Tattooed person in a sports bra on a yoga mat, exercising while sitting with their legs crossed.
Illustration by Marta Pucci

Sexercise: Exercises for Sex

Photo of Dr Katherine Hertlein
Reviewed by Dr Katherine Hertlein,
created by Blueheart
created by Josh Green
created by Sophie Browness
Date published:
12/23/2021
Last updated:
12/23/2021
Photo of Dr Katherine Hertlein
Reviewed by Dr Laura Vowels,
created by Blueheart
created by Josh Green
created by Sophie Browness
Date published:
12/23/2021
Last updated:
12/23/2021

TL;DR

  • Regular exercise is great for your sex life and brings lots of benefits such as improved performance and better orgasms.
  • All exercise has the potential to improve sexual function, from gentle walking, swimming and yoga, to high intensity strength-training and running.  
  • Sex is exercise in itself, and there are lots of ways to up the physical challenge of your lovemaking.

Whether you like it swinging from the chandeliers or as a more leisurely pursuit in a comfortable bed, sex in all its wonderful forms has one thing in common: it involves a bit of physical exertion. 

Countless studies have linked physical fitness to good sex, while sexercise - sex as a form of exercise itself - has never been a more popular and enjoyable way of killing two birds with one stone. Make time to focus on your fitness, and both you and your partner will be thankful later!

How does exercise help you have a better sex life?

During both exercise and sex, your body goes through very similar functions. You get sweaty, your heart rate and blood flow increase, your muscles are engaged and your respiratory rate goes up. And as anyone who's ever embarked on a new fitness routine will tell you, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So it follows that the fitter you are, the less physically demanding sex becomes, which means you can focus on having a good time rather than catching your breath or surreptitiously easing a leg cramp.

As well as improved endurance and strength, being physically fit is also good for improved sexual function. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction and improve testosterone levels in men, for example, while women who work on their pelvic floor muscles often report stronger and more intense orgasms. Of course, exercise is good for your overall health, too, responsible for reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure - among many other benefits - meaning you and your partner can keep enjoying one another for years to come.

Finally, the fitter and healthier you are, the more confident you feel in your own skin - and everyone knows a little confidence in the bedroom is sexy. 

The best cardio exercise for sex

If you're looking to boost your endurance and stamina, cardio or aerobic exercise should be on the top of your to-do list. This is any type of physical activity that makes you sweaty, a bit breathless and gets your heart beating faster than normal, which is all good news for your cardiovascular health. 

Cardio workouts are suitable for everyone, and you needn't commit to an intense workout to feel the benefit. Sure, activities such as running and aerobics classes will get the blood pumping, but exercise such as walking and swimming are just as effective and better suited to people new to exercise, or who struggle with joint or muscle pain.

Strength and flexibility training for better sex

Exercise for good sex isn't all sweat and pounding heart rates - stretching and gentle weightlifting are less intense exercises that still give the entire body a good workout, improving muscle tone and aiding the flexibility sometimes needed for more adventurous positions. 

Options include yoga and pilates, which focus on improving flexibility and functional movement (some yoga positions can even be adapted into sex moves); weightlifting, which is designed to improve the strength of particular muscles and muscle groups (you might choose to work on your arm strength if you're keen on lifting your partner during sex, for example); and bodyweight exercises such as push ups, pull ups, squats and leg raises.

Exercising pelvic floor muscles for better sex

Many of the exercises mentioned above are great for strengthening pelvic floor muscles, which are an integral part of the sexual experience. However, Kegel exercises in particular have been shown to be particularly effective in improving the sex lives of both men and women (as well as supporting the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum). Better still, they can be done anywhere.

  • Find the right muscles
    The pelvic floor muscles form the base of your pelvis, acting like a hammock reaching from your tailbone at the back of your pelvis, to the front at the pubic bone. The next time you go to the bathroom, try to stop urination mid-flow - the muscles you contract to do so are your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Work the muscles
    To give your pelvic floor muscles a workout, tighten them and hold the contraction for three seconds, release for three seconds, then tighten again. Do this a few times in a row. To begin with, you might find it easier to do this lying down, but as the muscles get stronger you can do the exercises anywhere, even while standing or walking. Aim to do a couple of sets every day.

Sex is a workout in itself!

So far we've been focused on how your sex life can benefit from exercise, but let's not forget that your sex life is exercise!

Researchers estimate that men burn roughly 4.2 calories per minute during sex, while women burn 3.1 calories, and as long as your session is intense enough to elevate your heart rate and involves some level of physical challenge (such as stretching or bodyweight) then you'll be getting all the health benefits of 'regular' exercise. 

But if you want to ramp things up a gear, try introducing these moves into your lovemaking.

Lifting positions

Wrapping your legs around your partner while they're in a standing position (or vice versa) means you'll both be bearing extra weight.

Movement-focused positions 

Positions that require a lot of movement such as cowgirl or doggy style are great for getting the blood flowing.

Stretching positions

Don't force yourself into an uncomfortable position - that way injury lies - but if you have the flexibility, then gentle stretching positions such as extending the legs over a partner's shoulders can give your lovemaking an added physical boost. 


Let's try touch exercises
Blueheart's app has taken people from 'I can't imagine being touched' to 'where do I like to be touched?' From 'will we break up?' to 'we will work through this together'
take the assessment