What are penis exercises and should you be doing them?
You go for a run on a regular basis, lift weights and do yoga, but do you ever work out with your penis?
It sounds like a naughty pun, but we’re actually not referring to having sex – rather doing exercises with your dick to maintain penile health.
From penis stretching to kegels (pelvic floor exercises) and ‘jelging’, there are a variety of myths around how men can improve and maintain erections as they grow older, add girth or lengthen their penises.
There are even penis dumbbells, used for both sexual pleasure and size adjustment.
But the question remains; should you be exercising your penis and is it healthy?
We ask Dr Earim, who is the medical director of the men’s wellness platform Manual, to give us the lay of the land (and to avoid you accidentally injuring or snapping your penis).
Let’s start with size first.
Will doing penis exercises change the size, length or girth of your dick?
Can you stretch your penis? Possibly – but it’s not likely and it could be dangerous.
Dr Earim says: ‘While there are some serious benefits to a few of these exercises – like improving overall sexual performance or helping with erectile dysfunction – penis exercises won’t actually increase the size of your member; sorry guys.’
A word of warning before we continue: you should never try to alter your penis size by yourself or use unregulated methods, as this could do more harm than good.
If you feel uncomfortable about the size of your junk, chat to a medical professional.
Stretching: do or don’t?
‘What sounds like very painful medieval torture, “penis stretching” is one of many penile enlargement methods heavily talked about in some dark corners of the internet,’ says Dr Earim.
‘From more manual techniques to devices, penis stretching refers to using your hands or a device to increase the length or girth of your penis.
‘One small study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the average penis length of each of the participants did increase by more than 1.5cm after three months of using a penile extender.
‘Although there is some evidence to suggest that stretching can increase your size, the results are usually minimal and in some cases may even be temporary.
‘To add, in order to make a claim that this technique actually works, more in-depth research would be needed to make serious conclusions about whether penis stretching is a tried and tested method for enlargement.’
Jelging: do or don’t?
Dr Earim says: ‘This penile exercise involves squeezing down the length of your penis with your thumb and forefinger while your penis is semi-erect.
‘While in this position, you apply some pressure and then pull from the base of your penis to the tip.
‘There are claims that doing this exercise twice a day will help give you harder erections and a bigger penis. Again, this is an unsubstantiated claim.
‘It’s very unlikely these massages will increase penis size at all and it’s not clear whether they improve sexual performance or not.’
You could also end up with bruising, pain and fibrosis (permanent hardening of soft tissue in the penis).
Kegel exercises: do or don’t?
Most discussions around kegel exercises tend to revolve around women, and how they can strengthen their pelvic floor after child birth, as these muscles support the uterus, as well as to avoid urinary incontinence in old age.
Contrary to popular belief, men can also do Kegels – and they should.
Dr Earim says: ‘Kegel exercises are certainly not for just women!
‘A man’s pelvic floor is made up of layers of muscle and various other tissues that stretch like a hammock from the tailbone to the pubic bone. A man’s pelvic floor muscles support his bladder and bowel. The urine tube and the back passage all pass through the pelvic floor muscles.
‘Kegel exercises for men can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, bowel and affect sexual function (a.k.a erections).
‘Pelvic floor exercises, widely known as Kegels, are the most beneficial for ED.
‘These exercises target the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis, and particularly one called the pubococcygeus.
‘This loops from the pubic bone to the tailbone and supports the pelvic organs. When the pubococcygeus weakens, it is unable to prevent blood from flowing out of the erect penis, making erections more difficult to maintain.’
How do Kegel exercises work?
Start by locating the muscles, which is easiest to do while you’re peeing.
‘Halfway through urination, try to stop or slow down the flow of urine,’ explains Dr Earim.
‘When you can slow or stop the flow of urine, you’ve successfully located these muscles.
‘When you’ve successfully located these muscles, contract for a slow count of five. Then, release the muscles to a slow count of five. Repeat 10 times.
‘Do a set of 10 Kegels daily, three times a day.’
You can do the exercise standing up or sitting down, but standing up could improve the control.
As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to your penis, it’s always best to ask a professional if you are unsure on what you should and shouldn’t do to maintain penile health.