By DANIEL BATES
Half of those who said they had experience sexual pleasure at the gym said they had symptoms when performing abdominal exercises
Most of us visit the gym to stay fit and battle the bulge.
But now it turns out there may be a rather unexpected benefit to working out.
In a survey, four in ten women said they had experienced what might politely be described as intense pleasure when doing their fitness routine.
Abdominal exercises were most likely to bring it on, followed by using the exercise bike, climbing and weight lifting.
The captain's chair: The exercise most likely to evoke a 'coregasm' in affected women
Yoga, running and swimming also caused what researchers have called a ‘coregasm’ because it is supposedly linked to exercising the body’s core muscles.
The researchers asked 370 women aged between 18 and 63 to complete an online survey about their experiences. The average age was 30 and the majority were in a relationship or married.
The study found that 40 per cent had felt sexual pleasure or had had an orgasm while exercising on more than 11 occasions in their lives.
Most said they found it rather embarrassing and added that they were not thinking about anybody in particular or having a sexual fantasy – it just happened.
The U.S. researchers found that abdominal exercises were the most common cause, responsible for 45 per cent of the gym-based orgasms.
This was especially the case for routines involving the ‘Captain’s Chair’, in which a person puts their weight on their forearms on a special chair with padded arm rests, then lifts their knees to their chest.
Biking and spinning – intensive cycling at different speeds – were next, cited in 19 per cent of cases, then climbing poles or ropes (9 per cent) and weight lifting or running (7 per cent). The rest of the experiences involved yoga, swimming, aerobics and stepping machines.
Overall orgasms seemed to occur after a woman really exerted herself, such as by doing a series of gruelling crunches.
The research, published in the journal Sexual And Relationship Therapy, was carried out by Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Centre for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University.
‘Any woman who experiences an orgasm while exercising should not be ashamed, it is a perfectly natural thing to happen,’ she said.
‘Having said that I would imagine most would be pretty good at concealing it from other people, especially if they are in the middle of a vigorous workout.
‘It is never a bad thing to be in touch with your sexuality, even if it does happen in a place you don’t expect.’