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Getting Fit for Sex

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I was having a chat with a really lovely client this week and the topic of conversation turned to exercise. We were sitting in a café in Carlton drinking the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had, and eating apricot Danishes. You might gather from the previous sentence that I’m not a health fanatic  – I enjoy the finer things in life, and nothing comes between me and a bar of chocolate! However I do also love working out. Over the years as my strength and fitness has improved, so has my sex life. Today I’m going to talk about the sort of exercises that might benefit one’s performance in the bedroom.

Good sex has a lot of thrusting, wriggling, bending , holding and heavy breathing. Broadly speaking, these translate into the following: strong hip extensors (butt muscles and hamstrings), core strength (abdominal muscles and back muscles), flexibility (through back, hips and knees), arm/leg strength and cardiovascular fitness. Neglect one of these vital areas, and there’s a good chance you’re going to feel a twinge or two during a long session (or possibly collapse on someone – I’ve done that!)

Let’s talk about the most popular positions. Please note this article is oriented towards heterosexual sex but feel free to substitute any gender, as most sexual positions can be performed by either sex as long as you have the right equipment. I mention only exercises you can perform at home, and that are commonly known – go look them up, Google is your friend.


This is the go-to position, with maximum intimacy. Unfortunately for guys it can be pretty hard on the hips and legs, and also quite a strain on the arms due to protracted periods of holding yourself up while trying not to crush your partner. A lot of guys who are new to sex struggle at missionary simply because it takes time to build up the strength required.

For the ladies, having strong core muscles is extremely helpful when it comes to getting into the right position – staying strong while lying down also makes one less of a ‘starfish’.

Recommended exercises:

  • bodyweight squat
  • push-up (either on your knees or your toes depending on where you’re at)
  • plank hold (start at 15 seconds and work your way up to 120 seconds)


I know guys love it when the lady gets on top! Sometimes it might not be obvious how much effort is required for the cowgirl position – she’s sitting or lying down, but there’s a LOT of leg work going on. I find the length of time I can stay in this position depends entirely on how long my legs can last (and whether it was ‘leg day’ at the gym.)

Recommended exercises:

  • deadlift (with a medicine ball, kettle bell or just find something heavy and pick it up off the ground with a straight back)
  • plank hold

Doggy Style

For guys this is fairly straightforward – it’s all in the hips! However ladies might like to develop some back flexibility and strength so that they can shift around to get into the most pleasurable position. Having a good back arch is both sexy and practical, as it eliminates a lot of the stiffness that comes with being in an all-fours position for a long stretch of time.

Recommended exercises:
  • hip extension
  • Yoga cat stretch
  • hollow body hold

Cardio Fitness

I’m sure having a heart attack during sex isn’t the worst way to go; but if you’re turning red in the face and feel short of breath, it might be time to do a bit of cardio before you get into the bedroom. Almost anything works – jogging, cycling, swimming or rowing. For maximum efficiency I’d recommend a high-intensity interval such as 1 minute running and 1 minute walking, for ten or fifteen minutes. This gets you fitter quicker – nobody likes to spend an hour a day on a stationary bike, especially when you could be at your local coffee shop having a Danish.

Recommended exercises:

  • 60 seconds running, 60 seconds walking, alternated for 15 minutes
  • Any of the previous exercises as a ‘Tabata’ – that’s 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, for four minutes

Please note I’m not a fitness instructor and I’m certainly not perfect …  I enjoy my hot chocolates and I don’t expect everyone I meet to be a gym junkie. But if the pain is starting to outweigh the pleasure when you’re working hard in the bedroom, I hope this might help!
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