We can't teach you how to be better in the sack because we're unapologetic prudes. However, with a few tips from sociologist, sexuality speaker, and relationship and intimacy counselor Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, PhD, we can explain how to use exercise and fitness to enhance your sexual prowess.
According to Dr. Gunsaullus, "There's a correlation between people who have a more active sex life and those who have confidence in themselves and want to experience and enjoy their bodies."
In other words, crafting a better body image can lead to improved self-esteem and a stronger desire to knock boots. However, exercise has an added bonus for females. A 2012 study published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy found abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, and biking or spinning were activities that allowed women to achieve exercise-induced orgasms. Guys doing those same activities were able to . . . break a sweat and feel fatigued.
But since most of us prefer to (and do) reach climax by wrestling naked between the sheets, we can't rely on exercise to get us there. So, here are five sex-friendly movements to add to your training regimen so you can become a more proficient intercourser.
#1. KegelsKegel exercises require tightening and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. They can be done virtually anywhere, and on the sly.
"In general, the more women are stretching their pubococcygeus (PC) muscles, and the stronger the muscles in the pelvic girdle are, the more intense an orgasm will be. It can also help with recovery after childbirth and urinary incontinence."
Guys can do Kegels, too. Doing them won't be of much assistance before or after childbirth, but they do help men gain more control over ejaculation (which is indirectly the same thing, if you think about it). Also, they can aid bladder control. And nonscientific studies show that guys wearing dry slacks get laid exponentially more than dudes who routinely pee themselves.
To perform a Kegel, take a seat or lie down on the floor, and contract the muscles you'd use to stop urinating midstream. If you feel your abs or leg muscles tighten, you're doing it wrong. To do a rep, contract for 3–5 seconds, and then relax for 3–5 seconds. Do a set of 10 reps a few times a day. If you're having a hard time finding your PC muscle, you can find it easily when you're urinating. Try to stop the flow, and then remember what muscle you flexed to do so.
#2. High Intensity Interval TrainingIf you're sucking wind after a handful of thrusts, you're going to have a problem on your hands pelvis.
"If you don't exercise enough or possess much endurance, you're going to get tired during sex—especially if it lasts more than 7 or 10 minutes," says Dr. Gunsaullus. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cardio—mixing bursts of intense cardio, like sprints, with periods of less intense cardio, like walking—can be an effective weight-loss tool and a quick way to get your cardiovascular system in prime sex condition.
Whatever the activity—jumping rope, running, biking, Parkour, etc.—use a 2:1 exercise-to-rest ratio. Work up to 15 minutes. A number of our programs also use HIIT principles, particularly TurboFire® and the INSANITY® series.
#3. Push-UpsPush-ups work the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and core—all of which are utilized in a variety of sex positions. Whether you're hoisting someone in the air, bracing yourself against the headboard or wall, or standing on your hands while . . . actually, that one's above our pay grade. Point is, push-ups can provide the upper-body strength and endurance to prevent you from killing the mood by stopping every two minutes to shake out your fatigued spaghetti arms.
If you can only complete a couple push-up reps with good form, do them from your knees or do them standing, using the edge of a counter. Take as many sets as you need to work up to 50 reps. Once you can do 50 unassisted push-ups (no knees, no counter), move up to 100 reps. If you can rock out reps like Rocky, add difficulty by elevating your feet or clapping between each rep.
#4. Towel TwistsWe don't know many guys past the age of 16 who enjoy hand stimulation from their partners, but anything's possible. However, 2010 data published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine about Americans' sex habits found that women are more likely to reach orgasm when they engage in variety of acts, including oral sex and hand stimulation.
"If you're doing a lot with your hands or fingers and you haven't worked up your forearms, you can get tired quickly," Dr. Gunsaullus explains. To help improve forearm strength, regularly grab a hand towel and ring it out for up to a minute. In the process, you'll also rid yourself of that embarrassing dead-fish handshake grip.
#5. Body Awareness Activities (Yoga, Pilates, Martial Arts, etc.)Dr. Gunsaullus trains in the discipline of Soo Bahk Do martial arts. So along with being able to completely shut down Daniel LaRusso's crane kick, she's learned to develop a heightened sense of body awareness.
"When I was younger and with younger men, they'd start doing something new with their hands but forget what they were doing with other parts of their body. They couldn't multitask," she revealed. "The body awareness, strength, and endurance combined with a learning component of martial arts allow people to pay attention to what their hands, hips, and feet are doing."
If you don't want to kick ass and take names, yoga and Pilates can offer benefits; couples that do yoga together often form a stronger mind-body connection with each other. Presumably, that deeper connection would then lead to a—wink, wink—"deeper connection" after class.
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