Let’s get one thing straight before getting into this list: if you bang hard enough in any position, it’s exercise. But, I get it. We’ve all had a time or two (or three) when our stamina is pushed to the limit. It’s the moment you wish you went to the gym more so you could keep the sex going. (It’s normal, it happens to everyone, and it’s not a big deal.) Unfortunately, going to the gym requires… actually going to the gym. And who has time for that this winter? I can barely make it out of my bed to go to work. I’m not going to brave the elements just so I can work up a sweat when I can do that just fine in my own bed. So, here are sex positions that count as cardio and defs will make you hit the showers after (maybe for round two?).
This one sounds like some yoga sh*t, but trust me, you’ll feel the burn. This is not for the weak—or uncoordinated. Basically, the guy sits cross-legged and the girl straddles him, and it somehow works. It takes a special couple to be able to coordinate their bounces perfectly to actually count this as having sex and not just like, sitting weirdly. My boyfriend and I cannot master this one, no matter how many times we’ve tried. But I can tell you that just attempting this position is a workout in itself. The guy can burn about 40 calories per half hour, while the girl can burn up to 100 calories.
2. Doggy Style
This position is a killer workout for both partners, and I think we all know the mechanics of this one. For her, being on all fours works your abs and quads, getting that bikini body ready. For him, the faster he thrusts, the better the workout. According to The Cut, the girl can burn up to 118 calories in 30 minutes, while the guy can burn up to 211. (That’s provided he can last for 30 minutes.) To put this in perspective, jogging at five miles per hour for 10 minutes can burn 91 calories. Moral of the story? Bang longer to burn more.
This one is your classic cowgirl position that
we all some of us know and love, but with a twist. Instead of bending your knees, crouch on top of him. Doing so spikes the girl’s calories burnt to about 120 to 170 calories. How many calories will the guy burn? Zero. True.
This one is a REAL workout and definitely one of the best sex positions that count as cardio. The girl can burn around 150 calories per half hour and the guy can burn up to 500 calories. Want to up the cardio level? Pick her up, man. I’m not gonna say that the larger you are, the more calories he can burn, but if you’re five feet tall and a size zero, he’s not burning that much. Just another reason to have that second piece of cake!
This one has the benefits of missionary position with some added results. In missionary, the girl can burn about 44 calories, while the guy can burn around 143 calories. But shoulder stand is basically the candlestick position you used to do as a kid in gymnastics. She’ll be working her abs like crazy, so thank your childhood gymnast for the help. Bonus: this position will have him working his glutes, giving him buns of steel.
6. Legs Up
Just prop those legs up on his shoulders, and you’ll be able to justify not going to the gym that day. Not only will the girl burn around 115 calories, but she’ll also increase her flexibility. He’ll burn about 130 calories, which is great.
But remember, no matter what position you do, stay safe, kids.
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The idea of getting sweaty, tired, and out of breath while not immediately losing three pounds is very offensive, especially when we’re making an effort to do the whole gym thing. Don’t put us down for cardio. However, you don’t need to sweat it out amongst grunting jocks in the gym to hit your cardio goals. You don’t even need to start waking up at 4am like the other psychopaths jogging around your neighborhood. Incorporating more cardio into your day can build muscle, burn fat, and lead you to a more toned and #blessed life, so walking, dancing, and even vacuuming are all great ways to seek the path of the Insta model. Here are some easy ways to incorporate cardio into your day.
This is probs the easiest one to do for those of us working in soulless corporate buildings with multiple floors. According to scientists, you’ll also burn more calories if you take one step at a time, so tell your boss it wasn’t the Starbucks that made you late, it was your dedication to health and fitness.
2. Gossip While Walking Around The Block
Walking is good, but walking while your mouth is running is even better. If you’re trying to get up and move around, walking for 15 minutes can burn about 66 calories, but walking while talking burns more since you’re taking more breath to multitask and rip apart Janet’s horrendous outfit. Sh*t, you could even become a real boss b*tch and host walking meetings to see who the most athletic person in your department is.
3. Hit The Clerb
Gross, but it’s a great workout. If you aren’t slamming 1,000 calorie piña coladas for four hours and are, instead, sticking to vodka sodas or just, like, water (EW), going to the club and dancing is a great way to do cardio without actually thinking about the fact that you’re doing cardio. Dancing for 30 minutes can burn as much as 150 calories. So, it may be worth it to deal with douchebags and frat bros trying to hit on you in a dark, loud room instead of a brightly lit, upsettingly quiet, and sweaty room.
4. Jump Rope
Hearken back to the olden times in PE class when jumping rope was for cool kids and your lame ass couldn’t keep up. Regain your school-age confidence and buy a jump rope for incredibly easy cardio you can do in your office or in front of the TV at home. Jumping rope works your legs, improves overall conditioning, and is obvi a great way to incorporate cardio into your life without having to step foot in a gym.
5. Go Shopping
Sounds cray, is true. Carrying a lightly loaded basket of clothes or groceries for only five minutes will burn 44 calories, according to Greatist. That sounds like a great excuse to hit up Target on my lunch break, buy a dress, AND get some food shopping done. This must be what adulthood feels like.
If you’re a slob and need to clean your house or apartment, you can kill two pounds birds with one stone. About 30 minutes of housework—i.e. dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down surfaces—can add up to about 98 calories. That’s like, one vodka soda or two Oreos. Obviously, you need to be going pretty hard on the vacuuming or dusting for it to be cardio levels, but just blast some Cardi B and rage clean until you feel yourself working up a sweat.
7. Park In The Back
Next time you’re heading anywhere (work, school, Target, the clerb), park as far off as you can (within reason and without putting yourself in some kind of danger). You’ll get a little extra distance in your day and may even work yourself up to cardio if you’re dealing with hills. If you’re really in the mood to up the ante, ride your bike to your destination or walk the whole way if you’re doing that city living thing.
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When it comes to choosing workouts, some exercises just seem obvious, like doing squats for a perky butt or planks for rock-hard abs. And don’t get me wrong, I’ll do squats and planks until they’re out of style. *BUT* I think it’s also important to work on the muscles we don’t often think about, especially as girls. We tend to think we just need a little toning and cardio here and there, but there are a lot of important muscles that we neglect at the gym, especially our upper body muscles. It’s time to address WTF to do about them. Here are some underrated upper body exercises and why you should be working them.
1. Chest Presses
Aside from a few modified push-ups as a warmup, most girls never think about working their chest muscles. I mean, the chest press seems like a guy’s exercise, and it can be super intimidating. What many women don’t realize is that your chest muscles just create a stronger upper body in general, which literally makes it easier to do basic activities, like opening doors and holding heavy bags. People also find that chest presses can even give yourself a little chest lift, so you can stop buying push-up bras. So start your upper body exercises with chest presses. Grab two dumbbells and lie flat on a bench with the weights at chest height and your elbows out toward your sides. Then, press the weights upward, keeping them over your chest the entire time, and bringing them back down after every rep and avoiding pushing with your shoulders.
2. Lying Back Extensions
People tend to do a lot of rowing and lat pulldowns to target back muscles, and these exercises are great, but we tend to forget about our back extensor muscles, which are located at the lower back. They’re super important for core engagement, stability, and avoiding injury. Doing lying back extensions will help you avoid hurting yourself at the gym, considering you basically use your back in any exercise, like even running or spinning. Lay out a mat and then lie on your stomach with your head facing the floor and your arms out over your head in a “Y” shape. Then, slowly lift your legs and arms off the floor, keeping only the area from your stomach to your thighs on the mat (if that’s too hard, leave your legs alone and just lift your upper body). Lower back down and then lift back up, feeling the tension in your lower back.
3. Inner Core Leg Lifts
We do a lot of ab movements around here, but there’s a major difference between your ab muscles and your core muscles. Most ab workouts, like bicycles and Russian twists, don’t target the transversus abdominis, which is the muscle that connects to our pelvic floor and internal organs. In order to strengthen these inner muscles, do inner core leg lifts. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent, and slowly lift your right foot off the floor, keeping your core engaged as you lower it back down. Then, do the same on the left, and switch back and forth, exhaling with each rep. These are supposed to be slow and controlled movements, so don’t worry if you’re not getting your heart rate up or sweating, but DO worry if you’re just kicking the ground without feeling it in your abs. Then you’re probs doing it wrong.
4. Lateral Raises
Toning your shoulder muscles will make your whole arm look more defined and just so much better, and the most ideal way is to work the front of the muscle and the side of it in one workout to tone every angle. The lateral deltoid, aka the side of your shoulder, is really what gives your arms a toned look, and it’s often neglected because people just don’t realize what a difference it makes. Standing up with a dumbbell in each with your palms facing your thighs, keep your elbows slightly bent and raise your arms to the side until the weight reaches shoulder height. Then, slowly lower the dumbbell back down to your thigh. Keep raising them up and down, and try not to bounce your legs to use momentum to lift them. The goal is to keep tension in your shoulders the whole time and not get any help from your lower body.
5. Single-Arm Planks
Obviously your abs aren’t a “forgotten about” muscle, but we often overlook the most basic functions of our core muscles, which include stability and balance. Upper body exercises like single-arm planks strengthen the core while testing your stability. By doing moves like these, you’ll notice that yoga poses get easier to hold, being in third position on a spin bike feels more natural, and other ab movements are just less painful. So basically, the single-arm plank is essentially a regular plank, but you only use one hand at a time. Duh. It’s easier to start with your hand centered in front of your chest, but try to work it back out to under your shoulder as you get stronger. The idea is to keep your body square to the ground without raising your hips on one side, and keep your core tight the entire time.
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Unless you’re some athletic psychopath who runs marathons on Sunday mornings, we can all agree that cardio is the worst. It’s a chore, like
giving a blow job getting a root canal or your monthly Brazilian. Even though you know it’s worth it, you still sit in the European Wax Center waiting room trying not to cry in public. In fact, I don’t really care what people say about post-workout endorphins. They’re really not worth the hype. Like, I don’t have a husband to shoot anyway, so what’s the point? Oh right, my physical appearance general health and well-being. Cardio sucks, but like any chore, you’ve gotta get it done every now and then, so you might as well find a way that works for you. For all the anti-runners, spinners, and jump-ropers (seriously what are you) try this cardio workout.
1. Bodyweight Squats
Most cardio workouts start out with jumping jacks or jogging in place as a warm-up, but we’re gonna be nice and let you skip that bullshit. A lot of people don’t realize that doing bodyweight toning moves can actually get your heart rate up as much as classic cardio moves do, so bodyweight squats are a great way to warm up without wanting to head home before the workout even starts. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place your hands behind your head or out in front of you. Then, flex at your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips until your butt is in line with your knees or thighs. Get as low as you can, and then stand back up. Do 20 reps at a fast pace, but make sure you’re getting your butt low every time. Half-squats don’t count.
2. Jump Squats
Now that you know how to do a squat, you’re going to jump at the top of the movement every time, so instead of standing straight up, you’ll pop up from the bottom in an explosive movement, and then land back in your squat again. The idea here is to burn calories while burning out the same muscle groups we were just using. Try to hit 20-30 jumps without stopping. Your thighs may burn, but then again, just be thankful you’re not in a 60-minute Flywheel class being asked to turn the Torq up five notches with the Fall Out Boy soundtrack blasting in the background.
3. Forward & Backward Lunges
The squat moves we just did were all about the butt muscles, so now we’re doing lunges to focus on other muscle groups in your legs, like your quads and hamstrings. The reason we’re doing a ton of leg movements is because your legs have some of the biggest muscle groups in your body, so you actually burn the most calories when you do lower body movements. Standing with your feet hip width apart, lunge your leg backwards into a 90 degree angle, and then stand back up and alternate. Do 10 steps backwards and then 10 steps forwards before switching to your other leg.
4. Mountain Climbers
Nothing sounds worse than climbing a mountain, but this move doesn’t involve a Camelbak or a Clif bar, so bear with me. Mountain climbers engage your core while you move your legs, so you kinda forget you’re doing cardio because it’s also an ab move. And if you haven’t heard, abs are like, really trendy right now. Start with your hands on the ground, keeping your shoulders over your wrists and your abs engaged. Then, jog your knees into your chest without letting your butt raise upwards. Think about staying in a plank position with only your legs moving. You’ll feel the burn in your core while burning calories with your legs. It’s a win-win.
5. Battle Ropes
If your gym has battle ropes available, now’s your time to use them. Battle ropes will target your arms while getting your heart rate up, so you’re basically giving your legs a break while your arms do all the work for a minute. They might feel super thick and heavy, but once you start whipping them around, you’ll see how good of a workout they can give you. Keeping your elbows as close as you can to your body, flick your hands up and down, or hold onto the ropes with both hands and slam them until your arms feel like noodles (whatever those are). Try going for 30 seconds straight, and then rest for 30 seconds, and then do another 30 seconds of work.
If you’ve ever been to a workout class, you’ve probably been forced to do burpees, which are the fitness equivalent of getting punched in the face. However, there’s a reason they burn so many calories, and it’s because they get every muscle in your body working at once. If you hate cardio, you can skip the burpees for today and do froggers instead, which are basically burpees without the standing up and jumping part. The idea is to start in a “frog” looking position, squatting down with your hands in between your thighs. Put your hands on the ground and jump your feet straight back until your body is in a high plank. Then, jump your feet forward, raising your hands off the ground. Do 10-15 reps total.
7. Plank Hold
Holding a plank isn’t exactly a killer cardio move, but if you’re doing it right, you should be engaging all the muscles in your body, and your body could actually burn more calories this way than you would by just running around. Plus, ending your workout with a plank hold is ideal because your body is already in the fat burning zone, so you’re toning your muscles while keeping the fat burn going. With your forearms on the ground and your legs out behind you, think about keeping your body in one straight line while drawing your belly button in toward your spine. Squeeze your abs, butt, and your back muscles, keeping your whole body tight the entire time. Try to hold for a minute, and if you want more of a challenge, elevate your feet onto a block or medicine ball. Also, people tend to hold their breath here, so don’t make that mistake. It would suck to stop breathing after you’ve already come this far.
Since we’re being honest—cardio kind of really sucks but being skinny doesn’t. Like, why would I want to spend a half an hour dripping sweat onto a treadmill when I can … literally do anything else? Well, stop going to your sorority sisters for fitness advice because running and the elliptical aren’t the only options when it comes to cardio. Betches know that adding some body weight exercises to your routine will make you look way more toned, which is like, obviously great for your summer bikini body. If you hate running just as much as we do, pick 3 or 4 of these exercises and do them for 30-60 seconds a few times through. Your body will thank you for not torturing it on the treadmill but still getting in shape.
1. Weighted Step-Ups
This isn’t as awful as it sounds. Okay, maybe it is, but at least we’re not making you carry a ton of weight. Grab some 5 or 10 pounds dumbbells and a (sturdy) box to step on (you will start to feel this burn fast). Place your right foot on the box then push yourself up using only your right foot so it’s straight and your left foot is off the ground. Then, pull your left knee up in the air for a high knee before lowering to the ground with your left foot first, followed by your right foot. Alternate sides. Bonus: this is also great for your ass, as long as you engage your glutes.
2. Mountain Climbers
Don’t worry—we’re not actually making you climb a mountain but like, that would be great cardio, too. Mountain climbers are on every fucking list we make and it’s because they are hella effective and only require 30-second intervals of work. Start in a push-up position with your body in a straight line, then lift your right knee and pull it into your abs (don’t worry—your abs are there and this exercise is working them), then put your leg back down in the starting position. Then, lift your left knee into your abs. Repeat this motion as fast as you can for 30 seconds then take a well deserved break before you go again. And yes, you have to do this again for it to work.
3. Lateral Skater Jumps
We know, we know—being on skates only sounds appealing if you’re on a date with a hot guy, but trust us, this exercise is great cardio. Start standing in a squat position then hop your whole body to the left, landing ONLY on the ball of your left foot. Swing your right leg behind you and your left arm down in front of your left foot. Then, jump as far as you can to the right landing on just the ball of your right foot with your left leg swinging behind. Go side to side for about 45 seconds and if it isn’t burning, go lower.
4. Tuck Jumps
Exercises that involve jumping are so effective, honestly, that’s why we do them. Start with your knees slightly bent and jump up, bringing your knees to your chest. Engage your arms by extending them in front of your chest or wrap them in around your legs if possible. Lower your arms as you land back on the floor and immediately jump again.
5. Lunge Jumps
Okay, betches, this is just what it sounds like and it will get your heart racing in no time. Start with your feet together, then jump into a lunge with one foot in front of you and the other behind you. Make sure that your knee doesn’t go over the front of your toes. Then jump, switching your legs in the air and landing back in a lunge position. It’s a simple exercise but it does the damn trick as long as you’re not cheating by not getting low enough.
6. Jumping Jacks
We see you rolling your eyes over this one. Don’t. There’s a reason this exercise is so popular, and yes, it’s because it works. We can’t even believe we’re about to explain this to you because if you don’t know how to properly do a jumping jack you need to crawl out of the cave you’ve been under and join the real world. Anyway, start with your feet together and your arms by your side, then jump both of your feet out while you simultaneously raise your arms together over your head. Now, jump your feet back in together and lower your arms down. Repeat this for a minute as fast as you can.
You were hoping we’d forget this one but we didn’t. Sorry not sorry, betch. We all know it takes hard work to look this good, so don’t cheat yourself—there’s already enough fuckboys who are trying to do that. Start with your feet hip distance apart, then jump down into a high plank/push-up position and lower down into a push-up. Jump your feet back towards your hand and in one swift motion jump all the way back to your starting position. Great, that’s one. Now do more.