Working out with a friend is a great way to keep you motivated – in fact training with a buddy can increase your chances of sticking to an exercise program. So not only is it a good excuse for a catch up with your pals, it’s also likely to make you a longer-term fitness fanatic! But, sometimes it can be boring to do the same old workouts, so why not mix things up with a series of partner exercises you can do together?!
I’ve knocked up four exercises you can do with a friend, or even in a small group, to really get you working hard and having fun. But before I explain the moves, let’s decide on how you’re going to do the workout.
This workout is especially fun and challenging because it involves one partner holding a static (still) position, while the other performs dynamic (moving) exercises.
Fun because the friend holding the static move gets to watch their mate jump around like a lunatic, and challenging because the static moves work muscles isometrically, or in a fixed position – something which people rarely do in training. By training muscles isometrically you are recruiting more motor units, making the muscle more efficient, and you can also challenge sticking points you may have in a particular range of motion.Holding a static position can build more strength AND sort out those sticking points in an exercise... Click To Tweet
There are two main ways to break up the work:
- The static partner holds the exercise for a certain amount of time, e.g. 30, 45 or 60 seconds – this is good if you’re of very different levels of fitness as each partner can work as hard as they like during the dynamic phase.
- The static partner holds the exercise until the dynamic partner has completed a certain number of reps, e.g. 15, 20, 25 – this is good if you’re of fairly equal fitness level.
Rest for about half your interval period between exercises, and then for 60-90 seconds between circuits. Perform the circuit at least once per participant, so each of you has a chance to do the static moves!
A combination of lower body and core exercises, including plyometrics, all three planes of motion and, of course, those static holds – these are great moves to work your legs, butt, stomach and back – perfect if you’re a runner, but also great for general strength and power.Use this fun partner workout for strength and power - it could even make you a better runner! #workoutoftheday #ukrunchat Click To Tweet
Make sure you’ve warmed up properly before doing these exercises, and if you experience any pain (other than the usual muscle burn from exercising, of course!) then ease off.
Wall Sit vs Squat
- Stand with your back to a wall and squat down to a position where your hip crease is just below the level of your knees (or to a point where you particularly struggle with squats to build strength in that range of motion)
- Stand with your feet in a comfortable squat position (at least hip-width but probably wider) and squat down as far as your range of motion allows while trying to maintain a high chest.
- Push through your heels to return to standing and repeat until the time is up or you’ve completed your reps (see “the format”!)
- To make this more challenging, explode up from the bottom of the squat to a jump and then sink straight back into a squat when you land.
Plank vs Slalom Jumps
- Hold a plank position, keeping your shoulders stacked above your elbows, and making sure you maintain a straight line from your toes to your shoulders (no butt-sag please!). If this is too challenging, drop down to your knees but keep that butt in line!
- Standing side on to your partner at their mid-line, hop sideways over them, landing gently on your toes on the other side.
- Hop back to the start and repeat until the time is up or you’ve completed your reps (see “the format”!)
Glute Bridge vs Lunges
- Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart.
- Squeeze your bum and push your hips up to the sky. Hold.
- To make this more challenging you can cross your arms across your chest, or hold one leg out, keeping your thighs parallel.
- Starting in a standing position, take a big step forwards and lunge down until your back knee lightly touches the floor.
- Push back up through your front heel, keeping your whole foot in contact with the floor and repeat on the other side.
- Keep alternating legs until the time is up or you’ve completed your reps (see “the format”!)
- To make this more challenging, explode up from the bottom of the lunge and switch legs to land and sink straight into a lunge on the other side.
Side Plan vs Knee to Elbow
- Hold a side plank, keeping your shoulder stacked over your hand and a straight line from your head to your toes.
- You can do this on an outstretched arm (pictured) or on your elbow, and to make this harder just lift your top leg and top arm into a star position.
- From standing, lift your opposite leg to your elbow, crunching in at the waist to really challenge your abs. Repeat on the other side.
- Keep alternating arms and legs until the time is up or you’ve completed your reps (see “the format”!)
- To make this harder, jump to switch arms and legs – this will really challenge your balance!
Brush off the sweat and get ready to go again!
If you try this workout please do let me know what you think! You can tag me on Instagram using @fitcetera and #ftcworkouts, or get in touch via Twitter (@fitcetera) or Facebook. What exercises do you do with friends? Do you have any partner workouts you’d like to share?