OWN

6 Exercises That Improve Your Sex Life

We're not talking about better bedroom communication. These moves increase your flexibility and strength for your best-ever sex.
  • Lunge Matrix
    <strong>What it works:</strong> Hip flexibility, glutes <br><br><strong>Leads to better sex because:</strong> The larger the
    Illustration: Davidy Wyffels
    What it works: Hip flexibility, glutes

    Leads to better sex because: The larger the range of motion in your hips, the more easily you can get into and hold any position you and your partner think of, especially ones where you're putting your legs up high or reaching down low, says Sari Locker, PhD, a sexuality educator at Columbia University. Having strong glutes helps you generate power if you're the more active partner in any position.

    How to do it: Picture yourself standing in the middle of a clock, with 12 o'clock on the floor in front of you and 6 o'clock directly behind you, says Susan Stanley, an Equinox trainer. Step forward with your right foot into a lunge position, with your foot at 12 o'clock. Keep your weight in your right heel, and push off of it to return to starting position. Do the same thing with your right foot at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 o'clock, then switch to your left foot and lunge at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 o'clock. Once you feel comfortable with just your body weight, you can add dumbbells to increase the resistance and build more strength. For a more advanced challenge, you can increase your speed (while keeping the correct form) to add a cardio boost and improve your stamina for those long sessions.
  • Halos and Full-Circle Planks
    <strong>What they work:</strong> Shoulders, arms and core <br><br><strong>Leads to better sex because:</strong> Any position
    Illustration: David Wyffels
    What they work: Shoulders, arms and core

    Leads to better sex because: Any position where you need to brace yourself against something (headboard, wall, kitchen counter) or hold up your own body weight requires a strong core and a strong upper body, says Locker.

    How to do Halos: Grab a medium-weight dumbbell and stand with your feet shoulder width apart, core tight. Lift the weight over your head and slowly circle it around your head like you're tracing a large halo. Keep your back flat when you have the weight lifted—don't let it arch. If you feel wobbly, you can get into a split stance for more stability, says Stanley, with your feet shoulder width apart but your right foot about a foot in front of your left (or vice versa). This is a great one for men to do too, especially if they're typically on top. Couples workout, anyone?
  • <strong>How to do Full-Circle Planks:</strong> Start in a plank position on either your hands or your forearms. Hold for 30 s
    Illustration: David Wyffels
    How to do Full-Circle Planks: Start in a plank position on either your hands or your forearms. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch to a right-side plank, where your body is turned to the left and you're supporting yourself with your right hand or forearm. Hold for 30 seconds. In a controlled motion, flip over into a backward plank, supporting yourself with your hands and facing up toward the ceiling instead of down toward the floor. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and legs should be straight. (If flipping over is too difficult, it's fine to come out of the side plank and reposition yourself into a backward plank.) Hold again for 30 seconds, then switch to a left-side plank and hold for another 30 seconds. Once you feel comfortable with those holds, try adding some hip movement. You can move your hips from side to side in any of the planks or move your hips in a circle if you're up for a challenge, says Stanley. The key is to move just your hips—try to keep the rest of your body still.
  • Pelvic Clock
    <strong>What it works:</strong> Pelvic-floor muscles, core <br><br><strong>Leads to better sex because:</strong> Strengthenin
    Illustration: David Wyffels
    What it works: Pelvic-floor muscles, core

    Leads to better sex because: Strengthening your pelvic-floor muscles can help you feel more pleasure and minimize pain during sex. The classic Kegel calls for isolating your pelvic-floor muscles—here, you'll be working your core at the same time.

    How to do it: Sit on a physio ball with your hands on your hips, abs and pelvic-floor muscles squeezed, and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your upper body and your legs as still as possible, use your abs to move your hips forward and backward between 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock, then between 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock. You won't get the pelvic-floor-muscle benefits if you don't make a conscious effort to tighten them—you should feel as though you're squeezing a tampon the whole time. Next, move your hips in a circle, completing one go-around then moving back in the other direction. If you don't have a physio ball, stand and mimic a hula-hooping motion, which works the same muscles, says Stanley. (If you happen to have a hula-hoop in your house, all the better!)
  • Glute Bridge
    <strong>What it works:</strong> Glutes and pelvic-floor muscles <br><br><strong>Leads to better sex because:</strong> Your gl
    Illustration: David Wyffels
    What it works: Glutes and pelvic-floor muscles

    Leads to better sex because: Your glutes power any thrusting motion, says Locker, plus you're strengthening your pelvic floor again.

    How to do it: Lie on the floor with your hands by your side, feet on the floor and knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Squeeze your glutes to lift your butt and lower back off the floor and contract those pelvic-floor muscles at the same time. Lift until there's a straight line between your stomach and your knees, hold for 1 second, then return to start. You can add difficulty by holding dumbbells on top of your hips, or you can try a one-legged bridge, says Stanley, where one leg is pointed toward the ceiling, foot flexed, and you're driving your heel toward the sky as you lift your butt and back off the floor.
  • Wall Sits
    <strong>What it works:</strong> Quads and glutes <br><br><strong>Leads to better sex because:</strong> You'll have more power
    Illustration: David Wyffels
    What it works: Quads and glutes

    Leads to better sex because: You'll have more power in standing positions and more control over your hips in any position.

    How to do it: Stand with your back against a wall, feet about shoulder width apart a foot or so in front of you. Slide your back down the wall, walking your feet out farther if necessary. The goal is to get your knees to a 90-degree angle while keeping them directly over your ankles. Hold that position until you feel a burn in your thighs, then adjust your feet so they're slightly farther apart. Hold again until you feel a burn, then take your feet a little wider one more time, and hold. If you need more of a challenge, Stanley recommends doing one-legged wall sits, where you lift one foot off the ground once you're in position, hold, then switch legs.
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