A reverse Kegel is a simple stretching exercise that helps you relax your pelvic floor. This can help relieve pelvic pain and tension as well as increase flexibility.

Reverse Kegels are the opposite of standard Kegels. Reverse Kegels focus on releasing and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. Traditional Kegels focus on contracting and releasing the pelvic region. Both types can help balance your pelvic floor.

Read on to learn how reverse Kegels can benefit men and women, how to find the right muscles, how to practice them, and more.

Kegels — standard and reverse — are primarily known for their potential impact on your sex life. The exercises may help increase your libido and allow you to experience stronger orgasms.

Reverse Kegels, in particular, may help make sex more enjoyable for women with dyspareunia. They may also be beneficial for women during childbirth, as the exercise teaches you how to let go of your pelvic floor.

In men, reverse Kegels help increase strength, stamina, and control in the penile muscles. This may improve erectile dysfunction (ED) and help prevent premature ejaculation.

Generally speaking, reverse Kegels help elongate the pelvic muscles and improve muscle control.

This can help relieve several conditions related to pelvic tension, including muscular imbalance and constipation. It can also improve bladder control, hip stability, and lower back strength.

It’s important to locate and identify the correct muscles before attempting a reverse Kegel.

For many people, dropping the pelvic floor feels similar to the release you feel when you urinate or have a bowel movement. Because of this, it’s important to empty your bladder and bowels before you begin. This allows you to practice without fear of an accident.

When you’re ready, focus on releasing these muscles while you inhale. As you fill your body with oxygen, your diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles should lower.

Although men and women practice differently, the main premise is the same for both sexes. You’re lengthening the muscles between your pubic bone and your tailbone.

For women

You can do the exercises while sitting, standing, or lying down on your back with your knees bent.

Once you’re in position, breathe deeply and bring your awareness to your pelvic floor. Feel your muscles relax and drop down as you inhale.

You can use a mirror to check the movement of the exercise. Your anus releases as the space between your anus and vagina moves down. You should also feel the space between the pubic bone and the tailbone expand.

Hold the reverse Kegel for 5 seconds and then release for the same amount of time. Do two to three sets of 10 throughout the day. Once you master this, you can try holding and releasing for longer periods of time.

Make sure you’re breathing while doing these exercises. It’s important to breathe all the way into your stomach as you inhale (instead of only breathing into your chest). Keeping your belly relaxed helps.

For men

You can do reverse Kegels while sitting, standing, or while lying down on your back with your knees bent.

Once you’re in position, contract your muscles as though you’re trying to urinate or pee faster. This relaxes your perineal muscle and moves pressure away from the prostate.

Release the muscles of your anus and feel your perineal body move downward. Lift up your penis and testicles a little bit as you contract the front penile muscles. You’ll feel more space between your pubic bone and your tailbone.

Hold the reverse Kegel for 5 seconds and then release for the same amount of time. Do two to three sets of 10 throughout the day. Once you master this, you can try holding and releasing for longer periods of time.

Make sure you’re breathing while doing these exercises. It’s important to breathe all the way into your stomach as you inhale (instead of only breathing into your chest). Keeping your belly relaxed helps.

It may be helpful to learn how to do a standard Kegel first. This can help you find the correct muscles and become familiar with how to control them.

For women

You can locate the Kegel muscles by imagining that you’re stopping your urine mid flow. It’s best not to squeeze your muscles while you’re actually urinating, but you can do this while you’re trying to find the correct set of muscles.

Another way is to place a clean finger inside your vagina. You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down, so experiment to find a position that works for you. Once you’re in position, tighten your vaginal muscles around your finger. Notice how these muscles feel as you squeeze and relax them. Your contractions should move inward and upward.

Once you tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold for 5 seconds and then relax for 5 seconds. Do this five times in a row. As you progress, you can increase the time to 10 seconds. Do at least three sets of 10 repetitions per day.

Make sure you’re not squeezing too hard or for too long. This can make the muscles more rigid and tired. It’s also important to maintain a smooth, steady breath.

For men

You can locate and identify your pelvic floor muscles by imagining that you’re trying to stop your urine flow while urinating. It’s best not to squeeze your muscles while you’re urinating, but you can do this while you’re trying to find the correct set of muscles.

Make sure not to tighten your abdominals, back, and buttocks. Your sides should also stay loose, and you should breathe evenly throughout the exercises.

You can do Kegels while standing, sitting, or lying down. Squeeze and hold the pelvic floor muscles for a few seconds. Hold each contraction for up to 10 seconds. Relax for at least 5 seconds between repetitions. Do three sets of 10 repetitions per day.

You should only do reverse Kegels when you have an empty bladder.

Don’t overdo it and overwork your muscles, especially in the beginning. Make sure you’re not pushing or straining. You shouldn’t attempt these exercises while practicing any core exercise.

Remember to breathe properly. Holding your breath can create more tension in your body.

Stop doing reverse Kegels if they’re causing you any pain or discomfort. This is usually a sign that the exercise isn’t being done properly. You may find it helpful to speak with your doctor or a qualified fitness instructor about how to master the technique.

You may not find reverse Kegels easy to do in the beginning. They become more natural with time and practice.

The amount of time needed to see results varies for different people. It may take a few weeks or months before you see results. It’s important to have patience and be consistent with your routine. You may also wish to incorporate other pelvic floor exercises.