Boost your performance (and your pleasure) between the sheets with these better-sex moves
Sexual pleasure is often about hitting a spot (one that begins with a “G,” if you’re lucky) over and over and over again. But physicians now understand that hitting your peak in the bedroom doesn’t necessarily start there. Exercise—and a few specific moves in particular—can heighten your sexual experience in myriad ways.
“Exercise increases testosterone production in women as well as men, increasing sex drive,” says Louann Brizendine, MD, founder of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of The Female Brain. “Plus, during exercise, other hormones and chemicals are released by the muscles that produce a sense of well-being, which also makes us more receptive to sexual approaches.” So exercise makes us want sex more, but being fit and flexible also enables us to do more while having it. How’s that for a motivational reason to start training?
Let’s get busy.
Get Unkinked To Get Kinky
Tight hamstrings (the muscles at the backs of your thighs) and glutes (your butt muscles) can severely limit sexual creativity, especially while standing (think shower sex). “You can be more creative about what you do sexually if you’re flexible,” says Jordan Metzl, MD, a sports-medicine specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and author of The Exercise Cure. Dr. Metzl recommends using a foam roller to ease tightness in both. Try these 2 foam-rolling moves:
Hip Rotator Roll
Photo by Mitch Mandel
Sit on the foam roller with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Lean your torso back and place your right hand on the floor, shifting weight into right hip and crossing right ankle over left thigh. Place your left hand on your left thigh. Use your supporting foot and hand to roll from the bottom of the glutes to the pelvic bone. Continue rolling back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.
Sit on the floor with legs extended in front. Place a foam roller under thigh, just above your right knee, and cross your left leg over your right ankle. Place hands flat on the floor for support, and keep your back naturally arched. Next, roll your body forward until the roller reaches your glutes. Then roll back, and continue for at least 30 seconds. Repeat with the roller under your left thigh. Note: If rolling one leg is too difficult, place the roller under both legs and do them together. (Keep the good vibes coming with these 5 foam-rolling exercises that help you feel 10 years younger.)
Build A Sex-Pack
A stronger, firmer core isn’t just about vanity. It also helps to support your every move between the sheets, and can help you hold that pose until you (or your partner) hits your peak. In addition to planks, one of the best core conditioners, don’t forget to throw in a few old-school crunches. According to a recent study from The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, the simple move is the most effective way to tone the rectus abdominus, those six-pack muscles that run up and down the front of your belly. Here’s how to do it:
Photo by Brook Pifer/Getty Images
Lie back on a mat with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Place hands behind the head so thumbs rest lightly behind the ears with elbows out to the sides. Tilt your chin slightly down, leaving a few inches of space above your chest. Next, gently pull your abdominals inward, and curl up and forward so your head, neck, and shoulders lift off the floor. Hold for a moment, then slowly lower down. Do two sets of as many as you can.
Get Strong Up Top To Go On Top
Guys have to hold up their body weight during missionary sex. In more adventurous positions, however, we women often have to do the same—or even support our body weight and our guy’s. To build upper-body strength, Pete McCall, a San Diego-based, ACE-certified personal trainer recommends doing these moves regularly:
Photo by Jupiterimages/Getty Images
Place your hands on the floor directly under your chest with fingers spread and thumbs and index fingers touching (when you look down you’ll see a triangle). Come up into a plank position. Lower your chest to the floor by bending your elbows. Go as low as you can while keeping your back flat. Your elbows will naturally flare out to the sides at the bottom of the movement. Press back up and repeat. Try doing 2 sets of as many as you can with good form.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand while standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Next, raise the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time, rotating your wrists so palms face forward. This is your starting position. Then, exhale and push the dumbbells overhead until they touch at the top. Pause, then slowly lower the weights to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 times for 1 set. Do 2 sets.
Strengthen The Pelvic Floor For More
Don’t put those dumbbells down—you can use them to work your upper legs, including your hips, outer thighs, and butt. “Because this exercise requires stability on one leg, it’s also great for reaching the deep core stabilizers, including the pelvic floor,” says McCall. “And a stronger pelvic floor may provide more control and even ‘grip’ strength during sex.” Need he say more?
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Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, and stand facing a platform or a step with feet parallel and about hip-width apart. Pull your shoulders down and back. Slowly place your right foot on the platform, keeping your torso upright. Push off with your left leg, and place your left foot alongside your right on the platform. Pause, then step backward with your left leg followed by your right to return to the starting position. Repeat, beginning with your left leg. Repeat 8 to 10 times for 1 set. Do 2 to 3 sets. Note: For more of a challenge, step up onto one leg only and remain standing on a single leg before stepping back down.
Om for More Ohs
Muscular, intense sex is sweaty and sublime. But orgasmic sex is the Holy Grail and, it turns out, exercise can help with that, too. According to a study published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, yoga can improve several aspects of sexual function in women, including desire, arousal, overall satisfaction, and (yes!) orgasm. “There are postures that specifically work to open the hips, which increases range of motion there as well as blood flow, which is great for helping orgasms,” says yoga instructor Kathryn Budig, author of The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga. Try these yoga poses:
Happy Baby Pose
Lie on your back on a mat with knees bent and feet raised so the soles are facing the ceiling. Open your legs slightly wider than hip distance, and grab the insides of your heels. Gently pull down on your heels to help bring your thighs closer to the floor beside your chest. Keep your hips heavy and your tailbone extended forward. Relax your shoulders and keep your head down throughout. Slowly rock side to side, breathing deeply, for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Photo by PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/Getty Images
Sit on a mat with your legs open wide in a V. Flex your feet so that knees and toes point straight up. Keeping your pelvis rooted to the floor, inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale and, while keeping your spine long, walk your hands along your legs without rounding your upper back. Grab hold of the big toes, and fold forward, pressing outer hips down.