother making that choice!!
(ACTUAL MUSCLE NAME – LEVATOR ANI)
2. Testicular region – The feeling you get when you’re walking into the surf on a cold winter’s morning and a big wave comes through and you don’t want your testicles to become submerged … You suck your nuts to your guts….You’re not stopping yourself from breaking wind here, just retracting the undercarriage vertically upwards.
(ACTUAL MUSCLE NAME – STRIATED URETHRAL SPHINCTER)
3. Penile region – A sensation like you are trying to shorten your penis…pulling the head of the penis back into the shaft. (Possibly the one manouvre that NO MAN TRIES TO DO – who wants a shorter willy?)
(ACTUAL MUSCLE NAME – BULBOCAVERNOSUS)
So…Now you know the basics
Here’s a couple more facts:
We stop urinating voluntarily by contracting from the penile and testicular regions – these two muscles act in opposing directions around the urethra (wee tube) causing an increase in urethral closure pressure (the tube kinks).
If you try really hard to lift any one of your pelvic floor muscles on their own then the anal muscle (levator ani) works hardest of all – which interestingly has the least effect on increasing urethral closure pressure
Before you develop strength in the pelvic floor it makes sense to identify which muscle you want to train more accurately, prior to pushing really hard. (you have to have a good golf swing before you start to swing hard at the ball!!)
How do I use this information?
1. Target the pelvic floor muscles ACCURATELY – don’t flog them senseless from the get go…. Start gently and slowly try to get a sense as to how these muscles feel subtly different from each other. Harder faster contractions are ALWAYS less accurate than slow gentle contractions. If you’re not sure, get feedback on your performance with a transperineal real time ultrasound scan. Men’s health physios can help you with this.
2. Give yourself time…it took a while for you to learn the ‘feel’ of driving a car…Don’t be impatient and expect to get things perfectly right first time. Practice is ALWAYS needed to improve performance – as is good feedback
Once you have mastered the art of locating the pelvic floor muscles then you can start to develop the strength of the muscles moving forwards.
You can’t do ANY ‘other’ exercises to make yourself better at locating the pelvic floor muscles…the same way that the ONLY way you get better at driving a car is to get in the car and drive it! You wont get better if you lift more weights or ride a bike!
Sorry for the bad news guys.