It’s the season of love and what better way to start your wellness journey then with your significant other or BFF!! Since we’ve been locked up in quarantine for the past year, we have had to be more creative with the ways that we exercise and move our bodies throughout the day to day… Going on long walks can be great but sometimes, it can just get downright boring. Sometimes we need to channel our inner kid and have some FUN!
I am here to give you a little inspiration for things that you can do with your partners, children, or friends (if you’re in each other’s bubble) that can make exercise seem more appealing. Because let’s be honest, if it’s not fun, I don’t really like working out. Just me? Okay!
In some ways, our bodies crave regularity and routine, especially with what foods we eat. (Steer clear of too much Valentine’s Day candy and sweet treats!) But in other instances, our bodies and muscles need us to mix it up a bit.
It actually is beneficial to introduce new movement and strengthening exercises into your routine to help improve your muscles ability to do their job without any issues. Our muscles get used to moving in the same ways and stop responding unless we change things- like changing the routine, altering the resistance and more!
What other benefits are there to exercising with others?
- Competition- a little bit of healthy competition pushes you to work harder and get stronger
Accountability- its great to have someone hold you to your exercise program that you create and commit to for your body to be healthy and active
- Motivation- studies have proven that we do better and put in more effort when someone is cheering for us!
> Try a bit of cheerleading for your partner and watch the changes it makes in the effort factor for your workout
- Variety and Creativity- we all have great, new ideas on how to spice up workouts and add some variety to it
- Catch up time - life is busy and getting your workout done with a friend or partner is a great opportunity to catch up on what’s going on in your life
- The time will fly by - when you workout with a friend, the time that you commit to your workout will be so much faster than if you did the workout by yourself
- Falling in love with each other - if you are working out with your partner, you should know that exercise causes the symptoms of psychological arousal (sweating, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath)
>These symptoms can boost your attractiveness to your partner
>Try it out and see how it goes?!
Top Partner Exercises:
Here are a few NEW partner exercises that will surely ignite that childlike fire inside, but also may inspire you to be more creative when putting together your at-home workouts. Let’s try them together… and remember don’t be shy, no one can see you.
1. Let’s start with simple hamstring stretch!
- Both you and your partner lay on your backs with your feet propped in the air. Both of your bums should be touching and as well as your legs. One partner will then press their legs into the other person’s legs to facilitate a nice deep hamstring stretch.
- The goal of this exercise is to keep both of your knees as straight as possible to ensure the hamstring is able to stretch across both the hip and knee joints. After holding for about 30 seconds, the opposite partner will then press into the other person’s legs. Repeat this 3 times on each side.
- If it’s too much to straighten both of your knees at the same time, try to straighten one leg, hold for 30 seconds. Then switch to the other leg and let your partner have a turn before you repeat it!
2. Full spine stretch
This one might be my favorite! Stand facing your partner with your feet a little wider than your hips. You and your partner are going to both lean into each other and fold both your arms to rest on your shoulders. If you need a visualization here is what it should look like.
Take a few deep breaths into your stomach (diaphragmatic breathing) and try to sink lower and lower until you feel a nice stretch through your whole spine. Try synchronizing your breath with your partner. Not only does it change your nervous system as an individual, but it strongly helps improve your connection emotionally in partnership.
3. Who’s ready for some ABS?! This is an exercise that works your upper abdominals and obliques and is surely going to make you break a sweat!
- Sit on the ground back to back with your partner. Both of your knees will be bent up towards you. One partner takes a weighted ball or anything you have lying around the house (you could even use a full, unopened jar of pasta sauce if it’s all you have in your pantry) and keep it close to your body. You are going to engage your core and twist towards your partner to hand them the item. Alternate directions so you are targeting both sides of your abdominals. Once you get to 10, give yourself a break. Try 3 sets of this exercise for a maximum burn!!
- Make sure that the ball (or jar of sauce😊) works for you and your partner being challenging, without causing pain or being too heavy to use for one of you.
- Remember, Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!
4. Wheelbarrow push-ups & squats
- This one is very fun and really challenges both you and your partner’s upper body strength. One partner is going to be lying face down on the ground, in preparation for performing a push-up and the other partner is going to be standing behind them.
- The partner standing will then grab the ankles of the person lying on the ground. The person on the ground will then perform a deep push-up while the standing partner holds their legs and performs a squat.
- Make sure that your core is engaged and that your back is straight no matter which position you are in. After 10 reps, switch positions with your partner and repeat!
- This is also fun for you to do with your kids if you are lifting them and then an adult is helping you!
5. Squats with an overhead press
- Have you and your partner face each other. You hold a weighted ball (or your jar of pasta sauce) in front of your body.
- Both of you squat down at the same time, slow and controlled making sure that your knees stay behind your toes. You should be sticking out your bottom as if you are going to sit in an imaginary chair.
- When you stand up, bring your weighted ball overhead and then pass it to your partner. Your partner will then bring the weighted ball in front of their chest and you will squat back down together.
- Repeat this process 10 times each making sure to squat down as much as you are able to make your legs work!
6. Lastly, let’s do a full body burn AKA a partner plank!
- Now this photo may seem intimidating and if you’re not wanting to be that adventurous, simply face your partner in a plank position and challenge each other to a plank off! Whoever breaks their plank first, pays for the Valentine’s dinner
- Try side planks facing each other and see who can hold it the longest. Then every other day, challenge each other again to see if you can hold longer. Keep a record in a journal so that you can track your progress and try 2 on each side to get stronger.
- But if you are feeling adventurous, climb on top of your partner once they are in a plank position. The top person will hold onto the bottom person’s ankles for stability and gently lay their feet over the bottom persons upper back. See how long you can hold this position together. Really try to keep your bottoms tucked under so that your core can be properly engaged!
- Build up to this position as it is very challenging and requires a lot of strength! Send us a picture when you are able to do it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YOU DID IT!! If you made it through that whole workout, give yourself and your partner a high five. I hope you enjoyed being creative and getting out of your comfort zone a bit. I know I did!
Challenging ourselves is one thing but being challenged as a team is another achievement in and of itself. The reward is great when we push one another to be better in all aspects of our lives!
Looking for other health tips, check them out here https://www.breakawaypt.com/category/health-tips/
If you enjoyed this workout and are looking for more ways to get active or have an old injury that is keeping you down, please email us at email@example.com or call us at 410-702-4053 to schedule your FREE consultation with a licensed physical therapist! We look forward to hearing from you and helping you along your fitness and wellness journey!