You probably think about stretching before your gym workout or after your run, but before sex? Not likely. Yet having sex uses a lot of muscles you don’t normally use throughout the day.
Add these simple stretches into your everyday routine to increase your flexibility and spice up your sex life. The more flexible you are, the more comfortable you will be trying a new position, or avoiding cramps during sex. (Here’s a great yoga routine with weights to improve your flexibility.) Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, and remember to breathe. (Heal your whole body with Rodale’s 12-day liver detox for total-body health.)
Standing Toe Touch
Reach your arms up, lift your shoulders, and separate your ribs as much as you can. See how long and tall you can make your body, and then start to roll forward to reach toward your toes. This stretches your hamstrings and releases the lower back. Hold here and shake your head “no” and “yes,” circling the arms a few times before slowly rolling back up to standing.
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Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Close your eyes to relax your mind and body, then start to sway your knees to the right, back to center, and over to the left. This gentle movement releases your lower back and helps clear away stress from your day so you can unwind and get in the mood for sex.
MORE: 4 Relaxing Exercises That Aren’t Yoga
Still on your back, glue the soles of your feet together and drop your knees out to the sides. The closer you bring your heels into the midline of your body, the more of a stretch you will feel on the inner legs. You can keep arms at your sides or reach them overhead for a bigger stretch. (You should also try these 9 yoga poses for better sex.)
Lift your legs up to the ceiling and bring your arms out in a “T” position. Gradually drop your legs out to the sides in a side split stretch. Make sure you aren’t rocking side to side and one leg isn’t dropping further than the other. Flex your feet back toward the body to feel a greater stretch through your calves, feet, and ankles. If you need more support for this stretch, use a wall or perform it sitting up.
- The 9 Best Gym Stretches That Double As AMAZING Sex Positions
- These are the stretches you should do if you want to improve your sex life
- So how exactly does stretching improve your sex life? First of all, it improves your range of motion.
- Stretching also boosts blood flow.
- It elevates your energy, too.
- Here are some exercises to try tonight. (They’re super simple, we promise.)
- Partner Up for Better Flexibility
- Stretching: Better with a Buddy
The 9 Best Gym Stretches That Double As AMAZING Sex Positions
Kill two birds with one stone!
We have a constant love/hate relationship with the gym. We drag ourselves to our workout, looking for any excuse possible not to go, only to be so glad we invested the time once we’re done. Our gym stretches are about more than fitness, though.
We chatted with fitness experts, sexperts, and award-winning adult stars, who all agreed that gym stretches are directly related to being fabulous in bed! And when every expert says the same thing, you know it must be good. They each attested to the amazing affect stretching could have in your sex life, in and outside of the bedroom.
It’s commonly known that flexibility is a highly desired trait in a person you’re looking to have sex with. Someone who knows how to bend and stretch in ways you didn’t even know achievable is quite possibly the sexiest thing you’ll see. This is how you can really get the most out of your sexual experience with another person — trying new ways to have sex in the best sex positions.
So how can you get to that level of flexibility? Get flexible with these gym stretches that are also amazing sex positions, ladies.
Yes, that’s right, you need to work just a little bit here. You may have never considered the sexiness of stretching before (unless you were watching that super buff, hot guy’s pre-workout stretches at the gym, in which case, it never looked sexier). As it turns out, parts of our most dreaded workout routines are actually incredible to use as new sex positions.
I mean, think about it: when you workout, you’re sweating and releasing pent-up energy in ordered to reach some kind of goal. Sex is no different, except maybe a little more fun. Using some of those tough stretches in your sex life will amp it up to a whole new level.
It’s the best feeling in the world to bend your body and stretch those muscles during or after a great workout. Now, imagine having that satisfying feeling while reaching climax in a night of fun, sexual passion. Sign me up!
Whether it’s squats to get your body into shape a bit before sex, or a basic form like a downward dog to transform into something not-so-basic in the bedroom, we’re got it all covered here. Take your challenging or leisurely stretches into your sex life, you won’t regret it.
Behold, the best gym stretches that are also amazing sex positions! (You’re welcome.)
If you’re doing sex right, it engages the whole body—but there are four specific muscle groups that take on the bulk of the work: glutes; quads; core; and upper body. “Sex is basically a hip thrusting workout,” Sambataro says. “Glutes act on the hip through the action of extension, which is why a hip flexor stretch is equally as important as strengthening the glutes.” Quads are involved in hip flexion, working in opposition to the glutes. “Quads are a good mix of fast-twitch (strength producing) and slow-twitch (endurance producing) muscles, but for sexual purposes, you probably need the endurance (i.e, slow twitch muscles) the most.”
Strengthening your core helps you use your other muscles and body parts more efficiently. “Core also strengthens stamina, allowing you to perform much longer,” Sambataro explains. Last but not least, it’s crucial to have a strong upper body for sex, because it supports the weight of your (or your partner’s) body. “A strong upper body takes the load off of the legs to allow freedom of movement and mobility,” she says. “For kinkier positions, the upper body will support you, upside-down, sideways and backwards.”
Stretching is important, too; a lack of mobility can be a huge bummer once you’re in the mood and the hormones are surging. “Having more mobility and flexibility helps to seamlessly move through positions,” Leary says. Plus, you don’t want to pull anything while in the middle of intercourse.
Here are some specific exercises and stretches recommended by Sambataro and Leary that translate to the bedroom.
Every time you sit down, you’re actively shortening the muscles in your hips, which ultimately makes them feel stiff. Exercise that involves hinging at the hips (like spinning) can make this even worse.
Luckily, some simple-but-incredibly-satisfying stretches can relieve the tension and promote flexibility. Here are six of them, as demonstrated by Bree Branker, a certified yoga instructor and indoor cycling instructor at Flywheel in New York City. Note: You can hold them for as long as you’d like to enjoy extreme *~pLeAsUrE.~*
1. Figure Four: Lie on your back with your arms along your sides, your knees bent, and the soles of your feet on the floor near your butt. Place your right ankle over your left leg, just below the knee. With both hands, grasp your left thigh. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground, and bend your elbows to gently pull your left knee in toward your chest. (You should feel it in your right hip.) Repeat on the opposite side.
2. Standing Bow: Balance on your left foot and bend your right knee as you bring your right foot toward your butt. With your right hand, grab the inside of the right foot. Keeping your hips square to the ground, hinge forward slightly as you reach up and forward with your left hand, and lift the right foot up behind you until you feel the stretch in your right hip. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. Upward-Facing Dog: Lie facedown on a mat with the tops of your feet on the ground and your toes pointed behind you. With bent elbows, place both palms on the ground near your hips. Relax your shoulders as you extend your elbows, and open your chest toward the front of your mat. Take your gaze upward and press into the palms to lift your hips up off the ground. To increase the stretch, increase the arch in your back and press the hips forward.
4. Floor Bow: Lie facedown on a mat and bend both knees to bring your heels toward your butt. With your left hand, reach behind you to grab the outside of your left foot. With your right hand, reach behind you and grab the outside of your right foot. Arch your back as you simultaneously use your hands to lift your knees and chest up off the floor.
5. Supta Virasana With High Hips: Sit on your knees with the tops of your feet pressed against the floor, your toes pointing behind you, and your butt on your heels. Gently lean back and place your elbows on the floor about knees-width apart. Place your left palm on your left heel and your right palm on your right heel. Keeping your neck in line with your spine and your shoulders away from your ears, press your hips up toward the ceiling.
6. Bridge Pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent, the soles of your feet on the floor about hips-width apart, and your arms along your sides, palms facing down. Release the tension in your neck as your press into your arms and shoulders to lift your hips up to the ceiling until you feel the stretch in your hips.
Bree is wearing a Coral Sports Bra, CALVIN KLEIN (Available at Macy’s), $25; Blue Leggings, ADIDAS BY STELLA MCCARTNEY (Available at Topshop), $75; with hair and makeup by Shqipe Gocaj for Stylisted.
Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan.com, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.
We all want to have the best sex possible. That’s a given. But in our modern world, all those hours we spend hunched over our computers or staring down at our smartphones aren’t doing our bodies any favors — and our sex lives are suffering as a result.
When we don’t stretch, we’re restricting our body’s range of motion. By stretching, our range of motion improves, and we’re able to move in ways that might not have been possible before, says Vince Sant, certified International Sports Science Association trainer and co-creator of the fitness platform V Shred.
And the best part? “Arousal and blood circulation have a direct correlation,” he says. “Stretching your hip and leg area sends large amounts of blood flowing through the pelvic area.”
Now that’s something to strive for! Plus, to get these benefits, you don’t have to spend hours in a fitness studio, especially if you’re time-strapped. The six stretches below are recommended by experts specifically to improve your sex life. Do them on the regular, and the results just might blow your — and your partner’s — minds.
Best For: Doggy Style
How to Do It: On your hands and knees, round your shoulders down and your back up toward the ceiling while pushing through your arms; your chin should tilt down, says Long Beach–based personal trainer Andrea Lowell. That’s the Halloween-silhouette “cat” part of the stretch.
Then extend to the “cow,” which is the opposite position. Still on your hands and knees, transition to an arched back, face tilting up, and “push that booty out and up as far as possible,” she says.
“When doing this move, consider your perineum your guide,” Lowell says. “In cat, you want to tilt your pelvis down as you round your back, so your perineum is pointing to the floor. Then, in cow, tilt your pelvis up to try to get that perineum up to the ceiling.”
How Often: Do 10 reps of cat/cow per day. “It’s a great way to start the morning and can be done in bed or on the floor,” she says.
Why It Works: “It encourages arm and shoulder stability for you but will also provide a new range of motion for your hips the more you practice it,” Lowell says.
Bonus Sex Tip! “Feel free to try a modification of it by slightly tilting your pelvis up and down with your partner the next time you’re in doggy style to rock his world,” she says.
Best For: Pretty much every sex position. “This stretch is actually quite versatile,” says New York City–based personal trainer Anthony Nehra. “It’s good for any position where you’ll need to spread your legs, be on all fours, or straddle another person, so that covers a lot of ground.”
How to Do It: Get into an all-fours position. Place your forearms on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders, and spread your knees as wide as you comfortably can, he says. Rock back and forth gently, pushing your hips and butt back toward your feet. Continue rocking for 30 seconds, then sit back into the stretch and hold for another 30 seconds.
How Often: Repeat the stretch for three to four rounds, resting for 30 seconds between each round, every other day. “Always listen to your body, and don’t push beyond your limits,” Nehra says. “Repeated practice will gradually increase your flexibility.”
Why It Works: “The frog stretch will open up the hips and bring laxity to the adductor muscles, allowing you to spread your legs wider,” Nehra says. “In addition to the flexibility benefits, this position will fire up the core muscles and glutes — always good for sex!”
Best for: Woman on Top
How to Do It: “Take a wide stance and point your toes out 45 degrees,” Sant says. “Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips and your knees behind your toes, lower your butt straight down toward the ground until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press into your heels to come back up to starting position.”
How Often: Repeat 10 times about four times per week.
Why It Works: This move is a double whammy for those of us who like to be in charge: It “improves flexibility and builds thigh strength,” Sant says.
Anjaneyasana (Low Crescent Lunge Pose)
Best for: Any position! It’s “able to really properly engage your pelvic floor so you can get that squeezing sensation during sex,” says Bizzie Gold, personal development expert and founder of Buti Yoga.
How to Do It: Step your right foot forward, bringing the knee to a 90-degree angle. The left leg is extended, with the sole of the foot relaxed, oriented toward the ceiling. Engage through the pelvic floor and lengthen through the crown of the head as you extend the arms up overhead. “You have to be properly engaged through the pelvic floor and fight impending gravity,” she says.
Hold for five inhale-exhales, press back into child’s pose (sit back on your heels, bring your torso down to your thighs, and extend your arms straight out on the floor), and then do it on the other side.
How Often: Do three rounds of five inhale-exhales per side.
Why It Works: In addition to strengthening the pelvic floor, this pose opens up the hips, Gold says. Plus, yogis consider anjaneyasana to be “heart opening,” which helps combat that all-too-common hunched position after spending too much time at a desk. Heart opening is also important for sensuality: “Having that experience of fully extending your heart center — instead of being in that energetically closed position — helps you connect with your partner,” she says.
Best For: When You’re Trying a New Position
How to Do It: This one’s complicated but worth it! On a mat, sit back on your heels, the tops of your feet flush to the mat, and exhale as you reach your arms behind your back and interlace the fingers, Sant says. Pull your shoulders away from your ears and squeeze the shoulder blades together, pressing the sternum outward. Inhale, arching the chest up to the ceiling. Exhale and hinge forward, lowering your forehead down to the mat.
Lift your arms up as high as possible, fingers interlaced and palms pressed together if you can, Sant says. Inhaling, lift your hips and roll onto the crown of your head. Press your arms forward, fingers still interlaced, but let the palms separate. Hold. Afterward, squeeze the shoulder blades together as you slowly move into the initial seated position.
How Often: Hold this position for two to six breaths, directing your breathing into the belly and chest; do three to four times per week.
Why It Works: This move is a lumbar extension that stretches the forward curve of the lumbar spine in your lower back. “You will be using your lower back a lot during sex, and making sure the lower back is prepped for activity will prevent any pulled muscle or embarrassing moments,” Sant says.
Best For: When You’re on the Bottom “This may seem on the surface like the laziest, easiest place,” Sant jokes. But, “if you want to do it right, you still need strong glutes and hamstrings to adequately lift and thrust.”
How to Do It: On a mat or other soft surface, lie on your back and place your arms by your sides, Sant says. Raise your legs so they point straight up toward the ceiling, perpendicular to your torso, with knees aligned over hips. “You can have bent knees, but if you straighten the knees, you will also stretch the hamstrings with this exercise,” he says.
Then, pull your navel in toward your spine. Inhale. Then exhale as you lift your hips a few inches off the floor, keeping your legs pointed straight up, really pulling in the lower abdominal muscles during the lift, Sant says. Don’t lift your head; keep it resting on the floor. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor, inhaling on the way down.
How Often: Repeat 10 to 12 times in a row for one set; work your way up to two sets. Do three to four times a week.
Why It Works: Yes, you’re stretching the hamstrings and engaging the butt, but there’s a bonus for your core: “The hip lift is a good ab exercise to strengthen your major abdominal muscles as well as the deep abs,” Sant says. “It is less stressful on the back than some ab exercises, such as crunches.”
These are the stretches you should do if you want to improve your sex life
Image zoom Anna Buckley/HelloGiggles
You know that stretching is good for your bod. It reduces muscle tension, increases flexibility, and improves your posture, among other benefits. While you might stretch before and after a workout at the gym, did you know that stretching daily is great for your sex life, too? According to Hakika Wise, founder and CEO of Kika Stretch Studios, if you want better sex—and who doesn’t?—it’s time to add limbering up to your lovemaking routine.
“If you want to improve your stamina for sex, then stretching should be something that you incorporate into your life daily,” she told HelloGiggles.
Because tension in the body has the potential to affect your libido, as well as make it difficult for you to fully relax—and feeling relaxed is integral to good sex—stretching is recommended for those looking to boost their bedroom acrobatics.
While stretching is usually something most of us skip on the daily, knowing that it could improve your sex life might give you the incentive to hit the mat more often.
So how exactly does stretching improve your sex life? First of all, it improves your range of motion.
You saw a kinky sex position on TV or the internet that looked amazing. However, when you and your partner attempted to try it, you both pulled a muscle and instantly killed the mood. The solution? Stretch, of course.
“Stretching helps keep you limber, but it also improves your range of motion,” said Wise. “This means you will be able to move better than before. You will also be able to utilize body positioning that you may not have been able to get into before.”
Because the more flexible you are, the more comfortable you will be trying a new position without causing injury to yourself or your partner.
Stretching also boosts blood flow.
Having trouble getting aroused in bed? It might be due to your blood flow, or lack thereof. Insufficient blood flow to the genital area can contribute to female orgasmic problems as well as to erectile dysfunction.
“Blood circulation is directly correlated with your level of arousal,” Wise said. “Stretching your hip and leg area sends great amounts of blood flowing through your pelvic area. When people are inactive, their blood flow decreases and their arteries become stiff. Increasing blood flow to your pelvic area opens up the arteries and sends a fresh and healthy flow of blood to the areas that need repair.”
It elevates your energy, too.
Because stretching increases circulation of blood and oxygen to your muscles, it can also help improve energy levels and vitality.
“Stretching naturally boosts your energy levels and will give you more stamina than before,” said Wise. And everyone knows the difference between so-so sex and so-great sex is stamina.
Here are some exercises to try tonight. (They’re super simple, we promise.)
Wise recommends using a technique she developed called The Kika Method if you want to add some stretches to your daily routine. The Kika Method is a form of passive stretching, which Wise said can alleviate tension in the body.
She described passive stretching as technique in which you are relaxed and don’t force your range of motion. A passive stretch is one where you assume a position and hold it with some other part of your body, like holding your knee up to your chest with your hand, or with the assistance of a partner or some other apparatus, like the floor.
“Whereas active stretching consists of fast and jerky movements, passive stretching…allows the body to fully relax, because it does not require the muscles to engage,” Wise said.
As for go-to stretching positions that you can try at home or at the gym to improve your sex life, Wise recommended two.
“Start kneeling on your knees and place your elbows down in front of you. Keep your ankles and feet together and slowly slide open your knees until you feel a good stretch. Slowly drop your pelvis down to intensify the stretch,” she said.
The other one involves simple hip rotations to promote flexibility in your lower torso. “Start standing hip-width apart,” Wise said. “Imagine you have a hula hoop around your waist and slowly circle your hips in a complete circle. When you do this, try to isolate the rest of your body and only move your hips. Do this a few times, then rotate to the other side.”
As for how often you should stretch, Wise recommended stretching post-workout and every morning as soon as you get out of bed “to get the blood flowing.”
Most of all, “Take your time,” she said. “Slowly go into stretches and never force them beyond your comfort level. And have fun! Turn on your favorite style of music and have fun with it. Allow your body to move and follow its lead. Your body knows where the tension is.”
- By Brianne Hogan
Partner Up for Better Flexibility
Welcome the final installment of our series of activities that are appropriate for all abilities and skill levels. We’d like to thank the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for their support while we created this campaign.
For the closing week, we’ll be showcasing stretches…specifically stretches that are done with the aid of a partner. This helper can be a workout buddy or even a caregiver. The following stretches can be performed on the floor or on a table.
Performing stretches regularly is the most effective way to prevent loss of flexibility. Stretching also prevents muscle contractures and improves physical ability.
Here are three simple partner assisted stretches that can help improve your flexibility:
Hamstring stretch – Lie on your back. Have your partner lift one leg and rest your calf or ankle on their shoulder. Have them push the leg in the direction of your head, until you feel the stretch in back of your thigh. Make sure your hips stay down and don’t strain. If need be, you can slightly bend your other knee, to make the stretch more comfortable. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat other leg.
Quad stretch – Lie on your stomach. Have your partner grab your ankle and help you gently bend your leg toward your buttock, slightly lifting your upper leg of the table, until you feel a stretch in front of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with opposite leg. To build strength, have your partner provide resistance, while you push against their opposition for 3 to 5 seconds.
Calf stretch – Lie on your stomach. Have your partner bend one leg at a 90˚ angle, so that your shin is parallel to your body. The partner then grabs your foot with both hands, close to the heel. Have them apply gentle pressure downward on the foot front, so that they move the toes downward, creating a stretch in the back of the lower leg. Make sure your partner is controlling the foot movement from the rear of the foot, otherwise you are just stretching your instep.
That’s it for week four and that’s it for the series. We hope you enjoyed learning how to “Move it Monday,” no matter what your ability level is.
These materials are designed for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health professional before making changes to your current diet, exercise or health regimen.
Stretching: Better with a Buddy
Stretching improves flexibility, which allows you to move your joints through their full range of motion. And flexibility is a key element of fitness; it can enhance physical performance and relieve muscle tension and stiffness.
You need no equipment to stretch, and you can do it anywhere. Stretching with a partner is a good way to enhance your routine, and some Olympic athletes have said they do it to get in shape for events. Partner stretching can help you achieve a greater degree of flexibility and range of motion. A partner can also provide motivation and help you vary your workout.
Ready to pair up? Here are the basics, plus five stretches to get your started.
Who should I pick as my partner?
It’s a good idea to start with a trainer at a gym or a physical therapist, but after that you can do it with a friend or family member—someone you’d like to spend time with anyway.
Is there a recommended technique?
There are many ways to stretch with a partner. One well-known type is called PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretching. Though you can do it alone, a partner really helps.
In one version of PNF called contract-relax stretching, you contract a muscle against resistance, in this case provided by your partner. Then you rest for a few seconds, after which your partner helps you move that muscle into a stretch (see illustrations below). You repeat this three to six times, typically.
Get a good stretching, strengthening and bonding session by doing these partner yoga poses with your friend or lover.
Whether the last time you did yoga was never or last week, these partner yoga poses will inspire you to hop on the mat. They’re mostly beginner-friendly and super fun. You get to deepen the stretch, and the connection with your partner. And did we mention that they’re Insta-worthy, too?
Here, Estelle demonstrates the partner yoga poses with instructor Denise Keller.
1. Partner boat
Partner boat pose. Photos: Vee Chin
Stretches hamstrings and strengthens core
Sit opposite each other and hold hands outside your legs. Raise both your legs and place the soles of your feet together. Find your balance and try straightening your legs. Depending on your flexibility, you may need to move closer or farther away from each other. If you can’t straighten your legs, bend your knees so your shins are parallel to the ground (half-boat pose). Hold for five deep breaths or more.
(Also read: 7 Yoga Myths You Have to Stop Believing)
2. Partner warrior 1
Partner warrior 1 pose.
Strengthens arms, shoulders, back, legs and ankles; opens hips, chest and lungs. Also improves focus, balance and stability
Stand about two arm’s length opposite your partner and get into warrior 1 pose on the same side: Lunge forward with your left foot, bending the left knee at 90 degrees. Straighten the right leg behind you, with toes pointing 45 degrees forward. Adjust your position so your left thigh overlaps your partner’s. Extend arms overhead, palms together. Make sure your core is activated and body weight is evenly distributed on both legs. Hold for five deep breaths or more. Switch sides.
3. Partner ragdoll
Partner ragdoll pose.
Stretches hamstrings, calves and hips; strengthens thighs and knees
Stand back to back with the backs of your heels touching or close together. Keep both your legs straightened and – one person at a time – fold forward from the hips. Grab each other’s arms to stabilise. Hold for five deep breaths or more.
(Also read: Do These Yoga Poses If You Have Stiff Back & Shoulders)
4. Back-to-back chair
Back-to-back chair pose.
Strengthens thighs, butt and hips
Stand back to back and interlock elbows. Lean on each other’s back as you walk feet forward and lower your body towards ground in a squat. Knees should be bent at 90 degrees and directly above ankles. Hold for five deep breaths or more.
5. Partner seated forward fold
Partner seated forward fold.
Stretches back, shoulders, hamstrings and inner thighs
Sit opposite your partner with legs straightened and wide apart. Place the soles of your feet together and grab each other’s forearms. Partner A, fold forward while Partner B pulls you. Stop when you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings. Hold for five deep breaths or more. Switch positions.
(Also read: The Best Yoga Poses For Runners Before & After A Run)
6. Backbend-child’s pose
Stretches back and hip flexors; opens chest and shoulders
Sit back to back in the child’s pose. Partner A, lean backwards and rest against partner B, from head to hips. Straighten your legs in front of you. Breathe in and out together for three to five minutes. Switch positions.
7. Partner tree
Partner tree pose.
Strengthens core, thighs, ankles and spine; stretches groin and inner thighs. Also improves balance
*Try this only if one of you is comfortable doing an unsupported handstand.
Stand shoulder to shoulder, facing opposite directions. Partner A, align left foot with partner B’s right palm as she gets into handstand. Partner A, support her ankle with left hand, shift your weight to the left and press your right foot firmly into your left inner thigh. Hold for as long as possible. Switch sides.
(Also read: Do These Yoga Poses If You Are Bloated Or Constipated)