Reading Time: 6 minutes
Level up your motivation and your intensity with a partner workout.
This total-body conditioning workout is serious business for your body. Add a buddy and double up your fun and your results.
Alternate with your partner to perform each move for 60 seconds and achieve as many full-range repetitions with as much technique and fun you can possibly muster. Build up to three sets.
1. Total body circles
- Stand with feet set shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides.
- Leading with your arms, rotate your torso to the right as far as you can until you are facing sideways.
- Then slowly rotate all the way to the other side so you are facing the left.
- Continue rotating back and forth under control without pausing in the middle, six times.
- Next, face forward and keep your feet where they are. Clasp your hands together in front of your chest.
- Rotate your torso toward the right and down toward your hips in a broad circular arc.
- When your torso is at hip level, move your torso to the left so it is in front of your body and parallel with the floor.
- Then, continue to move to the left and return to an upright position — in essence, tracing a circle in the air.
- Continue making the circle in this way three times. Then go in the reverse direction, starting on the left, and repeat times.
2. Hip stretch with twist
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Reach down to the floor and walk your hands out to a push-up position. Your head, hips, heels should create a straight line.
- Step your right foot to the outside of your right hand.
- Keeping your left hand planted, rotate your torso as you raise your right hand toward the ceiling. Follow your hand with your eyes.
- Hold for a couple of counts, then replace your right hand on the floor and step your right leg back to your push-up position.
- Step your left foot to the outside of your left hand.
- Rotate your torso as you raise your left hand toward the ceiling. Let your gaze follow your hand.
- Hold for a couple of counts, then replace your left hand on the floor and step your left leg back to push-up position.
3. Vinyasa: Plank to chaturanga to upward dog to downward dog
- Begin in a plank position, your feet together with toes on the floor. Make sure your elbows and wrists are under your shoulders, and your shoulder blades are rotated back and down. Your body should form a straight line from head to heel.
- Lower your body down into chaturanga by bending your elbows. Stop an inch before your chest and hips touch the floor. Only your toes and hands should be in contact with the floor at the bottom.
- Push your chest through your hands and straighten your arms as you lift your chest into upward dog. With your gaze focused high on the wall in front of you, keep your shoulders down, stretch your abdominals and bend your lower back only as far as feels comfortable.
- Lift your hips up and back into downward dog, keeping your arms straight and pressing your heels to the floor. Keep your head and neck aligned with your spine, and your shoulders away from your ears.
- Lower your hips to return to your starting plank.
4. Over/under downward dog to child’s pose
- Stand next to your partner. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees soft and arms in a ready position at your sides.
- Your partner assumes child’s pose, with glutes resting on his or her heels and knees and straight arms reaching forward on the floor, head down.
- Drop down into a partial squat and forcefully leap sideways over your partner. Swing your arms forward and upward as you come up and your feet leave the floor. Land with soft knees on the other side of your partner.
- Once you land, your partner assumes downward dog pose by raising his or her hips toward the ceiling and keeping his hands and feet on the floor.
- Drop to the floor on your hands and knees and crawl underneath your partner. When you emerge on the opposite side, assume child’s pose.
- Now, your partner stands up and leaps sideways over you, you assume downward dog, and your partner crawls under you.
- Continue the pattern back and forth for 60 seconds.
- Tip: Develop a rhythm so that you flow from one movement to the next, and explosively engage your whole body during the leap so you are sure to clear your partner every time.
5. Partner pistol squat
- Stand and face your partner, and grip each other’s left wrist. Hold your free arm out to the side for balance.
- Lift your left foot up off of the floor about six to 12 inches, as your partner lifts his or her left foot, so you’re both balancing on your right legs.
- Simultaneously squat, lowering your hips and glutes straight toward the floor as you bend your knee, while your raised left foot goes underneath your partner, and your partner’s left foot goes under you.
- Once you get as low as you can, flex through your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings of your planted foot to extend your knee and hip and return to a standing position.
- Continue for 30 seconds, then switch your arm and foot positions to work the opposite leg.
- Don’t let the planted heel come off the floor during your reps.
6. Wheelbarrow push-ups
- Assume a standard push-up position. Position your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and make sure wrists and elbows are aligned under your shoulders. Your body should be in a line from head to heel.
- Your partner steps in between your feet, grasps your shins or ankles, and raises them.
- Do push-ups with your feet elevated for 60 seconds, and then let your partner lower your feet to the ground.
7. Side plank roll
- Position yourself facing your partner in a prone plank position.
- With your right hand, give your partner a high-five, and then return to the plank.
- Keeping your feet on the floor, lift your right hand in an arc up toward the ceiling.
- Rotate your torso, until your right arm is outstretched and pointing directly toward the ceiling. Feel the stretch through your chest and shoulders as you do so.
- Reverse the motion to bring your right hand to the floor, and repeat the sequence with your left hand, first with the high-five, then with the full side rotation. Continue alternating sides.
8. Squat pull
- Stand in front of your partner, who should sit on the floor, feet planted, knees bent. Grasp each other’s right wrist and forearm.
- Step forward with your left foot out to your right side, keeping your right foot back for leverage.
- Engage your abs and glutes and perform a single arm row to pull your partner from sitting to a squat, to standing. Keeping your core engaged, lower your partner back to the ground.
- Switch arms and forward legs, and repeat the sequence.
9. Seesaw backbend
- Stand back to back with your partner and interlock elbows.
- One partner leans forward, hinging at the hips until his or her torso reaches a point where it is parallel with the floor.
- The other partner relaxes to allow a full body stretch, as his or her feet come off the floor.
- Hold this position for a one count, then return to the start.
- Repeat the stretch but switch roles.
- Tip: Move carefully to allow your body and gravity to provide a natural resistance.
10. Assisted straddle fold
- Sit on the floor facing your partner, your legs in a wide straddle and your feet touching.
- With tall spine, reach out and clasp hands with your partner.
- Lean back as your partner leans forward, and move together in a wide circular motion, leaning back, then to the right side, then forward as your partner follows.
- Once you complete a full circle, stop and reverse the motion back to the start.
- Feel the stretch from your shoulders down to your lower back as you complete each rotation.
Photo credit: Mark Kuroda, kurodastudios.com.
This workout is modeled by 24 Hour Fitness personal trainers and group fitness instructors, Will Lee and Jennifer Nasab.