We’ve done the math and the results are in: Don’t expect great sex to be a beneficial calorie-burner — or the best way to get better at sex.
Sure, sex is a type of workout in its own right. A small study found that sex burns about 4.2 calories per minute, for men, and 3.1 calories per minute, for women. But with the average sex session under 20 minutes, it’s not exactly a win-win solution. The same study showed that 30 minutes on a treadmill burned more calories: 276 calories for men and 213 for women.
But for more feel-good sex, science is pointing fingers at burning calories at the gym first. You may have heard that working out benefits sex — here’s exactly why. To feel aroused, your body engages similar functions as it would when you’re exercising. Meaning while you’re getting sweaty in bed, your body engages its heart rate, blood pressure and flow, respiratory rate, and muscles. Just as it would during a gym session. Working out also increases body awareness, which research shows could increase bodily sensations.
So which part of your body should you give extra tough love to?
Thankfully, there’s some research as to which muscle groups may possibly contribute. For example, pelvic floor muscles! One study found that even after childbirth, an eight-week pelvic muscle exercise routine could increase strength and sexual self-efficacy — or the woman’s “belief in her ability to perform sexual acts and sexual emotional reactions successfully” — after delivery.
Keeping the science in mind, we’ve designed a workout for you to target the key muscles for better sex. Welcome to the “better sex” workout, the routine where “practice makes perfect” finally pays off as you fine-tune your body before the big performance.
It’s time to really take advantage of the feel-good endorphins and newfound strength a workout can give. Set a timer for 20-30 minutes and repeat this routine until the timer goes off, or complete this routine three times.
Better sex workout:
- Plank for 20 seconds.
- Glute bridges for 15 reps.
- Jump squats for 10-15 reps.
- 10 Kegels with 5-10 second holds.
- Pushups for 10-15 reps.
- Pigeon pose, holding for 1 minute on each side.
Practice this routine and let it contribute to a little extra enthusiasm beneath the sheets.
It may also help to do this workout before actually having sex. One study found that general exercise immediately before sexual activity improved the arousal of women taking antidepressants.