I was listening to Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz game show, and they mentioned an odd study about sex. Of course, I had to go look it up.
So here’s what happened: Upbeat Active (a fitness company) commissioned research tracking how many muscles are used for various activities. They learned that texting uses 38 muscles, dancing uses 99 muscles, and cycling to work uses 155 muscles. But the only activity that uses all your muscles, all 657 of them, is sex.
Well, sex if you’re “doing it right.”
How can that be? you ask.
It turns out you use your facial muscles for kissing; abs, chest, diaphragm, and neck to make sound; eye muscles as you look around or at your beloved; lower limbs, pelvis and core, legs, etc. Basically, if you’re really into sex, you’re tightening and exerting all of your muscles.
And the muscle that gives sex its unique status as the All-Muscle Activity is the bulbospongiosus, which — get this — is also known as the “sex hero muscle.” Both men and women have one, and it receives training during male erection and ejaculation, female clitoral erection, and orgasms for both of you.
Did you know you had a “sex hero muscle”? Well, now you do! Drag out your superhero cape and wear it with pride.
But are you currently using all of those muscles with the way you’re having sex? What should that total-body workout look like? Lead researcher Mike Aunger said, “Ideally it should last more than 30 minutes…. But I’ve got no stats on how long sex lasts for [the] average British couple. To be fair, 45 minutes would probably be better.”
Okay, so they’re British, and you’re whatever. However, I bet most married couples don’t go a whole 45 minutes. *sigh* And nice as they can be, quickies apparently don’t give you the full exercise experience.
Regardless, let’s look at a breakdown of the muscles and what actions you can take to use as many as possible:
Pucker up! Kissing exerts your facial muscles. And you don’t just have to kiss his lips. You’ve can come up with other smooch targets on his body.
Make noise. They say moaning uses your diaphragm, chest, and other muscles. It makes me wonder what yelling, “You’re my Superman!” does for a gal. (Asking for a friend.)
Leave the lights on. Your eye muscles get a work out, as you check out the view and your eyes dart around — that is, if you leave the lights on and can actually see. If you don’t like full light, try low lights or candlelight.
Move your neck. You’ll do it anyway, but it’s on the list of muscles that get worked out as you rotate or flex your head, look down and up, raise your shoulders … and so on. Maybe it’s a good thing when your kid knocks on your door, making you jerk your head up and respond, “Um, we’ll be out in a minute” — uses those neck muscles at least.
Try different positions. Your lower limbs get a better workout with interesting positioning. Your quads, biceps femoris (backsides of your thighs), and calves will thank you. For ideas, check out our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast on sex positions.
Thrust. Okay, ladies, you don’t really thrust like your hubby does. But your pelvic and core muscles will be exerted if you engage your hips more in sexual activity. Tilt, swivel, and shift down there, and try woman-on-top from time to time, where you can take a lead role.
Use your arms. Your arm and shoulder muscles get more use in certain positions. That’s what the article I read mentioned, but it didn’t give specifics. But we can imagine that some positions require you to hold yourself in place. I also suggest stroking and caressing your hubby, maybe even massaging him where he likes.
Grip something. Your hand muscles get a workout when you grab something, like your husband’s shoulders or hips … or even something lower.
Let your heart pound. You don’t have to think about this one, because your heart muscle will do its own thing, getting a good workout during sex. But maybe you can at least appreciate how hard it’s pounding and that it’s a good thing for your health.
Go for the orgasm. That sex hero muscle (aka bulbospongiosus) does its thing when you’re in the throes of passion, with a clitoral erection and waves of pleasure we know as orgasm. So go for it! It’s good for you.
Now go forth and get healthy, y’all! See how many muscles you can use. If you’re “doing it right,” whatever that means, you’ll be giving all 657 muscles a healthy bit of exertion. And even if a muscle or two gets missed, you’ll be enjoying yourself. You’re welcome.
Sources: NPR: ‘Wait Wait’ For March 4 2017: With Not My Job Guest Jordan Peele; The Telegraph-UK: Sexercise: 657 reasons why the ultimate workout happens between the sheets; Daily Mail.com: From texting to having sex: The ultimate full-body workout to flex your muscles WITHOUT hitting the gym
12 thoughts on “Want to Work All Your Muscles? Try Sex.”
Can bedroom time count as marathon training? Plus, think of all the calories that are burned when 657 muscles are firing! God’s very own, ‘Song of Solomon workout and relationship strategy.’ 🙂 The best way to move toward having your summer body. Love this, J!
Sounds like a great idea. Now I just need to get my husband on board(no pun intended). I have the higher drive and though he is in good shape, I’m in better shape which makes me want to work out that way much more frequently. Maybe I can try to get him to “do it for your heart”. 🙂
What a great idea! I too am a higher drive wife. And I thank you for commenting, so I know I’m not alone in the world. I was starting to feel like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh – you know, he’s the only one?
Lots of folks tell me there are other HD wives out there, but very few folks admit to it, and sometimes I feel like a freak of nature.
Anyhow, what a great idea. I’m also in better shape than hubby, and he’s been talking about wanting to work out together. Perhaps I should suggest the workout mentioned in this post? ? He could get his workout in AND make his wife happy at the same time. Sounds like a win-win to me!
This blog was so funny to read, as my husband often calls it ‘sexercise’!! And he was right…lol
And B, I am a high drive wife too…you’re definitely not alone!
I’ve suggested to my bride that we wear our workout wearables to see how many calories we are burning during sex. You know, for science.
Not sure how sexy that is, but the engineer geek in me is very interested.
How funny, my husband heard this on the radio and told me about it yesterday!
J, this post had me smiling the whole way through! I loved your playful take on the subject, and am looking forward to bedtime! ?
I’ve put off posting a comment, since I couldn’t think of a way to put this without sounding too risque. But I’m saying it anyway. Sex is an athletic event at 17, and maybe at 57, if you’re still trim and slim. But at 77? Well, it’s a challenge. But I’ve discovered that an arthritis-strength Tylenol for hip pain, and about half an aspirin tablet to prevent leg cramps, will make this duo sport a LOT more enjoyable. Getting a serious cramp during an orgasm, whether you’re male or female, tends to spoil the fun.
I think this was well said. Thanks!
Woman-on-top position helped me get my hips, thighs, and backside in shape again after pregnancy. When hubb flips me over to missionary, I then engage my inner thighs and abs.
We had an argument once that I would just lay there and he did all the work. He was right. I found the exertion difficult and I had no stamina. It took a while to get my muscles used to the change, but now I can out-last hubby and he’s the one more apt to starfish!!
Libl, you are an inspiration to me! I too think I could have more fun in bed if I was fitter, and that is one of my goals. In the meantime, since reading this blog post the other day, I have a new tool to help stop my dissociating during sex, I can pay attention, feel and appreciate my hard working muscles! I have to say, it doesn’t sound sexy, but it actually is, and has certainly added something to our lovemaking sessions!
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