Sex Positions for Fitness

We're always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or the item is off-limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Now, onto this week's topic: the best exercise sex positions. Check out out our MagicMen online shop page which has everything adult shop related that you might need.

Make the most of your little free time by combining your two favourite activities—hitting the gym and getting it on—all thanks to these workout sex positions.

Okay, so maybe these targeted positions won't let you skip ab day forever, but you can still work some muscles and feel like you just exercised, especially if things get intense.

With the New Year come good resolutions, right? And the gym often hits the list. This U.K. study shows that 75% of women would like to go to the gym more than what they do.

 So, to help you with making this good resolution really good and even enjoyable, we have listed for you six sex positions that double as exercise. Never feel guilty again for missing your gym class, you can take a rain check in the bedroom!

 It is introducing the most pleasurable way to burn calories: SEX. As in the gym, it involves sweating and grunting, but this alternative will surely give you an instant reward.

The variety of sex positions one can adopt while it provides as many ways to move (and thus, work) the body!

Why go to all the work getting strong, flexible, and in top shape, if you can't take it to the bedroom? Sex, too, can be an athletic endeavour, if you and your partner are fit and willing to try something that might take you both out of your comfort zone. In the spirit of experimentation, we emailed some of our favourite sex experts to get their opinions on the most difficult and unusual sex positions out there. These experts specialize in all different areas of sex and sexuality, so their recommendations vary greatly in difficulty and approach, with options for every level of athlete.

You may grimace at the thought of going to the gym, but when the thought of acrobatic sex enters your mind, there's a decent chance your eyes probably light up. And why not? The act of sex is a reward unto itself, whereas going to the gym often only feels good once it's over.

Perhaps it's time we started melding these two physically exhausting realities together and letting our sex life slowly turn into our sex-ercise life?

It's so crazy, and it just might work!


After all, a half-hour of intense sex can burn around 207 calories — so why not up the ante in the bedroom and sculpt your body while you're getting off?


Here are a few especially *ahem* "active" positions (helpfully demonstrated by wooden figurines) to get your sexual creativity flowing, along with the particular parts of the body that they exercise and benefit.

And who knows? Combining your sex life with your gym time may be so efficient that you'll have more free time that you know what to do with! (But really, who are we kidding, we all know free time is for reading and masturbating.)


We know that sex doesn't burn serious enough calories to be a replacement for your workouts, but that's no reason why your favourite go-to exercise can't help you get it on. Just check out these workout-inspired positions—they're a great way to show off exactly what you've been doing at the gym. 

Standing Splits

Having sex while standing is one of the best ways to give yourself a great workout. Standing sex won't work for every couple since your bodies have to be the right relative sizes. But if you're fairly close in height to your partner, give this one a shot.

Stand in front of your partner, and lift one leg into the air. You can either wrap it around their waist or have them hold your knee in the crook of their elbow. Or, if you're ballerina-level flexible, try bringing your ankle all the way up to your partner's shoulder. In no time, you'll see why standing sex can be such a challenge. Check out out our MagicMen online vibrator shop page which has everything adult shop related that you might need.

Standing is one of the more challenging positions because often the receiving partner has to allow the partner to lift them in some way, says Britton.


If the partners are facing each other in this workout sex position, core, and upper-leg strength comes into play: If the receiving partner is standing on one leg, those leg muscles are worked to keep her upright, and core muscles are engaged to keep balanced. If they're wrapping both legs around the partner, they'll need good arm strength to hold onto the partner. And regardless which one of these contortions they're in, "she has to have the stamina if she's standing," says Britton.

If the partners are facing the same direction, the same muscles engaged in doggy-style are used: the receiving partner work their core for balance, and their arms can be worked if they're bracing against a wall or headboard and using them to help thrust. (You'll want to master this move for shower sex.)

This position is one of the most challenging in Cadell's book. In it, as you might guess, the man is standing, and the woman is suspended, her legs wrapped around his thighs and his hands cupping her butt. "This is the most difficult position for a couple to maintain for any length of time," says Cadell. She also warns that people should not do the Standing Suspended position after drinking because they need to have tip-top balance. For people who want to give this position a test drive, they can consider using it as a transitional move from one location to another.

This position is certainly not for the faint of heart — but if you're up to challenge, it can be a fun and rewarding (*wink wink, nudge *) workout. Have him stand and hold you while you jump up and wrap your legs around his torso before slowly sliding down onto his penis. While it can be difficult to get a good rhythm in this position, the key is to clasp your legs tightly at all times and use your hands on his shoulders as leverage.


In a way, the missionary position is the physical equivalent of the old "I'm busy washing my hair" excuse—it's the brush-off used when you're lazy, tired, or just not that interested. But despite being one of the most passive contortions, this position can still make for pretty good workout sex.  Check out out our MagicMen online dildo shop page which has everything adult shop related that you might need.

"It depends on how enthusiastic you are about it, but missionary can be great for the core muscles," says Stacy Berman, a New York City-based certified fitness trainer and founder of Stacy's Boot Camp. "If your partner is thrusting toward you, you want to have an equal and opposite thrust back, and that requires a lot of core strength. It actually will start burning."

Patti Britton, the author of The Art of Sex Coaching and immediate past president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, agrees that you'll definitely be feeling it in your abs. "You can strengthen your core by focusing on pelvic lifting using your core, not your lower back. That's where women tend to get stuck—they tend to rely on their lower back to give them propulsion." (The risk of which isn't a joke, either. Worst-case scenario, you could throw out your back or sustain some other injury—not exactly a bedroom turn-on.)

The missionary position can also provide a good butt workout. "The more she does buttock squeezes, the more she could accentuate her riding toward him to give herself a good glute workout," says Britton.


As with the missionary position, penetration-from-behind sex engages the receiving partner's core because they have to stabilize themselves on all fours, says Berman. You'll also be working your quadriceps and glutes to help brace yourself against the impact.

However, you can use a modified position to get a good arm workout, too. Rather than having your hands flat on the bed, "if the woman has her hands on a wall in front of her and sort of uses her upper body to help thrust, that would be a good shoulder and upper body workout," says Berman.  Check out out our MagicMen online lube shop page which has everything adult shop related that you might need.


Like the missionary position, the lotus sitting position is one of the more passive sex positions. However, many of the same muscles worked in the cowgirl position are going to be used in this contortion, making it ideal workout sex: the core is engaged to stabilize the body, and the glutes are worked during thrusting. 

Lotus is a deceptively simple-looking position that can actually turn into a major sweat-fest. Have your partner sit cross-legged on the bed. If they're not super flexible, they can loosely cross their legs or keep their legs straight out in front of them. Sit on your partner's lap, lowering yourself onto their penis or dildo. Neither one of you can thrust in this position; you can only grind against each other. You can be slow and seductive, or you can up the intensity by rubbing against each other with more force. It will sort of feel like you're wrestling!


According to Britton, the scissors workout sex position is the least strenuous of all—there's no suspending of body weight, and it generally makes for gentler and slower penetration (which would explain why it's often recommended for pregnant women). "Scissors is for when you're tired, not for being an acrobat in bed," she says. Still, that's not to say you won't always be engaging muscle groups.

With your legs intercrossed with your partner's, there's limited movement for both people, so a lot of inner-thigh strength and core stabilization will be at work. "When you squeeze your inner thighs, the core will naturally contract as well," explains Berman. (Outside the bedroom, build inner-thigh muscle with these exercises.)

This position is not particularly demanding physically, but it makes a list for being among the more complicated to understand. Partners start joined at just the pelvis with both of their legs open, like the blades of scissors. Linda Banner, a health psychologist and sexual medicine expert in private practice in San Jose, says this can be a particularly right choice for people with certain physical limitations, like pregnancy or back problems.


With the bridge, the receiving partner is facing upward, using all four limbs to hold their body weight off the bed. All our experts agree: This pose is not relaxed. "This is a highly advanced position," says Britton. "She needs to stabilize herself so as he's thrusting in and out, and she doesn't crash."

Even if you pile a tower of pillows under your back to help support your weight (which Britton recommends), you'll still definitely be working your buttocks, and inner-thigh muscles say, Fulbright. "This is going to work all of it—her biceps, triceps, abs, glutes, quads, calves. Unless she's powerful, she shouldn't expect to hold this position for long." (You'll need a lot of strength when using a sex swing too.)


Adds Berman, "If you're going from cowgirl to this position, your butt will start burning after five minutes."


Sure, you might hate making lunges at the gym while your personal trainer is telling you to do "just five more," but you might not mind them so much when they're being used for workout sex.

As the name might suggest, the lunge sex position has the receiving partner is sitting on top of the other partner, with one leg planted in front and the other leg extended behind in between the partner's legs. This move is good for the quad, front of the leg, hamstring, core, and butt, says Berman. "It'll also work the deep stabilizer muscle of the leg in the front—both inner and outer thigh—as well as stretch the back leg's hip flexor," she says. "That's great because most people sit at a desk all day, and this way you can stretch it out."

In this position, you are on top of him, in a lunge position. Lunges are an excellent way to build strength in your legs, as well as to shape your glutes! To move while being in the position, you can use your hands on your man and move up and down. If your bent leg gets tired, change legs! Bonus to keep you going: this position is known to offer more chances for women to get a vaginal orgasm as it allows clitoral stimulation too.

Each of these sex positions has many variations for a more intense workout… hum, sorry, sexual experience. You can, for example, use hands instead of elbows in the plough. Or choose to use more or fewer arms/legs in the standing position. While being in the position, you will be able to feel what is working, and how you could make specific muscles work more or less.

No more guilt trips over the gym, because when there is a will, there is always a way to get your body moving! We hope you will enjoy your new fitness program!


With a standard cowgirl position, the lower part of the receiving partner's legs is braced on the bed or floor, which will engage the butt and core for heart-pumping workout sex. (BTW, core strength is super important.)

"Much like riding a horse, she's going to flex her lower abs and pelvic muscles," says Yvonne K. Fulbright, a certified sex educator and author of Touch Me There! "Pressing into the man's abs and sides with her quads or calves can engage those muscles as well."

Modifying the cowgirl position can work for new muscle groups. "To make it even more intense, she can come up onto her feet, almost like a squat over him. That's all butt, legs, and hips," says Berman. "If she gets up onto her feet and leans onto her hands, she'll also have to use her upper body to balance." (P.S. cowgirl is one of the best positions for clitoral stimulation.)


To perform the classic Wheelbarrow, the man stands up while the woman is on her hands and knees. The man then lifts her back-half by the ankles, pulling her legs to the side of his body. "This position creates really great, deep penetration, and feels wildly animalistic," says Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist. This position is also one of the more acrobatic ones out there, requiring ability and upper body strength.

The Face-To-Face

Just because you're both laying on your sides doesn't mean that this position can't be a workout! Tell him to take a reprieve from being in the driver's seat, and hook your leg outside of his to grind against him with full control. Not only is this a cooling sensation, but it will also force your core muscles to engage. Your abs (and your lady-parts) will thank you later.

The Sunday Afternoon

Even athletes need to cool down, so think of this last one as a position for your day of recovery. This is another X position where the man lies on his side and the woman on her back. She puts her leg that is closest to him over his hip. She can use her other leg to pull him closer by wrapping her foot around his lower leg. Cay L. Crow, a Texas-based certified sex therapist, says this position allows for comfortable clitoral stimulation and can be simply transitioned into spooning.


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