An exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. It is named for gynecologist Arnold Kegel, who developed and promoted the technique.
Kegels have a number of health benefits for both sexes; women can reduce the chances of urinary incontinence while getting a “tighter” feel through the improved musculature. Some women report more intense orgasms after performing Kegels for several weeks. Physicians often recommend the exercises to pregnant women prior to childbirth.
Men can also reduce urinary incontinence, and the exercises can restore normal erectile function for some men (however, as erectile function has numerous causes, Kegel exercises will not provide this benefit in every case).
To perform the exercises, men and women contract their pelvic floor muscles, hold the new position for several seconds, and relax. Pelvic weights and other toning devices (such as Ben Wa balls) can support muscle development.