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The Best Workout Ever: Have Your Own Coregasm

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The Experts Weigh In

I dialed up Alison Sadowy, a pelvic floor physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to find out why I was suddenly feeling compelled to ditch my Rabbit for an ab mat. As it turns out, our abdominal wall and pelvic floor muscles share an attachment at the pelvis. "When you squeeze your abs, you're probably unknowingly also contracting your pelvic floor muscles to stabilize your core," she explained. "Orgasm is a pleasure contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, so by contracting them, they just do what they do best."

According to Debby Herbenick, PhD, codirector of Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction, about 5 to 10 percent of women have experienced exercise-induced orgasm. Her research suggests that the most common culprits are abs exercises, climbing poles or ropes, weight lifting, and biking/spinning (no wonder women pay $34 for a single SoulCycle session!), and that the exerciser needn't bring 50 Shades of Grey onto the StairMaster for it to happen. "Many of the women in our study indicated that they weren't even thinking about sex [at the time,]" she says.

For Lucy, gym orgasms (or "coregasms," as she calls them) have paid off well in the bedroom. "As I got older, I became better at controlling the movement to provide just the right amount of pressure so I didn't have to do hanging leg raises until I collapsed," she says. "Learning that control has helped me so much in my sex life now, especially in being able to tell my husband what I want, what kind of positions I like, plus it's enabled me to have as many orgasms in a row as I (and my husband) have energy for."

If getting off at Gold's proves too distracting, Sadowy suggests focusing on isolating your abs while relaxing your pelvic floor (imagine the opposite of a Kegel.) Or reduce the time you're holding the position, to avoid the build in tension. Other than that, she sees nothing wrong with a little workout bump 'n' grind. "Anything that motivates people to stay healthy is encouraged," she says.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2013.

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