No matter how much your partner pleads, you can’t substitute time in the sack for time on the treadmill. However, certain sex positions do work for a woman’s muscle groups — some so much, in fact, that you might not be able to make it to the gym the next day.
According to Men’s Health, women can burn up to 69 calories per sex sesh, and obviously more dependent on how long the session goes and how rigorous it is.
So here are some sex positions that can also be used for exercise when you didn’t get your daily workout in or if you’re afraid of the gym. Because let’s face it: Sex is the most fun exercise of all. I mean, I’ve never orgasmed from spin class, have you?
For this intense sex position, you put your hands on the floor. Then, your partner picks up your legs and penetrates you from behind. You, my friend, are a human wheelbarrow. If you both are pretty physically fit, he can even walk you around the room while you’re having sex.
This position works your arms and abs and allows you to feel like you’re in a relay race, which is always fun. My personal guess, though, is that you will not climax in this position.
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 for a woman, man-on-top can still provide a pretty good workout.
“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.)
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,” Britton says.
Legs Over Head
This sex position is great if you’re looking for a good stretch. It’s basically like sexual yoga.
You rest on the bed while your partner puts your legs over his head. Your guy can even physically stretch your legs by pushing them toward your body, you know, should you actually want your sex session to double as a massage and physical therapy. While this might not burn the most calories, stretching is a huge part of physical fitness and staying limber.
With a standard cowgirl position, the lower part of the woman’s legs is braced on the bed or floor, which will engage her butt and core.
“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 additional muscle groups. “To make it even more intense, she can come up to 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.”
So next time you’re looking to burn some calories, ask yourself which one sounds better: downward dog or doggy style?