Kegel or Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men (The James)

Kegel or Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men (The James)

Prostate cancer surgery or radiation treatment can weaken the muscles around your bladder. When this happens you may have a problem called urinary incontinence or lack of bladder control. You may leak or pass urine on accident. Kegel or pelvic floor muscle exercises can help make the muscles around the bladder stronger.

What are pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles under your bladder and rectum. These muscles support the bladder and help control the flow of urine.

How do I do Kegel exercises?

To do a Kegel exercise, you relax and tighten the muscles you use to control the flow of urine. Kegel exercises are easy to do and can be done anytime.

How do I find the right muscles?

To find the right muscles, try the following:

  • The next time you urinate, try to start and stop your urine stream. This exercise will help you find the correct muscles. Repeat this exercise once a week to check and make sure you are using the correct muscles.
  • Do not tighten your buttocks or thigh muscles when doing these exercises. Relax your stomach muscles as much as possible.
  • When you are standing and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, you should see your penis move slightly.

What are the steps to do these exercises?

  • To start, squeeze the muscles for a count of five (5), then relax for a count of five (5). At first, you may only be able to squeeze your muscles for 1 to 2 seconds, but as your muscles get stronger, you will be able to hold to the count of five (5).
  • Relax in between each muscle squeeze; let the muscles go loose; do not push down.
  • Work up to do the exercises five (5) times a day in sets of 10 (50 total per day).

Where can I do these exercises?

When you first start doing the exercises, find a place where you can do them without being interrupted. After you have done them for a while, you can practice the exercises anytime and anywhere. It often takes 6 to 12 weeks to see results if you do these exercises regularly.

Tips to remember:

Always squeeze your pelvic floor muscles when you:

  • Sit up from lying down
  • Stand from a sitting position
  • Lift something heavy

You can practice squeezing your muscles when you are watching TV, standing in line or driving a car.

Are there any precautions?

  • Do not exercise too much. Do not do more than 100 kegels in one day, as this can tire out the muscles and make you leak more. Start slow and increase the amount of exercise.
  • Breathe during the exercises. Holding your breath may put extra pressure on your pelvic muscles.


© January 11, 2021. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.

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