The Most Physically Active Sex Positions
Sex should always be, first and foremost, about shared pleasure and the close connection between you and your partner. It’s not a “chore” or something that has to be done a specific way in order to maximize the exercise benefit. Sometimes, the best sex is lazy, slow and sensual.
That said, you shouldn’t overlook the clear benefits of active, physically engaged sex. For one reason, fired up, passionate and sweaty sex can be a lot of fun. As Heather Jeffcoat, a Los Angeles-based doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sexual function and dysfunction, points out, there are plenty of health boosts.
“With increases in heart rate that occur, sex can be short- or long-term cardiovascular exercise,” Jeffcoat said. “When you choose positions that incorporate your larger muscle groups, like your glutes and quads, you’ll get an increase in your calorie burn.”
Get the most benefit from your bang
If you’re looking to add a little more physical activity to your sex life, remember to choose positions you and your partner enjoy while trying creative ways to stay active and engaged. Jeffcoat suggests aiming to be active for at least 15 minutes of your intimate encounter, which doesn’t need to be limited to intercourse.
“Even with foreplay, crawling up and down your partner will start to get the blood pumping through your extremities,” Jeffcoat said.
Dr. Sadie Allison, sexologist and founder of GoLove CBD Lube, agrees.
“It’s important to remember there’s no right or wrong recipe for success, other than doing what feels right and good to you,” she said. “But if more physically active sex is the goal, choose specific activities, the positions you do them in and/or sex positions that will require you to exert more energy. For example, you may choose to give a sensual, deep-tissue massage as part of foreplay, which can tone the arms, increase your heart rate and even bring on a sweat. You can always pick up the pace for cardiovascular benefits and lube up for a longer-than-normal session to rack up on burned calories.”
Active positions: giving partner
Generally speaking, the most physically active sex positions will depend on whether you’re the giving or receiving partner. In a position where the giving partner is most active, the receiving partner may not be, and vice versa. If you’re acting as the giving partner, these positions will amp up the physicality:
Standing while supporting the receiving partner’s weight
Allison described one incredibly taxing position for the giving partner in which the receiving partner wraps their legs around the giver’s waist while the giver is standing, so the giver has to hold them up while simultaneously using the legs, hips and glutes to thrust.
“This will require a lot of leg and arm strength to hold them, with focused balance, concentration and stamina,” Allison said.
This position may be too taxing for some, so Allison suggests using a wall or a doorway to help support the weight of the receiving partner.
Missionary supported on extended arms
By making slight adjustments to a traditional missionary position, the giving partner can engage their whole body. Allison suggests elevating the receiver’s hips by placing a pillow under their butt, so the giver has to support their upper body weight with fully extended arms, which offers more of an arm-and-core workout.
“For extra burn, the giver can straighten their legs and get on their toes to form a plank position, working even harder with each stroke,” Allison said.
The result is a seriously challenging core strengthener.
Active positions: receiving partner
The giving partner isn’t solely responsible for thrusting, and the receiver can certainly work up a sweat in the right position, too. Consider adding the following to your next sex session:
The standard cowgirl position requires quad and glute engagement, but when you straddle the receiving partner in a full squat, you’ll definitely feel the burn. Allison breaks it down:
“Straddle your partner with your knees on both sides of their hips, then adjust your legs and shift from being on your knees to your feet so you’re in a squatting position,” she said. “Place your hands on their chest for balance and proceed with the fun. You’ll notice an immediate burning workout in your quads and calves, and you may also feel your triceps and back muscles kicking in to help offset the weight on your legs.”
But don’t be surprised if, after a minute or two, you need a break, because this one’s tough.
Standing doggy style
You may be surprised at how taxing a standing doggy-style position can be. Safely maintaining the position, and your balance, while your partner thrusts requires the engagement of your core, upper body, glutes and hamstrings. Allison suggests trying it bent over in the shower with one foot propped on a shower seat or the edge of the tub, with your hands on the walls for support.
“As you can imagine, the leg you’re standing on is holding all your body weight and working hard for your pleasure, while your arm muscles are working to soften the impact and keep you in place,” she said.
Just be careful: Balancing positions in the shower can be tricky on a slippery surface.
Sex is one of the most fun and special activities you and your partner can have together, so why not add a little intensity and vigor to it and see the difference in your cardiovascular health? Win-win-win!