Hit the gym for better sex.
Ladies, if you're wondering why your sex life isn't as thrilling as you would like it to be, forget about picking up tips on how to wow his world from some self-help book or women's magazine. The answer may be as simple as shaping up the right muscles.
"When it comes to great sex, preparing for a little fun in the bedroom isn't any different than what athletes go through to prepare for their sport," says Marta Montenegro, exercise physiologist and creator of the Montenegro Method. "You need the right amount of strength, power, flexibility, agility and stamina to perform at your best, which is why a well-designed exercise program is crucial."
To be amazing in the sheets, you need to train all of the muscles that play a major role in sex. That way, they can all work together to not only blow his mind when the clothes come off but also give you a psychological and physiological perk that can make sex even more enjoyable for you, too.
"Doing certain exercises that improve your sexual performance can also help improve your overall physique, if you pick the right ones to get the job done," says Montenegro. In addition, "regular exercise also naturally boosts endorphins -- the feel-good chemicals in your brain," she says. "The combination of both benefits can boost your self esteem, making you feel sexier and more comfortable with yourself. It's that positive attitude that can easily translate into improving your overall enjoyment."
To give your sex life an exercise edge, we asked Montenegro for five key exercises that help reshape the body while conditioning the sex muscles that matter most in bed. If you're ready to impress when it's time to undress, this is the program for you!
Note: Do all five exercises in a circuit -- one exercise after the other with little to no rest in between. If you're a beginner, try to do the circuit one time, three times a week (resting 48 hours between workouts). If you're more of an intermediate to advanced exerciser, you can do the circuit two to three times (resting one to two minutes between circuits). "Start by using very light weights -- or no weight at all -- until you feel comfortable with each move," says Montenegro. "As you begin to progress (which can happen in as little as two to three weeks), you can begin adding more weight to each move in small increments."
"Women tend to tax more of the muscles in their legs, core and hip flexors during sex than men do," says Montenegro. "To keep them from tiring out too soon, plus allow them to have the ability to deliver bursts of explosiveness under the sheets when necessary, nothing beats the power squat."
How to do it: Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms down at your sides. Place your feet wider than shoulder width apart with your toes pointing out. Keeping your head looking forward (don't look up), squat down until your hips are parallel to the floor, then explosively jump up as high as possible. Land softly on the balls of the feet, sink back down into a squat position and repeat 10-12 times. "Beginners can perform this exercise with no weights," says Montenegro.
A Better Butt for Better Sex
"Most women realize they have to look good not just from the front but also from the back while performing their next pass," says Montenegro. But those muscles behind you -- your lower back, hamstrings and glutes -- aren't just for show. "Great sex -- no matter what the position may be -- requires a strong and flexible back, as well as a set of strong glutes and hamstrings for support and stability," says Montenegro. That's when a classic exercise called "good mornings" can come to your rescue.
How to do it: Stand with a light barbell across your back. Your feet should be narrower than shoulder width apart, knees slightly flexed, feet pointed forward. Keeping your back flat and abs tight, bend at the waist and stick your butt out behind you until your torso is almost parallel to the floor (Don't bend your legs as you lower the bar -- you should feel your butt and hamstrings stretch as you bend.) Reverse the motion until you've returned to the starting position and repeat. Try to do 10-12 repetitions per set.
"The adductor and abductor muscles within your thighs may be small, but to reach that 'oh, baby' moment, you have to hit them," says Montenegro. Training these tiny muscles can keep your legs from tiring out as fast, especially in poses that require you to either wrap your legs around your partner or maintain them in a widened position. "The physio ball bridge exercise (with one leg straight up) forces you to squeeze all of the stabilizer muscles as you simultaneously contract your adductors, abductors and your glutes," says Montenegro.
How to do it: Lie on your back with your feet on a stability ball, knees bent. Place your arms out to your sides for balance, palms facing up. Lift one leg and extend it so your heel is pointing to the ceiling. Holding that position, slowly raise your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders, then lower back down. Repeat the move for 10-12 repetitions, then switch to work the opposite leg. "Keep the ball stable and don't touch the floor the entire time," says Montenegro. "You should feel all of your muscles -- your glutes, adductors, abductors and hamstrings -- engaged at all times."
"He's not the only one that has to worry about being able to last as long as possible," says Montenegro. "In order to maintain certain poses, you must have strong abs, not just to help you sustain a position but to avoid injuring your back. Doing a sit-up with a small Physio ball between your legs is an excellent exercise to [get] rock-hard abs for hardcore you-know-what."
How to do it: Lie down on your back with your feet flat against a wall for support and a medicine ball between your thighs. Cross your arms over your chest, then squeeze the ball with your legs. (You'll squeeze the ball throughout the entire exercise.) Keeping your chin off your chest, contract your ab muscles and slowly lift yourself up. (Your back should stay flat as you go.) Lower yourself back down to the floor and repeat for 10-15 reps. "If you need to increase the difficulty, hold a dumbbell or place a weight plate across your chest," says Montenegro.
Stretch His Imagination
Being flexible in your legs may seem obvious for better sex, but for many "creative" positions, you need to be limber and strong simultaneously. "That's because certain poses require one leg to wrap around him (requiring inner thigh strength) while the other needs to be able to stretch to accommodate your guy (requiring extra flexibility)," says Montenegro. "This is where lateral lunges can help -- doing this move strengthens the quadriceps of one leg while simultaneously stretching the adductor muscles and glutes of the other leg."
How to do it: Start in a standing position with your feet a few feet wider than shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward. Lean to one side as you push your hips back simultaneously until all your weight is on one foot -- your opposite leg should be straight but not locked. Push off your heel and return to the starting position, then repeat the exercise, this time leaning to the other side. Do 12-15 repetitions for each leg.
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Written by Myatt Murphy for AOL Health