7 partner exercises to kickstart your New Year
The holidays are all about relaxing, spending time with loved ones and allowing yourself to indulge. For this reason, it’s no wonder the majority of us start the new year a little bit more well-rounded than we might like!
There’s a reason that gym membership signups spike in the new year and that’s the new year’s resolution to ‘get fit’ or ‘workout more’.
What might surprise you is that 80% of those new gym members will have quit within 6 months, with many not making it past February.
Finding the time to go to the gym can be difficult and finding the motivation can be ever harder. If you’re struggling to get yourself up and out to the gym, these 7partner exercises could be just what you need to help you stick to your new year’s resolution and put you on the fast-track to looking and feeling great!
Why you should be working out with a partner
One of the main reasons people stop going to the gym is a lack of motivation and whilst, yes, your motivation does need to come from you, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have someone else around to help encourage you. (See the 6 protein myths messing with your diet for better results)
Having a workout partner creates accountability. It’s easy to skip a workout session if you’re the only one who knew about it, but if you’re partner is expecting to meet you for a workout at 6pm, you’re much more likely to follow through with it.
Another benefit of working out with a partner is that it creates variation. Getting stuck in a rut with your exercise can result in not only a decline in commitment, but also a decline in performance.
By adding in an additional person to your workout routine, you can mix-up your workouts and remove any boredom that might’ve been creeping in.
Furthermore, having a partner around actually makes your workout a lot safer. Your partner will be able to spot you and keep an eye on your form meaning that, not only will the quality of your workout be better, but you’re also able to push yourself as you know someone will be there to give you a helping hand should you need it.
7exercises for you to try with your workout partner
Rotational twist–Start back-to-back with your partner with feet shoulder width apart and Partner A holding a medicine ball close to their chest.
Partner A should twist the torso to their left as partner B twists to the right and the medicine ball should be passed to Partner B. Partner B should then rotate the torso to their left side, keeping the medicine ball at chest level, and pass the medicine ball back over to Partner A. Repeat this movement 8-12 times before performing again in the opposite direction.
To make this more challenging, perform the exercise whilst holding the squat position.
Plank High-5 – Start by facing your partner in the high-plank/push-up position. At the same time, both bring out your right hand to high-5 in the space between you and then return to the high-plank position and do the same for the opposite hand. Repeat this 15 times per hand. Make sure to keep your core tight and hips as still as possible throughout the movement – widen your feet to add more stability.
For a more advanced exercise, add in a press-up between high-5’s.
Wheelbarrow Push-Up with Squat – To complete this exercise, start with Partner A in the push-up position. Partner B should hold Partner A’s ankles at hip height in the standard wheelbarrow position. At the same time, Partner A should perform a press-up whilst partner B performs a squat. Make sure the movement is controlled and synchronized to prevent Partner A from dropping their hips during the push-up. Partner B can hold the lowered squat position for more of a challenge.
Sit-Up Medicine Ball Pass– Sit on the floor opposite your partner with your knees bent. Partner A should start with the medicine ball held close to they slowly lie back, taking the medicine ball and extending it over their head to touch the ground behind them.
Bring the medicine ball back to the original position, tucked against the chest, and sit-up, passing the medicine ball to Partner B who will perform the same movement. To make this easier, dorsiflex the feet to hook under your partner’s ankles. Repeat this so the ball has been passed between partners 30 times.
Reaction Lunges– Start with Partner A standing a foot in-front of Partner B, both facing the same direction. Partner B should gently push Partner A, forcing them to take a step forward and catch themselves in a lunge position. Alternate the leg that is stepping forward to complete 12-15 lunges per leg.
Leg Throw Down – Partner A should like down on their back and Partner B should stand with their feet either side of Partner A’s head facing in the direction of Partner A’s feet. Partner A should hold on to Partner B’s ankles and perform a leg raise, ensuring their back stays pressed into the ground.
Partner B should then push Partner A’s legs away from them back down towards the ground, so that partner A has to use their core to keep their heels from touching the ground. Repeat this 15-20 times and then switch. Make sure to engage your abdominals to lift the legs rather than pulling on your partners ankles.
Partner Pistol Squat– This is one of the more advanced exercises, and it might take you a little while to master, but it is definitely worth it! For this exercise, begin by standing facing your partner. First, you are going to clasp your right forearms in the space between your bodies.
Next, both partners should shift their weight onto their left leg, lifting the right foot off the ground, extending the right leg out in-front slightly.
At the same time, both partners should slowly bring the hips back and lower by bending the left knee, keeping the back straight and hips square. Lower as far as you can, with the aim to have your left hamstring against your left calf, with your right leg extended in front of you, parallel to the ground. Clasping your partners arm will act as a counterweight, assisting you both in raising back up to the starting position.
After graduating from Psychology with first-class honors, Megan gained her personal trainer qualifications with Origym and now works for them as a personal trainer specializing in the development of weight loss and rehabilitation programs. Megan is an avid runner and is set to complete her first London marathon in 2017.
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