The smart man takes care of himself – the smarter man takes care of himself and the woman he loves.” – URBASM
If there is any goal worth keeping up with this year, it is to get in shape. And while you’re at it – bring your partner along for the ride. Working out as a couple is fun, sexy, motivational, and practically counts as foreplay.
If you’ve failed in the past at getting your partner to workout, perhaps you’ve been going about it wrong. Treat it as a means to improve yourself and your partner’s health (and physical attributes), and because you’re doing it together as a team bonding experience, you won’t come off as if you’re saying there is anything wrong with how her body looks.
Let’s get down to it.
The Warm-Up (Core)
The couples warm up no longer just consists of doing situps side by side. We now know that six pack abs are only the cherry on top of a well-developed core. The core is the support system behind almost everything you do, and with something this important you’re going to want to put a little extra time here – and these warmups will most certainly get you started.
Sit on the floor facing each other. Grab a medicine ball (or whatever you have available), drop backward onto your back’s, allow the ball to touch the floor just behind your head, and then return to sitting and pass the ball onto your partner. Do this same motion all over again until you are both struggling to get back up.
Yin and Yang Partner Planks
Planks are fantastic for the core, and one of the best ways to get more out of each second is to make the balancing act more difficult or to add more weight. You can accomplish both by planking in a Yin and Yang fashion, with one partner on the floor facing left, and the other partner on top facing right.
Partner Clasp Planks
Face each other on the floor in a plank position while clasping each other’s hand. Hold up the opposite leg as the arm you have extended, and keep your entire torso as straight and steady as possible. Do each hold for 30-seconds or more, alternating hands and legs so that your core gets a balanced workout.
Side Plank Pass
Your obliques should not be ignored, but rather than relying on tired old side bends – the side plank pass will work you a lot harder. You can either do these facing in the same direction or away from each other. Grab a dumbell weight that you can both handle safely and position yourself into a side plank (elbow to the ground, along with the side of your foot). Hold yourself straight and steady as you proceed to pass the dumbell back and forth, beginning by passing it over your shoulder and then retrieving it under your arm. Do this for 30-seconds or more on the one side and then roll over to your other side and do it again.
Now we’re ready to get to the full body workout.
Full Body Couples Workout
Men’s Health has advised that working out with your woman can make you build muscle even faster than ever before. And you know what? It makes sense. Women are a huge motivation for a man to work harder, but there are just a couple tips that our friends at Men’s Health have recommend:
One, Do the Workout Together. And this means the entire workout. Don’t just show up together, do your own thing, and then leave together, because it is not the same thing. Two, Let Her Lead the Way. You know one reason why a partner is so effective at the gym? Because they make you do things you might not otherwise do. Things that are really good for you like stretching and warming up on a treadmill. Three, Check Each Other’s Form. The role of a couple is to support each other, so it is easy to get caught up as a cheer section only. But just because you’ve been doing bench press “that way” for 15 years, doesn’t mean she can’t bring some great advice to the table to improve your form. Invite her to give you feedback on your progress of each exercise, and you do the same.
All right… enough talk and more action!
One of the best parts of a partner workout is not only the motivation factor but also the ability to superset various body parts, and make the motions more difficult by using the combined weight and motions of each other. The partner Squat/Pushup begins with doing pushups with your legs resting on the shoulders of your partner. The increased angle of the body and need to balance will make these motions more challenging. At the same time, the weight of your partner’s lower torso on the shoulders will add a nice increase in weight for doing squats. After doing 10 to 20 reps, trade-off and do another set without rest.
The squat/pushup move above can also be accomplished by substituting the squatting motion for pulling up on your partner’s legs in a rowing fashion. This kind of superset will work your entire torso, including a good bit of your core.
One-Legged Back-To-Back Squats
Squats are a great beginner workout, but we’re here to see some results, and one-legged squats are much more challenging and more appropriate as a substitute for the lack of any weight being used. Begin by placing your backs against each other, hold your arms straight ahead to help with your balance, and then hold one leg out while slowly dropping down. Keep going until your leg is at a 90-degree angle and then slowly rise to standing. If this move is too difficult at first, you can start with two legs and slowly work your way to balancing on one leg.
Partner Assisted Leg Curls
The hamstrings can be a difficult body part to hit correctly without a professional set of equipment. However, the partner assisted leg curl is a beautiful example of how a couple’s workout can be far superior to working by yourself. Have your partner hold your heels securely down as you slowly lower yourself to the ground and then use your hamstrings to pull you back up. These will leave your hamstrings burning in no time.
Partner Tug-O-War (Hamstrings/Lower Back)
For the lower back, there is no better way to hit all the sweet spots, than the Partner Tug-O-War. Start by sitting facing each other and brace yourself by placing your feet against one another’s. Grab a couple towels or a short rope, and proceed to pull each other slowly backward and forward. Make sure that each other’s back stays straight and that there is always a slight bend at the knees. This is not a competition, mind you, so think of it more as a team effort against lower back flab handles.
Donkey Calf Raises
The donkey calf raise is a move that has been around the bodybuilding circuit for decades – and that’s because it works. Positioning yourself in a bent-over position while raising your heels up and down hits the calves better than most gym machines can manage. This partner assisted move is also a good way to get in a bit of rest in between what will mostly be supersets.
Resistance Band Bicep/Triceps Curl
The push/pull motion of the bicep and triceps make the perfect combination for a partner superset. This one will require a resistance band, but even a couple socks tied together can make a decent substitute in a pinch. Begin by facing each other and backing up until there is a decent amount of tension in the bands. And now one of you curls the band back using the biceps, while the other pulls the band down using the triceps. Trade-off until you both have done at least three sets for each muscle group.
Partner Resistance Shoulder Press
Working the shoulders with a partner has many variations, but we are going to talk two in particular. The basic movement involves one partner seated on the floor with their hands at shoulder level, and the other partner standing above with their partner and placing pressure on their hands using their triceps. The seated partner must then push their hands into the air, while the other partner resists this movement as best as they can. To add difficulty to this move, one partner can stand with their hands at shoulder level holding a bar. The other partner then places their weight onto the bar, as you use your shoulder muscles to lift that partner and then return them to the starting position.
We like to practice Acro Yoga together to strengthen our communication and trust.” – Briohny Smyth of BryceYoga.com
Dice and Briohny are one of the most awesome Instagram couples we know, and when Briohny recommended us to consider Acro Yoga as part of a couple’s weekly ritual, we were already Googling the phrase. AcroYoga is about engaging and communicating with your partner through teamwork, trust, and balance. It is probably some of the most fun you can have getting a good sweat together (outside of the bedroom).
We will leave you with this short and sexy sample of what could be the result of all this hard work. Worth it? We think so.