- Working out can help you build better body awareness and stamina for hotter sex, trainers say.
- Core exercises like glute bridges can help boost your confidence and pleasure in the bedroom.
- A combination of mental and physical exercises can help you feel closer to a partner, too.
Working out doesn’t just make you healthier — exercising your mind and body can also boost your love life too.
Exercises like core work, yoga, and cardio help improve your body awareness, stamina, and mobility, which can translate to more pleasurable sex, according to personal trainers. Tuning into your body can also make you more confident, help you communicate with a partner, and feel more intimate overall, sex therapists say.
Get in touch with your sexy side with these simple, expert-recommended tips for a more satisfying sexual experience, whether you’re looking to spice things up with a long-term partner or connect with someone new.
For better sex through exercise, work on a strong core, flexibility, and stamina
If you want to translate your gym gains to benefits in the bedroom, focus on key areas like your hips, glutes, and abs, according to Michael Bultman, a personal trainer who coaches for Park Slope Community Fitness and City Strong.
Cultivating both strength and mobility in those muscles can help you enjoy and maintain a variety of sex positions. It also prevents discomfort or injury, which can be a major mood-killer.
“We can almost always have sex the first time, the key is getting them back for more,” Bultman said.
Some great exercises for better sex include:
- Glute bridges: lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground about six inches from your butt. Press your upper back and heels into the ground to lift your butt off the ground, keeping your hips square and a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Lower and repeat.
- Bird dogs: start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders. Slowly extend one arm in front of you while raising the opposite leg until both are parallel to the ground. Keep your core engaged and hips square, clenching your glute muscles at the top. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
- Fire hydrant: start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lift one leg out to the side as high as is comfortable, leading with the knee and keeping it bent at a 90 degree angle. Squeeze your thigh and glute at the top and hold briefly, keeping the hips square and core tight, before returning to the starting position and switching sides.
For better stamina, don’t neglect cardio exercise, such as running, biking, rowing, or swimming as part of your routine.
“The goal of sex is not just to have it, but to have it for a while, so you need some cardiovascular endurance,” Bultman said.
A solid mind-body connection makes sex more pleasurable for you and your partner
Part of enjoyable sex is being in tune with both your body and your partner’s body, and being able to assess what feels good for both of you. Sometimes, a more fluid and rhythmic approach is better than fast, forceful movements.
That can sometimes be tricky if you’re not intuitively aware of your body, which is common among men, Bultman said.
“Men like to think being big, smashing hard, is the right thing to do, but in this case, the motion in the ocean is the more important thing,” he explained.
To offset that instinct, it can be helpful to engage in more deliberate or mindful exercises such as yoga or dance.
Working out helps you feel more confident and comfortable in your own body, experts say
Exercise can help you feel proud of your body and what it can do, which translates to more confidence in sexual situations, according to Dr. Amy Hoover, a physical therapist and advisory board member for the functional fitness company P.volve.
Knowing and appreciating your body helps you be more aware of specific areas (like your pelvic floor) which can lead to more pleasure and even better orgasms. This is also the first step toward helping your partner understand what you like, too.
“It’s about celebrating the body not just for how it looks, but how it can feel. And if you recognize what you’re feeling, you can verbalize it,” Hoover previously told Insider.
Get in touch with your sexy side
When it comes to great sex, communication is key, and it can be helpful to slow down and tap into what makes you feel sexy, according to sex therapist and “Sex Points” author Bat Sheva Marcus.
Whether it’s a new set of lingerie, taking sexy pictures, or masturbating, focusing on the ways you can make yourself feel hot can boost your confidence, she previously told Insider.
Understanding your own expectations and communicating them to a partner can also make for a more satisfying intimate experience. For example, if you feel safer and more confident having sex with the lights off, be honest with your partner about why, and request they flip the switch. Or, if you’re specifically interested in oral sex, be up front. Don’t be afraid to share if you’re feeling anxious, too.
Most importantly, don’t place high expectations or too much pressure on the situation, Marcus said.
“Don’t put too much weight on it,” she said. “And then you won’t go into a spiral of, ‘Oh my God, I don’t remember how to have sex and world’s going to end.'”
Start your date nights with sex
One mental strategy for better intimacy is to make sex feel like a priority by scheduling it in advance, Dr. Shannon Chavez, a sex therapist and K-Y spokesperson, previously told Insider.
An easy way to do this is making sure your date nights start with sex, Chavez said.
While it may feel odd at first, making dedicated time and space for sex can help ease any mental blocks you and your partner might be having towards it.
“We schedule everything in life that is a priority,” Chavez said. “Sex should be something that is planned so you can anticipate it, prepare for it physically, mentally, and emotionally, and be mindful of how to get in the right headspace to have a good experience with your partner.”