We could go on and on about the health benefits of exercise that have nothing to do with burning calories, but did you know that regularly hitting the gym could actually improve your sex life?
It sounds crazy, but like so many crazy things, it’s true: Not only does working out keep you young and make you feel generally wonderful, but being active saves you money and regular exercise is apparently the bomb diggity for better sex.
We talked to six experts about the correlation between regular exercise and great sex, and they all agreed that it’s down to two main factors: that confidence boost and all those endorphins.
When you’re physically active, whether it’s in the bedroom or the barre room, you experience a flood of feel-good hormones, and there are plenty of key fitness moves that will help you long after you’ve stripped off your sweaty leggings and sneakers.
So if you find yourself feeling extra spicy on days where you kill it at the gym, that’s probably why.
David Bauer, certified personal trainer, health coach, and owner of Integrated Fitness Solutions agrees, adding, “When it comes to sex, studies show that healthier, more fit people often report having better sex lives. This can be attributed to everything from better self esteem and body image to improved circulation and core strength. From a purely fitness standpoint, a good core, strong legs, flexible hips and strong arms can go a long way in making sex more enjoyable.”
Bauer explains why this wide-legged twist on the traditional squat will pay off the next time you’re gettin’ down. “Here is where good hip mobility can come in handy as well as core strength. Kneeling astride or sitting with knees drawn up are popular positions but can be difficult if the hips are tight. Also, if she is squatting on top lifting herself up and down, the legs can grow fatigued quickly. Sumo squats are great for all these issues.
Stand with feet wider than hip width, feet turned out slightly and squat down, pushing the knees out while you descend. Go as deep as is comfortable, hold for a breath, then press back up. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps. For a little more intensity, hold at the bottom of the squat and bounce up and down slightly for a 5 count before returning to the standing position.”
If pushups remind you of gym class in junior high, we apologize, because they’re actually one of the best full-body exercises out there. Bauer says close-grip pushups, which are basically like your traditional pushup but lowered into a plank position, your hands are closer than shoulder width apart. Bauer says that these pushups are perfect for those pecs, giving you the arm strength you need for holding your body up during sex. His recommendation? “Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, holding at the top for a 3 count between each rep.” Got it!
Katie Dunlop, barre instructor and creator of the online fitness community Love Sweat Fitness explains why exercises involving your pelvic floor are so important and what that really means.
“I feel like the words ‘pelvic floor’ get thrown around a lot in in fitness classes, but most people don’t really know what it means. Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones that support most of what is going on in your lady parts. If your pelvic floor muscles are weak it can lead to a less-controlled bladder and bowel movements as well as decreased sexual function. Strengthening your pelvic floor obviously then means more control in these bodily functions and can also lead to a better, more intense sexual experience.
Like any exercise, it’s important to make sure you are actually working the muscles you intend to and not just going throw the motions. Engaging your pelvic floor easy to do. Just think of what muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. It’s essentially a Kegel, but paired up with more movement.
That’s where pelvic tucks come in to play. You simply lower your pelvis while scooping in your abs. Dunlop adds, “While doing pelvic tucks at the barre, focus on moving your pelvic from neutral and scooping it forward. Many people make the mistake of popping their booty back before tucking forward which is less effective. Contract your pelvic floor muscles as you tuck and relax back to neutral.”
4High back dancing & butterfly bridge
Corcoran says that “the focus on pelvic floor strengthening can lead to more intense sexual orgasms,” so she recommends this move, which targets those pelvic floor muscles perfectly. As for how it’s done?
“Lie down on your back, knees bent, soles of your feet together in a resting butterfly position. Lift up to a high bridge position bringing ankles knees and thighs all the way together at the top and then lower back down. Repeat rhythmically, lifting and lowering at the same pace. Pelvic floor lifts & engages as you rise up. Repeat 10 – 20 times. Hold at the top, move feet to hips width distance and finish with small presses up, continuing to lift your pelvic floor.”
5Wide turned-out slides
This fun take on the squat will also hit those pelvic floor muscles in so many ways. Corcoran recommends that you “stand with your feet as wide as your outstretched arms and turned out. Bend your knees deeply, keeping shoulders over hips. Slide all the way up to two straight legs, heels touch in a narrow-v shape and all the way back down to wide turned out. Feel inner thigh, pelvic floor and abdominal wall lift with each slide. Repeat 20 – 40 times.”
Personal trainer and owner of Burn Boot Camp in Flower Mound, Texas Stephanie Knoop, recommends these bad boys to strengthen your glutes, which are the largest and most powerful muscles in that bod of yours. Lay on your back with your knees bent, arms out to your side. Slowly lift your hips to the sky, engaging your glutes and hamstrings.” Then, slowly lower with control, engaging every muscle as you descend. Knoop recommends setting a timer for one minute, doing three sets three times a week for those fired-up glutes.
The plank is a go-to move in all kinds of fitness practices, and with good reason. Knoop explains:
“A plank takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core. This is one of my favorite exercises to strengthen your core to create a nice flat stomach. It is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance,” which can’t be beat when you’re rolling around in the sheets.
As for how often to hold those planks, Knoop says: “If you are just beginning, start with 3 sets holding for 10 seconds each with 10 second break in between. As you can hold longer work towards holding a 5-minute plank without breaking.” Your partner will no doubt be wowed if you can hold a 5-minute plank, and your core will be so strong.
We’re just going to say it: Yoga is one of the best fitness practices for a super steamy sex life, and Rebecca Weible, founder of Yo Yoga! explains why. “Yoga offers a deeper mind body connection so you can explore what makes you feel good and what will give both you and your partner pleasure. It can also boost self confidence so you can be focused on what you’re doing and what’s being done to you instead of how you look.”
One of her favorite yoga moves? The crow pose, which strengthens that pelvic floor and all the core muscles. This one isn’t for the beginner yogi, but once you get there, there’s no denying that you’ll be the queen of the mat and the bedroom.
Aside from being one of the most elegant fitness practices, ballet is also innately sensual — perfect for those looking to relevé their way in and out of the boudoir. Jillian Dreusike, founder of allongée gave us one of her go-to ballet moves, the graceful sauté arabesque, which is a teeny hop with feet slightly turned out, placing one leg extended behind you. Dreusike says that this gorgeous move requires that the pelvic girdle have tension upward and forward, the exact type of engagement we are looking for when practicing kegels.” It’s the perfect way to engage all your muscles and twirl into the bedroom like the sex goddess you truly are.