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10 Exercises You Can Do With Your Gym Partner
They say it takes two to tango. The truth is, there are loads of activities that are made better with a partner, not just dance! For many people, one of these activities is working out. Some athletes even find that hitting the gym and exercising is much more effective with a buddy than solo since it helps both parties stay accountable and motivated.
Who Should I Pick For My Gym Buddy?
Your gym partner will play an important role in your life. You will see each other grow and work, lift one another up, and bond in ways you never expected. When it comes to finding a good match for you, we recommend you consider the following factors:
- Who do I get along with?
If you can’t stand your colleague’s offensive jokes, you won’t enjoy his company at the gym either. Go for someone you like to spend time around, even if you aren’t super close.
- Who has similar goals to me?
If you’re looking to build muscle, it makes sense to find a gym buddy who wants the same result. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at very different workouts.
- Who communicates in a way that resonates with me?
Let’s say that you’re a ‘tough love’ sort of person: a super-sensitive gym buddy might not be a good match. Accountability is good— hurting feelings because of miscommunication is not.
What are Some Workouts That I Can Do With a Partner?
There are countless workouts that can be done with a partner. We’ve narrowed it down to some of our favorites. That said, there are plenty more where that came from.
- Squat See-Saw
This fun partner workout will require a resistance band that has a handle on both sides.
To perform the squat see-saw, face your partner, with each of you gripping one of the resistance band handles. Stand straight up, with your arms stretched overhead. Have your partner drop into a squat while pulling the band down and between their legs.
Switch poses, and continue to go back and forth, like a see-saw, for at least 40 seconds.
- Partner Heel Tap
While you still have your resistance band handy, we’d like to introduce you to the partner heel tap. To perform it, lay on your mat, facing upwards. Your partner should be standing at your head, holding both handles of the resistance band. They will keep their knees bent and core engaged throughout this exercise.
Lift your legs up and into a ‘tabletop’ pose. You want your shins to run parallel to your mat. Your partner will then hook the band around both your feet.
Engage your core and slowly lower your feet to the mat. Tap your heels to the ground, and then lift yourself back up and repeat.
Switch places, when you’re ready.
- Partner Squat Jumps
We hope you haven’t put that resistance band away yet— we have another workout that relies on this handy little piece of equipment. Here, you’ll need two resistance bands. It’s worth it— squat jumps really do make for an excellent partner workout.
To perform, face your partner. Both of you should hold your own band, with a hand holding each handle. Introduce tension to your band by extending your arms straight out and giving it a pull. At the same time, both of you should engage your core, lower into a squat, and then jump up. Once you’ve landed on your toes, repeat the movement.
Tip: On the odd day that your buddy can’t make it to the gym, you can still perform this one solo.
- Squat, Rotate and Pass
This effective partner workout requires a medicine ball.
To perform, begin by standing back-to-back. Secure yourselves into a low squat position, with your thighs parallel to the mat beneath you. Grab the medicine ball and hold it to your chest. Use your upper torso to rotate to the left side and pass the ball over to your partner. They will, in turn, rotate right to grab it from you. Then, you’ll rotate to the right, as they pass the ball over to their left.
Repeat for 10 reps, then switch directions.
- The Twist-Pass
This routine is somewhat similar to the previous workout we outlined, with a few key differences, mainly regarding your stance. The twist pass will require the use of a medicine ball.
To perform the twist-pass, begin about two feet away from your partner. Face away from each other. Give yourself a wide stance and keep your knees slightly bent. Using both hands, hold the medicine ball and rotate to your left side, passing it to your partner. They will twist to their right side to retrieve it, before moving back to their left to pass it off to you. You, in turn, will rotate to your right to retrieve it.
Repeat in each direction for 20 seconds at a time.
- Lunge to Chest Pass
While you’re still using that medicine ball, we thought we’d include another partner workout that utilizes it. The lunge to chest pass is a fun workout to perfect with your gym buddy.
To perform, stand at a distance from your partner. You want to be 5 feet away, minimum. Hold the medicine ball to your chest and engage your core. Keeping your back straight, move forward into a lunge. Your back legs should remain at 90 degrees. Your partner will do the same. Once you’ve both lunged towards each other, push the medicine ball from the center of your chest over to your partner. They will receive it, step back, and then repeat.
After 10 reps, switch sides for your lunges.
- Wheelbarrow Squat Push-Ups
Not all partner workouts require equipment! In fact, lots of workout teams choose to use each other’s body weight as a living piece of equipment. The wheelbarrow squat push-up is a (super impressive) example of that.
To perform this routine, climb onto your mat and get into a plank position. Be sure that your core is engaged, your arms are straight, and your shoulders are aligned with your wrists. Then, have your partner grab your ankles to take on a ‘wheelbarrow’ pose. Lower yourself into a pushup. At the same time, your partner will come down into a squat. Return to your starting poses.
Repeat 10 times before switching positions.
- Shoulder Tap Push-Ups
This routine is enjoyable, requires no extra equipment, and is a satisfying skill to hone with a partner.
To perform, face your partner before both getting into a high-plank pose. At the same time, perform a push-up. When you come up, tap each-others left shoulders using your right hands. Continue this, switching arms with every push-up.
Aim for at least ten reps for this workout.
- Reach-and-Touch Planks
This partner routine has a similar idea to the shoulder tap push-ups, but utilizes a different workout. It’s a great starter routine for athletes with less experience: though it’s intensive, it’s easy to learn.
To perform this pose, begin by facing each other in a high-plank position. You want to be about a foot apart. Lift your right arms and reach for each other’s left shoulders. This will be a quick movement. Repeat the same move with your left arms.
You’ll want to aim for at least 8 reps on this one.
- The Plank Hold and Jump
We love this partner workout: it’s sort of the adult version of leapfrog!
To perform this routine, climb into a plank position on your mat. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and make sure you’re in a comfortable pose— you’ll hold it for awhile. As you plank, your partner will stand at your feet before making a lateral jump over your ankles. After landing on their toes— as lightly as possible— they will immediately jump back to the other side.
Do this for half a minute. Then, switch positions.
Whether or not you choose to work with a partner, Jack City Fitness is your number one spot for exercising and feeling great, right here in Boise. Our gorgeous facility is home to all the latest athletic equipment, a crew of passionate fitness and nutrition coaches, and a host of classes and activities for our partners to utilize and enjoy. Plus, once you sign up with us, you’re entitled to 24/7 gym access so that you can work out on your own schedule.
Ready to get moving? You can get started today, even if you’re practicing social distancing: we offer custom online training sessions to our partners. Get in touch with us today— we can’t wait to see what you’re made of!