Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and wellness — it can lower your blood pressure, help you lose weight, and keep your heart pumping optimally. But did you know that exercise may also be able to help reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction?
We’ve got five erectile dysfunction exercises you can start doing right now. While not an immediate fix, every little bit helps!
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Explained
Everyone has pelvic floor muscles, although we tend to talk about them more in relation to female bodies. The pelvic floor is a series of muscles that sit on the base of your pelvis like a sling, supporting many of the organs that live there. They’re responsible for keeping urine from just leaking out, and they also have an impact on your sexual function.
Finding and isolating your pelvic floor muscles is the key to performing erectile dysfunction exercises appropriately. While we don’t recommend doing this often, it’s easy to identify the pelvic muscles we’ll be targeting by stopping your flow of urine when you’re going to the bathroom.
When performing erectile dysfunction exercises, make sure that you’re not holding your breath. It also doesn’t help to squeeze your thighs, abdominal, or butt muscles, as those muscles don’t have anything to do with your genital performance.
If you experience pain while isolating your pelvic floor, take a break and consider contacting your healthcare provider.
1. Kegel Exercises
Pelvic floor muscle exercises are one of the easiest ways to support your sexual health. Kegel exercises are the most well-known, but they’re not just for people with female bodies. People with male bodies can benefit from them just as much, especially when it comes to supporting sexual function.
It’s a good idea to do Kegels with an empty bladder, so use the bathroom before you start. You can do these exercises anywhere because they’re very discreet, and many people will do them while standing in line or watching TV.
The first step in performing pelvic floor exercises is to identify that muscle and tighten it. It can help to think of pulling your pelvic floor up and in, but don’t forget to breathe while you’re doing it!
Count to five, then relax slowly and completely for another five seconds. Repeat 10 times, and try to do multiple sets a day. Eventually, you’ll want to build up to 10 seconds total.
2. Lay on Your Back and Squeeze
Clear a spot on your floor and lay down on your back. Let your hands rest next to your sides with your palms up, and bend your legs, so your knees face the ceiling.
Then, using your pelvic floor muscles, try to move your penis up toward your abdomen. Hold it there for five seconds, and then release.
Next, tighten your anus muscles like you’re trying to stop yourself from having a bowel movement. Hold for another five seconds, then release those muscles as well.
Do that sequence eight to ten times in a row, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat a few times! The goal is to increase the strength of your pelvic floor and improve the blood flow circulating there.
3. Lay on Your Side and Squeeze
If laying on your back is uncomfortable, there are also erectile dysfunction exercises you can do while lying on your side. For this exercise, you’ll need a big pillow to keep your legs spread apart while you’re doing it. You can rest your head on the floor or a pillow, depending on what feels better for your neck.
With the pillow between your legs, squeeze them together tightly and hold them there for five seconds before releasing. Do eight to 10 squeezes before taking a short break, then repeat for a few more sets.
If you’re feeling numbness or discomfort at any point, change your position or flip over to your other side to support your spine health.
4. Sit In a Chair and Squeeze
You don’t have to get all the way down on the floor to do erectile dysfunction exercises, though. If sitting in a chair sounds more comfortable or manageable, here’s another option.
Sit in a chair with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold them for five to 10 seconds before slowly letting them relax. Repeat a few sets, performing the exercise eight to 10 times each set.
5. Aerobic Exercises for ED
Increasing your physical activity, especially your cardio, is excellent for your sexual health and your entire body. When you’re physically fit, you’ll not only be able to go longer and harder, but you’ll feel better about yourself and increase your self-confidence while reducing your risk of obesity, too.
We call it cardio because it works hard to promote your cardiovascular health (AKA your heart health). The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the entire body, including the pelvic area.
Blood flow is crucial to keeping everything working optimally, but problems like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure (hypertension) can stop it from successfully getting where it needs to go. Regular exercise keeps your heart strong, improves your quality of life, and reduces your risk of vascular disease.
Pilates exercises are a great way to get in more cardiovascular exercise while also building up your muscular strength. Plus, pilates is relatively low impact, so you can still do them even if your joint health isn’t quite top-notch. Most are easily performed, even by beginners.
Here are a few to get you started.
While lying on your back (with your knees bent), breathe out and slowly straighten one leg while tensing your pelvic floor. Then take a deep breath, relax your pelvic floor, and return your leg to its original, bent position.
Repeat a few repetitions on one side, then do the same with the other leg. Make sure to keep your lower back on the floor the entire time.
Start in the same position that you do for knee fallouts. Take a deep breath and raise your pelvis while keeping the pelvic floor muscles tense. Make sure that your back stays pressed against the floor.
With your pelvic floor engaged, dig your heels into the floor and slowly lift your entire butt and lower and mid back off the ground, balancing your weight on your shoulders and heels. Take a few deep breaths, then slowly lower everything back down. Repeat up to 10 times.
We also recommend combining low-intensity exercises with more high-intensity ones at least a few times a week, if possible. Running, cycling, boxing, spin classes, and swimming are excellent options that get your blood pumping.
Consider lifestyle changes, like eating a low-cholesterol, heart-healthy diet, to reduce your risk factors further. However, always check with your doctor before making any major changes.
Consider Prostate Massage as a Treatment Option
One other essential component of sexual health (at least, for those with male bodies) is the prostate. The prostate is a small gland the size of a walnut located at the base of the penis, between the bladder and rectum.
It’s responsible for helping to make and eject a significant proportion of the seminal fluid that comes out with ejaculation during sexual activity. Keeping your prostate healthy, and getting checked regularly for prostate cancer, can help reduce the risk of sexual dysfunction and other serious men’s health issues.
Prostate massage may be able to help. Not only does it feel good, but it can also help to prevent or manage prostate swelling or inflammation.
You can use a prostate massager, like the Thor Rotating Prostate Massager, or you can start by just using your fingers and a little lube. The goal is to find your prostate and stimulate it in a way that feels good and triggers a prostate orgasm, which helps remove the prostatic fluid.
Prostate stimulation may also help with erectile function, reducing the risk of premature ejaculation. If you struggle with premature ejaculation (or just ejaculating before you’re ready), you may also want to try edging.
Edging is a technique where you stop before you’re about to have an orgasm, letting the feeling fade before starting again. Eventually, you’ll be able to control when you have an orgasm so that you can last as long as you want instead of having to take a back seat to what your body decides.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your prostate — prostate massage and stimulation aren’t tied to any specific sexuality. You can do it on your own or with a partner (whether they’re male, female, or identify otherwise). Life is about trying new things, after all!
Boost Your Penile Power
Exercise isn’t just for weight loss or preventing heart disease. The right erectile dysfunction exercises can help support your pelvic floor health, especially combined with other ED treatments.
Don’t just sit back and take erectile dysfunction — you deserve a satisfying sex life, and we’d love to help you get there. Stick with GIDDI for all of your prostate needs!
Pelvic Floor Muscle (Kegel) Exercises for Males | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Sex and the Prostate: Overcoming erectile dysfunction when you have prostate disease | Harvard Health
Exercise and Cardiovascular Health | Circulation | AHA
What is orgasm? A model of sexual trance and climax via rhythmic entrainment | NIH.gov