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Strength in numbers: Fitness tips for workouts with a partner

“Team work makes the dream work”- this old saying rings true for many things, fitness included.  A duo of two people working out together, supporting each other, and mutually pushing one another is a great framework for success with achieving results.

Not only does having a great partner give you a mental edge but it also opens up new options of exercise techniques that cannot be performed alone.

Working out with your spouse, best friend or a relative will give you the motivation to push harder knowing that you are accountable for finishing each set with your partner right there watching or doing the same exercise.

Military training is designed to increase physical capacity and aptitude by not only pushing each individual’s body, but also creating a team-driven mentality. It truly is amazing what the body and mind can achieve when there is the concept of a team depending on a certain outcome.

Take this team-driven mentality to the gym when you work out. For many people having a partner gives them the discipline to make sure that they show up and not skip when they know that their partner is waiting for them.

If you need to revitalize your workouts or you just need the extra push to get in a good groove of working out this spring and summer, then get with your partner and start making goals together that you want to achieve as a team. Watch how much more fun and fulfilling your workouts will become!

Here are five effective exercises for partner workouts:

Trade-off curls – Each person will stand facing each other while one person holds a barbell of medium weight in the regular position for arm curls.  The ultimate goal for the team is 100 repetitions. Each person does a set of as many as they can with good form and then passes the barbell to their partner for them to begin their set. As soon as the grand total is reached the series of sets is complete.

Back-To-Back Twists – Each person sits on the floor with their backs touching. One person begins by holding a medicine ball and twisting to one side as they pass the ball to their partner who twists as well.  The team goal is 100 total. After reaching 50 repetitions on one side, each partner can switch directions and perform 50 twists on the other side.

Friendly Pushups – Each person begins in a pushup position facing each other.  Both descend at the same time and at the full extension of the arms they slap hands with their partner. The split second that it takes to slap hands is an isometric tensing of the muscles that keep the body balanced and in alignment. The two partners alternate hands every repetition until they reach their desired number.

Leg Throwdown – This exercise is a classic from Physical Education class. It is still one of the best lower abdominal and hip flexor partner exercises.  One person lays on the ground with their legs straight up. Their partner stands with their feet straddling the sides of their partner’s head while they push their partner’s legs in a downward motion.  It is up to the person lying on the ground to make sure that they do not let their legs touch the ground. Alternate for sets of 10-12.

Medicine Ball Burpees – One partner holds a medicine ball close to their chest to begin. First, they will squat and then crouch and touch the ball to the ground. Then they will shoot their legs out straight behind them. Next, they tuck the knees in quickly and explode up with a jump while still holding the ball. Then they pass the ball to their partner who does the exact same thing. Repeat back and forth for a combined total of 20 repetitions.

Sammy Cusimano is the founder of Genesys Training based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, and has been a professional trainer since 2001. His experience with training clients ranges from competitive athletes to senior citizens. Cusimano’s goal as a trainer is to help clients safely reach their fitness potential and become the best version of themselves for overall health and wellness.

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