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Great health and great sex go hand in hand. And one of the best ways to experience better sex has nothing to do with taking a little blue pill. The answer is establishing a varied exercise routine that can enhance your performance between the sheets while also improving your overall health, stamina, strength, flexibility, and mental health.
The next time you lace up your running shoes or slip into your gym gear, remember your training efforts can also result in better sex along with all the other health benefits of exercise. Here are 8 exercises you should consider including in your training program (plus one that is a must for all men.)
Aerobic exercise (fast walking, jogging, running) has been shown to significantly improve a man’s sexual function. A recent study that looked at both white and black men found that highly active men, regardless of race, had better erectile and sexual functioning than did their less active peers. Other research reported that for every 30 minutes per day increase in moderate to vigorous exercise, men had a 43 percent reduced chance of developing erectile dysfunction.
Basic floor exercises
Basic push-ups and sit-ups strengthen the muscles that you use during intercourse—the shoulders, abdominals, and chest. If you can’t do a proper push-up yet start progressing with your knees on the floor and work up to doing just one push-up. Over time increase the amount of repetitions you can do until you can get to 10. At a minimum, you should be able to hold yourself in a “plank” position for at least 20-30 seconds.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
As you age you need to train hard and fast for more performance benefits. You also want an exercise program that gives you the maximum health benefits in a short period of time. HIIT is a form of exercise that relies on fast, all out effort, for short periods followed by a complete recovery phase between sets. For example, doing sprints, rowing, or burpees flat out for 45 seconds followed by 1 minute of rest — repeated 8-10 times. HIIT has been shown to boost total testosterone levels and improve aerobic capacity, which translates into more staying power in the bedroom. Even more impressive is evidence that HIIT can boost free testosterone levels. You can read more about HIIT in my book. I incorporate HIIT three times a week as part of my training program.
Kegel exercises (the #1 exercise all men should be doing)
Kegels are a sexercise you can do just about anywhere, anytime – without breaking a sweat, and without anyone actually knowing you are doing them. Kegels are usually “prescribed” for women to help restore their pelvic floor strength after giving birth, or to prevent incontinence as women age. But they are equally beneficial for men’s sexual health.
If you have ever consciously stopped your flow of urine for several seconds when going to the bathroom, then you have exercised your pubococcygeus (PC) muscles. Practicing this squeezing action several times a day (hold the squeeze for 10 seconds, relax, and repeat 8 or more times) can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which in turn can help you, delay ejaculation, have better control over your orgasm, and experience better sex. Set yourself a calendar reminder to do them first thing in the morning. Trust me – they work. If you don’t adopt any of the other recommendations in this article do this one!
(One caveat – if you have prostatitis or CPPS (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) you should avoid doing kegels as it may increase your pelvic pain due to the additional tensing/strengthening of the pelvic muscles).
Lifting heavy weights (resistance training) can lift testosterone levels while also improving your upper and lower body strength as well as improve overall stamina. In a study of older men, resistance training was shown to boost testosterone levels in active muscles. Most of the clinical studies I have read support the lifting of heavy weights for “short-term” testosterone boosts which can average out your overall T levels throughout the day. The best results come from working the big muscle groups like legs and quads (squats, lunges etc). Doing bicep curls and working the small muscle groups doesn’t have the same T-boosting effect. You can also supplement with a natural testosterone booster for an added kick to your natural T levels.
Certain stretches like “pelvic stretching” can enhance your orgasms and keep you flexible and injury-free while having sex. Here’s how you do them: Wearing comfortable clothes, lie on your back on the floor on a mat. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor slightly apart. Place your arms at your sides. Inhale and simultaneously tighten your abdominals and buttocks while lifting your pelvis until your back is straight. Hold this position for 10 seconds or more, then exhale and lower your body. Repeat several times.
According to Meghan Stone, MEd in human sexuality, the practice of tai chi can offer men a number of benefits in the bedroom. Tai chi has been used to help treat erectile dysfunction and the movements can stimulate the prostate, therefore increasing blood flow to the pelvic region. The breathing techniques taught in tai chi can also help improve a man’s stamina and performance in the bedroom.
In a Canadian study, adults who practiced tai chi for 16 weeks experienced improvements in lower back flexibility as well as both upper and lower body strength. Also, if you are feeling stressed and tense this can definitely negatively affect your sexual performance. A recent study “provides direct physiological evidence for the role of TCC [tai chi chuan] practice in relaxation.” So the takeaway is to adopt some form of relaxation practice to help with your sexual performance and overall health, whether it’s tai chi, meditation, yoga (see below), or any other form of mental relaxation technique.
Yoga practice strengthens your pelvic muscles and increases your sexual flexibility and energy. You can learn yoga on your own, but it helps to get the basics from an expert or do a class. Poses such as the Elbow Balance, Shoulder Stand, and Bow Pose can enhance your pelvic muscles, while the Triangle Pose, Pigeon, and Standing Forward Bend are three of many that can improve flexibility. The Warrior II Pose and Camel Pose can also increase energy levels.
One of the more recently published studies of the impact of yoga on male sexual function involved 65 men ages 24 to 60. After 12 weeks of yoga sessions, “Male Sexual Quotient” scores significantly improved in the areas of orgasm, ejaculatory control, erection, confidence, intercourse satisfaction, sexual desire, and performance. Basically what that means is that all these guys doing yoga in the test had better sex because of their yoga practice.
Great sex has many components – physical, emotional, nutritional, and psychological. Exercise is the best way to maintain your physical health, which also goes a long way towards better sex and stronger erectile function for men. Practicing these 8 sexercises will not only help you and your partner have better sex, but boost your self-confidence and overall health and well-being as well.