A Whole New Reason to Exercise: Orgasms During Work-outs

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

You are at the gym, working out, when you feel a sensation in your pelvic area. It is a very pleasant sensation.

You look around. You wonder, did anyone notice what you just experienced? And what WAS that you just experienced?

Or maybe you worry that you are abnormal or that something is wrong with you. You aren’t sure whether you should tell anyone.

What you experienced is often called an exercise induced orgasm (EIO) or “coregasm.” And you aren’t alone. According to Debra Herbenick, M.P.H., Ph.D., author of the book “The Coregasm Workout,” about 10 percent of all people — men and women — experience a coregasm sometime in their life. Many more experience arousal without achieving orgasm while exercising.

What is a coregasm?

A coregasm is an orgasm that occurs during exercise. It is called a coregasm because for many people, it happens during exercises that involve the core abdominal exercises. In Dr. Herbenick’s book, many women report that these orgasms are less intense than those from sex or masturbation, but are still pleasurable. It is not known why some women experience this phenomenon and others do not, however, some women describe being able to control when this occurs by replicating certain exercises. Dr. Herbenick is continuing her research in hopes of discovering why coregasms occur.

In her book, one woman described it as “very internal... I feel it from the inside. It starts in the lower abdomen... And then it is kind of a weightless tingly feeling in my legs and then like if I concentrate really hard, it almost feels like the vaginal walls are contracting.” But, she points out, it isn’t a sexual feeling even though it can be quite pleasant. Despite not being sexual, you can use coregasms to help improve your sex life.

What types of exercises cause coregasms?

There isn’t any one exercise that can cause a coregasm for all women, although those that involve the lower abdominal muscles are most frequently cited. Two in particular are using a roman chair or a bicycle.

Other exercises that can induce an orgasm include running, yoga, climbing a rope or pole, and lifting weights.

Using coregasms to improve your sex life

Herbenick says there are two ways that EIOs can help you improve your sex life:

By using your exercise routine to build your desire to have sex. When you pay attention to your body’s sensations during different exercises, you learn which exercises and how much of these exercises will make you feel aroused. You can then use this knowledge to increase the frequency of sex or as a precursor.

By gaining an understanding of how your body responds to different movements. This can include tightening the pelvic muscles and trying different exercise positions to heighten your attention to your body’s reactions. Herbenick suggests that using exercise in this way could help you determine how you best orgasm. In addition, after learning how to have a coregasm, you can use that knowledge in the bedroom to improve your sex life.

About Debra Herbenick

Debra Herbenick is the Director for Sexual Health Promotion and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Health Science School of Public Health at Bloomington Indiana University. She began her research into coregasms because as a sex columnist, researcher and educator, she often received questions about exercise induced orgasms. Since there was very little information to go on, she decided to do a study about the topic. Since her original study, she has continued her research and wrote the book, The Coregasm Workout, to help women to learn to be fit and have coregasms. She is currently doing additional research to see if she can better understand why some women experience exercise induced orgasm while others do not.


Email interview: Debra Herbenick, Sept. 7, 2016

Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women: Sexual and Relationship Therapy

The Coregasm Workout: The Revolutionary Method for Better Sex Through Exercise: Seal Press, 2015

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.