Engaging in a regular exercise routine is good for your health and your figure. But did you know that for some women, performing certain exercises can also bring an added benefit—in the form of sexual pleasure?

A new book titled The Coregasm Workout: The Revolutionary Method for Better Sex Through Exercise, explores the concept of women (and men, as well) experiencing an orgasm during their workout (referred to as a coregasm, because it stems from engaging the core during exercise). The book is authored by Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., MPH, who is affiliated with Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion.

Experiencing Sexual Pleasure during Exercise

“This was a phenomenon I had heard about for years in my work as a sex columnist, but there hadn't been any research on it,” Herbenick says. “That made me want to start researching it. As I saw how common it was, how many people had questions about their own experience, and how curious other women were in trying to experience their own exercise orgasms or arousal, it became clear that a book was needed.”

In fact, although exercise-induced orgasm is not a common topic for dinner conversation with friends, a surprising number of people seem to find that an intense workout can bring about some intense sexual pleasure.

“Around 10 percent of both women and men have had at least one orgasm while exercising,” Herbenick reveals. Yet many of them aren’t sure which exercises are actually the trigger, so they may be unsure how to achieve the reaction again.

It’s Personal with Exercise-Induced Orgasm

According to Herbenic’s research, experiencing an orgasm during exercise is a very personal thing, just as it is when you experience it during sex. But while what works can vary from person to person, practicing difficult core exercises (exercises that work the muscles that support your entire body, including your abdominal/stomach area and back) seems to increase the odds of bringing on coregasms. And while such exercise-induced orgasms can occur during exercise, they can also bring some longer-term benefits in the bedroom, since some woman who experience coregasms report that they get deeper pleasure during sex, too.

“Women can note how their bodies produce arousal [during exercise] and determine how they can re-create those same sensations to inspire desire or to ease orgasm during sex,” Herbenick says.

CORE Principles of Coregasms

She points out that what makes her coregasm routine unique is the intensity of the core exercises it contains and the sequencing. Her workout can also be adapted for beginners, conditioned exercisers, and more advanced athletes. Regardless of how experienced the person is, there are four main principles that support the routine and help make it more effective. These spell out “CORE,” which stands for:

  • C=Challenge yourself.
  • O=Order matters.
  • R=Relax and receive.
  • E=Engage your lower abs.

Work Your Way to a Coregasm

If the concept intrigues you and you want to experience the benefits for yourself, Herbenick offers some guidelines that may help you intensify your exercise routine to bring you enhanced pleasure.

First, begin your workout with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio (for instance, exercising on the treadmill or elliptical, working at your full potential) to warm up your body and get your muscles engaged. Then try these three exercises, performing them to the intensity and number of repetitions that get your muscles so tired you feel you can’t do one more, since many women find pushing themselves in this way helps to bring on the sexual response.

Herbenick also suggests playing with the number of reps and the order in which you perform the exercises to get the best results.

Exercise #1: Crunches

  • Lie with your back on the ground and bend your knees. Keep your feet flat and about as wide apart as your hips.
  • Put your hands behind your head but do not lace them. Your thumbs should be placed right behind your ears.
  • Squeeze your stomach muscles and keep your head straight, looking toward the ceiling as you lift your chest and shoulders several inches off the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
  • Perform the exercise on the right side by lifting your left shoulder and pointing it toward the right side as you squeeze your muscles and lift your back a few inches, hold for a few seconds, and then release back down slowly.
  • Repeat on the left by lifting your right shoulder and pointing it to the left side as you crunch (squeeze) up, hold for a few seconds, and then lower back down slowly.

Things to consider: You should do middle and side crunches slowly and with good form until you feel fatigued. (Tiring your body in this way is key to getting that arousal response.) To make this harder, you can rest your feet on the seat of a chair (angled at about 90 degrees), or let your feet balance at a 90-degree angle in the air.

Exercise #2: Russian Twists

  • Sit down and bend your knees with your feet planted on the ground. Keep your back very straight and bend your elbows into your body as you hold an exercise ball in front of your chest.
  • Slowly lean back a bit at a time, still keeping your back firm, until you feel your abdominal muscles kick in.
  • Squeeze your abs deeply as though to make them touch your spine while you maintain the position and twist to one side. Hold for a few seconds, then use your hip to help you rotate to the opposite side. Repeat a minimum of 10 times or until you feel that your muscles can’t manage another one.

Things to consider: Practice slow, careful breaths and keep your back very straight throughout the exercise. Work your way up to performing more reps over time. To increase the intensity, you can try balancing on your tailbone and letting your legs and feet float in the air. You can perform this using a medicine ball, kettle bell, or hand weight.

Exercise #3: Superman

  • Lie down on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you and legs stretched out behind, as if your limbs are forming the letter X.
  • Keep your core muscles squeezed tight and simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest a few inches from the floor.
  • Tighten your backside and thighs as hard as you can and practice breathing in and out. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat two or three times.

Things to consider: Beginners may have to start off slowly to build up their core before they can fully lift and hold. Work your way up to holding the position for a full minute. You can also do quick lifts for multiple reps, working up to 30 in a row.

Learn More

For more information and for specifics about other exercises to help you achieve coregasms, you can purchase Herbenick’s book on Amazon.

Debby Herbenick, Sex Researcher and Educator, and Author, reviewed this article.


Herbenick, Debby. The Coregasm Workout: The Revolutionary Method for Better Sex Through Exercise. Seal Press, June 9, 2015.

Herbenick, Debby. Sex Researcher and Educator, and Author. Email interview, July 16, 2015.