By The Editors Of Men’s Health
Having sex uses a lot of muscles you don’t normally use during the course of the day. “The last thing you want to worry about during the act is getting tired or losing stamina,” says Patti Britton, Ph.D., clinical sexologist, and author of The Art of Sex Coaching: Expanding Your Practice. You’ll enjoy yourself a lot more—and be more adventurous—if your body is prepped for better performance in bed. Here are 5 exercises you should adopt to rev up your performance.
THE SEX POSITION: MISSIONARY
The Exercise to Make it Hotter: Bowing Push-up
It’s not very creative, but missionary is the go-to move for most people, says Britton. The reason: It’s an intimate position that allows for face-to-face contact. And while she enjoys feeling your weight on her body, you can’t let all pounds rest on her.
“You need strong arms and shoulders to hold yourself up the entire time,” says BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., a Men’s Health fitness advisor and CEO of Men’s Health StreamFIT. “But a tired upper body can lead to extra strain on your lower back and an unenjoyable experience for the both of you.” Before you hit the sheets, increase your upper-body strength and shoulder stability with the bowing pushup.
Here’s how to do it: Get into a pushup position. Keeping your elbows close to your ribs, lower your torso as if you were performing a pushup. You should be hovering a few inches above the floor. Simultaneously squeeze your glutes, drop your hips toward the floor, push your arms straight, and lift your head and chest toward the ceiling. Pause, and then lift your hips until you are in a pushup position again. That’s 1 rep. Perform 10 in a row.
THE SEX POSITION: COWGIRL
The Exercise to Make it Hotter: Hollow-Body Bridge Hold
Cowgirl puts her in control. “But just because she’s on top doesn’t mean she should do all the work,” says Britton.
“You have to provide a stable base for her, which requires serious core and hip strength,” says Gaddour. To last as long as possible in the bronco role, do the hollow-body bridge hold at the gym. It requires your abs to stay engaged, while you lift your hips without hyper-extending your lower back, he says. It’ll offer her more support and a more enjoyable ride.
Here’s how to do it: Lie face-up with your legs straight and your arms at a 45-degree angle from your sides. Raise your hips off the floor by pressing your heels and palms into the floor and squeezing your glutes. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Add increments of 15 seconds each workout until you can hold the move for 2 minutes.
THE SEX POSITION: IRON CHEF
The Exercise to Make it Hotter: Sandbag Bear Hug Squat
Taking things vertical is fun, but it’s not easy. “This is one of the more challenging positions, since you still have to support your partner’s weight,” says Britton.
You need extreme upper-body and lower-body strength and stability to hold the move for longer than a few seconds, says Gaddour. During your workout, prepare for holding onto your honey with a sandbag. “A sandbag’s weight is constantly shifting, forcing more muscles to work together to maintain balance,” he says. “Plus, the bear hug activates your thoracic extensor muscles—the ones responsible for pulling your shoulders back and keeping your chest up—so your spine isn’t taking the bulk of the weight.”
You can’t forget about your legs, either. “Adding the squat improves your hip mobility and leg strength, so you can master this sex position without breaking too much of a sweat. Your partner will be thankful for that,” he says.
Here’s how to do it: Grab a heavy sandbag and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold it vertically in front of your torso, hugging it to your chest. Slowly lower into a squat. Pause at the bottom, and then return to standing. Perform 5 to 10 reps. Hold the last rep for 10 to 30 seconds at the top, squeezing the bag to your chest. If you don’t have access to a sandbag, you can modify this movement by cupping the end of a dumbbell with both hands and holding it vertically in front of your chest, your elbows pointing down.
THE SEX POSITION: FACE OFF
The Exercise to Make it Hotter: V-Sit Progression
Sure, you’re sitting down for this position, but that doesn’t mean you can take a break. “The Face Off allows for close contact between you and your partner, but a lot of men report back pain from the strain of their partner sitting on their laps,” Britton says.
Why? This move takes an incredible amount of hip flexor and core strength to perform a thrusting motion while you’re seated. “If your hip flexors and abs aren’t strong enough, your posture will slip, causing your belly to protrude and your lower back to round,” says Gaddour. But you can build the core and hip strength necessary to hold the position with the V-sit. “It puts you in a similar position as the Face Off with your feet elevated, making you a powerhouse when your legs are actually resting on the bed or floor,” he says.
Here’s how to do it: Sit on the floor. Lean back, and lift your legs off the floor so they’re straight and at a 45-degree angle. You body should form a “V.” Hold this position for 60 seconds. Make the position easier by bending your knees.
THE SEX POSITION: DOGGY-STYLE
The Exercise to Make it Hotter: Kneeling Band-Resisted Hip Thrusts
It’s no secret that doggy-style is a favorite of most men, says Britton. It allows for deeper penetration and an awesome view.
Make every thrust count by improving the flexibility in your hips and increasing the strength in your glutes with the band-resisted hip thrust. “The band provides the most resistance when your hips are fully extended, which is the hardest part of the move,” says Gaddour. “It leads to maximal glute development and a nice stretch in your hips flexors.”
Here’s how to do it: Anchor a resistance band to a pole and wrap the other side around your hips. Facing away from the anchor point, kneel down and let your glutes rest on the back of your heels. This is the starting position. Swiftly lift your hips and squeeze your glutes to assume a tall-kneeling position. Pause, and then return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Perform 15 to 20 reps.