Shape Up for Sex, Part One

Shape Up for Sex, Part One

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Today, I would like to present a few stretches and exercises that are easy to perform and can improve your sexual performance and satisfaction. If you take care of yourself, you put yourself in a better position to enjoy sex, feel more comfortable with your body, and increase your sexual pleasure because of it. Let me say that having a regular exercise regimen is the best plan for your overall health and your sexual functioning because it maintains your muscle strength, your metabolism, your endurance, your blood flow, and your sleep patterns. But there are specific exercises that help you strengthen those muscle groups you often use in sex. And if you have been avoiding your body lately, here are some simple suggestions that can get you back on track. They can be done without any special equipment right in your living room or bedroom floor. And the beauty of these is that they are important for both men and women to prepare for a better time in the bedroom. Please do these stretches and exercises on the floor and not on your bed, as the movement of the bed increases your risk for injuries and does not allow for maximal stretching.

Let’s start with the stretches. These are particularly important because when you increase your muscle flexibility, you increase your range of motion which allows for increased endurance and comfort in a variety of positions in sex. These stretches should be performed for a couple of minutes a day, every day. This way, you will be able build on your existing flexibility and add to it little by little each day. Remember, that when you stretch, you should hold the position for at least 30 seconds and up to 60 seconds or longer if it possible. The reason for this is that muscle tissue does not fully relax for the first 30 seconds or so and requires more time to get results. Also important is to hold a steady stretch and not to bounce. Although many people stretch this way, it actually promotes muscle tension and does not help you stretch effectively.

The first stretch starts by laying flat on your back on the floor. Take a deep breath in, then exhale. As you do this, feel the tension go out through the bottoms of your feet. Then bend your knees and lift them both up towards your chest. Next, hold on to your knees with your hands, or if you can, wrap your arms around your knees. Your legs will probably be most comfortable on each side of your body. As you do this, pull your knees towards you and hold this position. Breathe normally and with each exhale, imagine your lower back flat against the floor. This will relax the muscles of the lower back while also stretching some of the tiny muscles of the hip joint. You can enjoy this relaxing position for several minutes.

The next stretch is a basic straddle that is often done in gymnastics or in martial arts. The point of this stretch is to loosen any tension in the inner part of the thigh muscles. It is very important that you do not force this position, as there are large tendons here that are not as elastic as the muscles they are connected to. For this stretch, you sit on the floor and place your legs in a “V” shape to each side. It is important that you only spread you legs until you start to feel some tension on the inside of your thighs and no more. Next, place the palms of your hands flat on the floor in front of you to support your body. Then you will start the stretch by leaning forward with your head and body until you feel a good stretch in your inner thighs. Once you have found a good position, hold this and breathe in a slow and relaxed way, imagining with each exhalation that your muscles are stretching just a little bit more. Remember not to bounce here!

Now on to two exercises that are simple to do, but deceptively difficult if you are not accustomed to strengthening your core. The first exercise focuses on the core muscles, especially the abdominals, but can work on upper arms, thighs, buttocks and back if these are not strong. For those of you familiar with yoga, the first exercise I am going to describe is known as “the plank”. For those who have not practiced yoga, it is easiest to start laying face down on the floor. Place the palms of your hands on each side of your shoulders and flat against the floor so that your forearms are also flat against the floor. Curl your toes so that you are on the balls of your feet as well. Next, lift your weight up onto your forearms and palms, lifting your entire body down to your feet, and hold this position. You will find that you need to pull your abdominal muscles tight in order to maintain this position. Breathe as normally as possible for at least 15 normal breaths. As your strength increases, you can also increase the time that you hold this position.

The last exercise is known in yoga as “the bridge.” You begin by laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your arms should also be flat on the floor to either side of your body. Next, you will press the soles of your feet into the ground and you lift your hips in the air until your weight is resting only on your feet and your upper back/shoulders. You will find that you need to press your gluteus muscles up towards the ceiling to maintain a straight position. Breathe and hold this position as you did for the plank.

By doing these stretches and exercises, men will find that they can increase their endurance for thrusting and women can increase their ability to press their hips up against their partner to match their thrusts. Stretching also helps take the pressure off of the lower back for both men and women and increases the comfort of maintaining sexual positions for longer periods of time. Remember that good sex starts with taking care of yourself first.

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