6 Challenging Partner Exercises
Remember the buddy system? It’s not just for third-grade field trips: There is some evidence that partnering up to get in shape can keep you motivated, make your workout more fun, and even “boost your intensity, since it sparks friendly competition,” says Don Scott, a certified personal trainer with Jim Karas Personal Training, in New York and Chicago. Find a fitness-minded friend and complete this circuit two times through, three times a week.
Move 1: Body-Weight Squat
(A) Stand facing your partner at arm’s length with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Grasp your partner’s forearms.
(B) Maintaining a secure grip, lean back slightly as you both squat down until your thighs are about parallel to the floor. Pause for three seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.
Move 2: Reach-and-Touch Plank
Lie on your stomach, facing your partner. Keep elbows under shoulders, palms flat on floor, and toes tucked under. Using your abdominals, elevate your torso and reach forward with your right hand to touch your partner’s right hand. Switch arms. Gently lower your body back to the ground. That’s one repetition; complete 12 total.
Move 3: Split Lunge
Stand facing your partner at arm’s length, grasping forearms. Stagger your feet, left foot behind the right. Slowly bend your knees into a lunge position, so your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Pause for three seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Complete 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
Move 4: Triceps Extension
Face your partner, right foot in front of the left, holding one end of an exercise band in your right hand. (Your partner holds the other in her left.)
(A) Contract your abs and bend forward at your hips with your knees slightly bent.
(B) Slowly straighten your arm to pull back the band, then return to start. Complete 12 reps, then switch arms and repeat.
Move 5: Push-Up With Shoulder Tap
(A) Face your partner in a modified push-up position.
(B) Bend your arms to lower your body toward the ground.
(C) Push back up to the starting position, lift your right hand, and tap your partner on the left shoulder. (Your partner taps your left shoulder with her right hand.) Complete 12 reps, switching hands each time.
Move 6: Dynamic Lunge
(A) Stand facing your partner at arm’s length, clasping hands between you.
(B) Lunge forward with your right leg as your partner lunges backward with her left leg. Reverse the motion, lunging backward with your right leg as your partner lunges forward with her left. Complete 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.