You’ve probably heard of barre, a ballet-inspired workout that blends Pilates, dance, yoga, and technique driven exercises that focus on strengthening small muscles you may neglect in other types of training. But many guys have zero interest in trying a barre workout, thinking it’s exclusively reserved for women.
Think again, though, because you can totally benefit from taking barre. Not only will it build lean muscle, but it also may be able to improve your sex life. Which makes sense, when you think about it: the pulsing, tucking, and holding motions that are key to barre also work out the pelvic floor muscles, which are key to orgasm.
What is barre?
Barre class is basically a mixture of ballet, pilates, and yoga. It mostly focuses on the lower body, such as the thighs, gluteal muscles, and legs, as well as the core. Most exercises are done at the bar.
Many fitness programs include compound exercises, or movements that work several muscles at once. Classic exercises like squats, bench press, and deadlifts would fall under this category. But barre classes include movements inspired by ballet, yoga, and Pilates, which focus on isometric moves. This form of strength training involves applying tension without contracting the muscles — and can lead to greater gains in the bedroom.
1) It could decrease erectile dysfunction problems
Generally speaking, studies suggest that exercise may prevent or resolve erectile dysfunction, says Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., a research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and professor of social psychology at Ball State University. Although he doesn’t recommend a particular training program, barre is a great overall workout that blends cardio, strength training, and flexibility, advises WebMD. However, Lehmiller cautions men from seeking medical treatment in favor of a run. “To be clear, exercise isn’t a cure-all for ED because ED can have many different causes, not all of which can be addressed through increased physical activity,” he says.
2) You have more staminas and can hold positions for longer.
You’ll get your heart rate up with each pulse and hold, which helps to build endurance in general. “This may be air squats, lunges or holding a plank posture for 1-3 minutes,” says Dr. Holly Richmond, also a clinical sexologist. “Improved cardio means increased stamina in the bedroom—you can have more sex and for a longer duration,” she says. (And hey, that’s the dream, right?)
3) You become more flexible.
Greater range of motion and flexibility is another key feature of barre workouts. “Being flexible allows you to get into and hold various and more challenging sexual positions,” says Richmond. You can get deeper, spread your legs wider, and bend with ease. So, if you’ve been tempted to try a few “advanced” sex positions, barre might just help you get there.
4) You’ll have stronger orgasms.
“Perhaps most specific to barre workouts—and one of the reasons I chose them after I had my children—is how effective they are for strengthening the pelvic floor,” says Richmond.
This benefit isn’t just specific to women. ,>Research backs this up, indicating that weak pelvic floor muscles are associated with erectile dysfunction.
Many barre exercises utilize squeezing, pulsing, thrusting and holding of the muscles in the glutes and hips, which strengths those crucial pelvic muscles, Richmond says. To really reap the benefits, you can also throw kegel exercises into the mix while you’re working out.
“Essentially, you just have to squeeze your pelvic floor like you are trying to stop peeing with every isometric barre pulse. After 4-6 months of barre workouts, most of my patients (men and women alike) report stronger orgasms,” Richmond says.
3/5/2019: This story was updated to include new information from Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and professor of social psychology at Ball State University.
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