Face flushed? Out of breath? Feeling all tingly and satisfied? Whether you’ve had a good session in the gym or the bedroom, your body’s reaction is the same. This is because sex and exercise are inextricably linked: the more you exercise, the better your sex life will be. But, just as certain workouts boost certain parts of the body, there are exercises you can do to really set your sexual exploits on fire. Here’s how to choose the right ones to light the spark.
How To Boost Sexual Stamina
It takes the average woman 12 minutes to reach orgasm. So, in certain positions, that could be equivalent to 12 minutes of non-stop squats! With a few added benefits, of course.
Do it: Work on your thighs, hamstrings, bum, hip flexors and calf muscles with barbell squats. “Do three sets of 12-15 repetitions,” says personal trainer Ray Klerck. “If you can hold the squat for a moment at the bottom, you’ll really work those leg muscles.”
How To Have Olympian Orgasms
Ever wonder where an orgasm comes from? It’s the pubococcygeus muscle (sexy name, huh?), which stretches from the pubic bone to the coccyx. This contracts when you feel those orgasmic pulses – and the more you train it, the better it functions.
Do it: Pilates is ideal to target this muscle. Lynne Robinson, founder of Body Control Pilates, suggests the wind zip move to really activate the pelvic floor. Sit on a chair with your feet hip-width apart on the floor, ensuring your weight is even on both sitting bones and your spine is lengthened. Breathe in, then breathe out as you gently squeeze your back passage, as if trying to prevent yourself passing wind. Then bring this feeling forward towards your pubic bone, as if trying to stop yourself from peeing. “Continue to gently draw these pelvic floor muscles up inside,” says Lynne. “Maintain the core connection for five breaths, then relax.”
How To Feel Like A Godess
The sexiest attribute in a woman is body confidence, says a Men’s Health survey. “When you feel comfortable about your body, you’re far more likely to be experimental in the bedroom, because you’re not worrying about how you look,” explains sexpert Dr Pam Spurr (drpam.co.uk).
Do it: Many women feel least confident about their midriff, so target that area. “To reveal a toned stomach, you need to lose excess weight with cardio as well as doing abdominal exercises,” says Klerck. He recommends interval training on the treadmill: Alternate high speed running for four minutes, with slower running for one minute for a total of 30 minutes.
How To Flex It Up
Can’t get into certain positions? Make sure your muscles are flexible. “Focus on your back and your hips, as these are usually under the most pressure to move during sex,” says therapist Dr Ian Kerner, author of Passionista: The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Pleasuring a Man (Harper Collins, £9.99).
Do it: The cat/cow yoga move helps mobilise the spine. “Begin on all fours,” says yoga instructor Kirsten Orchard (thethirdspace.com). “Inhale, then exhale, drawing your belly in and rounding your spine upwards at the same time. You should have created a ‘C’ shape. Now inhale, reversing the C shape by curling your spine towards the floor and lifting your chest and sitting bones up to the ceiling. You should feel this stretch across the front line of your body. Alternate between these two positions, then come back to neutral.”
How To Feel Sexy For Longer
While getting the heart rate up will help you feel in the mood, it’s important not to get too excited, says researcher Tierney Lorenz. “Our studies have shown that you don’t want to be too ‘high’ (freaking out), but you also don’t want to be too low (bored),” she says. “Exercise helps women get into the spot right in the middle, setting them up for a stronger genital response once they start feeling sexy.”
Do it: Tierney’s preliminary research indicates that strength training is a good way to go, as it boosts your sensory responses for longer than vigorous aerobic exercise. In fact, the effect can last up to an hour! Grab some dumbbells or a resistance band, or work on the bench press.
How To Give A Gold Medal Performance
Being a sexual acrobat is far easier for people who work out. “It’s not just men who need stamina and muscle strength in bed,” says Dr Kerner. “Women can find themselves unable to give the performance they’d like if their bodies fail them.”
Do it: Regular aerobic exercise will help give you the stamina you need for an extended – or even experimental – session between the sheets. Try to incorporate cardio into your daily routine: walk or bike to work, or take the stairs whenever you can. Klerck adds: “Frequent stretching will also give you flexibility. Throw in strength training with weights and you’ll be able to give a star performance every time!”
How To Rev Up Your Sex Drive
Women who do vigorous exercise respond more quickly to arousal triggers, according to research. “Women appear to have greater sexual arousal post-exercise compared to their response at baseline,” says Tierney Lorenz of the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
Do it: Stair-climb for 15 minutes before your partner gets home. The research showed that the arousal effect lasted for about 15 minutes after vigorous exercise… so enjoy!
This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness