Whether you’re working out to look good, feel good, or perform better in a sport, there’s no question that exercise has a multitude of benefits for your body and mind. But did you know that your gym workout can make your sex life better, too? Beyond feeling fitter, sexier, and more confident, exercise can improve your endurance in bed and even target the muscles that make your orgasms more intense (in some cases, exercise itself can cause orgasms).
Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Indiana University and author of The Coregasm Workout. In her research, she has found that cardio is essential for an out-of-this-world orgasm, saying, “Cardio keeps the cardiovascular system healthy, which is at the root of blood flowing throughout the body including the pelvic area during sexual arousal.” But she also says that there are strength and flexibility exercises that make a difference, too. Add these moves to your fitness regimen and enjoy the benefits.
You’ve probably heard of kegel exercises. Kegels are exercises that help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that are essential during sex. So what do these muscles do? Pelvic floor muscles contract during sex to improve sexual arousal and sensation. But Herbenick says that women can also strengthen the pelvic floor muscles with core exercises. She recommends the plank to improve core stability and improve pelvic floor awareness and strength.
You can also lunge your way into a longer, more exciting orgasm. “My research also specifically looks at how many women engage in lower abdominal core exercises in ways that enhance their sexual arousal and orgasm,” Herbenick says. Walking lunges require you to contract and engage your core while your body is moving. This promotes improved stability and engagement through your core.
If you want to get sweaty and breathless in bed, you should do it in the gym. Herbenick says that some core exercises performed to exhaustion can be beneficial. She listed “high core demanding exercises” like the pullup or chinup as a great way to boost your bedroom routine. Can’t do a full pullup? No problem! Use the assisted pullup machine at the gym to develop strength and still enjoy its core-stabilizing benefits.
Want to move in and out of your favorite sexual positions with greater confidence and ease? Then start stretching at the end of your workout. “Anyone who enjoys being flexible during sex can benefit from enhancing their flexibility as part of their exerciseprogram,” Herbenick explains. She also says that some people participate in yoga, dance classes, or water aerobics to improve range of motion. But you can also increase flexibility just by stretching at the end of your exercise session.
Would you believe that old-school bicycle crunches make you better in bed? They do! And you might even benefit from some extra excitement in the gym when you perform them. In 2010, when Dr. Herbenick first started researching her Coregasm Workout, she learned that people often had exercise orgasms or sexual arousal during certain types of exercises. And those exercises were often abdominal exercises. The bicycle crunch is just one of the ab exercises she recommends for heightened sensation.
In addition to your gym workout, you can also do a few exercises at home to achieve a better orgasm. In an article for intimate lifestyle brand, Dr. Ian Kerner says that a home workout with the LUNA Smart Bead can help you to train your intimate muscles. The small, discreet device works with you while you practice kegel exercises. “When it vibrates, you squeeze, when it stops, you relax,” says Dr. Kerner. “It measures your orgasmic potential from the first time you squeeze it, and then guides you through five exercise levels to enhance and develop your orgasmic power.”
So the next time you find yourself searching for motivation to work harder or exercise longer, think about the sexual benefits you gain from each workout. Then add these exercises to your weekly routine for better performance in and out of the bedroom