You’re well aware by now of the benefits of exercise. You know: looking better, feeling better, living longer, playing harder. But here’s another one: exercise will also exponentially improve your performance in the bedroom. “Being active and engaged, that’s what great sex is based on,” says Patti Britton, a sex coach and the author of The Art of Sex Coaching: Expanding Your Practice. So, yeah, maybe that much is a no-brainer. But these 30 reasons aren’t. So read up on why getting your ass to the gym a few times a week will having you doing a bang-up job where it counts. And if you need an extra push to get there, read up on the 11 ways smart men motivate themselves to go to the gym.
When you orgasm—and this goes for both genders—you’re flexing what are called the pubococcygeus muscles, located in the abdomen. “If someone has weak pubococcygeus muscles, they may have trouble producing an erection, sustaining an erection, or becoming amply aroused enough to have an intense orgasm,” says Britton. So work that core. And if you want a strong core, learn the workout that will give you abs by summer.
“A lot of the times people fail sexually are because they’re not fit. Literally,” says Britton. If you don’t exercise and aren’t fit, “it doesn’t mean you can’t be a juicy lover, but often it means you’re simply not capable” of physically going through the motions. Whipping yourself into shape will, for one thing, open the door on sex. You can refine technique later. And if you want it to be the best you’ve ever had, read our 11 secrets for mind-blowing orgasms.
“‘If you don’t use it, you lose it,’ is real,” says Britton. “About every aspect of our bodies and wellness, our cognitive thoughts, the strength of our muscles.” So it’s not just a pubescent rhyme; apply that thinking to the way you live, and it will carry you a long way. And if you’re looking for ways to boost your drive, learn about the 10 best things you can easily tackle any day of the week.
“Strength and toning are what we get out of a regular routine of exercise,” says Britton. “That translates directly into being able to have better sex,” from the simplest of reasons, like being able to hold yourself up in missionary for longer, to more complex factors that we’ll get to in what most of us would call fifteen minutes. And if you’re looking to build up strength, you could do worse than copping Chris Evans’s workout.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins, as you know, produce feelings of euphoria; you’ll have an overall better outlook on life. “We release these good feelings,” says Britton, and will bring those good feelings with us wherever we go—including the bedroom. And if you’re looking to for a better outlook, learn how to conquer stress once and for all.
Similarly, exercise boosts self-esteem. “We get a sense of positive self-regard,” says Britton. “So, if you know you’ve done your workout, you’re going to feel better about yourself and about bringing your body into the sexual arena.” And if you want to look your best, read up on the 10 easiest ways to lose weight in your 40s.
“When we think about sex, it’s energy flowing between two people,” says Britton. Feeling better about yourself and how you look will improve your energy, leaving you free an uninhibited—ripe for having the most ecstatic sex, says Britton. Another way to foster a deep connection is by whispering sweet nothings, like these 13 sexiest things you can say.
Exercise limbers you up, from your knees and toes, all the way up to your arms and shoulder and neck. “Most people turn and move their head during oral,” says Britton. So it goes to reason that, if either partner’s neck goes stiff, you risk something else of yours going the opposite.
And while you’re at it limbering up your neck, you should limber up everything else, as well. Regular exercise will make you more flexible. The more flexible you are, the fewer cramps you’ll get. And nothing ruins a good bone session like a limb—or worse, your back—seizing up. You can start loosening up by mastering the world’s single best stretch.
“Having flexibility in the joints, in the knees in particular, is very important,” Britton stresses. Many of her patients complain that sex is a strain on the knees, especially in doggy style.
It’s been about fifteen minutes, right? Cool. Now we’re going to get into what we wanted to get into earlier (phrasing): new positions. “I’ve worked with couples who have wanted to have stand-up sex,” says Britton. “But stand-up sex takes a lot of strength and muscle tone.”
Britton teaches a Kama Sutra program that features 36 positions. (And you thought there were only three…) Stand-up sex, though, as we mentioned, hard to pull off, happens to be on the simpler side of things. So if you’re not in shape enough to do that one, how will you tackle the other 35?
“Simply put, sex takes strength and stamina,” says Britton. When it comes to sex, we typically think of stamina in terms of: How long can I last before I come? But we should also be applying that to things like: How long can I hold this position for? Or How long can I put up with foreplay?
Speaking of flexibility and new sex positions, perhaps you’ve heard of this aerobic exercise called yoga? In addition to significantly improving your flexibility and mood (and connection with your chakras, man…), yoga offers up a ton of possibilities when it comes to the bedroom. For starters, read up on the moves that will instantly transform your sex life.
During the average session of sex, according to a study out of the University of Montreal, men will burn about 100 calories. (For women, it’s 69.) So it’s a lusty, erotic, super fun cycle; sex whips you into shape, which makes you more attractive, which leads to more sex. Man, Sisyphus really drew the short straw.
A study out of the University of Texas found that couples who work out together report more satisfying sex. So grab your partner, and get to it—so you can get at it later. Incidentally, working out as a couple is one of 50 ways to be a better man.
A stronger grip makes for a better, firmer massage. So turn off the tube, and give each other massages; it’ll loosen you both up, in every way. Not as good at giving as you are at getting? Be sure to read our foolproof guide on giving a mind-blowing massage.
Here’s one for free: Exercise increases blood flow, and blood flow increases, well, you know… Wait, seriously? Increased blood flow will make your erections harder and easier to get. And if you’re curious about more ways to increase your blood flow, learn about the 10 easy ways to lower your blood pressure.
If you want to work specifically on the pubococcygeus muscles, you can try exercises that are commonly referred to as Kegels, like stopping-and-starting-and-stopping-and-starting your pee streams. You can also try an exercise you’ve likely been practicing for decades: Masturbation—or, in scientific parlance, “pubococcygeus strength training.”
More often than not, sex is about keeping it going, not getting it started. If you exercise more—be it “pubococcygeus strength training” or traditional aerobic exercise—you can simply last longer. When your mind is exposed to long periods of resistance training, like those you experience in a workout, you mentally can put up with more. And at the end of the day (or night, or morning, or afternoon), sex is little more than a mental game.
We all know that regular exercise leads to living longer, healthier lives. So if you live to see 100, it goes to reason that you’ll have more years to have sex in. And if you’re in shape, you’ll still be able to keep years after your peers have tapped out, making you the stud of the retirement home.
The more you exercise, the hungrier you’ll get. When it comes to recharging your energy after a workout, don’t think of it as a thing you have to do—think of it as an opportunity. Now, you get to eat more foods that supercharge your libido.
“Unless its consenting pain for pleasure, pain is very disruptive of a sexual act,” says Britton. “Ouch is not an aphrodisiac.” If you’re fit and strong, sex has a lower chance of hurting you with things like cramps and Charlie Horses. If, however, you manage to pull something, like your back, read up our comprehensive guide to defeating lower back pain once and for all. (This is as good a chance as any to remind folks: the only pain that should exist in the bedroom is between safe, consenting adults. There are no exceptions.)
“Exercise—especially activities like squats—leads to much better control during sex,” says Britton. With a toned behind, you’ll be able to keep things moving faster, and for longer. Plus, who doesn’t want a sculpted tush? Squats are great for that, as they’re one of the exercises that will give you an Olympian physique.
Exercise enough, and you’ll simply be more jacked—a.k.a., hotter—to the women you’re trying to attract. If presented with a choice between scrawny or deltoids like mountains, every person on the planet would rather jump the bones of the latter. Practice makes perfect. If big muscles are what you want—they are—be sure to learn how to build muscle fast.
We don’t realize it, but the skin is our largest sex organ. Exercise moves blood and oxygen through your body, which will, in turn, oxygenate your skin, which will make you hotter to the touch—literally and metaphorically. Pair that with a male model’s tips for a perfect body, and you’ll be gracing billboards—or, more likely, bedsheets—in no time.
All that extra strength and stamina will come in handy—literally. If your arms are stronger, it will take longer for them to tire out during (yes, of course it’s essential, come on, man) foreplay, especially when your hand’s in her pants.
True, in the moments after exercise, your body releases cortisol, the dreaded “stress hormone.” But that’s no excuse to lounge around. In the long term, exercise increases your body’s resistance to cortisol. Seeing that cortisol increases stress and decreases sex drive, cutting it out of your life can only be a good thing. And if exercise doesn’t quite reduce your stress, check out our minute-by-minute guide to conquering a stressful day.
Regular exercise, in addition to depleting cortisol, increases the body’s production of testosterone. Testosterone, of course, leads to all of the good things we’ve mentioned so far, from increased blood flow (harder erections), to stronger muscles, to, ultimately, a greatly augmented sex drive. And if you’re looking for other ways to up your T-levels, read up on the 6 ways to stratospherically boost them.
Every person even tangentially involved in the medical field will tell you that our collective trend toward a sedentary lifestyle is, simply, bad. Eight (or more) hours a day in a chair is good for no man. “So get up out of that chair,” says Britton. “Unless you’re having sex on that chair. But that’s an entirely different conversation.”
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