As the study of the effects of exercises grows, researchers have found that when you work out with your romantic partner, you can actually appear more attractive to him or her. I know that doesn’t sound very logical. My typical workout consists of sweat stains, messy hair and pained look on my flushed and make-up-less face. (Not exactly a prime date-catching appearance). But studies do prove that when you workout with your romantic partner, it induces the same symptoms as physiological arousal (sweaty hands, racing pulse, and shortness of breath), mirroring romantic attraction. These sensations can be misattributed to romantic attraction, and make you both fall even more in love with each other.
If that isn’t enough for you and your bae to throw on matching workout gear and run hand-in-hand to the gym, there are even more benefits. Studies show that after participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples felt more satisfied with their relationships (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000). Exercising with a partner also increases the overall efficiency of your workouts, as a workout buddy’s presence can improve your speed and effort without you even being aware. Working out together also makes it easier for you and your partner to achieve your exercise goals because you can lean on each other for emotional support.
So here are some fun ideas for your next sweat session with that special someone in your heart…
Partner Planks. Planks are a great exercise to do with a partner because having that motivation can take away from the painful monotony that planking can sometimes lead to. A low-impact core exercise, planking helps to increase stability, balance and strength, and – when done correctly – protects your lower back from strain. If you are performing a proper plank, your weight will be evenly distributed throughout your arms, toes and body, and your back will be as flat as possible. You can also perform a modified plank on your knees if you have lower back issues, or are just getting used to the exercise.
Partner Facing Planks With Alternating High-Five. This is where you and your workout partner get into a plank position and face one another. You and your partner should mirror one another’s body position and be about 1 or 2 feet away from each other. Maintaining an even distribution of weight throughout the rest of your limbs, raise your right or left arm and high-five your partner. Lower your arm down and then repeat on the other side. You can do 3 sets of 10 per each arm, or 5 sets of 5 per each arm. I recommend that you play around with the rep scheme and find what works best for you and your workout buddy.
Partner Farmer Carry. I personally think that farmer carries are an underrated exercise. In this exercise, you carry one dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a heavy bag of books in each hand, and then you just walk. You could also do a Farmer Carry Lunge (where you lunge instead of walk, adding a serious amount of difficulty and core work to the exercise). This exercise works your grip, forearms, shoulders, triceps, and core. The faster you walk, the most you can make this exercise into a cardiovascular exercise as well as a strength routine.
Farmer’s Race. The hardest thing that I have found about including a Farmers Carry into my workout routine is that its long, painful and a little bit boring. A Farmer’s Race is a fun way for you and your workout partner to challenge one another to push harder, longer and faster in this exercise. (And to add some excitement to your routine). All that you have to do is decide on a distance to go. I recommend 50 to 200 meters depending on the weight that you are carrying and your goal for the exercise, pick up your weight and then walk! If there is too much of a difference between the speed of you and your workout partner, modify the race by giving one of you more distance to travel, or a heavier weight to carry. This is a fun way to challenge each other and to add a little friendly competition into your workout routine.
Partner Chipper. There is nothing worse than doing a hard workout alone. When I was training for a marathon last year, I did not have a running partner and I remember the stinging pain of boredom more vividly during those long runs that I remember the actual pain of exercise. That is why I think that if you are going to commit to a long workout, you might as well have a buddy to do it with. Here are a few ideas to get you started. You can mix and match as you would like.
Well, I hope that was helpful! Good luck and sweat on!
100 Series- The 100 Series is a pretty versatile exercise. You and your partner just need to pick out exercises that you like and can do, and then do 100 reps total. I have included some exercises below to give you some ideas, but it is really up to you on what movements you choose. You can also split up the reps however you would like. So you could both do 50 reps each, or you could split it up into smaller rep schemes (5 sets of 10 per person for example). The only 2 requirements are that while one person is working, the other is resting, and you cannot move onto the next exercise until you finish the reps in the movement that you are working on. Here are some ideas to get you started:
100 Squats (learn proper form here)
100 Sit-ups (learn proper form here)
100 Push-ups (learn proper form here)
100 Pull-Ups (learn proper form here)
100 Lunges (learn proper form here)
100 Wall-Balls (learn proper form here)
100 Deadlifts (learn proper form here)