Usually my workout time is ‘me’ time, I’m in the zone and focusing on achieving my workout goals – or simply letting off steam after a stressful day. However, there are times when my motivation is low, my training routine has become tired and frustrated at not spending my spare time with my partner.

The perfect solution – workout together! Training with your partner – whether they’re your loved one, friend, family member or colleague – is a great way to transform your workout into an interactive, fun and even competitive exchange that ensures you both meet your fitness goals and even push beyond your limit – and have some fun.

Equipment: medicine ball, dumbbells (for the advanced), dyna-band, rope or towel and each other.

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How to Perform:

Perform the exercises in sections A, B and C 3 times each, alternating turns. Rest only whilst your partner is performing their set and then take 2 minutes’ recovery between sections.

Warm up with a 5 minute gentle jog or cycle together, then do some functional movements, such as walking front and side lunges, leg swings, arm circles and running arms.

Cool down with 5 minutes of gentle running or cycling and do some partner assisted stretches, such as assisted hamstring and pectoral stretches. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds. Those new to exercise should start with half the number of stated repetitions and perform only one set of each exercise in each section.

A. Medicine ball+core

1. Seated medicine ball side throws 

Sit parallel to each other facing the same way about 3m apart with your feet fixed on the floor and knees bent. One of you starts with the medicine ball and throws it to the other so that they catch it about half a metre past their body to one side. They then throw the ball back. Arms should be kept long and core strong – ‘sit tall’.

Do: 10 repetitions each side continuously.

Progression:

1) lift your feet off the ground.

2) increase the weight of the medicine ball.

3) throw the ball further past your partner for a greater reach and core muscle response.

2. Medicine ball leg lowers

Lie on your back whilst your partner stands with his/her feet either side of your head. Grip their ankles and raise your legs so that they are vertical. Your partner should place a medicine ball between your feet – make sure you grip it tightly. Slowly lower the ball towards the floor, keeping your knees bent and then lift it back up again keeping your back flat and pelvis in neutral. Engage your control to centre the movement.

Do: 20 repetitions each.

Progression:

1) keep your legs straight, rather than bent.

2) Increase the weight of the medicine ball.

3. Back to back russian twist

Stand back to back with feet shoulder-width apart. Pass the medicine ball back and forth to each other by rotating your trunk i.e. one of you turns to the right and the other to the left to pass and receive the ball. The movement is then reversed. Keep hips to the front – the rotation should only occur in your upper body – this will challenge your obliques (the muscles that rotate your core).

Do: 10 repetitions.

Progression: increase the weight of the medicine ball.

B. Chest, back+arms

1. Wheelbarrow push-ups

Assume a straight-arm press-up position. Let your partner lifts your feet, by gripping your ankles. They should lift to waist height. They should to adopt a strong position, with legs shoulder-width apart and slightly bent. You then perform push-ups from this position. Keep your body braced and lower your chest/chin to the floor.

Do: 20 repetitions each.

Progression:

1) allow your partner to lift your feet higher to rest on their shoulders, to enable near handstand push-ups to be performed. 130.

2) with feet still at your partner’s hip level walk forwards for 10 strides and backwards for 10 strides. Your partner will need to follow and keep in time.

2. Inverted row

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your partner stands with his/her feet either side of you in a squat position with their arms extended towards you – they must be ready to support the movement and lean back. Grip wrists and pull yourself toward your partner, bring your chest and hips up as your arms bend and your elbows move towards your body.

Do: 20 repetitions each.

Progression: extend your legs with heels only on the ground.

3. Crunch and hammer curl

Start in the same position as instructed for the inverted row. Gripping your partner’s wrists, sit up by recruiting your core and biceps to curl upwards. Slowly lower and repeat.

Do: 20 repetitions each.

Progression: perform the lowering (eccentric) part of the movement, without the support offered by your partner’s grip.

4. Toe to toe row

Sit toe to toe. One of you should hold the band in two hands and adopt a braced position. The other should hold the band in one hand and row, whilst maintaining an upright posture. Pull your elbow back behind your torso and keep your wrists in neutral (neither flexed nor hyper extended). Complete reps, swap arms and then ‘rowing’ positions.

Do: 20 repetitions each.

Progression: partner can pull in opposite direction to provide greater resistance.

C. Legs+glutes

1. Donkey calf raises

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and lean forward from your hips. Keep your back flat and reach forward to hold onto a bar or bench for support. Your partner should sit on your hips/lower back and hold on to be able to control the amount of his/her weight you lift. Rise up onto your toes and lower again. Perform continuously.

Do: 20 repetitions each.

Progression: lift more of your partner’s weight as they lessen their grip on the support bar or bench.

2. Bulgarian split squats

Stand with one leg in front of the other and allow your partner to lift and hold your back foot at their thigh level. Ensure your front knee is in alignment with the toes of the same leg and perform continuous squats.

Do: 10 each leg.

Progression: hold a dumbbell in each hand.

3. Lying leg presses

Lie on your back and raise bent legs into the air so that the soles of your feet face the ceiling. Your partner leans forward to place their stomach on the soles of your feet, whilst maintaining a strong plank position.

They can place their feet against a wall behind them, toes touching the ground for extra stability. The amount of their weight you push can also be reduced if the partner bends their knees. Lower your partner’s weight towards you and then ‘leg press’ them away. Perform controlled and continuously.

Do: 10 repetitions.

Progression: perform single leg presses.

4. Back to back squats

Stand pressed back to back and simultaneously walk your legs one metre away from the centre line between the two of you. Lower together so that your thighs are parallel to the ground, whilst maintaining constant pressure against one another. Push up from this seated squat position and then lower again in time with one another.

Do: 20 repetitions each.

Progression:

1) hold a dumbbell in each hand.

2) perform single leg squats (this will be fun and requires trust!).

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