What Is a Coregasm?

Woman doing abdominal workout

Verywell / Theresa Chiechi

A coregasm is an exercise-induced orgasm. Some people who experience coregasms love them, while others think they're a nuisance.

Whether you've experienced a coregasm or not—and whether you enjoyed it or not —here's everything you should know about exercise-induced orgasms.


A coregasm is an orgasm that occurs while performing physical activity. It’s coined “coregasm” because the experience is tied closely to abdominal exercises, although researchers aren’t sure what exactly triggers coregasms. 

“We don’t know how coregasms happen, though in many ways this is similar to orgasms from sexual stimulation, the processes of which are still being understood,” says Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health and author of The Coregasm Workout.

Interestingly, coregasms might be a purely physiological experience, as most people who experience coregasms report that they weren’t thinking about sexual activities before the fact. Repeated contraction and fatigue of the core and pelvic muscles seem to contribute.

How Common Are Coregasms?

Little research exists on the concept of coregasms, but according to Herbenick's studies, it seems that coregasms might be more common than people think (it’s not exactly a topic some people would want to talk about, so the societal conversation about coregasms isn’t readily available).

Nonetheless, Herbenick’s research suggests coregasms are relatively common, at least among women. In a news release about the study, Herbenick said, “These data are interesting because they suggest that orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event, and they may also teach us more about the bodily processes underlying women's experiences of orgasm.”

A survey in the CrossFit Journal reveals that the phenomenon is relatively common among CrossFit athletes. Data were from the 2014 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior which included 1012 men and 1083 women, ages 14 years and older, revealed that about 9% of those surveyed reported having experienced exercise-induced orgasm. Not all of these orgasms were due to core exercises, however.

Can Anyone Have a Coregasm?

There’s no guarantee that you will achieve a coregasm by doing the exercises listed below. Just like some people can’t achieve orgasm during sexual activities, not everyone will be able to achieve coregasm during exercise.

Men can also have coregasms, as evidenced by personal anecdotes around the internet and in Herbenick’s book. However, it’s probably less common in men.

Additionally, Herbenick says a primary difference is that men experience ejaculation from coregasms, and “an interesting aspect of it is that they typically bypass an erection prior to ejaculation.”

What Does a Coregasm Feel Like?

A coregasm likely feels similar to an orgasm you get while engaging in sexual activities, with some key differences. For women, a coregasm may feel like a deep vaginal orgasm, which could be extra pleasurable for women who can’t achieve orgasm during vaginal penetration. 

In The Coregasm Workout, Herbenick describes an interview study she and her fellow researchers did in which women who experienced coregasm participated. Some had no other experience of orgasm to compare it to, Herbenick says, while others had experience with orgasms from masturbation, intercourse, oral sex, or other kinds of stimulation.

Debby Herbenick, PhD

For those who also had vaginal intercourse orgasms, they consistently said it felt much more like an intercourse orgasm than an external glans clitoris orgasm.

— Debby Herbenick, PhD

One writer on Medium explains that her coregasm felt like it started internally and bubbled outward, rather than starting from the surface like a clitoral orgasm might. This is likely because the sensation starts with your core and pelvic musculature, rather than the nerve endings on and around your genital area. 

For men, a coregasm might feel like a prostate orgasm versus a penile orgasm because of stimulation. Similar to women, this difference is likely due to the activation of core and pelvic muscles. 

Coregasm Exercises 

Generally, exercises that engage your abdominal muscles are more likely to induce a coregasm than exercises that don’t engage your core. Movements that engage your pelvic floor muscles can help, too. Respondents of the 2014 survey described a variety of exercises leading to their first exercise induced orgasm, including climbing ropes, abdominal exercise, and yoga.

  • Sit-ups and crunches: Any variation of sit-ups or crunches may stimulate arousal or induce a coregasm, thanks to the way your abdominal and hip muscles contract. 
  • Lying leg lifts: Reddit users have reported experiencing coregasms while doing lying leg lifts, which likely occurs due to the “hollow” position needed to perform this exercise.
  • Planks and hollow holds: Like leg lifts, planks and hollow holds require you to draw your navel in and squeeze, which can trigger a coregasm.
  • Squats: Squats may induce a coregasm, especially on the ascent, when you’re pushing from your glutes and bracing your core muscles.
  • Hanging ab exercises: You might be able to achieve a coregasm by doing exercises like hanging leg raises, hanging tucks, hanging flutter kicks or simply hanging from a bar while tightening your core. 
  • Pull-ups and chin-ups: When done correctly, your body adopts a hollow position during pull-ups and chin-ups. This boat-like position requires you to draw your navel into your spine and squeeze your core, increasing your chances of having a coregasm.
  • Rope climbs: Rope climbs engage your entire body, but especially your core, in a repetitive manner. They also cause more friction in the genital area. If you can perform rope climbs, this move might be one of the most effective ways to achieve a coregasm.
  • Yoga poses: Any yoga poses that require you to engage your core could induce a coregasm. Examples include boat pose, bridge pose, eagle pose, dolphin pose, cat pose, chair pose, and crow pose.

Other Exercises

Ab exercises seem to be the most common movements that lead to exercise-induced orgasms, but people have reported experiencing coregasms or near-coregasms while:

  • Running (especially uphill)
  • Sprinting
  • Lifting weights
  • Cycling

Sets and Reps 

In some cases, it’s not the actual exercise that induces a coregasm. Instead, it’s the effort level.

According to some Reddit users, some said they have experienced coregasms when they’re pushing themselves to get through a few final reps. 

This could indicate that coregasms are more likely to happen as muscle fatigue occurs. If you find yourself experiencing coregasms when the intensity of your workout increases or you’re nearing muscle fatigue, you can try shortening your sets to avoid coregasms.

How to Avoid Coregasms

In the case you find coregasms uncomfortable, embarrassing, or otherwise unpleasant, you can take steps to stop them. 

“Because people often experience coregasm from some exercises but not others, for now the best way to stop is to avoid that kind of exercise,” Herbenick says. And, as mentioned above, you can try ending your sets before you reach muscular fatigue to see if that helps.

If you have coregasms during distance-based exercises, such as cycling or running, try reducing the time or distance of your exercise.

Though this might not be ideal advice, “we are still early in our learning about coregasms,” and better advice will come through more research, Herbenick says.

Can Exercise Improve Sexual Orgasms?

Turns out, exercise and sexual function may have a two-way relationship. Studies show that exercise can improve your sex life in a number of ways, including reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction in men and stimulating arousal in women.

Exercise may not directly increase your chances of having an orgasm during sex or increase the intensity of orgasms when you do have them, but research suggests that physical activity can make sex more enjoyable in the following ways: 

  • Exercise might help menopausal women find relief from symptoms that interfere with sex, and pelvic floor exercises in particular might provide extra relief.
  • Several studies show that regular physical activity help keeps levels of certain hormones higher, including the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which has been linked to orgasm frequency in men.
  • Exercise can help you feel more confident and attractive, which is a big part of a healthy sex life and feeling comfortable with your partner, particularly for women.

A Word From Verywell

Some people may enjoy coregasms and actively aim to achieve them, while others find them uncomfortable or distracting and prefer to avoid them.

Whatever your stance, it’s worth experimenting with different exercises to find out which movements, if any, induce coregasms for you—and then implementing or avoiding them based on whether you want to have coregasms or not.

9 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC
Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC, is an advocate for simple health and wellness. She writes about nutrition, exercise and overall well-being.