Ever seen a flexing penis? Wondering if there are penis muscles that you can work out? In this guide to the best penis flexing exercises, we’ll go over what’s actually happening anatomically when you flex your penis and discuss the role of the pelvic floor in penis flexing. Finally, we’ll go over exercises that you can do to tone your pelvic floor and improve your health.
Penis Muscle: Can You Flex It?
If we want to understand what’s going on with a flexing penis, we first need to learn a little bit about the anatomy of the penis. Flexing usually refers to deliberately tightening up a muscle or muscle group. But is the penis a muscle?
Let’s check out a cross-section of the penis and see what’s going on inside:
As you can see from the diagram, most of the penis is made out of three long cylinders of spongy erectile tissue: the two cylinders of the corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum, which surrounds the urethra (where you pee from). All of this spongy tissue fills up with blood when you become erect, which is what makes the penis feel hard. (Contrary to the slang term “boner,” humans don’t have any bones in their penises.)
This erectile tissue is surrounded by various kinds of connective tissue, like the fascia and the tunica albuginea. This connective tissue helps the penis hold its shape when erect but is flexible when the penis is soft.
Thus, the penis is made up primarily of erectile tissue, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Is there any muscle in there?
Sort of. There’s actually smooth muscle throughout your erectile tissue and connective tissue and surrounding the blood vessels of the penis. But this smooth penis muscle is not at all like the kind of muscle you use to move around and pick things up. Smooth muscle primarily lines hollow internal body structures like blood vessels; your intestines are also lined with smooth muscle. This muscle can only be activated involuntarily, by the autonomic nervous system. You don’t have conscious control over the use of these muscles. (You can’t will your intestines or your blood vessels to flex, can you?)
Thus, there aren’t any penis muscles that you could actively, consciously flex. In that sense, penis flexing isn’t really possible. The best thing you can do for that smooth muscle is to get regular erections, which your body typically takes care of anyways thanks to nocturnal and morning erections.
But hey! You might be thinking. I know I’ve been flexing my penis. When I tighten the muscles down there, I can see my penis moving!
It’s true that if you attempt penis flexing, you may be able to make your penis move. If you’re erect, your penis may bounce up a little. If you’re soft, your penis may appear to retract slightly.
However, you aren’t actually flexing any muscles in your penis to accomplish this. Instead, you’re flexing the muscles that surround the base of your penis—your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles create a “floor” between your tailbone and your pubic bone. They support your prostate, bladder, seminal vesicles, bowel, and rectum. They help you control urination and defecation and play a role in sexual function. Pretty important muscles, then!
So is there a penis muscle that you can flex? Well, there’s muscle around the penis that you can flex, which might make your penis move. Penis flexing, then, is more properly called “penis-adjacent muscle flexing.”
What Does Penis Flexing Do?
Now we know that when we say “penis flexing,” or “flexing penis” what we are really talking about is flexing the muscles around the penis. But what does flexing these muscles do for you? Are there benefits to working out your pelvic floor?
There are three major benefits of exercising your pelvic floor muscles, so get your penis flexing on!
Better Urinary and Bowel Control
Pelvic floor exercises can help you maintain better control over your bladder. Studies have shown that these exercises help reduce urine dribbling and all types of urinary incontinence. The pelvic floor also supports the bowel and rectum. As such, improving pelvic floor function can also help reduce fecal incontinence. This is especially important as you age.
Improved Erectile Function
Pelvic floor muscles are thought to be very important in maintaining erections, and there is some evidence that pelvic floor exercises can help maintain and/or improve erectile function. A pilot study found that they may be helpful for men with premature ejaculation, and a randomized controlled study found that the exercises caused significant improvement in men with erectile dysfunction. It may even be as effective as surgery in some cases.
Improved Prostate Surgery Recovery
This of course won’t apply to all men, but if you do have prostate surgery, there’s solid evidence that engaging in pelvic floor exercises as part of your recovery will help you regain urinary continence more quickly.
What Won’t Penis Flexing Do?
Pelvic floor exercises cannot give you a bigger penis. Lots of forums and sites promote the idea that you can do special exercises, including pelvic floor exercises, to get a larger penis, but you can’t. There’s also no way to consciously exercise the smooth muscle in your penis to “bulk it up” they way you can exercise your skeletal muscle (the muscle connected to your skeleton that controls your movements).
With that said, as we’ve mentioned, working your pelvic floor may help you maintain harder erections, which can give the impression of a bigger erection during sex. You can read more about penis size and things you can actually do to address your own penis size here.
The Best Penis Flexing Exercises
How do you reap the benefits of penis flexing to strengthen your pelvic floor? Another name for working your pelvic floor is Kegel exercises. In this section, we’ll go over how to properly perform Kegel exercises in three steps. Doctors have been recommending Kegel exercises to women for years, especially after childbirth. However, it is becoming more common for healthcare providers to recommend them to men.
Locate Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
For many people, the hardest part of doing Kegels is properly locating the correct muscles. Here are four ways to help you locate your pelvic floor muscles:
- Stop urinating in mid-stream. The muscles that you contract to stop your urine flow are your pelvic floor muscles. (Don’t do this too often—it can lead to bladder irritation).
- Imagine you’re trying to hold in gas. You should feel the muscles of the pelvic floor lift and tighten.
- Imagine a napkin ring. Your pelvic floor muscles stretch across the circle of your pelvis. Imagine your pelvis is a napkin ring and you are drawing up the “napkin” of your pelvis through that ring. You should feel a distinct lifting sensation.
- Use a mirror. While standing naked in front of a mirror, facing sideways, try to contract the pelvic floor muscles. You should see your (soft) penis retract slightly and your scrotum lift if you are contracting the right muscles.
Some people cannot find the correct muscles without the help of a professional. This may be especially true if you have very weak or tight pelvic floor muscles. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you identify the pelvic floor muscles and how to work them.
Practice Tensing and Releasing Them
Spend some time slowly tensing and releasing the pelvic floor muscles. At first, you may only be able to hold them tight for a couple of seconds. This is fine. Be sure to fully relax between each squeeze and rest for a few seconds. It may be helpful to lie down with your legs bent (knees towards the ceiling) and feet on the floor.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
Make a habit of doing pelvic floor exercise every day. Over time, you will be able to build up to 8-10 second contractions. Try to complete two-three sets of 10-12 contractions each. Be sure to relax for 8-10 seconds between each contraction.
Other Exercises That Work the Pelvic Floor
While Kegels are the main targeted pelvic floor exercise, there are other exercises that engage your pelvic floor. These include cardiovascular exercise, yoga, and stretching. Try to pay attention to how you feel the pelvic floor engage and move throughout your exercise regimen and daily activities.
The Bottom Line on Flexing Your Penis
Now you know that a flexing penis is really caused by tightening the muscles around the base of the penis, the pelvic floor muscles.
While there isn’t a penis muscle (or muscles) that you can work out, you can work out the pelvic floor muscles around your penis. There are three major benefits to pelvic floor exercise:
- Better urinary and bowel control
- Improved sexual and erectile function
- Faster recovery from prostate surgery.
However, pelvic floor exercises cannot give you a bigger penis. No special exercises can.
The best way to exercise the pelvic floor is to do Kegel exercises, which involve tightening and relaxing the pelvic floor. The most important part of doing Kegels is locating the correct muscle group. Once you do that, you can practice holding Kegels for longer and longer amounts of time until you can perform two-three sets of 8-12 contractions lasting 8-10 seconds each. Yoga, stretching, and aerobic exercise can also help you maintain pelvic floor tone.
Thus, proper penis flexing is actually good for your health!
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