Pilates Livens Up The Libido

Let’s get physical!

Pop icon, Olivia Newton John, sang it best in the hit 80s song, Physical – “Let’s get physical. Let me hear your body talk.”

And if you are old enough to watch the video premier on MTV you can see the strong correlation between sex and fitness. Thanks to YOUTUBE, the video still is available for viewing and depicts John prancing around in a neon leotard instructing a bunch of in and out of shape half-naked men to pump iron in a gym. Then there is a cut away shot to her lithe body in a steamy shower scene, not naked, but leaves the viewer to imagine her to be, if the camera were to pan downward. Convincing her object of desire to do it animal style while singing suggestive lyrics about her sensual yearnings, “You’re bringing out the animal in me.”  The music video revolutionizes the impact that sex can have on society, culture, and even our health.

Likewise, exercises that promote traits from our animal friends, such as upward/downward dog in yoga, Swan, Seal, Elephant, Crab and Snake in Pilates can very well deepen our desires for human intimacy and increase sexual satisfaction.  Doggy style came from our four legged furry friends and learning how to support the spine in forward flexion, while the woman is on her knees showing offer her posterior chain to her lover, can take a lot of strength in the pelvic-lumbar region. Spinal flexion exercises are super important to master when wanting to give your lover a chance to unleash from underneath!

When you are moving vigorously, the body amps up to produce heat and gets a bit uncomfortable at times. Inhale and exhale. Familiar cues often heard in a fitness, pilates, or yoga class, instructing participants to focus on the breathe is paramount to releasing an energetic life force to our organs in order to live. Deep breathing, sweating, burning calories to conditioning the metabolic system, releasing endorphins to relax the mind are all benefits of exercise on the physical self.  So the impact of exercise not only helps transform the physical, as exercise science research proves physical fitness helps keep calm the mind and doing physical motion can create positive emotions.

Understanding the mind/body connection has changed many peoples’ lives in the bedroom. Sex first starts in the brain before feelings are transmitted into the body, and when the release of tension from the body gets to let go. The brain feels free, and blood flows through the human sex organs, allowing the whole body to feel refreshed and renewed. Most people tend to fall asleep after sex, or some leave the bedroom with a new wave of energy depending on the way hormones trigger the nervous system.

People who practice pilates or yoga learn to develop a keen sense of awareness and mental focus when they commit to their workouts on a mat and the only equipment they use is their own body weight. By parlaying those skills into the bedroom focusing on the only task at hand by pleasuring your partner, the act of sex can be a more pleasurable experience for both parties when each person is fully present intimately. Plus, learning how to support the body in a various planes of motion offers creativity when discovering positions to reach climax.

Corrie McCrae, a pilates instructor in Brooklyn, NY, and the creator of The Bad Girl’s Workout, dedicates her practice to helping clients get greater satisfaction in their love life by teaching them pilates based exercises that can make sex more satisfying between couples. McCrae says these exercises are chosen and adapted to target the muscles that increase sexual pleasure, control, develop flexibility and strength for increased stamina in any sexual position. She wrote an article in the Huffington Post, explaining the benefits of pilates workouts has on the body for achieving sexual satisfaction.

“Practicing Pilates makes sex better for some obvious reasons. It makes you stronger and more flexible. It makes you feel more confident about your body by focusing on what it can do and not what it looks like, but it helps you have a smokin’ body anyway. Let’s be honest; for a woman, feeling hot yourself is as much of a turn on as thinking your partner is hot. Knowing your ass looks great in a pair of jeans goes a long way as an aphrodisiac.”

Talking About A Revolution

People are visual creatures regardless of their sexual preferences if a body we see attracts us with clothing on; unconsciously we undress our desired object to imagine their attractive naked skin next to ours. Muscles when firm to the touch have a sleek and slender appearance balancing the skeletal structure to give the body a symmetrical shape. The result of earning a strong body from committing to a dedicated workout increases greater posture, poise, and overall confidence.

When you hear the current pop song “Sexy and I know it” by the band LMFAO, played often in nightclubs, group fitness classes, TV or on the radio, “the singer sings repeatedly, “Girl, look at that body? I work out”.  Still to this day working out brings out the sexy in chart topping songs. Once you feel sexy, others can feel it too.

What exactly are these exercises that bring about the passion in pants?

Pilates exercises developed by German boxer, Joseph H. Pilates (1880-1967) are focused on lengthening muscles to develop uniformly, where the physical physique gains strength, agility, endurance, coordination, speed, and suppleness to bring  total health from the inside out.  Throughout a long career of healing war veterans, dancers, athletes, stage performers, and regular citizens, Pilates developed over 600 exercises on various pieces of machines (apparatus) to heal male and females bodies from as young as 7 years-old to those who were way past their 70th birthday. A fitness fanatic and 20th century health care revolutionary, whose legend inspired a breadth of athletes after his death with his influence on the future of fitness.

Mr. Pilates originally called his method of fitness, “contrology”, because control is one of the main principles stressed to achieving the practice correctly. During sex we have to let our minds loose control of inhibition and our bodies to embrace the touch of another.

Deep In The Core Lies The Pelvic Floor!

When I teach either a mat or reformer class, I often tell the participants to draw the naval to spine to deepen in the core.  At the base of the core lies a group of muscles either called the pelvic floor or bowl. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles in your pelvis region that support your bladder and uterus. For women, the bottom layer of muscle wraps around the vagina, anus and urethra, which are responsible for urination, defection, childbirth, and promotes sexual satisfaction. Practicing the contraction/holding of squeezing these muscles together when completing exercises to strengthen the abdominals, buttocks, and inner thighs builds internal pressure that can be very pleasing for both sexes. These are often termed, Kegel exercises, to help stimulate the sensation for the squeeze.

Thought this well described excerpt from McCrae’s article appropriately ties into the idea about the importance of pelvic floor activity for activating core control.

“If you have ever tried to squeeze your partner’s penis during sex, you are contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor. Learning how to consciously control these muscles allows you to increase sensation during sex by getting a good grip, so to speak. The pelvic floor muscles also contract involuntarily during orgasm. The stronger these muscles are, the more intense the orgasm. Knowing how to relax these muscles is important too. If you want to maneuver your way into some of those crazy positions you see in sex books, or simply spread your legs really wide for those who prefer more tried and true methods, then you need to be able to relax the pelvic floor. Many women find that knowing how to contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles during sex allows them to have more control over when they reach orgasm.”

Pilates pays attention to the Penis too!

Men take note. Your pelvic floor muscles are not to be forgotten. Though they go by the anatomical names (coccygeus, iliococcygeus, and pubococcygeus) for optimal function. The pelvic floor muscles for both sexes leads to greater activation of breathing and abdominal recruitment. Conditioning the pelvic floor for a man relieves similar urinary issues as women, but can also build in deeper strength for lasting longer in the love making process. Those men whose jobs require intense lifting of heavy objects on their lumbar spine can benefit from the stamina of contracting their pelvic floor muscles to endure the strenuous labor, and keep the body free from long term harm.

OH Happy Endings!

Blogger, Tonya Sheridan describes 8 ways Pilates can improve the sex life in her blog.  Check out the article here to learn more:

My favorite tip from her article was #5! Here’s why, “This continuous rush of fresh blood and oxygen to the sexual organs results in an increase in libido and more intense orgasms. Pilates contributes to a great sex life well into your golden years!”

Pilates brings out the inner vixen while toning up the intrinsic muscles of our physical structures. Always remember to pull in from your ‘powerhouse’, a term for your center of movement to passionately penetrate your mate to reach that powerful grand finale, and bask in the euphoric intimate feeling of closeness afterwards.

Clients come back continuously because they see and feel the results of the workout. I’ve also noticed that pilates clients who have partners are my most loyal students. For couples with babies on the brain, procreation just may get a jump start by booking a few pilates sessions.

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