Cues for pelvic floor muscle training

“Pull your head in!” & other verbal cues

January 24, 2017 - by Brendan Limbrey - in Uncategorized

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When a men’s health physiotherapist tells you to “pull your head in”, all may not be as it seems!

Many men have absolutely no idea of how to go about contracting their pelvic floor muscles unless they are trained to do so. In teaching men how to contract their pelvis floor muscles, the use of verbal cues can assist greatly. Not all men will respond to each of the cues and it has been shown that certain verbal cues will lead to contractions of certain individual pelvic floor muscles1.

Common cues used in teaching men how to contract their pelvic floor muscles include:

  • “Nuts to guts” 
  • “Pull your head in”
  • “Shorten your penis”
  • “Imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine”
  • “Tighten around your anus”
  • “Imagine you are trying to hold on to a fart”

Feel free to give these cues a go yourself and you may find that different cues feel like you are using slightly different muscles.

Just remember though, if you are experiencing issues of incontinence or erectile dysfunction that it is best to actually know that you are actually contracting your pelvic floor muscles correctly. This can be done by consulting with a men’s health physiotherapist (preferably using real-time ultrasound). Some pelvic floor contractions using certain cues can result in increased pressure on your bladder and result in increased incontinence, so it is imperative that you know what type of pelvic floor contractions are best for your circumstance.

  1. Stafford, R. E. et al. (2015). Pattern of activation of pelvic floor muscles in men differs with verbal instructions. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 35 (4): 457-63.

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Brendan Limbrey


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