Exercises to try with a partner
While Valentine’s Day may now be a distant memory, leisure centre chain Better has devised some nifty exercises to try with a partner. Clearly if romance is still on your mind, rather than a potential bad back, there’s more relaxing ways to spend an evening. But if you fancy limbering up like the pair above, here’s five exercises to try.
1. Wheelbarrow press up with squat
Billed as a ‘fun'(!) version of a traditional press-up. This exercise targets your biceps, triceps, shoulder, chest and glutes.
Start in plank position, with arms straight, shoulders above wrists, and core tight. Your partner stands behind and raises ankles into a ‘wheelbarrow’ position.
Commence press-ups, keeping back straight, core tight, and legs straight while your partner rises and lowers into a back straight, core tight squat keeping hold of your ankles. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps, then switch roles. If this is too difficult, use a modified knee push-up instead. Complete as many repetitions as you can and then switch positions.
2. Hook Squats
Targets your glute muscles and requires perfect team work. If one of you stops the motion, the exercise can’t be completed. Stand back-to-back leaning against your partner and together lower into a proper squat position with knees over toes. Repeat 10 times.
3. Band Jumps
Good for your core, this low impact exercise works to strengthen your legs and core and is also aerobic. Working as a pair helps you both maintain the correct position.
Stand directly in front of your partner, facing away. Loop the resistance band around your waist and pass it back to your partner behind you to hold with both hands. Step forward until there’s light tension in the band.
With your partner’s knees slightly bent, and hips slightly back for stability, jump forward as far as possible. Jump by bending the knees, sending hips back, keeping core tight, and then exploding up and forward. Swing arms naturally for added momentum. Land lightly on toes, then take a few steps back to return to start position. Repeat quickly for 8 to 12 reps, then switch roles.
4. Plank Hold and Jump
This one targets your shoulders, biceps, triceps and core. It’s a two-person exercise that keeps you both engaged and allows you to swap roles so you don’t get bored.
Begin in a forearm plank with shoulders directly above elbows, hands parallel (or clasped). Keep core tight, back straight, and hips level. Feet can be a few inches apart. Your partner stands at your feet and jumps laterally over your ankles – to the right then immediately back over to the left as quickly as possible. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch roles.
5. Crossover Crunches
Attack your abs with these crunches to keep you motivated. Set a number and see if you can match your partner’s pace as you complete them.
Lie on the ground with your back flat on the floor, knees bent, abs engaged. Hands should be at side of your head or crossed in front of your chest. Hook legs with partner, with your legs locked in between theirs. Crunch up, keeping abs engaged. Complete 10 reps for three sets, or as many as you can manage.
And that’s your couples workout for another year!