You probably think about stretching before your gym workout or after your run, but before sex? Not likely. Yet having sex uses a lot of muscles you don't normally use throughout the day.
Add these simple stretches into your everyday routine to increase your flexibility and spice up your sex life. The more flexible you are, the more comfortable you will be trying a new position, or avoiding cramps during sex. (Here's a great yoga routine with weights to improve your flexibility.) Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, and remember to breathe.
Standing Toe Touch
Reach your arms up, lift your shoulders, and separate your ribs as much as you can. See how long and tall you can make your body, and then start to roll forward to reach toward your toes. This stretches your hamstrings and releases the lower back. Hold here and shake your head "no" and "yes," circling the arms a few times before slowly rolling back up to standing.
Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Close your eyes to relax your mind and body, then start to sway your knees to the right, back to center, and over to the left. This gentle movement releases your lower back and helps clear away stress from your day so you can unwind and get in the mood for sex.
Still on your back, glue the soles of your feet together and drop your knees out to the sides. The closer you bring your heels into the midline of your body, the more of a stretch you will feel on the inner legs. You can keep arms at your sides or reach them overhead for a bigger stretch. (You should also try these 9 yoga poses for better sex.)
Lift your legs up to the ceiling and bring your arms out in a "T" position. Gradually drop your legs out to the sides in a side split stretch. Make sure you aren't rocking side to side and one leg isn't dropping further than the other. Flex your feet back toward the body to feel a greater stretch through your calves, feet, and ankles. If you need more support for this stretch, use a wall or perform it sitting up.
This article originally appeared on Prevention.com.