There is nothing more motivating in fitness than having a workout buddy. This partner could be your sibling, spouse, or friend. Whoever they are, the key factor is how they help in keeping you accountable for the attainment of your fitness goals.
Teaming up with your workout buddy seems like an incredible idea. Not only will you have someone pushing and motivating you, but they will also be keeping you company by performing the same routine as you. As a result, you will work to keep up and not give in no matter how challenging it gets.
There is only one problem. This lies in finding the perfect partner workouts that equalling help you both attain your fitness goals. Remember that your fitness goals may be entirely different from those of your partner. So, finding a routine that blends both goals can be challenging.
If you are looking for easy, effective, and fun partner workouts to try with your workout buddy, then you are in luck. This article will look at effective cooperative exercises that you can perform with your partner. These partnered workouts will help you build teamwork while still breaking a sweat. Check them out!
What Are Partner Workouts?
We have all seen it happen before. Couples working out together, friends hitting the gym together, or siblings doing yoga together one afternoon. Although we might not know it at first, these are classic examples of partnered workouts.
This is to mean that partner workouts are those similar exercise programs that we perform with another person. Most people are used to solo workouts. So the thought of having a workout buddy could be a bit terrifying.
However, there is no need to fear. The following routines are as effective as your solo exercise programs. Let us begin by learning a thing or two about these workouts before we list the best partner training workouts.
Partner Workouts: What Are These?
There is an adage that states that there is strength in numbers. Looking at this from a fitness perspective, there is certainly some truth to it. Exercising with your buddy can spur long-term commitment and help you attain your goals.
That being said, there is so much about these cooperative workout routines that people do not know. It all comes down to the fact that they do not understand the partnered workout concept. Before you even pick these teamwork routines, you should analyze vital partnered workout aspects. Such aspects include:
The Partner You Choose
Judging from the name, you may think that these workouts are only meant to be done with your better half. With this in mind, you may be pushing your better half to always work out with you. The thing is that partner workouts are not only meant for couples. These exercises can also be done with your bestie, sister, gym partner, brother, or colleague.
Like any other trend, most people may believe that these workouts are only a trend that will later fade. As such, they may not be valuing or seeing the relevance of these exercises, hence giving them less thought.
Contrary to what you may think, partner workouts are not a new thing. They have been in existence for years now. It is only that they have recently become quite popular after numerous up-trends in partner workout challenges.
These routines are as effective as any other solo workout plan. So, do not be fooled into thinking that your partner may tie you down from attaining your results. In reality, they might be the motivation you are lacking to continue pursuing your body transformation goals.
It is not surprising that most people are skeptical about these cooperative exercises when it comes to goal attainment. After all, some people have tried such regimens and ended up with zero, delayed, or even negative results.
This is bound to happen, especially if you did not take the time to consider which partner you picked. According to WebMD, you are supposed to pick a partner with a similar fitness goal and in the same fitness level (2).
This way, both of you will be exercising to partner workouts that match your fitness capabilities. Consequently, you are both bound to attain the set goals. Again, Medicine Net guarantees results from such workouts if you choose a fitter partner (7).
You might be in the same fitness level but one of you might be much fitter, thus motivating the other one of you to work extra harder. According to Medicine Net, this is known as the Kohler effect (7). It merely entails improved performance arising from the fact that you are training or working with a stronger person.
However, this can be potentially dangerous, especially if you pair up with athletic prowess. It may trigger you to over-train, which tends to increase your risk of injuries and other health problems (10).
The key to this is knowing your limit. Do not settle for longer workout durations or increased intensity to impress your partner. Always stick to what you can do and then walk your way up the ladder.
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Easy Partner Workouts To Do At Home
There are so many exercises you can do with your partner at home and still burn calories or build muscle. Such workouts do not have to be overbearing. They can be simple full-body workouts that tend to target the majority of your large body muscles. Let us start with these partnered full-body workouts to do at home:
The Hand-Slap Push-Ups
Push-ups already rank among the best full-body exercises that you can do either at home or in the gym (5). These muscle-strengthening exercises can help you and your partner either tone your body or gain muscle mass.
The good thing about doing the hand-slap push-ups with a partner is the possibility of perhaps finishing your reps or sets. You get to keep pushing perhaps because of the development of a competitive edge or because of increased motivation (9).
Whatever the case is, these push-ups will highly reward you and your partner. Here is how you both have to go about these hand-slap push-ups (3):
- You both have to start in a push-up position, directly facing each other. Let us use the clock to illustrate these two positions. It means that in the push-up position, your feet will be pointing at 12 and those of your partner will be pointing at 6.
- Try to maintain some space between both your heads to avoid serious head injuries. It can be some inches apart, or at least arm-stretch apart.
- Make sure each one of you is keeping their back straight and arms fully stretched, and beneath the shoulders.
- Having done this, now both of you should slowly descend to do a push-up. Make sure that neither of you lies their chest on the floor. Instead, you should both rest a few inches above the ground.
- After that, push yourself up into the starting position. When you are both up, slap both your right hands with each other without tripping over.
- Press your arm back on the floor and perform another push-up. While you return up, now slap both your left hands with each other. The hand slap is a technique of cheering each other and letting the other know that they can do it.
- Aim at doing a total of 10 or 20 hand-slap push-ups. Depending on how you feel or on your workout plan, you can also perform extra sets.
The Heart-Opening Side Planks
These are other partner workouts without equipment that you can do from home. Let us face it, planks are not everyone’s cup of tea. So, the idea of even trying the side plank variation is simply mind-boggling.
However, the good thing is that you are doing these heart-opening side planks alongside your workout buddy. Seeing another person do the exercise can inspire you to also give it a try. It can help you lower all the mental barriers you have developed over time about planks. Here is how both of you ought to proceed to perform these heart-opening side planks (8):
- Both of you must lie on your left side while facing each other. Again, maintain some distance between the two of you to avoid any injury while raising your arms.
- Lift your bodies up and from the floor, such that only your left arm and feet are touching the ground. Look for balance to avoid tripping.
- Remember to both tighten and engage your abdominal muscles as well as to breathe normally. In the count of three, both of you should start stretching your right arms and moving them underneath your left elbows.
- You can time yourself or count the number of arm raises before switching sides. Remember to do the exact thing you did on your left side to your right side.
The Lunge Tango
Yes, you heard it right! The lunge tango also ranks among other fun partner workouts to try today. As the name implies, you will tend to move your body as if you are on the dance floor. Like with dance, this exercise is very critical when it comes to nailing the correct form. Here is a thorough overview of how you and your partner can nail the lunge tango (3):
- To begin, both of you must be standing upright and facing each other.
- Step forward using your right leg into a lunge. Make sure you keep your knees aligned over your heels.
- The other person must then step back into a lunge position, but with their left leg. The first person must then step back to the starting position and then step into the left-leg lunge. It will force your partner to perform a backward lunge using their right leg.
- Return into the standing position and now let your partner lunge forward using their right leg. Your partner will then do the backward lunge using their left leg.
The good thing about this challenge is that the synchrony tends to give you a dance appeal. So, when you start doing these lunges, you tend to forget that you are exercising. These are very great exercises when it comes to toning your entire body, but specifically your legs and core (3).
Fun Partner Workouts to Try Using Medicine Balls
Partner medicine ball workouts are on the rise. It is because these exercises are very easy and fun to perform, and especially with another person. Again, they are very effective if you want to tone your core muscles (4). Below are some fun cooperative exercises involving a medicine ball that you and your bestie can try:
The Medicine Ball Russian Twists
Perhaps you and your workout buddy want to work on your midsection? If this is the case, then these Russian twists are precisely what the two of you need. Below is the procedure of performing the medicine ball Russian twists (1):
- Let the two of you start in a sitting position. You should be sitting next to each other, both of you facing forward. Make sure there is some space between the two of you. One of you will start by holding the medicine ball.
- Both of you should now start turning and twisting your waistlines in different directions. It means that when you are turning to the left, your pal is twisting to the right.
- By the time you two are twisting in the same direction, you should pass on the medicine ball. Remember to twist as far as you can so that your waistline is highly engaged.
- For increased intensity, both of you can lean slightly backwards and lift your feet from the ground. You will feel a burn in your waistline, but try to push through it for that sexy and toned waist.
Medicine Ball Crunches
Sometimes, it just so happens that you and your workout buddy have never used a medicine ball before. In this case, jumping into complex medicine ball workouts can prove to be quite challenging.
Instead of this, the two of you are advised to kick things off with simple medicine ball workouts. One of the basic and simplest of such workouts is the medicine ball crunch. To perform the medicine ball crunches, you and your workout buddy must (4):
- Start by lying on your backs. You should be parallel to each other, both of you facing forward.
- Rest your calves on the medicine ball and place your hands behind your head.
- Start to slowly lift your upper body towards your knees to perform a stomach crunch.
- You can do as many medicine ball crunches as possible.
The good thing about doing medicine ball crunches unlike the basic crunch is the added intensity. These crunches force you to maintain balance during the exercise, further working your back and abdominal muscles (4).
When Do I Start Partner Workouts?
The thing is, you can start these cooperative exercises if you meet certain criteria. It could be tomorrow, after one week, or several months. The only determining factor are these criteria:
Your Doctor’s Feedback
Whether it is a solo or partner exercise regime, you still need validation from your physician. A physician might restrict you from exercising if you have various health conditions such as severe back pains and knee injuries (11). Only start a workout plan when both you and your workout buddy get the go-ahead from a licensed healthcare provider.
Your Fitness Coach’s Output
Typically, you are required to start exercising after you also get an okay from your instructor. You can only get this okay if your trainer has assessed your fitness level and determined you are fit for exercise.
So, both you and your partner must go for this assessment. You will only proceed to start these partner exercises if both of you pass the assessment tests. It will indicate that your coach has proven you are both safe and fit to continue exercising.
At this juncture, it is crucial to also ask for help from your trainer in creating a workout plan. Based on their assessments, they will recommend feasible partner workouts that can help you both attain your workout goals.
Partner exercises only render effective when they help both parties attain their goals. To maximize effectiveness, it is better off when the two parties aim at similar goals for easier incorporation of the best exercises. So, if your goal is weight loss, look for another person whose goal is also weight loss. It is only after you find a person with matching fitness goals that you can start performing partner workouts.
Exercising needs preparation. You can’t just dive into a workout routine without properly preparing yourself, especially mentally. You and your partner must have that willpower to help the two of you start these partner exercise programs (6). Otherwise, without mental preparation, the chances of giving up tend to be quite high.
The Bottom Line
Partner workouts refer to cooperative exercises that you perform alongside another person. It could be your husband, friend, colleague, bestie, or gym partner. These workouts may last until the two of you see results or as you so desire.
The key to reaping numerous benefits from such programs is choosing a partner with similar fitness goals. Try to also choose a workout buddy who’s fitter than you if you are not, for increased motivation and inspiration.
Some fun partner workouts you can try out include hand-slap push-ups, medicine ball Russian twists, medicine ball crunches, and the lunge tango. Always seek professional help before you implement any workout plan.
Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Brief workouts for runners: basic core training (2013, theguardian.com)
- Exercise With Your Significant Other (2021, webmd.com)
- Full-Body Workout You Can Do With a Partner (2021, webmd.com)
- Having a ‘Ball’ With Exercise (2003, webmd.com)
- List of the best full-body exercises (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Make Your Workout Work for You (2020, cdc.gov)
- Need Motivation to Exercise? Try the Buddy System (2018, medicinenet.com)
- Slide show: Exercises to improve your core strength (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- The health benefits of working out with a crowd (2017, nbcnews.com)
- To Get More Fit, Find a Stronger Workout Partner (2012, medicinenet.com)
- What to know about exercise and how to start (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)