8 fitness ideas you can do with a partner

Want to make exercise more fun? Get fit with a friend or bond with your spouse by trying these eight partner exercise ideas

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partner squat

Partner Squats

Stand back-to-back, pressing shoulder blades together, knees shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet out a foot, so that you are supporting one another with your upper bodies. Slowly bend your knees, lowering your tailbones down to the ground as you squat as low as you can go without your knees moving forward past your toes. Hold the squat position for as long as you can-start with 10 seconds, then build up to 30 seconds. Pressing against one another, straighten legs back to standing.

 

Image: OSTILL/iStock

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wheelbarrow race

Wheelbarrow

Get onto your hands and knees with your partner standing behind you. Your hands should be aligned under shoulders. Lift one foot, then the other, off the floor as your partner grasps your ankles, with your feet on either side of his legs. Your legs should be straight and your abs tight to protect your back from arching downward.

"Walk" slowly forward with your hands as your partner walks behind you, holding your legs. If much taller than you, your partner can walk with his legs slightly bent.

Continue for 30 seconds; switch positions with your partner. (No repetitions required.)


Image: mandygodbehear/iStock

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vsit

V-Sit Ball Tosses

Sit facing each other. You should each be in a V-shape: sitting semi-reclined on your bum with legs and arms in the air, and abs tight. Bend knees slightly and place heels on the floor in front of you. You should be able to touch toes.

Hold a medicine ball (or other object that's safe to toss). Toss it to your partner at chest level; he tosses it back to you. Keep your abs tight, shoulders back, chest up and spine straight.

Repeat 30 tosses.

 

Image: OSTILL/iStock

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plank core exercise

Plank Relay

Partner One takes plank position: Lying on the floor, come up onto elbows, straighten one leg at a time so you are balancing on your toes (beginners can keep knees on the ground). Pull belly button into the spine, keeping glutes down, engaging the inner abdominal muscles as though you were sucking in your belly to zip up a tight pair of pants. When Partner One is in position, he/she yells, "go," then Partner Two walks or runs up and down a set of stairs. Partner Two then takes the plank position, and yells, "go," prompting Partner One pushes up into a standing position and runs the stairs.

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woman doing push ups

High-Five Push-Ups

Start on all fours and face your partner, lining up your hands with your arms a little more than shoulder width apart. Walk legs back so that they are directly behind you and you are balancing on your knees or toes in a push-up position. Lower down to the ground and as you come up, give your partner a diagonal "high five," switching sides each time.

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partner abs

Oblique Crunches with Hand Touches

Lie face up with knees slightly bent and heels on the floor. Your partner sits with knees on either side of your feet, facing you. Bend your arms, tucking your elbows into your body with your hands held close to your chest. Your partner raises his palms to face you.

Curl your torso upward to face your partner, lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. Twist slightly to your left as you reach across to touch your partner's right hand with your right hand. Then twist to the right, touching your partner's left hand with your left hand. Return to starting position.

Repeat for 12-15 reps, twisting to your left (touching right hand to partner's right hand first) and another 12-15 reps twisting to your right (touching left hand to partner's left hand first); switch positions with your partner.

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fitness couple

Seated Back Pull

Sit facing your partner with your legs extended and feet touching. Each partner should hold one end of a towel with his or her right hand, pulling it taut. Partner One pulls the towel towards the centre of his/her body, arms narrow, tucking the right elbow slightly behind the ribs, as Partner Two resists the movement with his/her upper body. Hold and pulse for three counts, then switch so that Partner Two is pulling the towel and Partner One is resisting. Switch arms.

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crunch ab exercise

Crunch/Cross

Sit facing your partner with both knees bent, feet on the floor. Then, each partner slides to the left so that your right knees are touching and bodies are parallel but still opposite one another. Resting your head in your hands, elbows wide, you and your partner each do a full abdominal curl, each pulling up towards his/her knees. At the top of the movement, rotate left elbow and shoulder towards centre-try to get your elbows as close to your partner's as possible. Complete your repetitions, then switch sides.

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