7 Sex Positions That Basically Are A Workout

Photographed By Savana Ogburn.
Like a challenging barre class or long outdoor run, sometimes you end up ridiculously sore in places you didn't know existed after having especially physical sex. All that thrusting, bending, and sweating accomplishes more than just an orgasm and a good time.
Technically, sex counts as a "workout," and depending on how vigorous it is, it can reach the level of moderate exercise, Tina M. Penhollow, PhD, MCHES, associate professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion at Florida Atlantic University told Refinery29. While no amount of sex can replace regular physical activity, there are certainly some athletic sex positions that work your muscles and cardiovascular system more intensely than others.
So, if you're looking for an at-home, in-bed partner workout, here are the sex positions you should master next. And, as with traditional workouts, don't forget to add some low-key recovery sex days into your routine, too.
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Illustrated by Paola DeLucca.


This standing position is ideal for deep penetration. The receiver places their hands on the floor, and lifts their hips so that their body is in a "tented" position. The giver stands behind and holds onto the receiver's hips for stability.

The workout: This is basically the yoga position, downward dog. Not only will it help stretch and lengthen the receiver's hamstrings, but it'll also strengthen their shoulders, arms, and abs.
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Illustrated by Paola DeLucca.


Whether you're in a doorway or a tight shower, this pose encourages getting super close with your partner. To do it, start by leaning your upper bodies against a wall or door. Then, the receiver swings their leg up over the giver's shoulder. With your bodies resting on a steady surface, you can both thrust as vigorously as you'd like.

The workout: In case it's not abundantly clear, flexibility is somewhat requisite for the receiver in this position. If they have tight hamstrings or lack hip mobility, swinging one leg over the giver's shoulders might not be doable. Bending the raised leg is one way to tone it down until you increase flexibility, but definitely stretch ahead of time to avoid injury.
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Illustrated by Paola DeLucca.

Suspended Congress

Begin standing face-to-face, so the giver can lift the receiver up and hold onto their hips and legs. (This is basically the Bachelor run-and-jump-hug maneuver, but standing.) While in this lift, both parties can move and grind their hips.

The workout: This is where all those bicep curls and pushups pay off. To pull off this position, the giver has to use all of their upper-body muscles, including their abs. But the giver isn't the only one who gets a workout; the receiver will need to engage their inner thighs and arm muscles to stay supported in the giver's arms.
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Illustrated by Paola DeLucca.

Wheel Barrow

For times when the giver needs to take a breather, consider this seated position. The receiver sits on top of the giver, then places their hands on the floor. As the receiver holds their body up using their hands, the giver can use toys on their partner.

The workout: The receiver has to hold a modified plank in this position, which will work their abs, arms, and shoulders. If their wrists get sore from holding all of their weight, they can lower down onto their forearms. And if the receiver is feeling especially active, they can add a pushup in between thrusts.
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Illustrated by Paola DeLucca.


This position is from the Kama Sutra, the thousand-year-old Indian text that includes philosophical musings about relationships and sex. To do it, the receiver lies down on their back, and the giver wraps their thighs around them. From this position, the giver can use their hands.

The workout: Both the receiver and the giver will experience a deep hip opening stretch from this position. The giver is almost doing a sumo squat, which will strengthen their glutes, thighs, and hamstrings.
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Illustrated by Paola DeLucca.


Start in a spooning position, with the giver behind the receiver. The receiver can lower and lift their top leg to allow for even deeper penetration.

The workout: There's a Pilates leg exercise called the side kick series, and it's eerily similar to this sex position. Lifting and lowering your leg while lying on your side will work your glutes and leg muscles, while also engaging your core stabilizer muscles.

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