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Five Exercises That Will Make You Better in Bed

Add these to your workout and your partner will thank you

Man and woman  cuddling in bed
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Unlike most other exercises that use a lot of muscles — burpees, running — sex doesn’t give you much calorie bang-for-buck (maybe four calories per minute). But to do it well, it still helps to train for it like an endurance event.

It’s especially important as you approach or reach 50, the age when guys typically start to lose muscle tone, testosterone and cardiovascular endurance, all of which can play a huge role in making sex more difficult.

If you’re completely winded during sex, “you have to get yourself started on a walking program,” says Stuart McGill, a professor emeritus of kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, who did one of the firstr academic studies of muscle activation during sex. “That would be the best thing you can do.”

That’s because sex requires work from both partners — generally speaking, the person on top is responsible for the motion, while the person on the bottom has to hold a stable posture, McGill says.

You can also work on your stamina with floor exercises. Aim to do each move two or three times a week, for a minute to 90 seconds. If that’s too hard, do them for as long as you can with good form, and slowly add time. 

“A lot of people can do these exercises for 20 or 30 seconds,” says Lauren Sambataro, a certified personal trainer in New York City. “When we’re having sex, we all hope we can last a little bit longer than that.”

Forearm body plank saw

How to do it: Keep your shoulders in line with elbows, your feet hip-width apart, and your back flat. (If your shoulders tire out first, it usually means your hips are too high, and therefore those shoulders are taking all the pressure.) Brace your abs and shift your body forward and then back.

Why it works: “You’re strengthening the core and building endurance and stamina,” Sambataro says. “Plus it mimics the missionary position.”

Isometric squat

How to do it: Engage your core and aim to make your thighs parallel to the floor, but if necessary, stick to whatever depth is pain-free. Hold. For an extra challenge, you can do this with weight.

Why it works: Muscle-building exercises raise testosterone, which is, of course, the fuel for your sex drive and performance, says Pete McCall, a San Diego certified personal trainer who focuses on fitness for Gen X (McCall is 49). This particular exercise is great for standing positions, like in the shower.


How to do it: Keep your core tight and push through your heels to lift the weight, using your glutes and hamstrings as you rise. Avoid rounding your back, and pause at the top, making sure your legs are straight. Lower and repeat.  

Why it works: To do a deadlift properly, you need to brace, which uses all the muscles around the abdominal wall. “It’s like tightening your internal weight belt around the spine,” McCall says — which can help you avoid mood-killing lower back pain. (Form is particularly critical with this exercise; if in doubt, have yours assessed by a professional.)

Spiderman pushup

How to do it: Spice up a standard pushup by driving your knee toward your elbow as you lower down. Because your body has only three points of contact with the floor, this is a major core challenge.

Why it works: In daily life, we generally move in one plane of motion: forward. For sex, though, we move in multiple planes, which this exercise trains you for, Sambataro says.

Glute bridge on the floor

How to do it: Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Squeeze your glutes and abs as you lift your hips as high as you can go without arching your back, and hold for two seconds at the top. Lower and repeat. If you feel your hamstrings more than your glutes, try moving your feet back toward your glutes.

Why it works: Most people’s glutes are shut off from sitting all day, and this both teaches them to fire and stabilizes the pelvis — obviously essential for sex. “This gives you more creativity and freedom in bed, and is a great way to avoid injury,” Sambataro says.