8 Exercises to Boost Sexual Performance

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Even when you’re not doing anything particularly acrobatic, sex can be a fitness challenge. Some positions don’t require too much to get the job done, but having enough strength and endurance to give your all will improve your time in bed. "If it’s good for your body, it’s good for sex,“ says Timaree Schmit, Ph.D., sexuality educator, and certified fitness instructor. Schmit, who teaches a workshop on sexual fitness, offers us her top choices for exercises to boost sexual performance.

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Starting from a basic plank (you can choose whether to be on your hands or elbows), bend your right leg until the knee lightly taps the floor. Then, straighten the leg back to plank and repeat with the other leg. Repeat for one minute. Throughout this exercise try to keep the rest of your body as still as possible. "These are very small, isolated movements that require a lot of core, much like during sex,” says Schmit. Other plank variations she recommends include bringing each knee to your chest, and planks where you touch your hand to your shoulder, extended it out in front, and then bring it back to start position.

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Push-ups can help you workout the arm and core muscles you use during Missionary-style positions. From push-up position, with your hands under your shoulders, move your feet slightly forward so your body makes a “V” shape. Bend your elbows and move toward the floor. Once your chin nears the floor, swoop your hips down and your torso up until your hips nearly touch the floor. Reverse the move to the beginning and repeat. Do as many as you can (with good form) in 30 seconds.

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Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with your toes pointed slightly outward. Look straight ahead, with your arms out and parallel to the ground. Check that your back is neutral (neither rounded nor over-arched). Squat by sending your hips backward and then bending at the knees, keeping your knees in line with your feet. Aim to get your hips parallel to or lower than your knees. Return to your starting position. Do 2–3 sets with 15–20 reps each. 

This may seem like a lot of reps, but with these workouts you want to eventually mimic the extent to which these muscles are used during sex. “What tends to happen is people get very fatigued,” says Schmit. “They work out for these two-minute intervals but they’re not in a sexual position for that brief. Train for what you’re actually going to be doing.”

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Kegels are the classic sexercise, and Schmit says they can benefit both men and women. If you haven’t quite figured out how to work your pelvic floor muscles, the common advice is squeezing the muscles you would use to stop the flow of pee. Schmit adds that, first of all, people shouldn’t actually do this while peeing and, secondly, if a person’s anus is moving while they do Kegels, they aren’t being specific enough. Do three sets of Kegels, 10 reps per set.

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The sexual advantages of being in good cardiovascular shape are pretty obvious. “Cardio in general is going to be useful for endurance,” says Schmit. Everyone’s cardio fitness varies widely — and both long-distance and sprint workouts can help your sex life. However, if you are fatigued from going up two sets of stairs in 10 seconds or a 20-minute mile, consider talking with your doctor about whether you’re healthy enough for sexual activity.

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Although cardio and strength-training may be more your style, flexibility can’t be overlooked when it comes to sexual fitness. “Everybody as they age gets less and less flexible,” says Schmit, “so you have to actively work on not only maintaining that but certainly improving that.” The frogger is used to open the hips.

To do this stretch, start on your hands and knees, then slowly slide your knees outward, to the side. Flex your feet and stop once you feel a stretch (but not pain). Walk your hands out and get on your elbows. Use your hands to press your hips back. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your head lifted. Recover from this stretch with Child’s Pose. Schmit advises holding all stretches for a minimum of 20 seconds and a maximum of about 30 seconds.

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Standing with your shoulder facing the wall, place your hand on the wall, extended straight behind you. Rotate your trunk away from your arm to stretch. Hold for 20–30 seconds and switch sides. This stretch releases your pectoralis major muscle. If it’s not enough, consider stretching your shoulders with a reverse prayer stretch, where you press your palms together between your shoulder blades. In this position, you can lower your head for additional stretching that will reach down to your legs.

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No one is saying either you or your partner need to do a full split. But the more hip and hamstring flexibility you have, the more you’ll be able to experiment with new positions. Most men have limited flexibility in this area, so take it slow and start with a lunge stretch. Have one foot forward (knee bent) and the other leg behind you with your shin on the floor. Press your weight forward through your hips with your arms at your side (or hands rested on your knee) and your back straight. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch sides.

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