Sex Positions That Double As Cardio (Since We Can't Go To The Gym)

Since everyone is working from home and self-isolating until further notice because of COVID-19, no one is going to the gym and working out. I mean, that’s definitely not the only reason why… I, personally, am just a lazy bitch who doesn’t exercise at all, but you get the point. Good news for us horny ones out here who are already living or quarantining with our partners: Certain sex positions call for so much energy they can basically double as cardio. Sign. Me. Up. Because IDK about you, but I’d much rather burn calories by banging my partner than doing a million burpees in my apartment.

Sexpert confirmed: “Good sex will be a natural workout because you’re putting in the physical effort and getting sweaty together,” confirms certified sex coach and author Gigi Engle. “Orgasms burn calories, too.” Hell yeah! So without further ado, here are five sex positions that can get your blood pumping and amp up your heart rate faster than it’s been while chilling on the couch binge-watching Netflix:

1. Doggy Style

To burn more calories when you’re on all fours, Astroglide’s resident sexologist, Dr. Jess O’Reilly recommends taking turns pumping, rolling, and thrusting in this position. “You stay perfectly still for a minute while your partner takes control, and then you alternate. I think this might qualify as interval training,” she says. Yup, that’s def the best form of interval training out there. She notes you can get even more out of doggy style if you attempt a more challenging position. Rather than getting on all fours, she suggests you try it standing while you bend over into a downward dog position. Time to put all those hot yoga classes to the ultimate test.

2. Missionary

Believe it or not, yes, you CAN get a good cardio boost in missionary position. Just be a power bottom who puts in werk. “For the bottom, grab your ankles with your hands and pull them up toward your head to engage your core,” O’Reilly explains. “If you’re the top in missionary, use your arms to support yourself as though you’re holding a plank.” Not bendy or athletic enough for that? Just throw some hip rolls in there. “Roll your hips in semi-circles, popping your butt toward their toes and then up toward their head,” she adds. Who knew missionary could be a full-body workout?!

3. Reverse Cowgirl

“Cowgirl and reverse cowgirl will get your heart rate up because you’re the one moving your body the most,” says Engle. Makes sense. Doing the most work is pretty tiring. If you want to turn it up a notch, you can also do the rocking horse (as O’Reilly calls it). “Sit all the way down and rock your hips from front to back. Picture yourself sensually riding a rocking horse for this move… it’s weird, but it works!” Giddy up.

4. Rider On Top

If you want to be the one doing the heavy lifting, Engle says you gotta hop on top. O’Reilly adds that bouncing up and down on a penis or strap-on from base to tip, or doing squats in the top positions (where appropriate/applicable), can burn way more calories during sex, too. Ugh. Sounds effective but also like I already need a nap.

5. On Your Knees/Straddling

On your mark knees, get set, ride! If you’re straddling your partner on a chair or bed, O’Reilly says to “alternate between 10 very shallow pumps and 10 deep ones, pressing your hips and lower thighs into their hips/pelvis.” You can also lean backward in a kneeling position and pump up and down that way. Or, last but not least, throw that booty in some circles! “Sit up straight and roll your hips to trace a large circle with the bottom half along their body and the upper half in the air as you allow the shaft to slide out slightly,” O’Reilly explains. Hot. Here for it. 

Safety Tips For Physically Demanding Sex

If you’re gonna treat sex as a workout, you’ve got to know how to do it as safely as possible. Whereas you need a spotter at the gym when lifting weights, you need some support at your home gym, too! Here are three tips to keep in mind when squeezing in those at-home workouts with your partner.

1. Use Props To Help

“Sex furniture (check out the Liberator brand) and pillows take the pressure off your body and will help to prevent injury as you attempt acrobatic feats in the bedroom,” says O’Reilly. Not to mention they can help arch your back and get you into the best position so you/your partner can reach those deep spots.

2. Be Careful With That D

Like, don’t break it. Literally. “Though there’s no bone inside the boner, the spongy tissue that engorges with blood during an erection and the surrounding chamber (tunica albuginea) can rupture if you’re too rough with that thing,” warns O’Reilly. “Be weary of forceful impact against a hard object, like a partner’s pelvic bone, and don’t let your partner bear down abruptly on [an] erection from above while standing.” Got it. F*cking yikes.

3. Use Lube

Because lubrication makes everything feel so much better. Duh. “With lube, you can twist, turn, bend, roll, suck, pop, and slide in a greater range of positions with a broader repertoire of techniques. When in doubt, add a few more drops of the slippery stuff and watch the possibilities expand exponentially,” says O’Reilly. 

Final friendly reminder: Try not to make sex your go-to exercise method all the time, for obvious reasons. “If you treat it like the gym (something obligatory you do for health reasons), it sucks the experience of its erotic energy,” reminds Engle. This is only for those times where you hate doing push-ups or crunches and can’t make it to your fav spin class because there’s a pandemic going on that demands you stay at home until further notice… like right now. Now stop being lazy and go workout with your partner. 

Images: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash, Giphy (5)

Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota is a New-York based writer and the founder of She writes about sex, relationships, health, travel, and other fun stuff for Betches, Bumble, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Health, mindbodygreen, Tinder, Well+Good, and your other favorite websites. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, playing video games, chasing sunsets, traveling, or slathering CBD salve all over her aching body. Follow her on Instagram/Twitter @morganmandriota or visit