can sex be exercise?

Sex can be considered light to moderate exercise depending on what you do. The more you get the heart rate up, the more calories you’ll lose. It tends not to be as efficient as other forms of working out but if you already have long vigorous sessions, sex can count as a workout. 

How Many Calories Are Burned During Sex? 

The amount of calories burned during sex depends on the length of the session, and how strenuous the activities are. 

Traditionally a person burns about 3-5 calories a minute on sex. This means 20 minutes of sex burns about 60-100 calories which is the same as a brisk walk of the same amount of time. 

This number can be substantially increased if your sessions are longer and more intense. Some reports suggest that positions like doggy style can burn up to 200 calories for the thruster if their tempo is fast.  

What Positions Burn the Most Calories? 

The amount of calories burned during sex changes based on where you are in the position.  It’s important to note that this data was taken from average-weight heterosexual people. This means that depending on your sex and weight, the amount of exercise you get out of each sex position will vary.

Top Sex Positions for Burning Calories 

Receiver Burns More

A chart that shows the relation between the position and the calories burned 
The Squat

The squat position burns a lot of calories for the receiver. In about 1 minute they will burn 6.3 calories. This number will increase if they are more intense. 

This position is extremely strenuous and can improve the strength of your core, hamstrings, and glutes.  

two characters simulate the cowgirl position

The Cowgirl position is a great way to strengthen your hamstrings and get a cardio workout simultaneously. It’s a milder version of a squat and burns about 4 calories a minute. 

The Giver Burns More

A chart that shows the relation between the position and the calories burned 
Standing Positions 
A two characters simulate a standing sex position

Standing positions are the more vigorous sex positions. Just to be able to perform one successfully it requires high endurance and strength. These positions work out the lower back, upper body, core, and thighs all at once. 

1 minute in a standing position burns around 7.3 calories!

Doggy Style
A two characters simulate doggy style position

Doggy Style on average burns 5 calories a minute. This can be increased to 7 calories a minute depending on the speed. This position works the hamstrings, glutes, and hip extenders of the giver. 

A two characters simulate missionary position

Missionary can be a strenuous position for the person on top. 1 minute in this position burns 4.8 calories. The movements required by the giver strengthen their core, upper body, and glute muscles.

Both Burn a Similar Amount

A chart that shows the relation between the position and the calories burned 
The Butter Churner 
A two characters simulate the butter churner position

The Butter Churner works out the core muscles of both parties while also having benefits for each individual. 

For the receiver, it improves the flexibility in their spine and shoulders. And for the giver, it strengthens the glutes and hamstring muscles. 

In this position, the receiver will lose around 6 calories a minute, and the giver around 7. 

The Wheelbarrow/Kneeling Wheelbarrow 
A two characters simulate the wheelbarrow position

The Kneeling Wheelbarrow strengthens the arm and core muscles of all those involved. The receiver burns around 5 calories a minute while the giver burns 5.6 calories a minute due to the extra glute workout from thrusting.   

A two characters simulate the lotus positon (variant)

The Lotus position exercises the legs abs, glutes, and hamstrings of the receiver. In this position, they will burn 4.6 calories a minute. 

The giver in this position burns 4.95 calories a minute and strengthens their core muscles. 

Two characters simulate the spooning positon

Spooning strengthens the core and obliques of both participants. It burns 3 calories per minute for the receiver and 3.6 calories per minute for the giver.  

Final Thoughts 

For sex to be an effective workout it would have to be done 3-4 times a week for about 1-2 hours at a time. Considering that the average sex tends to last 3-7 minutes, sex as a workout isn’t for everyone. 

For those of you it is for, you can expect to see positive results. Sex is a great source of cardio and can improve your overall strength and endurance. 

Having sex is exercise, whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours, you’ll probably still break a sweat.