Feel Great Naked!
Your sexiest body is only 6 exercises away
By Denise Brodey
Turn up your sex drive with these saucy moves
While other fitness buffs are thinking about toned legs and arms, women doing the following plan can revel in their own little secret: Not only will it give you a flat belly, but it’ll also boost your sex drive–in an hour. Studies show that women’s sexual satisfaction directly correlates to their exercise quotient.
“Working out boosts endorphins that get you in the mood,” says Laura Berman, PhD, founder of the Berman Center, a sexual health clinic in Chicago. She teamed up with Prevention to devise this exclusive libido-boosting routine, based on her book The Passion Prescription.
Her Rx: daily Kegels plus, on alternating days, five more sex-enhancing moves designed to target the pelvic floor and abs. “Increasing the circulation to the pelvic area is a key component of better sex,” she says. Just be forewarned: The aphrodisiac effect of this plan might kick in immediately.
The (Private) Move You Need Daily: Kegels
To locate your pelvic floor muscles, imagine trying to interrupt your urine stream. Slowly tighten and hold for 10 seconds; then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Next, try a quicker squeeze and release of the same muscles–a faster move that works different muscle fibers. Squeeze and release in rapid succession 10 times. Do one set of fast and one set of slow Kegels each day, working up to three sets of both daily.
Body Benefit: Improves blood circulation to the genitals, which makes you more aroused; increases vaginal response and bladder control.
“Combining abdominal and Kegel exercises allows you to squeeze your Kegel muscles in and up, in and back, and even side to side–moves that will ultimately help you and your partner experience a broader range of sensations,” explains Berman.
To begin, lie back with knees bent, feet flat on floor. Place a pillow between knees and let hands rest at sides, palms down. Engage Kegel muscles, focusing on squeezing them in, up, and back. Engage abs to lift head and shoulders several inches off floor. Hold for three deep breaths, expanding stomach as you breathe in, contracting as you breathe out. Do 10 reps.
Body Benefit: Works your Kegel muscles, transverse abdominals (deeper ab muscles), and thighs.
You’ll need a scarf or a band to assist with stretching. Lying on back, bring right knee to chest and place scarf in middle of foot. Holding ends, extend right leg up toward ceiling. Squeeze pelvic floor muscles while lowering right leg out to side toward floor. Hold for 10 breaths, using inner and outer thighs and pelvic floor muscles to keep pelvis anchored on floor. Slowly return to start, then switch sides.
Body Benefit: Increases flexibility and works abs and thighs. (Skip this exercise if you have sensitive hips or knees.)
The Belly Dancer
Kneel so torso and lower legs form a right angle. (Place pillow under knees, if more comfortable.) Place hands on hips and do one set of Kegels, keeping butt relaxed. Next, squeeze butt muscles, tuck tailbone in underneath hips, and do Kegels while tilting pelvis forward. Relax butt and allow pelvis to move backward, letting butt come slightly up toward ceiling. Next, move pelvis side to side, engaging Kegel muscles and lower abs. (To move to right, engage right-side glutes as you do Kegels.)
Body Benefit: This move starts with a set of Kegels to help you engage your pelvic floor, and then works your butt and abs, giving you full range of motion in your pelvis.
For this beginner partner move, sit on floor, facing each other, with legs open in straddle position and feet touching, knees and toes facing up. (If he’s much taller, press your feet against his legs.) Grasp each other’s forearms as you press backs of knees toward floor, lengthen spine, and breathe in and out while holding pose for 1 minute. (To further increase the stretch, scoot slowly toward your partner.)
Body Benefit: Increases flexibility.
Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, and arms overhead with elbows slightly bent and palms up. Open knees to sides and as they drift toward floor, bring soles of feet together. (If necessary, place a pillow beneath each knee for support. For a deeper stretch, bring feet in closer to groin.) Feel the release in chest, hips, thighs, and pelvis as you take three deep breaths.
Body Benefit: Teaches you to relax your pelvic floor, which helps with pain prevention and muscle control (you should be able to relax and tighten at will), and loosens your hips, which will give you more flexibility during sex.
Get Sweaty for Better Sex
Besides this libido-boosting workout, try cardio to kickstart your love life.
Forget dinner and a movie. Whether you bike, run, or play tennis, aerobic exercise is a great way for couples to connect, turn on–and get in shape. “Watching your partner get sweaty can ignite sparks,” says Becky Jeffers, fitness director at the Berman Center in Chicago. Choose a cardiovascular activity you can do for at least a half-hour 3 to 5 days a week.