By Jamie Walker
It seems like almost everyone is getting involved in some form of group exercise today. On any given day, you can find people exercising together — whether via a running club, bootcamp group, group fitness class or even just dedicated workout partners or couples helping each other stay fit — more and more people are embracing community fitness.
And while it’s no mystery that having a workout partner or group can help keep you motivated and accountable, its actually proven that people who workout with a buddy are more effective than those who workout alone. In fact, a recent Stanford University study shows that people who simply receive a check-in phone call that asked about progress every two weeks increased the amount of exercise participants did by 78 percent on average.
While there are a few superhumans out there that don’t need any outside motivation to keep them on track or to help them push themselves, for most of us having a workout partner is a guaranteed benefit — and something that can drastically impact our results.
So whether you already have a dedicated fitness buddy who keeps you motivated or want to start working out with friends, here are some fun moves you can use to exercise with a partner that will give you an awesome overall body workout!
Have your partner get down on the floor into a plank. Stand on the right side of your partner’s chest, squat down and place your hands down flat on the floor. Jump your feet back and extend your legs to end in a plank position. Do one pushup, then jump your feet back towards your hands. Jump up into the air with your hands reaching up as high as you can go. Jump over your partner (who is still holding high plank) and repeat on the left side. Try alternating sides for 30 seconds, and then switch positions with your partner.
Partner wall squats (use your partner as the wall)
Stand a couple feet away from each other with your backs turned towards one another. Squat down and then lean into each other’s backs. Try to bring the booties low, working the thighs towards parallel to the ground. By using your partner as your “wall,” you’ll get in a more dynamic wall squat, engaging both your core and quads to keep you stable. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute. It does help if you and your partner are close to the same height.
Partner push-ups (clap a hand in between)
Get down into a plank position facing your partner with about a two-feet distance between yourselves. Keep your elbows in at your sides as your bring your chest down towards the floor, going down as far as you can. Then push through your arms to bring chest and body back up into the starting plank position. Now shift your upper body weight to your left hand as you lift and reach your right hand to clap your partner’s right hand. Do as many as you both can within one minute, switching sides each time.
Start out in a plank position. Your partner will stand at your feet, reach down to grab your ankles, and then stand back up. Now you’re in an incline plank position. As you walk forward with your hands, engage your core and glutes. And keep your eyes focused on the end point so your head stays up. Take ten steps forward at your own pace, and have your partner follow while still holding onto your ankles. Then switch with your partner.
Sit-ups with ball (partner throws, other partner does sit-ups)
Lay down on the floor on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, in classic sit-up position. Have your partner stand facing you with their feet/toes gently on top of yours to prevent you from lifting your feet. Take the ball in your hands and hold it to the chest. Squeeze your abs as you pull your upper body up towards your knees, and as you come up, throw the ball to your partner. Before you lean yourself back to the floor. your partner will throw the ball back to you. Repeat as many times as you can within one minute. Then switch.
Working out with a partner keeps us motivated and accountable for our workouts and also inspires us to challenge ourselves and work a little harder. So why not grab a partner and get sweaty?
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