It is sometimes difficult and complicated to identify the muscles that need to be worked when you start practicing Kegel exercises. Many websites simply refer to them as "PC muscles" without specifying their location.
Kegel exercises were first designed for women, which may explain this confusion. Many people still think they only use the pubococcygeus muscle. These people do not realize that the bulbos cavernosus muscle also plays a major role during these exercises when performed by men.
Personally, I think that the main thing is to clearly identify the muscles concerned and that their name is not very important. You don't have to be an expert in anatomy either, you just need to use the right muscles.
In this article, I will first address beginners, explaining in a simple way where the muscles to be solicited during kegel exercises are. I will then give more details for people who want to get more details and understand how these exercises work.
A simple method to identify pelvic muscles
For starters, we'll ignore the scientific names of these muscles and just call them 'kegel muscles'. Two methods allow you to check if you are using the right muscles:
Locate the muscles while you urinate
The first technique to identify kegel muscles is to stop the flow of your urine shortly after you start urinating. The muscles you use to perform this action are the ones you will need to engage during kegel exercises.
If you cannot stop your urination, it is probably because your muscles are not yet sufficiently developed. That's okay, because if you're successful in reducing your urine flow, you're probably straining the right muscles.
When you use this method, we recommend that you try to interrupt your urination several times in order to clearly identify the pelvic muscles.
We would like to point out that you only need to perform this exercise once or twice to locate your muscles. Urologists advise against using it routinely as it may damage your urinary system.
Spot Muscles Manually
You can also locate these muscles by lying on your back. For this, you will have to raise your legs by bending your knees and gently press your fingers on your perineum: the area between your testicles and your anus.
You should feel your muscles tighten under your fingers if you try to perform the movement you used to stop your urine flow. We advise you to try to solicit all the muscles present in this area until you feel contractions under your fingers
Understand what different muscles are used
When you perform normal and reverse kegel exercises, you contract the 3 main muscles of the pelvic floor. Each of these muscles performs a different function but they are also related to each other. You can therefore strengthen all these muscles by contracting one of them. We have indicated their location on the following diagram, it also includes a description of each of the muscles.
Diagram showing the location of the pubococcygeus muscle and the bulbocavernosus muscle (BC muscle)
Contrary to what most people think, men must mainly contract the Bulbocavernosus muscle during kegel exercises. This muscle is located around the bulb (or base) of the penis. The PC muscle is mainly used for:
– Expel semen or urine through the urethra. – Move more blood to the top of the penis.
It thus influences the quality of the erection and the force of ejaculation.
The pubococcygeus muscle (PC muscle)
The pubococcygeus muscle is the large muscle that extends between the pubis and the coccyx, here are its main functions:
– Influences urination and defecation. – Makes up a large part of the pelvic floor, which supports the lower organs. – Contracts during orgasm.
The Iliococcygeal Muscle (IC muscle)
The Iliococcygeus muscle lies next to the PC muscle and also extends the long pelvic floor. However, it is thinner. You'll probably end up getting it if you perform kegel exercises, but it doesn't really affect ejaculation control. Its functions are:
– Like the PC muscle, it is part of the pelvic floor. – It causes retraction of the anus after bowel movement.
What muscles should we use and when should we use them?
These questions can seem complicated, especially if you are performing kegel exercises to treat premature ejaculation. I can tell you that the bulbo-cavernosus muscle has a major role in the practice of kegel exercises, but these exercises also solicit the pubococcygeus muscle.
When you contract your pelvic muscles just before orgasm, you must primarily engage your BC muscle. You will get a better result by also contracting the PC muscle and the IC muscle (even if the latter does not have a great influence on ejaculation).
You can learn how to separately contract and release your BC and PC muscles by performing reverse kegel exercises. Some people say it helps to learn how to contract and relax these muscles separately.
The method consists of relaxing all the kegel muscles and those of the pelvic floor during intercourse. You should only contract them just before orgasm.
We would like to point out that the simple explanations and the more complex descriptions included in this article have the same meaning. The main thing is to learn to control the correct muscles, not to know their names.