Sure, workout classes are an awesome way to help you stay healthy, fit and strong. But all that stretching, bending, twisting, heavy breathing and heart-rate elevating at the fitness studio can also bring some major mojo to your sex life. “Just showing up for a workout immediately boosts body esteem and self-confidence while reducing stress — all which makes for better sex,” says Kundalini yoga and indoor cycling instructor Colin Kim. What better reason to get your booty to the gym? Read on to discover how some of your favorite workout classes (and some up-and-coming contenders) can push your sex life to the next level.
This total-body workout incorporates salsa, meringue, samba, cha-cha and a little bit of hip-hop and modern dance. Think lots of arm movements, stepping, core work, squats, lunges and booty shaking — all of which prep your body for better sex. “There are quite a few hip movements in the form of hip rotations, hip swaying and hip popping,” says Zumba instructor Melanie Gibson. “And many of the songs are Latin-inspired — so the movements are very sensual. After you take Zumba, you can apply that hip motion when things get intimate in the bedroom. The looser the hips, the better the motion will be. Your mate won’t be disappointed!”
Read more: 12 Workouts to Improve Your Mood
2. Indoor Cycling
Indoor cycling is one of the most popular classes for blasting calories and boosting cardiovascular health. But this intense workout also gears up your body for blissful bedroom action. “Cycling in any form primes the body for sexual contact,” says indoor cycling instructor Colin Kim. According to Kim, cycling increases not only the flow of blood throughout the body, but also your heart rate — which ensures that blood gasses such as oxygen and carbon dioxide are regulated. This is a huge factor in holding an erection. For the ladies, cycling increases vaginal pulse amplitude (aka your nether regions' blood volume with each heartbeat). The higher the pulse, the higher the arousal!
Odds are good that you've heard of or tried one of these popular classes that fuse ballet movements with elements of Pilates, yoga and strength training. Barre is a head-to-toe workout that trains your body for some seriously satisfying sex. According to Taryn Falcetti, who teaches classic Pure Barre and the fast-paced, high-intensity class Empower at Pure Barre, “There are many isometric movements in Pure Barre, which build muscular endurance and help you hold sex positions longer. You also stretch after every movement in class — which makes you extra flexible in the bedroom.” She adds, “And with all of that intense leg work at the barre, you’ll be a lot more confident about how your rear end looks naked.”
Read more: 6 Workout Ideas for Couples
PiYo is a DVD series from Beachbody that combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga. Because you're working multiple muscle groups, you’re also priming your body for some very pleasurable sexy time. PiYo instructor Angela Lamb explains, “PiYo is a blend of cardio, flexibility and strength training. The cardio kicks up your stamina so you can go longer. And the Pilates-yoga combo increase your flexibility to get into those fun and interesting positions. Plus, when you gain strength, you increase metabolism and burn more calories — so you’ll look and feel better naked.”
4. Vinyasa Yoga
This fast-paced flow yoga focuses on aligning your breath with each movement to help you be more present in the moment — which is also key for sexual satisfaction. “If you’ve been disconnected from your body, yoga teaches that you can experience pleasure through physical movement again. And being willing to accept pleasure makes sex more enjoyable,” says Vinyasa flow instructor Laurie Brockhaus.
“Practicing yoga also encourages confidence and positive body image. By being more comfortable in our bodies, we’re more likely to be more adventurous in the bedroom.” In addition, she says, the flow includes "lifting and tightening the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can strengthen and help you control the muscles involved in orgasm."
Driven by rhythm and music, this energizing class uses Ripstix — exercise drumsticks designed specifically for POUND — and helps you unleash your inner rock star while getting a killer workout. Director of education at POUND Shannon Roentved says, “POUND refines proprioception (regulation of your body’s movements) and kinesthetic awareness (knowing the positioning and movement of your body). This, in turn, enhances sureness and certainty in the way your body moves — possibly resulting in improved body-confidence and rhythm between the sheets!”
She adds that exercise stimulates the production of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasure and desire): “When you experience these benefits alone or with your partner in a POUND class, you can probably look forward to replicating the feeling later back at home.”
Read more: Get a Bigger Orgasm With 8 Easy Yoga Moves
7. Kundalini Yoga
Originating in the 60s, this trending yoga isn’t your typical flow. According to Kundalini instructor Colin Kim, “Kundalini falls in the house of Tantra, which encourages your soul’s development. Its foundation is to inhale and exhale in one long, slow, deep breath to awaken your spirit.” He explains, “Kundalini can heal old wounds and help you face life with confidence and love.”
So how can this increase your pleasure in the bedroom? Kim says that “there’s nothing more attractive than a true, spiritual partner who’s a confident, calm and stable human being. When you combine anxiety-free minds and flexible bodies that are in tune with the highest spiritual goodness, it makes for an ecstatic, loving and truly connected sexual encounter.”
While climbing gyms are an excellent way to sculpt your muscles and torch calories, not everyone can take on the intimidating rock wall. That’s where VersaClimbers come in. These total-body fitness machines are popping up in workout studios everywhere. And because they’re low-impact, everyone can experience their spectacular benefits — both cardiovascular and sexual. Rise Nation VersaClimber instructor Hallie Shaw says, “The half-hour VersaClimber class I teach boosts your endurance and challenges you with intervals, which gets your heart rate up so you’re in better shape and you can go longer. Plus, Rise Nation is a full-body workout, which means everything will look better in bed.”
If you want a high-energy workout that feels less like fitness and more like a dance party, then GROOV3 is the class for you. This choreography-based workout teaches you hip-hop, funk and pop dance moves to a nonstop DJ set. Even better? Learning these fun, simple combinations can lead to better sex. GROOV3 CEO, creator and choreographer Benjamin Allen says, “Stimulating your mind and engaging your full body leads to body awareness and confidence in your own skin — in and out of the bedroom.” He explains, “We encourage participants to ‘dance the ISH out of it,’ which translates to let loose, be free and ‘do you’ — all of which can generate heat between the sheets.”
10. Pole Dancing
Let’s face it: No one is surprised by this association. What is surprising is just how many benefits the practice can have on your body (and your sex life). According to health and fitness specialist and certified pole dancing instructor Wendy Serafin, “Pole dancing incorporates the core, body awareness, strength, balance and flexibility — all while making you feel sexy and uninhibited. You can improve core strength and even overcome a fear of heights while performing moves upside down on the length of the pole.” Sign us up!
What Do YOU Think?
Have you ever tried any of these classes? How did they help improve your sex life? What other workout classes have boosted things in the bedroom? Share your stories in the comments below!
Michelle Spencer is a writer, music addict, and fitness devotee. Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, she moved to L.A. in 2007 and has tried nearly every type of Crunch workout class – from Pound™ and 2FLY to Jillian Michaels’ Bodyshred and Diesel. (Running, weights, yoga, and spin are her staples.) She has also written for Thrillist, Brobible/Guyism, and Dame.