pilates workout for sex

Pilates Benefits for Sex: Can Pilates Improve Your Sex Life?

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Pilates benefits for body, mind, and soul are known by many. From improved posture to less stress, Pilates seems to be the form of exercise that’s all the rage these days. But how about Pilates benefits for sex? 

Science says that Pilates might be one of the most effective workouts to improve your sexual health and overall sexual satisfaction. So, let’s talk about how Pilates can enhance your sex life. 

Pilates and Sex: Pilates Benefits for Sexual Health

Introduction to Pilates 

“Pilates is a low-impact workout method that attempts to increase flexibility and postural alignment while also strengthening muscles,” explains licensed physical therapist, Pilates instructor, and co-founder of Core Therapy & Pilates, Stephen Dunn. While Pilates often engages multiple muscle groups, its primary focus is the core. 

It’s a form of exercise that’s been popularized by celebrities who often swear by Pilates to help build lean muscle. The pandemic also played a part in the rising popularity of this exercise (on TikTok #pilatesworkout has over 660 million views) with many people seeking out online Pilates studios to move their bodies while stuck at home. 

But Pilates has much more to offer than simply a way to move your body in the comfort of your home. “Pilates involves the whole body and engages both the body and the mind using principles such as Breathing, Control, Precision, and Flow to name a few,” says Pilates instructor, Registered Somatic Movement Therapist, and Director of (se)® LAB, Anne Bertram.

It’s all about mind and body connection when it comes to Pilates. This makes it the perfect form of exercise for those who want to strengthen the relationship between their mind and body. 

Another thing that makes Pilates attractive is that it’s very beginner friendly and inclusive. “Pilates is a good option for people who can’t participate in high-impact activities because many of the low-impact movements may be done while lying down or sitting,” explains Dunn. 

This makes Pilates a perfect exercise for those who are new to working out and want something that makes working out more enjoyable and easy on the body. 

A Brief History 

Compared with some other forms of exercise like yoga, Pilates is relatively new – it was only invented in the 1920s. The creator, Joseph Pilates, invented the Pilates exercise system based on Ancient Greece’s philosophy of the perfect balance between mind, body, and soul. 

At first, Pilates was used as a way to rehabilitate bedridden soldiers during and after World War I, but in the 1970s, things changed when Pilates caught the attention of Hollywood. By the end of the 1980s, Pilates was all over the media, attracting mainstream attention and becoming the “It” form of exercise. 

5 Pilates Benefits for Your Sexual Health

Pilates benefits for your body and soul are endless: it improves mood, lowers stress, builds muscle, increases flexibility and mobility… But apart from that, Pilates also has pretty amazing benefits for our sexual health and performance. Here are five ways Pilates can make your sex life much better: 

Improves Relationship With Your Body

Research shows that poor body image has a negative effect on female sexuality. It can greatly reduce libido, arousal levels, and overall sexual satisfaction. Now, Pilates might be able to help with improving body image and connection with your body. 

Pilates heavily centers around the mind and body connection, and that can affect the way we feel in our bodies. “Pilates connects your mind and your body together and creates more awareness of yourself, and with awareness can come more sexual pleasure,” explains Bertram. 

Also, after regularly doing Pilates exercises, you’ll start to notice the difference in how you feel and how you look. That can also play a huge role in how you experience sexual pleasure. 

And let’s not forget the Pilates benefits for mental health and how that can affect your connection with your body, and your sex life. “Exercise, particularly Pilates, improves mood and lowers levels of stress and anxiety,” says Dunn. The less stressed you are, the better you feel inside and out, which might also mean a higher desire for sex. 

Lastly, being connected with your body will allow you to be more receptive to your partner during sex. “When connected to and aware of your whole being you can connect more with others,” explains Bertram. You’ll be able to tell what works for you during sex better and what sort of activities you want to engage in more. 

Enhances Body Mobility 

Sex can be a fairly physically taxing activity. Certain positions and places where you choose to have sex might require more flexibility, mobility, and strength. Pilates can definitely help with improving your body’s physical abilities. “A range of sexual positions can be more accessible and comfortable thanks to Pilates’ ability to dramatically increase flexibility and mobility,” says Dunn. 

The more sex positions you can try and hold for longer periods of time, the better the chances that you’ll find the sex position (or a few!) that feel the best and hit all the right spots. 

Increases Blood Flow

“Regular physical activity, such as Pilates, enhances the body’s blood circulation, which is crucial for sexual performance,” explains Dunn. There are quite a few reasons why increased blood flow is important for sex – it can lead to better arousal and sexual desire. 

A study published in the Journal of Andrology surveyed 36 women who suffered from some form of female sexual dysfunction. During the study, women had to attend two Pilates classes per week for 12 weeks and avoid any other form of exercise. 

After 12 weeks, women reported drastically improved sex lives. Their levels of desire improved by 136%, and they reported having more orgasms and experiencing less pain during sex, which can all be attributed to the increased blood flow.  

Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles

Strong pelvic floor muscles are essential for all genders. “For women, a firm pelvic floor can improve sex-related feeling and increase the intensity of orgasms,” explains Dunn. 

For people with vulvas, pelvic floor health is important not only for stronger orgasms, though. 1 in 13 women report experiencing pain during sex and Pilates might help with that. “Strengthening of the core can help to reduce pelvic pain,” says Bertram.

Pelvic floor health is equally as important for people with penises and strengthening it can greatly enhance sexual satisfaction. “Strong pelvic floor muscles in males can enhance erectile function and help with better ejaculatory control,” Dunn adds.

While most often we hear experts recommending Kegels for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, Pilates can also be an effective way to strengthen these muscles without even trying. “The pelvic floor and other core muscles are given a lot of attention in Pilates,” Dunn explains.  

“Pilates is great for connecting people to what we call the “Inner Unit” which are muscles closer into your spine, including your diaphragm and your pelvic floor muscles,” explains Bertram. According to her, simply working through Pilates exercises while breathing automatically engages pelvic floor muscles. 

Boost Sexual Stamina and Endurance 

“Your general health and stamina can be enhanced by regularly practicing Pilates,” says Dunn. Sexual stamina is crucial because it allows you to not get tired too quickly during sex. “Longer-lasting sexual interactions and less physically taxing sexual activity can both be the results of increased endurance,” he adds. 

So, Pilates not only enhances sex but also makes it last longer. And who doesn’t want that?