It’s no secret that training your body can help you shed a few pounds—but can burning calories and toning your muscles really help you enjoy sex more?
“The oxygenation of blood plays a huge roll in arousal—people who work out, especially with cardiovascular exercise, are going to have much better vascular health and better flow to the genitals,” Kerner says. Add in the feel-good endorphin release you get from exercising, and you have a potential sweat-induced love potion, he says.
The Best Exercises For Sex
But what are some of the top exercises that will may help improve sex, including performance, endurance and enjoyment potential?
“Yoga and weight lifting emphasize the pelvic area and help build pelvic floor strength,” says Kerner. “Female arousal, just like male arousal, is dependent on blood flow to the pelvic area,” he says.
You can also try…
• Pushups. If you can’t do basic training-quality pushups at first, start with wall presses (essentially pushups done against the wall), aiming for 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. When you’re ready, progress to knee pushups on the floor, making sure to keep your back straight while you slowly touch your nose to the ground. Once you’re ready to kick it up a notch, progress to traditional hand-and-toe pushups.
• Ab Work. After pushups, your abs are the next most critical sex-boosting body area, says Weil, director of the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, and an exercise and fitness expert on WebMD’s message boards. “After all, you have to use your abdominal muscles during sex.”
Weil suggests starting your ab workout with good old-fashioned crunches. Lie on your back, hands supporting your neck, knees bent and your feet on the floor, then bring your body up just enough to get your shoulders off the ground. Do 3-5 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
Experts also recommend doing bridges (lying on your back, knees bent, lift your hips up and down; 3 sets of 15 reps). Men can also try pelvic tilts (standing up or lying down, straighten your lower back and pull your belly button in until your lower back touches the wall or floor), while women can try Kegels (contract your pelvic muscles (the ones you’d use to stop the flow of urine); squeeze the muscles tight for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds. Do 10-15 repetitions, three times a day).
• Deadlifts. This exercise will keep your back as strong as it can be, says Weil, and give your legs and torso a workout, too. Deadlifts, where you raise a weighted barbell or dumbbells from the ground, starting in a neutral bent-over position, is easy to do — and easy to do wrong, so technique is important, according to the American Council on Exercise. Get some pro tips online or at your gym to be sure you’re getting the most out of doing deadlifts.
• Torso side bends and twists. And to get the most from this exercise, as well as the next one, head to the gym. The effort is worth it, because torso side bends and twists will keep your upper body strong, says Weil, and give you stamina. “Do them on the cable crossover machine for maximum effect.”
• Pushing or pulling exercise in the gym. While you’re at the gym, rows, flyes and lateral raises will do a great job for your performance in the bedroom, says Weil. Remember to get a few quick tips from a pro on how to do these exercises most effectively.
If you have questions about how to perform a particular exercise, just flag a trainer down – most won’t mind answering a basic question or two.
Additional Ways Exercises Can Improve Sex
Exercise may help beat erectile dysfunction, too. One study showed that in men over 50 years of age, physically active men had a 30% lower risk of erectile dysfunction than sedentary men. Studies also show a strong link between obesity and ED.
In fact, people who exercise often have a better body image than sedentary people, which can help them feel more sexually appealing. One study found that 80% of men and 60% of females who exercised two to three times a week felt their sexual desirability was above average.
“Although there can be many factors to exercise and sexual activity, what some studies suggest is that people who are fit and active have more sex than sedentary people.” The bottom line? “Being strong and flexible with lots of endurance will put the spunk into sex for you and your partner,” Weil says.
And don’t forget to develop the most important muscle of all. Sex begins with the muscle between the ears, and not the ones in your abs. If you feel healthy and have a positive body imagine, you will have a better sex life.