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How to Strengthen the Sphincter Muscle

by
author image Denise Stern
Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.
How to Strengthen the Sphincter Muscle
Control urination and elimination with stronger sphincter muscles. Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Sphincter muscles are found throughout the human body, including sphincters found in the male and female pelvic area. A sphincter muscle is a circular muscle that surrounds another structure in the body, such as the male and female ureters and anal canals. Exercising these sphincter muscles helps maintain a strong pelvic floor and helps prevent incontinence. You can perform many sphincter exercises several times a day without anyone noticing, as the movements are internal, while pelvic tilt exercises can be incorporated into your regular exercise routines.

Sphincter Exercises

Step 1

Perform kegel exercises for the sphincter muscles surrounding the male and female urethra. This sphincter contains or releases the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra, which extends from the bladder to the outside of the body. Strengthening this muscle may help prevent incontinence. Sit or stand in a comfortable position. Contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you're holding in urine. Contract tighter and higher and envision your muscles moving upward, much like an elevator in an elevator shaft.

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Step 2

Practice contraction of your pelvic floor muscles and exercise the sphincter surrounding the urethra by sitting on the toilet when you have to go to the bathroom. Start and stop your urine flow at will. This is called bladder training and is often used to treat urinary incontinence in the elderly. However, don't perform these exercises too often, as overdoing them may lead to decreased bladder control instead of increased bladder control.

Step 3

Exercise your anal sphincter muscles -- the sphincter ani internus, ani externus, and the internal and external anal sphincters -- by squeezing and tightening the anus while sitting, lying down or standing. Feel the contraction as you squeeze the anal sphincter, but keep your other pelvic floor muscles and the urinary sphincter relaxed. Practice contracting 10 times several times throughout the day.

Step 4

Tone and exercise the urinary and anal sphincter muscles with pelvis tilts. Do this exercise several times a day. Lie on the floor on your back, knees bent and arms relaxed at your sides. Pull in your lower abdominal muscles and tuck your pelvis slightly upward and inward. Slowly continue to lift your hips and buttocks upward while concentrating on tightening the sphincters. Squeeze your anus and buttocks muscles tightly and contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you're holding in urine flow. Hold at the peak of the contraction, count to three and then lower your pelvis back down to your starting position.

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