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Coregasm is a very real thing that science has proven to exist. But what, exactly, is it? A "coregasm" is an exercise-induced orgasm, most widely reported to occur during core work.


Alison Sadowy, a pelvic floor physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota,

 As it turns out, our abdominal wall and pelvic floor muscles share an attachment at the pelvis. "When you squeeze yourabs, you're probably unknowingly also contracting your pelvic floor muscles to stabilize your core," she explained. "Orgasm is a pleasure contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, so by contracting them, they just do what they do best."


Debby Herbenick, PhD, codirector of Indiana University's Center for Sexual HealthPromotion and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction, about 5 to 10 percent of women have experienced exercise-induced orgasm. Her research suggests that the most common culprits are abs exercises, climbing poles or ropes, weight lifting, and biking/spinning (no wonder women pay $34 for a single SoulCycle session!), and that the exerciser needn't bring 50 Shades of Grey onto the StairMaster for it to happen.  Many of the women in our study indicated that they weren't even thinking about sex at the time,


Sexologist Alfred Kinsey wrote in Sexual Behavior in the Human Female that 5% of women he spoke with mentioned experiencing orgasms during exercise. This kicked off a now decades-old conversation that has gone from labs and hushed locker-room chats to mainstream media. A few years ago, researchers from Indiana University reported in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy that this phenomenon was relatively common — of the 530 women they surveyed online, 370 experienced either an exercise-induced orgasm (EIO), or exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP).


“I do not get the pulsating contractions from a coregasm that I do when having sex or masturbating,” say's one woman. “It's hard to explain, but my coregasms feel as if my lower abdominal muscles are ‘orgasm-ing.’ I do not feel the tingly sensation around my clitoris.”


CrossFit athlete Sharon Say's, “You’re more in control. It feels very muscular. I can feel them coming on, and if I continue doing reps, I’ll get to the point of climax. But, if I had paused halfway up the rope, for example, I probably could have let it pass.”


Somerset, along with fellow personal trainer Bret Contreras, MA, CSCS, recently revisited the coregasm conversation at a fitness summit. “Contreras...proposed a mechanism by which friction from the rectus abdominis muscle (the main six-pack muscle) could cause stimulation through the clitoris.

As a result of this debate, the duo proposed three theories — abdominal friction, pelvic-floor recoil, and hypertonic pelvic-floor nerves — and asked the public to weigh in via an anonymous, online survey. Of those who answered, most point to the pelvic-floor recoil theory (which states that pelvic-floor contractions cause stimulation by increasing pressure in multiple planes), as being the most plausible.


The most commonly reported exercise associated with a coregasm is the “captain’s chair.” This move involves holding yourself up in a “chair” with armrests and no seat, so that your legs hang free. Then, keeping your torso pressed against the back, you perform the movement by either lifting your knees to your chest or by keeping your legs straight and raising them to a 90-degree angle.

Many women have indicated that pleasure occurs after a few reps or sets, or once the muscles feel fatigued. The range of exercises that people said gave them the greatest EIO sensations was quite interesting, especially as some had no immediately observable connection to...the pelvis,  Hanging leg raises was far and away the most common occurrence, followed by pull-ups or chin-ups, hip thrusts, squats (with or without weight), and hamstring curls.


“Exercise improves your mental and physical health, which plays a role in your sexual health,” says Ian Kerner, sex therapist and author of She Comes First. While the coregasm definitely has the upper hand over a “runner’s high,” Herbenick’s research found that EIO were also produced in activities outside of core exercises.


The women involved in the Indiana University study reported that other activities, including weight-lifting, running, yoga, and swimming also produced happy endings. “Surprisingly, running seems to be a very common [source of orgasm].


Exercise can create physiological and mental precursors of arousal, which can lead to orgasm, Even if you're not getting a pleasure payoffduring exercise, strengthening the muscles of your pelvic floor can help enhance your orgasms, whenever they occur

A very fortunate 10 percent of women experience orgasms while working out.

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