Twice the benefits, twice the fun

Life, business, tennis, it doesn’t matter—research has shown that exercising with a partner can help alleviate the frustration that often leads to feelings of resentment, and improve communication and function in any kind of relationship.

So how can you get the most bang from your workout? Bodyweight circuit-style training with a partner is a great option to spice up your fitness routine.

Trust Squats

Muscles targeted: glutes, quads hamstrings, heart

(2 sets of 20 repetitions)

  • Stand face to face with your partner, roughly a foot away from one another. Each partner’s feet should be roughly shoulder-width apart, with toes slightly turned out.
  • Reach out with your right hand and hold your partner’s right hand by clasping around the wrist and thumb.
  • Lean back against each other’s weight, allowing your arms to relax and straighten, then squat down as low as you can.
  • Stand back up, and as you near the top, switch to clasping left hands.
  • As you and your partner become comfortable with the coordination of the exercise, you can increase the speed.

Resisted Dowel Twist

Muscles targeted: core, shoulders, glutes, heart

(2 sets of 20 repetitions)

  • Grab a broom, hold it horizontal. Boom! You now have what those in the fitness industry call a “dowel.”
  • Ask your partner to hold the dowel with hands as wide apart as possible, facing you; then grab the dowel with your hands just inside of theirs.
  • With this setup, your partner will be moving you; when it’s your turn to do the work, you will switch hand positions.
  • Each of you should start with feet as wide as possible. Your partner should keep feet planted, but you will be shuffling yours.
  • With slightly bent elbows, your partner should twist to their right side, with the intention of moving you all the way over; you will resist, but allow your partner to get you there.
  • Your partner will then rotate through the shoulders and try to move you all the way to their left. You will resist, but allow them to get you there.

Side-Bridge Heart Fives

Muscles targeted: obliques, core, shoulders, back

(2 sets of 10 repetitions per side)

  • Each partner should start in a side-bridge position, back-to-back, roughly a foot (30 cm) apart. A side-bridge position has the exerciser with their right or leg side exposed to the ground, feet stacked, elbow underneath their shoulder, but weight distributed throughout their forearm evenly.
  • Press your hip to the ceiling, so that the side of your bottom foot and your forearm are the only things touching the ground.
  • Once in this position, each partner should twist their chest toward the floor so they can reach their free arm underneath their bottom armpit to high-five their partner.
  • Then each partner should rotate their shoulders open to the ceiling; reach as high and as far back as possible to give a backhanded high-five to their partner.
  • These two movements equal one repetition.