9 Exercises That Help You Have Better Sex
Fitness expert Katie Dunlop shares some exercise moves that will help you break a sweat and give your sex life a boost.
Exercises that help your sex life
Yes, really: with a few basic exercises, you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and give your sex life an all-around boost. “The word ‘pelvic floor’ gets thrown around a lot in fitness classes, but most people don’t really know what it means,” explains Katie Dunlop, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and creator of Love Sweat Fitness. “If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, it can lead to less controlled bladder and bowel movements, as well as decreased sexual function,” she says. The good news: You can work on firing those muscles outside the bedroom for a greater time indoors later. These exercises will do double duty: You get a workout and have better sex. Plan to do each one ten times, three times a week, unless otherwise instructed.
“There are a few movements in barre that, if you focus on engaging the muscles while performing them, will target pelvic floor. You’ll get the benefit of stronger, more intense sex while strengthening your entire body,” says Dunlop. “This exercise really targets your thighs and gluteus, but is actually even better for your pelvic floor,” she says. Stand with your legs wide apart, toes pointed out. With your weight on your heels, lower your hips as you push your knees open. Keep your pelvis tucked and chest lifted as you sit low into a squat, then return to standing.
Double leg raise
“Engaging your pelvic floor is 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,” says Dunlop. “This exercise strengthens your lower abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and lower back.” To perform the move, lay on your back. Place your thumbs under your tailbone for support. Lift your legs, flexing your feet as though you were going to kick your heels into the ceiling. Engage your core as you slowly lower your legs toward the floor. Only lower to the point that you feel your abs engage—but don’t allow your lower back to lift off the floor.
Hip opening stretch
“This hip opening stretch will increase flexibility and make it easier to get down without cramping up,” says Dunlop. Start on all fours, then bring your big toes together and slowly begin to walk your knees apart as you lower your chest toward the floor. Breathe into those areas of tension and tightness, and take your time. Each time you exhale, you’ll sink a little bit deeper—the more you stretch, the easier it gets. Repeat two to three times.
Clam hip raises
This is a challenging move that will build stamina for better sex. “Plus, it works your obliques, and inner and outer thighs, and will leave you feeling super strong and sexy,” Dunlop says. Start on the floor on your side. Prop up on your forearm; keep your legs together and knees bent. Open your top knee toward the ceiling while lifting your hips up off the floor and keeping the heels connected. Slowly lower. After five reps, repeat on the other side.
“This exercise does it all: Hovering your knees while moving forward and back increases strength, endurance and stamina. It challenges your body to move in new ways,” says Dunlop. Start on all fours, hands stacked under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Press your hands into the floor and tuck your toes, then lift your knees to hover two inches off the ground. Move one arm and the opposite leg forward; then switch to the other side. You’ll rock back and forth on alternating sides.
“Your lower back is loaded with tons of sensitive nerve endings. This exercise will help strengthen the lower back and increase arousal response,” says Dunlop. Lay on your back, legs bent, feet firmly placed on the floor; then lift your feet off the floor and hug your knees in toward your chest, lifting the hips as you contract your core.
Holding a plank pose is one of the best exercises you can do to build endurance and stamina for better sex. “Forearm planks are my favorites because they really work the core,” says Dunlop. Start on your hands and knees on the ground. Plant your forearms onto the floor parallel to one another then tuck your toes and straighten your legs, adjusting your body as needed to get a straight line from your head to your heels. If you want more of a challenge, switch back and forth between high planks on your hands, and forearm planks. Be sure to keep your gaze down and core engaged.
Regular and low lunges not only will increase strength in your lower body, but also will increase your flexibility, making it more comfortable to move through different positions with your partner. Stand with your chest lifted and shoulders relaxed, then step forward with one leg and lower your hips until your front leg is at about a 90-degree angle and the rear leg’s knee is almost touching the ground. Be sure to keep your weight in your front heel and light on your back toes, and don’t let your front knee extend past your toes. Step back and repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
Upright pelvic tucks
“Many people make the mistake of popping their booty back before tucking, which is less effective. Contract your pelvic floor muscles as you tuck and relax back to neutral,” says Dunlop. Start on your knees with thighs and spine aligned. Scoop your hips backward, tilting your pelvis to engage your lower abdominal muscles. Lower until you reach your heels, the slowly straighten back up. Watching yourself tuck in the mirror will help you perfect your form.
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- Katie Dunlop, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and creator of Love Sweat Fitness