Kegel exercises

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics/gynecology, Urology

Clinical Definition

Kegel exercises are a type of pelvic floor training, which is intended to strengthen the pubococcygeal muscle. It involves the alternating contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are often recommended in order to prevent urinary incontinence. 

In Our Own Words

Kegel exercises strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles - the muscles under the bladder, bowel and uterus in women. The muscles become weak with age, pregnancy and childbirth. Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to stress urinary incontinence.


Because the pelvic muscles can weaken after pregnancy and childbirth, Kegels are often associated with women’s health. But Kegel exercises are also recommended for men in order to reduce incontinence.


To do a Kegel, you squeeze the muscles you’d normally squeeze when trying to hold it (not urinate), and keep contracting for a count of 10, and then relax for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times each set, and do a few sets a day. 

Relevant Conditions
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  • University of Maryland Medical Center. "Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises." Accessed November 2013.
  • NYU Langone Medical Center. "Kegel Exercises." Accessed November 2013.
  • UCLA Health. "Kegel Exercises for Men." Accessed November 2013.
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