Good news! When it comes to working out and getting in shape, you don’t have to go it alone. You can grab a friend and try these partner workouts to mix things up and keep it fresh at the gym.
It doesn’t matter who your workout buddy is: it can be your husband, boyfriend, wife, or girlfriend, friend, neighbor, sibling, or parent… having a workout partner can help you get a better workout, make you more accountable, and more.
What Are the Benefits of Partner Workouts?
Exercising, itself, is beneficial, but exercising with a friend may be even better. Using partner workouts can have many side benefits:
- Accountability—having a partner means you no longer have an option when it comes to showing up. The commitment you have to make to meet up with your partner doubles as a commitment to yourself.
- Fun—want to double your fun? Having a buddy and doing workout plans for partners can help you get a better workout, but you’re probably going to get a lot of laughter and smiles as well as some good old-fashioned bonding.
- Try new things—having a partner you can break the ice and try new things with can help you explore different machines, exercises, and classes you might not have tried on your own.
- Lift more—yes, you can lift more weight (and thus, get better results, faster) when you have a workout partner—a spotter can help you power through those last few reps you normally would not be able to finish (or might be too hesitant to try).
- Better form—your workout buddy can let you know when your form is off. It’s not always easy to see it yourself, but another person will be able to see more angles and be able to spot the weaknesses you can’t, so you can correct them.
- Better through challenge—you may even have a little friendly rivalry going on with your partner. Some healthy competition can be a good thing to get you to ramp up your own game.
- Motivation—there is strength in numbers, and working out with other like-minded people can boost your motivation and resolve to get in shape and stay there.
Partner Workouts: The Plan
There’s nothing better than the buddy system when it comes to working out. These partner are designed for two, so you can reap the benefits of working out with someone else and enjoy a fun and motivating workout.
Most of these exercises involve a set of repetitions where one partner does the exercise and the other assists. Then, you’ll switch so the second person can do the exercise and you’ll assist.
Start with some side-by-side cardio to warm up such as ten minutes on the elliptical or a brisk walk on the treadmill or even outside.
Let’s Get to Work
Partner Ab Leg Pushes—with your back flat on the floor and your arms by your sides, palms down, raise your straight legs into the air. With your partner standing behind your head, raise your legs, and have them gently push or shove your feet back toward the floor. Their goal is to get your feet to the floor, and your goal is to resist and keep your feet from reaching the floor. Remember to keep your lower back pressed into the floor throughout the exercise. After completing your set, switch with your partner, so they’re lying on the ground, and you’re pushing their legs.
You can also hold onto your partner’s ankles with them standing either behind your head or on each side of your torso for greater stability.
Partner Lunges—begin by facing each other with your legs hip-width apart. Grasp your partner’s hands. As your partner moves forward with their right leg and bends into a lunge, you’ll move backward with your left leg into a reverse lunge. Repeat with the opposite leg. Continue “dancing” in this manner and then switch so your partner is moving forward and you are moving backward with each leg.
Partner Push-Ups—this works your entire upper body and your core. Begin in push-up position, side by side. Go down into a push-up, and on the upward portion of the movement each time, lift your outside hand, twist toward your partner, and high-five each other. Return your hand to the ground and into the normal pushup position. Repeat 5 – 10 times, and then switch positions so the partner who was on the left is now on the right. Repeat for the same number of reps.
Partner Wall Sit and Triceps Dip—this is a true partner exercise. Begin with your partner standing with their back against a wall with their feet hips-width apart, with their legs far enough away from the wall that when they squat down, their knees are directly over their ankles. Next, they should slide/squat down, keeping their back flat against the wall, until their knees are at a 90-degree angle. Have your partner hold this position while you, facing away from your partner, place your hands on their thighs, just above their knees, with your feet out straight in front of you. With your hands firmly placed on your partners’ thighs, bend your elbows to perform 10 triceps dips. Switch positions so you are doing the wall squat while your partner does triceps dips with their hands on your thighs.
Resistance band squats— Begin by placing a resistance band around your right ankle while your partner places it around their left ankle. While you are both facing forward, move apart so that the band becomes taut between you. Perform a set of bodyweight squats and then switch sides, and repeat with the band on the opposite ankles.
To intensify this workout, try adding a one-minute jump rope session in between sets or a set of jumping jacks, step ups, or running in place. Keeping your heart rate up in between exercises can help you burn more fat and get a better overall workout.
Diversify Your Partner Workouts
Try throwing some of these fun activities into the mix for future partner workouts:
- Martial Arts/Kickboxing
- Exercise classes
Exercising in any form can be more fun and effective with a friend or partner. So enjoy!