The Better Sex Workout

Planks

Planks are simple but definitely not #basic. For both men and women, core strength is paramount for good health, sex included. It builds muscles around your abs, back, and pelvis — all of which can make a difference for lasting longer in bed.

Equipment needed: none

  1. Start in a pushup position and then drop to your elbows. Your feet should be closer than shoulder-width apart with your toes grounded into the floor.
  2. Your core needs to be tight to prevent your lower back sagging. Your shoulders should roll back and down, and your neck and head should be neutral to maintain a straight line.

If you’re ready to ramp up your plank game, try these plank variations.

Glute bridge

Glute bridges not only work the pelvic floor, they also help your hamstrings and glutes so you can thrust better, providing more pleasure for you and your boo. We don’t use our glutes very often, so by engaging them, you’re also building muscle memory. This will come in handy when it comes to trying out different positions during sex.

Equipment needed: a light dumbbell or weight plate if you need a challenge

  1. Lie on a mat, knees bent, feet on the ground, and palms on the floor at your sides. If you want to use added weight, rest the dumbbell or plate on your pelvis (carefully!), steadying it with your hands as you go.
  2. Focus on your core as you push through your heels, raising your pelvis off the ground. Ensure that your shoulders and upper back stay glued to the mat.
  3. When you reach a stiff bridge position at the top, squeeze your glutes. Then slowly lower back down.

Jump squat

Want more stamina during your bedroom romps? Incorporate a little HIIT (high-intensity interval training) into your workout. This can get your body primed for intense or marathon sex sessions. Jump squats are great for getting the heart rate up, plus they improve leg strength and stabilization, in case you’re interested in trying out some new positions with your partner.

Equipment needed: none

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and arms down at your side.
  2. Squat down, bringing your arms out in front of you (or whatever feels comfortable).
  3. Jump up to rise and push your arms down to your sides as your feet come off the ground with the momentum.
  4. As your feet come back to the ground and arms come back up, drop immediately into another squat.

Stronger pelvic muscles mean a stronger O! Researchers looked at 176 women around the age of 37, and found that orgasms and arousal are related to pelvic floor muscle function. Plus, squeezing those muscles at the right time can enhance pleasure for male partners too.

Equipment needed: none

  1. To perform Kegel exercises effectively, you’ll need to first identify the right muscles. The easiest way to do this is to stop urination midstream. The muscles that help you do that are the ones used in Kegels.
  2. Contract these muscles and hold for a goal of 10 seconds. Release for 10.
  3. If you’re just starting, make your hold goal 5 seconds and slowly make your way toward 10.

For best results, practice Kegels 10 times, three times a day — not just during your workout. The great thing about Kegels is that you can do them anytime, at work or while you’re watching TV.

Pushups

Besides being a great whole-body exercise, pushups are a must for people who want to experiment with positions or try new things. The body and arm strength that pushups build is crucial for positions that require your entire body to engage.

Equipment needed: none

  1. Start with your arms straight and palms shoulder-width apart so your shoulders are directly over your hands.
  2. Keep your head and neck neutral and core strong, so your body forms a straight line from top to bottom. Your feet should be hip-width apart unless you’re tackling the easier version, where you keep your knees together.
  3. Lower your body down by bending your elbows and keep going until your chest touches the ground.
  4. Push up through your palms, extending your arms. Don’t let your lower back or hips sag. Maintain a neutral spine and neck.

Pigeon pose

To cap it off, pigeon pose enables a deep stretch in your groin, hips, and glutes, increasing flexibility in your nether areas. Simply put: better flexibility equals better sex.

Equipment needed: none, or a yoga mat if preferred

  1. Start on all fours.
  2. Bring your right knee forward and let it rest behind your right wrist. Swing your right foot up and to the left, placing your right ankle near your left hip.
  3. Begin to straighten your left leg and slide it back behind you, pointing your toes.
  4. Gently lower yourself down, as much as is comfortable, by bending your elbows and letting your upper body fall toward the ground. Your pelvis should be pointed to the ground during this stretch, but don’t force it.

If you don’t have this flexibility, consider a gentler move instead:

  1. Lie on the ground on your back.
  2. Bring your left leg off the ground and bend your knee so your leg forms a 90-degree angle.
  3. Bend your right leg and bring your right ankle to rest on your left thigh.
  4. Reach through your legs to grab the back of your left thigh, pulling until you feel a stretch.

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Exercise doesn’t just help you tone up and slim down—it can also make sex so much hotter. Try any (or all!) of these moves from the Women’s Health Big Book of Sex during your next workout for a more intense orgasm—no kegels necessary!

For more sex tips, order the Women’s Health Big Book of Sex today!

Low Side-to-Side Lunge

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Lunges boost flexibility, so he’ll be able to find your G-spot in almost any position.

Do the move: Stand with your feet spread wide, about twice shoulder-width apart, your feet facing straight ahead. Bend slightly at the waist, and clasp your hands in front of your chest. Shift your weight over to your right leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your right knee. Your lower right leg should remain nearly perpendicular to the floor. Your left foot should remain flat on the floor (A). Without pausing, reverse the movement and raise yourself back to a standing position. Next, repeat with the left side (B). Do 10 to 20 reps on each side, alternating back and forth.

Standing Hip Thrust

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The name says it all—stronger thrusts, better orgasms.

Do the move: Step forward with one foot so that your feet are a couple of feet apart. Keep your toes facing forward and your knees slightly bent (A). Gently push your pelvis forward until you feel a very mild stretch in your hips. Although this may seem too subtle, don’t overdo it: The hip flexors are attached inside the legs in such a way that it takes very little effort to stretch them (B). Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then reverse leg positions and repeat.

Hinge

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Learning how to angle your back in just the right way will make it much easier for your partner to stimulate your clitoris.

Do the move: Kneel on the floor with your hands at your sides. Resist the urge to sit back and rest your weight on your heels. Your back should be straight and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle (A). Keeping your head and spine in line with your thighs, slowly lean back a few inches (B). Hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position. Do 5 to 10 reps.

Gluteal Bridge

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This hip raise targets your pelvic muscles for an even bigger O.

Do the move: Lie on the floor, arms at your sides, knees bent, and heels on the floor (A). Lift your hips off the floor until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line (B). Do 20 reps.

Lower-Back Lie-Down

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Your lower-back muscles are full of sensitive nerve endings—which can seriously increase your pleasure if you work to make them stronger.

Do the move: Lie flat on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms at your sides (A). Draw your knees up to your chest and gently grab your legs just below the knees. Slowly pull both knees toward your chest as far as you can comfortably go, keeping your back flat on the floor at all times (B). Hold the stretch for 2 to 3 seconds, then slowly lower your legs. Repeat the stretch for 10 reps.

Inchworm

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This’ll loosen up your entire body, so you’ll feel all of those oh-so-good tingling sensations everywhere.

Do the move: Stand with your legs straight, feet hip-width apart (A). Bend at the waist and place your hands on the floor (B). Keeping your legs straight, walk your hands forward while keeping your abs and lower back braced. Then take tiny steps to walk your feet back to your hands (C). Do six reps.

Plié

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Strong vaginal muscles up your odds for an orgasm—and luckily, that’s what this move is all about.

Do the move: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out and hands on your hips (A). Slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor (B). Press up through your heels to stand. Do 12 to 15 reps.

The beginning of summer is like a reset on our goals. Maybe it’s the inevitable feeling that school is out (even if you’ve been out of school for years), you finally have some free time, and fitness is just better outside. It’s not about getting a “bikini body” (because what does that even mean?); it’s a time to learn what kind of fitness you love.

I’ll be the first to admit that working out isn’t an area of my life that makes me feel immense joy. Pizza, a bottle of Corona (extra lime), and an NBA game (particularly one including LeBron James) — now that brings me immense joy. But I understand that exercising regularly helps me deal with stress, feel more confident in my body, and keeps me as healthy as I can be.

Working isn’t just about feeling and looking better. Exercise is one of the best tools you can use to make your sex life better. It’s free and easy (well, sorta).

Even if you’re not doing these exercises specifically for better sex (we wouldn’t judge), they have tons of other benefits when you add them to your normal regimes, such as better balance, more stamina, shorter reaction time, flexibility, and more. Along with these, exercise often gives people a stronger sense of body image and self-confidence. This newfound self-love can only help you to feel better in the bedroom!

A little sexercise is coming your way. (Did you really think I’d get through this without saying that? You think highly of me if so!)

Yoga

It’s no surprise flexibility is going to make you have better sex. Just think of all of the positions you can do! However, there’s a little more that goes into it than being able to touch your toes or do the splits (super cool though!). If you’re not able to get to your closest yoga studios, some of our favorite yoga instructors on YouTube are Yoga With Adriene, Yoga With Kassandra, and Jessamyn Stanley!

Lower-Back Exercises

Exercises that challenge and strengthen your lower back are essential to strong back muscles during sex, especially for positions in which you’re on your back. Your lower back is full of nerve endings, so understanding those muscles and knowing how to work them can help you have deeper, more intense orgasms. This also helps you get in positions to help your partner reach your clitoris! Woot!

Exercises that help you target this area include yoga focused on stretching the lower back, as well as hip hinges and any ab exercises that target the lower abdomen, such as lying leg raises. This is also a great workout if you want to target your whole lower back!

Kegels

Yes, I know, I’m kind of cheating here. Kegels are not technically working out by most fitness instructor standards, but they’re one of the best techniques for stronger orgasms that come more easily. Use the muscles you would use to hold a stream of urine, and hold it for 10 seconds (or as long as you can). Repeat this 10 times every day. You’ll notice a difference quickly!

Tricep Exercises

Working the triceps is necessary to be able to hold yourself up without having to strain your arms. This is especially important in any position where your body is underneath. These exercises will also give you more balance over time.

The most common one here would be tricep dips. You can also do tricep push-ups!

Squats

Strong legs are so important for comfortable sex. There are dozens of positions that require a little bit of leg strength and stamina to hold yourself up, and squats are the perfect addition to your workout routine to help with everything you need. Squats increase your leg, core, and lower back strength, and you can also add compound exercises to target other areas (such as using weights and doing a press when you reach the top!).

There are tons of different variations of squats; however, the basic squat is the perfect addition if you’re a beginner. You can also try sumo squats, squat jumps (to add some cardio), or add in lunges to make it more challenging and add a more leg and glute strengthening.

Glute Bridges

Glute bridges are probably my favorite exercise because they work the butt, outer and inner thighs, your core, and your lower back — aka this exercise will work all the areas you need for better sex. If you want to try any of the exercises on this list, I suggest this one. It also stretches your pelvis, and we know how great that is for sex!

Ab Exercises

Aside from having a hot six-pack, doing ab exercises strengthens your core which is necessary for improving your balance. Balance is important during sex because it allows us to do certain positions without having to focus on if we’re going to topple over (which is normal, by the way).

The best ab exercises to achieve this are when you’re sitting on the ground and use your core to balance yourself. Think v-ups, open leg rocker, bicycle crunches, or work all of your lower abs with this full workout.

5 Exercises Men Can Do for Better Sex

You know that working out is good for your health. But did you know that hitting the gym could also help you have better sex? “Working out three to four times a week can do a lot to help your sexual technique, flexibility, and endurance,” says Pete McCall, MS, an exercise physiologist and personal trainer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). So what types of exercise are best for better sex? McCall recommends the following five “sex exercises.”

Better Sex Exercise No. 1: Weight Lifting

Strength training could be just what the doctor ordered for your sex life. The reason: “Weight lifting causes the body to produce testosterone, which is the primary precursor for the male sex drive,” says McCall, who recommends lifting enough to feel fatigue by the 10th repetition. In fact, some studies have linked short intense exercise, such as weight lifting, with increased testosterone levels. To improve your sex life, do some push-ups, sit-ups, and crunches. These muscle-building exercises can help lead to better sex by strengthening the shoulders, chest, and abs. Strong upper body strength can increase stamina since these muscles are used during intercourse.

Better Sex Exercise No. 2: Kegels

Doing Kegels is considered a good sex exercise for men because these exercises can help endurance and control by toning the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles — the ones that let you stop the flow of urine mid-stream. Named after Los Angeles physician Arnold Kegel, they strengthen the muscles in your body’s pelvic floor, which can lead to better sex. “Men can use Kegels to delay ejaculation by contracting these muscles just before orgasm,” says McCall. To do Kegels, start by interrupting the flow of urine when going to the bathroom to get familiar with your PC muscles. After that, you can do Kegels anytime and any place by squeezing the PC muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, and do as many reps as you can before tiring.

You have to train for most athletic endeavors — and sex is no exception. If sex is your sport, get ready for the action with a workout that improves your flexibility and strengthens the muscles you need to master any position. Put on a playlist that revs you up and perform 10 reps of each move below from Sadie Kurzban, certified fitness instructor and founder of the dance cardio technique ((305)) Fitness. Then repeat the entire circuit up to three times to really prep your body for your other favorite workout.

1. Hip Swivel: Start in a wide stance with soft knees. Keeping your elbows near your sides, bend your arms and bring your hands out to the sides. To start, come up on to your right toes as you turn your hips toward the right and pop your butt out to the left. From this position, drop your right heel and come up onto your left toes as you engage your core and trace a half circle behind you. End with your butt popped out to the right and your hips turned toward the left. Trace the half circle back to start. That’s one rep.

What it does: Tightens your core, loosens up your hips and butt, and improves your rhythm if you sync to the beat.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

2. Squat With Alternating Knee Dip: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulders-width apart and your toes turned outward. Extend your arms straight out in front of you. Drop your butt straight down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. From this position, press into your right heel as you simultaneously lift your left heel and come up to stand. On your way up, turn your left knee in and left heel out, and drive your left elbow straight behind you. Place your left heel back on the floor and drive your left hand forward as you lower back down to a wide squat with your toes facing outward. Repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.
What it does: Loosens up your hips, strengthens your legs, abs, and obliques, and improves your rhythm if you sync to the beat.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

3. Drop It Low: Stand up straight with your heels together and your toes pointing outward. Clasp your hands in front of your body with your palms facing down. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, let your heels come up off the floor and your knees come out to the sides as you lower your butt straight down toward the ground. Bring both hands straight up and overhead. Engage your core and press up through the soles of your feet as you drop your hands and come back up to starting position. That’s one rep.
What it does: Opens your hips, strengthens your thighs, butt, and core, and improves your balance.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

4. The Bird: Squat with your legs together, your chest high, your arms bent, and your hands together. Staying low, open your left knee to the side and take a small step toward the left. As you step, turn your chest toward the left and open your arms, so your right arm shoots straight forward and your left arm shoots straight behind you. Step back to starting position and bring your arms back to center, then repeat on the opposite side, this time stepping to your right and driving your right arm backward and left arm forward. Come back to starting position to complete one rep.
What it does: Tones the quads, glutes, calves, and upper back, and improves your flexibility for straddling and other woman-on-top positions.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

5. Reverse Lunge With Alternating Knee Thrust and High Kick: Begin in a staggered stance with your left leg a few feet in front of your right foot and your left knee bent. Bring both hands together and extend your arms straight overhead. From this position, press into the left heel and engage your core as you drive your right knee straight up, and swing both hands down along your sides. Release the knee and extend your arms to return to starting position. Then press into the left heel and engage your core as you drive your right leg straight up into a high kick and swing both hands down along your sides. Return to starting position to complete one rep. Do up to 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

What it does: Improves hamstring flexibility and core strength for straddling and more powerful thrusting.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

6. Wide Squat: Take a wide stance and point your toes out 45 degrees. 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. That’s one rep.

What it does: Improves flexibility and builds thigh strength for woman-on-top positions.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

7. Single Leg Deadlift: Stand up with both feet together. Keeping both legs straight, transfer your weight to your right foot as you bend from the waist. Reach down to touch the floor with your right hand and drive your left heel straight up toward the ceiling, stopping when your heel reaches hip height. After you touch the ground, engage your right hamstring to come back up to starting position with control. That’s one rep. Complete up to 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

What it does: Tones your hamstrings, and improves your balance for one-legged and rear-entry positions.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

8. Triceps Dip With Hip Raise: Sit on the ground with your palms on the floor behind your hips and your fingers facing your body. Your elbows should be slightly bent. Bend your knees and place the soles of both feet on the ground in front of your hips. Without actively lifting your hips, press into your heels and engage your triceps as you straighten both arms to lift your body up off the floor. From this position, engage your butt and hamstrings to drive your hips straight up into a tabletop position. Pause, then lower your hips. Next, bend your elbows to bring your butt back to the floor. That’s one rep.

What it does: Boosts arm and leg strength for more powerful thrusting.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

9. Hands Plank to Forearm Plank: Get into a plank position with your hands on the ground underneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line between the top of your head and your heels. From this position, engage your core as you lift your right hand and gently place your right forearm on the ground so your right elbow is directly below your right shoulder. Then lower down to your left forearm with your left elbow beneath your left shoulder. Then come back to starting position by placing your right palm on the ground underneath your right shoulder and your left palm on the ground underneath your left shoulder. That’s one rep. Complete up to 10 reps, alternating leading arm.

What it does: Builds upper body strength for doggy style or woman-on-top positions.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

10. Supermans: Lie facedown with your arms and legs extended. Engage your core and lower back as you raise your head, left arm, and right leg a few inches off the ground. Release with control, then raise your head, right arm, and left leg a few inches off the ground. Release with control to complete one rep.

What it does: Improves lower back and core strength for belly-down positions.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

11. Pelvic Thrusts: Lie on your back with your arms along your sides. Bend your knees, and place the soles of both feet on the ground in front of your hips. Press into your heels and engage your butt and hamstrings to drive your hips straight up off the ground. Pause, then lower your hips back to starting position to complete one rep.

What it does: Strengthens your hamstrings and core for thrusting in missionary position.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

12. Plank With Alternating Knee to Elbow: Get into a plank position with your hands on the ground underneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line between the top of your head and your heels. From this position, engage your core as you drive your right knee up to the outside of your right elbow. Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.

What it does: Builds core and upper body strength for woman-on-top positions, and increases hip flexibility.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

13. Scissor Legs: Lie on your back with your hands underneath your hips and your palms facing down. Bring both feet straight up into the air and point your toes. Keeping both legs as straight as possible, engage your core as you lower your right leg down toward the ground with control. Without touching down, bring your leg back up to starting position. Then repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.

What it does: Builds strength in your lower back and abs for stronger thrusting, and improves flexibility.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

14. Hydrants: Get onto your hands and your knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Engage your core and butt as you lift your right knee straight out to the side and up toward the sky. Release with control. Complete up to 10 reps, then do the same number on the opposite side.

What it does: Opens your hips and improves upper body strength for doggy style.

Andrew Lyman-Clarke

Sadie is wearing a Sports Bra, VICTORIA’S SECRET; Leggings, VICTORIA’S SECRET; and sneakers, NIKE, $140; with hair by Joseph Bennett and makeup by Lauren Urasek for Glamsquad.

Lauren Ahn

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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.

The Best Way to Work Out to Increase Your Sex Drive

Tap Into Your Natural High

Want to make the most of your post-workout sexual energy surge? For one, you should know that the best time to take advantage of those endorphins is right after you hit the gym. So bring bae along with you, then reward him/her with a round-two sweat sesh.

“If you really want to improve your libido, and if you’re going to do strength training, your biggest bang is right after, because your testosterone levels are at their highest, your lubrication is at its highest, and your endorphins are at their highest,” says Haver. “That will continue throughout the day, but your peak is going to be in that first hour or so after exercise.”

One caveat: Don’t overdo it. “People who overexercise to the point of fatigue won’t see these benefits,” says Haver.

That goes for training too much in general (total fatigue doesn’t do anyone’s sex drive any good) and for workouts that are particularly grueling. If you do a crazy-tough workout (the kind where you can barely get out of the car after driving home), your body is will go into a panic and recovery mode. It will mount an anti-inflammatory response to repair your muscle tissue-and all that post-workout energy and blood flow is going to that tissue instead of your sex organs. (Here’s how to help your muscles recover so you can hop back in the sack, stat.)

Your fool-proof plan? Strength train three or four times a week to keep your libido riding high, says Haver, but, as always, listen to your body.

  • By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo

In the back of any fitness enthusiast’s mind is a series of attainable and unattainable goals. Run 26.2 miles? Attainable. Squatting my way to Coco Austin’s ass? Utterly unattainable. But my personal Everest has always been sexercise, that elusive yet seemingly attainable goal of burning calories with exertions designed by nature to feel good. Over the years, while on the treadmill or holding a plank, the ultimate form of multitasking would call to me: “Why are you doing (insert current activity) when you could be having sex?” It seemed so simple. Deceptively simple. Following in the footsteps of exercise pioneers like Suzanne Somers and Jane Fonda — and sexual pioneers like Sappho and Kim Cattrall — I was ready to condition and climax.

First, I needed a plan. I was shocked by the lack of information on sexercise. Most of the books were distasteful self-published works from nostalgic swingers. As a modern sexerciser, I would need to construct my own approach.

My grand experiment would last fourteen days. I would perform aerobic sexercises for 30 minutes a day, six days a week, using twelve approaches culled from contemporary fitness trends. Needing zero persuasion, my husband was onboard. (He would regret this decision in coming days.) Experiencing the mix of dread and anticipation every athlete feels before an intense training period, we set a date and commenced sexercising.

Day 1: Interval Sex

We start with interval training, a workout basic that can be applied to any cardiovascular routine. I will alternate between periods of heart-pumping high-intensity humping and sensual, slow-paced recovery periods.

I decide to keep the tone sporty instead of sexy, so I pull off my clothes, smack my hands in a single clap, and yell “Let’s do this!” in my coachiest voice. I immediately regret missing the chance to scream “Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose!” while slapping my husband’s bare butt. Luckily, it’s just the first night.

I position the clock so I can time my (nonsexual) splits. Jumping into bed, we assume my first position, my husband lying on his back while I pump vigorously for one minute, slow down for 30 seconds, then pick up the pace again. Like Kristen Stewart in Breaking Dawn, I am a female jackhammer. I break a sweat and my first mistake becomes painfully clear: I forgot to warm up. Like a distance runner cramping after the second mile, jumping into hard intervals leaves me with a sore, dry vagina.

After a pit stop for lube, I practice targeting different muscle groups by switching whether I use my arms and legs to propel movement. Though some sexercise books outline specific positions, I find that using positions I already know and enjoy makes it easier to endure my interval burns.

Though I work out daily, twenty minutes of interval sex exhausts me. I face two unpleasant truths: First, I have terrible sexercise endurance. Second, when it comes to sexual workouts, men have been duping women for years. When I became the predominant thruster I burned calories, toned muscles, and worked my heart. The first rule of sexercise is to take back the thrusting. Whether on top, bottom, or sideways: thrust, ladies, thrust.

Day 2: Sexin’ to the Oldies

Richard Simmons – Sweatin’ to the Oldies Volume 1 by RichardSimmons-Official

In the eighties, Richard Simmons swept the country in a pair of striped Dolphin shorts and a bedazzled tank top. For my second day of sexercise, I find the full Sweatin’ to the Oldies workout online and discover a surprising amount of thrusting. I prop my laptop in bed and prepare to mirror Simmons’s every move.

After my now mandatory warmup, I lie under my husband with my legs wrapped around his torso, swaying my hips to “Dancing in the Street,” pumping in time with the infectious beat. With each song, I switch positions. I climb on top and assail my husband with hips and balled fists for “It’s My Party.” For “On Broadway,” I employ a more artistic, flowy bounce with occasional jazz hands. (Yes, I mixed sex with jazz hands.) I flip my body into a doggy-style tripod for Buddy Holly classic “Peggy Sue,” then unleash a frenetically thrusting, no-holds-barred reverse tabletop position for “Great Balls of Fire.” The result is not unlike interval training, but the music makes it easier to maintain a steady pace.

While I find Richard’s cries to “Sssssssizzle!” and “Keep it up!” encouraging, my husband has difficulty doing just that. He claims it is scientifically impossible to orgasm while Richard Simmons is screaming. Or, as he put it, “The only reason I was able to maintain an erection is that I had access to boobs and vagina.” My husband is a complex fellow.

Day 3: The Sex-Minute Mile

Day 3 or 30, it’s hard to tell anymore. I already feel like a prisoner marking the days on my cell’s wall. Today I opt for a sprint instead of a full 30 minutes. The goal is to raise my heart rate to anaerobic levels for the sexual equivalent of a six-minute mile.

To combat diminished enthusiasm for the night’s event, I transform our bedroom into a sexual race track. I write FINISH on three pieces of computer paper with a black sharpie and tape them to my headboard, then tack a streamer across the bed. I plan to rip it triumphantly upon completion of my race with celebratory fist pumps. Finally, I place a dixie cup with water beside the bed, either to drink or to throw on myself during the race, and set a timer to six minutes.

I’m not exactly sure which splits I’ll be hitting, but climb on top of my husband and attack at full force, legs driving into the mattress and arms thrashing violently for leverage. My heart starts pounding and I am beginning to sweat when seeds of doubt creep into my mind. You can’t do this. It’s too hard. You are a sexercise failure. I push through, but just when the end is in reach, disaster strikes. My relay partner has dropped the baton. I should have been prepared for this outcome, but the defeat is wrenching. The FINISH sign looms large, the streamer mocks me unbroken. Maybe we need a little penis numbing cream.

Day 4: Sexy Squats

Today I face the sexercise I have been dreading: squats. Perhaps the most obvious intersection between sex and exercise, squats are an unavoidable necessity.

I warm up with my knees positioned on either side of my reclining husband, the squat equivalent of doing push-ups from your knees. After a few minutes I transition to my feet, performing a ballerina’s grand plié onto my husband’s penis. I brace my arms against his shoulders, engaging my core, but my legs start to burn immediately. I alter the angles of my knees and the distance between my feet, but I keep losing my balance on the soft bed and flopping back and forth. Having read that you should never squat below a 90-degree angle with your knees, I prop my husband’s butt on pillows so I don’t have to squat as low, but my knees ache from the deep squats nonetheless.

My legs are screaming at me to stop and I begin screaming back. Confession: I am an angry exerciser. I seethe during my squat sexercise — face clenched, fists clenched, vagina clenched. This is my least sexy sexercise yet.

Day 5: Rest Day

At last, my first rest day. I do not have sex with my husband.

Day 6: Sexilates

Reinvigorated from my day of rest, I tackle abdominal sexercise. My husband gets on top in missionary position and I perform crunches timed to his thrusts, curling my upper torso to meet his body. It works, but engaging my stomach is difficult when my body keeps sinking into the bed, so I flip both legs to one side with my knees stacked. I twist my torso upward, side-crunching to match my husband’s tempo. After twenty reps, I reverse and do the other side. This is my most successful sexercise yet, as I am both feeling the burn and actually enjoying sex. It’s a breakthrough!

The only caveat is that, without the flattering coverage of LuLuLemon leggings, I have to stare at my naked stomach during each crunch. Nothing could be simultaneously more inspiring and devastating to a workout. I recommend closing your eyes.

Fifteen minutes in, I transition to a basic Pilates mat routine. First, the Hundred: After a lot of body finagling, I end up in a boat pose facing my husband while he pulls me back and forth. I hold the position and get a great workout. Next, I lie flat on top of him with my feet by his face and try a naked Roll Up, struggling to roll my body into an upright position while keeping him inside of me. At the top, I look expectantly at his face, waiting to hear that I have achieved some undiscovered form of sexual pleasure. “Well?” I ask. “Are you trying to break my penis?” he responds.

Nonetheless, I remain confident that sexilates is a viable and healthy pastime.

Day 7: Zumba Sex

The basic premise behind Zumba, the latest dance-exercise craze inviting women to dance away the pounds, is much like sexercise: do a physical activity so fun that you forget you’re exercising. I recently attended a nine-hour Zumba instructor training program of my own volition, so I’ve got this one covered.

At the training, they kept telling us to pretend we were in a club, and with a quick trip to Spencer’s for a miniature strobe light and a Zumba mix largely featuring Pitbull and Sean Paul, I am prepared to make love in this club.

Zumba instructors aren’t supposed to use verbal cues to signal the next move, lest they detract from the students’ musical experience. Following the Zumbatic code, I insist on non-verbal signals. Instead of saying we want to change positions, my husband and I smack each other’s arms and make lewd gestures with our hands. My approach is a finger countdown from five, four, three, two, quick obscene gesture, awkward scramble into the next position.

Although the instructor can’t speak, Zumba students are encouraged to scream things like “Get it, girl!” “Whoo, whoo!” and “Yeeeeeahhh!” I scream these at my husband at regular intervals. He may be reconsidering our marriage.

Day 8: Crossfit Sex

Largely inspired by an exercise called “The Thruster” on Crossfit’s website, I decide to introduce Crossfit into my sex life. The website offers daily workouts named after women, like the Angie and the Jackie, as though the weight-lifting regimens are dresses from Anthropologie. In honor of former Miss Universe Barbara Palacios, I choose the Barbara: five circuits of twenty pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 50 body-weight-only squats, performed in order and with a three-minute resting period at the end of each circuit. The best substitute, I decide, is to pick four positions and then do each for 20, 30, 40, and 50 reps increasing in intensity.

Crossfit sex resembles interval sex with one noteworthy challenge: counting. When I count silently in my head, I lose track, so I start counting out loud. To keep it sexy I try using a sultry voice, but end up sounding like a creepy version of the Count from Sesame Street.

Day 9: Bikram Sex (“Hot Sex”)

I have zero natural flexibility. I can barely sit cross-legged on the ground. But since no sexercise program can be complete without some form of yoga, I pin my hopes on Bikram yoga, also known as “hot yoga.” The heat is said to loosen the muscles for stunning feats of flexibility.

Bikram experts recommend that a room be heated to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. Luckily, I own an adorable elephant-shaped humidifier; unluckily, my thermostat only turns up to 90 degrees. With my house turning into a sad, lukewarm sauna, I lead my husband in pre-sex stretches and pranayama, breathing deeply into the back of our throats and making weezy Darth Vader noises. It’s really sexy. Limber and oxygenated, we embark on the 26 Bikram postures I’ve printed out. Most are sexually impossible. Tree Pose and Eagle Pose offer no genital exposure at all. I have luck with Cobra Pose, which involves lying on your stomach with an arched back, and the “Hands to Feet,” pose which is basically just bending over.

Even in the underheated room, my flexibility increased, which would be sexy were it not for the sweat pouring from my body and onto the bed. Instead of the usual small wet spot in the middle of a postcoital bed, our sheets are covered in sweat. Tired and annoyed, we have to change the sheets and take showers afterwards.

Day 10: Rest Day

My final rest day. Not having sex has never been so sweet.

Day 11: Sauna Suit Sex

Don’t try this one. Seriously, do not try this one. It’s not worth it and the memories you will create can’t be erased. I unequivocally blame my husband for this idea. A former college wrestler, he often had to cut weight by exercising in a sauna suit, which is a glorified set of trash bags taped together to prevent your sweat from escaping. You heat up quickly and lose tons of water weight. I imagine it will be like hot sex, but with all the sweat trapped in an easily discarded bag. I am wrong.

Mixing DIY Internet instructions and my own ingenuity, I fashion two sauna suits from white trash bags and duct tape. My husband and I take off our clothes, awkwardly shimmy into the suits, and I seal up the openings except for two strategically placed holes. There are few outfits in the history of the world less sexy than trash bag suits with genital openings. Repeatedly, I try to sneak a digital picture, but my husband fiercely rips all devices out of my hands. Even when I assure him in my sweetest voice that the picture is just for us, he knows I am lying.

The plastic sticks to my skin, making my body feel like a Saran Wrapped piece of meat. On the plastic across my husband’s chest there is a warning to keep away from children to prevent suffocation, which I read continuously. Some combination of sweat and plastic rubbing against skin creates an insanity-inducing itchiness. I felt like an old Looney Tunes cartoon where someone had poured itchy powder down my back. Multiple times mid-thrust, I must push my husband away, reach under the plastic, and scratch desperately like a madwoman.

Having problems maintaining an erection, my husband asks me to rip two holes for my boobs. As I lie in bed wrapped in a suit of trash bags covering everything except my vagina and breasts, I realize I have hit sexercise rock bottom.

The one inexorable truth is that you cannot have an orgasm while wearing a homemade sauna suit.

Day 12: Fitness Role Play

Today I explore a brainier side to sexercise: role-play. I will be a sexy fitness trainer, he my sexy trainee. My husband and I don’t typically engage in role-play; the copy of Fifty Shades of Grey on my nightstand book stack remains unopened. “Give me ten push-ups!” I yell, then as a reward let him fondle me. “Twenty crunches!” I scream, followed by a brief blow job. Fitness role-play is easily incorporated into sex, but I realize it undermines my purpose. Isn’t the point of sexercise not having to exercise?

Day 13: Sexy Weight Vest

With the end in sight, I jump on the bandwagon of a cyclically recurring exercise trend: weight vests. Sexy promotional pictures of women wearing weight vests encourage me. What says “sexy” like a midriff-bearing, side-boob-revealing vest covered in tiny weights and resembling the garments of a suicide bomber?

After a trip to my local sporting goods store, I plan to lure my husband into the bedroom wearing nothing but my sexy, strength-building 30-pound vest. Discovering that heavy-duty nylon fabric is definitely not designed to coincide with nudity, I trudge over to the bed, flop over into my sexy vest pose, and call my husband in. He immediately bursts out laughing.

We try to have sex, but the vest is so heavy that I can barely move. My balance is off and I am constantly threatening to fall forward or backward, like a half-naked Weeble wobbling. After five minutes, I can take no more. Since the vest increased my overall caloric expenditure, I figure it evens out.

Sorry, unnamed sporting goods store, but I returned the vest the next day.

Day 14: Sex on a Fitness Ball

Like a camper facing the last night of summer, I thought I might feel nostalgic on my last day of sexercise, but instead I am relieved. I’ve already told my husband that I’m done with sex. Forever. But first, we will go out with a bang. We’re going to use a prop: a large fitness ball.

I also saved this night for last because we are staying in a hotel, and I plan to steal the ball from the fitness room. What atrocities will I not commit in the name of sexercise?

We sneak downstairs around midnight. He is on lookout as I snag the smallest ball, then run up the back stairs to our room, a thrilling caper to get us revved for super-hot ball sex. I wipe down the ball because I have no idea where it has been. Then we get to work.

Ball sexercise has one rule: try to stay on the ball. First my husband sits with his butt on the ball, leaning back, with me on top. We desperately work our cores to stay balanced, but end up wedging our feet against the walls and floor. The ball is bouncy and I pretend I’m on a human Hoppity Hop ball, officially reducing to an exercise machine. Then my husband tries to be on top, but the higher center of gravity sends us crashing to the ground.

The real victory comes when I get into a tabletop position with my upper back stretched over the ball, allowing me to work my core and while my husband accesses my genitals. Success! I also try a reverse position that approaches a plank, putting most of my weight into my bent arms. As we start to sweat, however, the ball begins to slips out from under us. After the fifth falling incident, ball sexercise has lost its glamour.

I deem it a relative success anyway, then wipe down the ball again and leave it in the hallway so I can blame its presence on some teenagers three rooms away.

The Aftermath

Although most of my experiments have been unequivocal failures, I still believe in the dream of sexercise. My experience taught me some valuable lessons. First, you have to match sexercise with your sex drive, otherwise it’s just exercise: something you don’t want to do, but are mildly happy you did once it’s over. Second, warm up and cool down with normal sex. I couldn’t orgasm during sexercise, but could manage an enjoyable 30-minute routine and then climax afterwards. Finally, sexercise isn’t for the self-serious or easily embarrassed. If the idea of naked face-planting after you slip off a wet exercise ball mortifies you, then sexercise may not be for you. Following my two weeks of sexercise, I feel more toned and lean — and have discovered a new level of trust with my husband. Though sexercise will not be our primary form of sex or exercise, we will without a doubt continue to add “sssssizzle” to our sex life.

Best Exercises for Sex: 7 Exercises That Can Improve Your Sex Life

Not all physical activity is created equal. This is true for most types of exercise, with sex being no different. Sure, you are exerting plenty of energy; however, the calories in which you are burning compared to what you would burn in the gym are seemingly insignificant.

DISCOVER: Sex or Cardio: Which Burns More Calories?

This is only one reason it’s important to get in the gym. But one thing we’ve yet to mention is, how can exercise improve your life in the bedroom?

In both men and women, studies have shown just how important exercise can be for sexual health.

One study1 in particular took a look at men and vigorous exercise. Subjects were a population of sedentary middle-aged men placed in a vigorous training routine for nine months. These men reported an increase in sexual activity, improved sexual function and overall greater satisfaction. It’s no surprise that the men whose fitness levels increased the most had an equal improvement in their private lives as well.

For women, exercise can be a great way to naturally increase sexual desire and arousal. One study examined intense exercise and arousal. A group of women who performed intense cycling for 20 minutes and followed it up by watching an x-rated movie actually showed greater physiological arousal than the group of women who didn’t exercise beforehand. The levels of arousal could be studied via blood flow.

LEARN MORE: How Not Exercising Affects Your Sex Drive

When it comes to sex, arousal and satisfaction aren’t the only benefits you can get from exercise. You know that saying, confidence is key? Well, same goes for sex. If you’ve been working hard in the gym, chances are you’re going to be feeling better about yourself too. Other benefits from exercise that could directly correlate to your sexual activity include an increase in strength, flexibility and stamina.

Regardless of what the status of your sex life is, incorporating exercises that could increase your sexual health and performance are always a good thing. From cardio to strength training, there are an abundant amount of ways to increase the activity in the bedroom.

So what are some exercises both men and women can perform to improve their sexual health?

5 Exercises to Help Improve Your Sexual Health

  • Kegels
  • Planks
  • Squats
  • Hip thrusts
  • Butterfly pose
  • Push-ups
  • Upward-facing dog

1. Kegels

For men, kegels help to strengthen your pubococcygeus (PC) muscles and perineal muscles. Together, these muscles are extremely important in maintaining erectile rigidity. For women they help improve the strength of your pelvic floor muscles.

Not sure what these PC muscles are? Try to stop the flow of urine while you pee. Those are the muscles we’re talking about.

Once you’re familiar with the muscles, the goal will be to squeeze these muscles for as long and hard as you can, increasing the reps and intensity as the get stronger.

While you can really do kegels anywhere, it would be helpful to do them lying down on your back first so you can fully focus your attention the contraction and release of the muscles.

2. Planks

Planks are one of the most popular ab exercises and for good reason too. Core is often underestimated in everything we do, however it plays a much larger role than you may think. This includes its role in sex.

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The plank pose itself is one of the best ways to develop strength and rigidity throughout your whole body, especially your core. But how do you do it?

You can start the position on all fours, by either starting with your elbows on the ground and legs extended together. Or if that’s too easy, start with your hands flat on the ground with your legs extended. You want to act like you’re pushing yourself off of the floor. Make sure you’re squeezing your butt low and that your pelvis is in line with your body. Try holding this pose for three sets of 30 seconds at a time and work your way up from there.

Too easy?

You can try lifting up one of your legs and holding it during the duration of the plank, or even adding some weight to your back for a more advanced move.

3. Squats

Lower body exercises are absolutely key for getting the blood flowing to your legs and pelvic region, which means a bigger, stronger orgasm. All lower body exercises can be beneficial, but especially strength exercises like squats and lunges.

There is a number of ways you can squat but let’s cover the basics for now. You can choose between a dumbbell or barbell depending on your level of fitness. If you’re using dumbbells, you’ll want to pick up the dumbbells and hold them by your side.

Lower body exercises are absolutely key for getting the blood flowing to your legs and pelvic region, which means a bigger, stronger orgasm

With your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, hinge at the hip and bend at the knee, beginning to lower yourself and squat. Squat to as low as you feel comfortable and stand back up. Depending on the weight, start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions and increase your weight from there.

4. Glute Bridge

While glute bridges may feel awkward to do in the gym at first, the results will be worth it. Glute bridges can be done weightless or with a barbell depending on your fitness levels. These bridges (similar to hip thrusts) are a key player in improving your squat and deadlift, improving your glute power, increasing your muscle mass and improve your pelvic floor muscles as well.

You can start this exercise by laying on the ground with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms on the floor by your sides with your palms facing down. Begin to thrust your hips up in the air and squeeze your butt. When your hips are extended, you’ll want to make sure that your knees come to a 90-degree angle. Add these into your workout routine for three sets of 10, pausing and squeezing your butt at the top each time.

5. Butterfly Pose

While strength training is extremely important to improving your health both in the gym and in the bedroom, so is stretching. Poses such as butterfly pose, happy baby and straddle pose are great for getting in a good stretch in your groin, pelvis, hips and hamstring muscles.

To perform the butterfly pose properly, lie on your back and bend your legs in toward your chest. As you do this, grab your feet and pull them into your chest as far as you can pull as your elbows press your knees outward. Try holding this as deep as you can for 15-30 seconds at a time.

6. Push-Ups

You can find pushups within almost any exercise routine and that’s because, well, they’re effective. They’re a great workout for your upper body and core as well as being a convenient exercise that you can do pretty much anywhere. Not able to do a full pushup? No worries. There are plenty of variations to keep you strong for those times on top.

You can start similar to a plank position, on all fours will your legs extended straight. Keep your core tight. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. To complete the movement, simply lower yourself to the floor and then push yourself back up. If you’re lacking the upper body strength right now, try starting on your knees and pushing yourself up from there.

If you want a more advanced, explosive movement, try clap push-ups instead. For these, instead of stopping at the top of the push-up, push yourself up high enough to clap your hands together in between before placing them back on the ground. Push-ups can be performed for three sets of 10 and increased as they get easier.

7. Upward-Facing Dog

Another go-to stretch for anyone active (but especially active in the bedroom) is upward-facing dog. This yoga pose is a popular one for lifters, bodybuilders and all athletes alike. But how does it benefit your sex life?

For starters, it stretches your core and hip flexors and gets the blood flowing to your pelvic region. This is especially important if you’re sitting for a good portion of the day.

To get a good stretch in your back, start by laying on your stomach with your palms to your sides and your legs extended behind you. Lift your chest and torso and press yourself up by pushing through your hands. Lift your shoulders back and be sure you aren’t hunching your neck and shoulders together. Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds at a time and breathe deeply.

RIGHT NOW: How to Get Into Shape Without a Gym

When it comes to the benefits of exercise, there are too many to count. With one of those benefits being a better sex life, why neglect it? Practice these moves in the gym to improve your life both in and out of the bedroom.

Citations and Source

1. White J, Case D, McWhirter D, Mattison A. Enhanced sexual behavior in exercising men. Arch Sex Behav. 1990;19(3):193-209.

Workouts for better sex

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