According to Psychology Today, exercising with your loved one not only improves your workouts, but also your relationship. This year, make St. Valentine and your significant other happy by inviting them into your workout world.
This quick 20-minute body-weight circuit focuses on improving your cardiovascular health and core strength—no equipment required.
This cardio drill increases your heart rate and improves agility and reaction time. Stand facing each other. Partner #1 does a variety of movements for 30 seconds, while Partner #2 mirrors his or her movements. Remember to change directions and levels frequently. Then, Partner #2 leads the next round. After a one-minute interval, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat four more times. For example:
- Two burpees
- Lateral shuffle
- One long jump forward
- Bear crawl backward
- Three star jumps
There are several variations of this exercise. The main objective is to stabilize your torso while your partner gently pushes on you (Let’s call it a love tap, not a push!)
- Partner #1 performs a squat and extends the arms (fingers interlaced) in front of his or her body. The goal is to keep the arms at chest height, in the midline of the body, as Partner #2 taps Partner #1’s hands. Remember to tap gently, in all directions, so the person is challenged, but can successfully keep good posture. Perform for 30 seconds and switch.
- Perform the series above while holding a lunge. (This is more challenging, so make sure the love tap is gentle.)
- Taking this next movement to the floor, Partner #1 performs a plank with the elbows under the shoulders. Partner #2 taps on Partner #1’s shoulders and hips, forcing him or her to stabilize the core to prevent any movement in the body.
- This last version is even more challenging. The partner on the floor assumes a quadruped (all-fours) position, with the knees 2 inches off the floor.
If you want to increase the challenge, close your eyes while your partner taps!
This series of movements increases your heart rate and challenges your muscular endurance. Partner #1 holds a plank while Partner #2 does a two-foot lateral jump over the feet of Partner #1. While Partner #2 runs around to the starting position, Partner #1 transitions to a pike or downward facing dog. Partner #2 then bear crawls under Partner #1. Keep this series going for one minute before switching roles. Perform three to five rounds.
Hollow Body Hold
These exercises fire up the core and improve agility. Partner #1 performs a hollow body hold. This static exercise improves muscular endurance of the abdominals and the postural muscles. Partner #1 lies on the floor with the legs extended at a 45-degree angle, the arms above the head, and the head and shoulders lifted off the floor. Partner #1 maintains this position for one minute. Meanwhile, Partner #2 runs along side of Partner #1 and high-fives him or her on one hand. Partner #2 then backpedals toward Partner #1’s feet, before performing the series again on the other side. Perform two to four rounds.
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