Jacque Crockford, MS, CSCS, certified personal trainer and exercise physiology content manager at American Council on Exercise (ACE), San Diego.
Bottom Line: Stay fit with a partner at home…at the gym…or anywhere else
Here are three great exercises you and your partner can do together at home or the gym—even if you’re at different levels. Start off with 30 to 60 seconds per set, and increase as you progress.
Equipment: Two four-pound SandBells—small sacks filled with sand.
Purpose: Strengthens core muscles and the entire upper body.
Get on all fours and face each other with your heads about four feet apart. Then both move into the classic plank position. Your body weight is divided between your toes and the palms of your hands, with your arms and legs straight and your back flat. Use your right hand to toss your SandBell in front of your partner, as he/she does the same. Then immediately switch hands to pick up the SandBell and toss it back with the left hand. Repeat, alternating hands. Increase weight as you get stronger. Note: If this is too hard, start with your knees on the ground. As you build upper-body strength, add in the plank pose.
Equipment: Stability ball.
Purpose: Strengthens core, arms, glutes and thighs.
Stand facing your partner. With your right arms straight and core muscles contracted, use your right hands to hold the ball steady between you at shoulder height. Without moving your upper bodies, lower yourselves into a squat position. From this position, walk sideways across the room. Stop, switch hands, then squat-walk back in the other direction to your starting spot. Repeat, alternating hands each time. Ideally, choose a space where you can take six to 10 sideways steps before reversing. Note: It’s best if partners are similar heights. If not, the taller person will be doing more work.
Equipment: Five-pound medicine ball.
Purpose: Strengthens arms, pecs, shoulders and abs.
Face each other, standing four to five feet apart. Shuffle sideways in one direction, then the other as you toss the ball back and forth at chest height.