If you're looking to spice up your sex life this Valentine's Day, you might want to consider getting your workout on first. Not only will getting fitter increase your endurance, but focusing on building a strong core can help you have more fun in the bedroom.
Here are five moves for better sex:
1. Split Leg V-Ups
V-Ups are one of my favorite bodyweight core exercises, and this split leg variation is great because it works both your abs as well as your obliques (the muscles wrapping around the your sides). And since it's equipment-free you can do them wherever you are ready for a quick core blaster.
Lie on your back with your arms straight above your head. Pull your belly button toward the floor, then raise your right leg as you reach both arms toward your right foot at the same time. Lower back down then repeat on the left side.
2. Superman Raises
When most people think of core exercises, they focus mainly on their abs and maybe on their obliques. But a strong core also means a strong lower back and butt, and Superman raises are a great way to build that up.
Lie on your stomach with your arms straight by your ears. Raise your arms and legs simultaneously as high as you can. Make sure to squeeze your butt as you do so. Hold, then lower back down and repeat.
3. Wheel Pose
Wheel pose (also known as bridge in gymnastics) works nearly every muscle in the posterior chain (aka the back of your body), making it a fantastic core and butt strengthener as well as an incredible flexibility exercise.
To do it, lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your hands on the sides of your head, fingers pointing toward your toes. Push your hips up, rounding your back and squeezing your butt, abs, and leg muscles as you do so. Push through your shoulders so everything gets a good stretch, and breathe deeply.
4. Medicine Ball Twists
Medicine ball twists are a fantastic allover core exercise. Make sure to really keep your core tight the entire time for maximum benefit!
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor while holding a medicine ball to your chest. Raise your body up by using your core muscles so that your torso is about a 45-degree angle from the floor. Bring the medicine ball to one side, touching the floor if possible and twisting as far as you can. Repeat on the opposite side, twisting as fast as possible.
Tip: If you don't have a medicine ball, you can substitute nearly any heavy object for this exercise—think a heavy book, a kettlebell, even a full backpack.
5. V-Up Hollow Body Holds
A gymnastics staple exercise, hollow body holds may look simple but they're a killer core exercise.
Lie down flat on your back and contract your abs, pulling your belly button toward the floor. The arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed. Slowly raise your shoulders and legs from the ground as you keep your lower back in contact with the floor. The goal is to find the lowest position that you can hold the arms and legs, without them touching the floor and without breaking lower-back contact.
Make sure you're pressing your belly button toward the floor and engaging your pelvic muscles for maximum effect.
Beginner variation: Make this exercise slightly easier by reaching your arms toward your feet. You can also try bending your knees instead.
Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT is the author of The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Bodyweight and a leading expert on high intensity interval training (HIIT) and bodyweight fitness. She currently lives in Venice, California, and is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
From trying her first push up in college, to teaching herself to do pull ups and handstands, Krista is living proof of her philosophy that everybody is an athlete. She has helped tens of thousands of people to unlock their full athletic potential through her 12 Minute Athlete HIIT Workouts app and 12 Minute Athlete blog. You can find her @12minuteathlete on all social platforms.