8 Effective exercises to do with your partner

by Zahara Chowdhury

Here at Tone & Sculpt, working out with a friend is quite possibly the most enjoyable use of our time. In fact, you’ve seen our wonderful ambassadors, community and Krissy and Holly have so much fun when they train together. This is why we love exercise; it is something that brings us all together, gets us talking and creates such a fun loving community.

In fact, exercise is being used more and more in the workplace not only to encourage a healthy balance for people, but also to combat stress and loneliness - it is a great way to meet and get to know others on a level playing field. Everyone is there for similar reasons and they most likely share an enjoyment and interest in fitness - you have something in common already!

Working out with a friend or partner can also help with accountability. You may be more motivated to work out if you have agreed to do so with someone and you’re less likely to cancel. Plus, if there is the added bonus of a coffee and a bit of gossip after your workout, you’re highly unlikely to cancel that date!

However, some are reluctant to work out together as they feel they don’t get the best out of a workout as you end up spending more time chatting and less time sweating! Below are 8 exercises you can do with a partner that are guaranteed to make you sweat whether or not you’re having a nice chat along the way! Give them a try and let us know how you get on! All of them can be completed in a series of rounds (3 rounds and 20 reps of each is recommended) or to time (30 seconds - 1 minute on; 30 seconds rest).

Burpee jumps
Ah, the burpee. We share a love hate relationship with this exercise, but it’s a good one to get that heart pumping and for a full body workout.
Perform a traditional burpee, one at a time (jump up, crouch down, jump out into the plank position on your hands); 2.
Stay in the plank position and your friend is to jump over you (safely, they may step if that is better for them) and perform a burpee.
You are to stay in the plank position until your friend has done a burpee and in the plank position for you to repeat the process all over again.
A great exercise for your entire body, adding in core, shoulders and quite a bit of cardio!

Squats and squat jumps

We LOVE squats! Such a versatile exercise that can be performed in so many ways, anywhere and everywhere! Add in the squat jumps and you’re laughing! Well, laughing through the burn, that is…!
Perform 5 bodyweight squats together (feet hip distance apart, pointing forwards, knees in line with your toes and squatting down as if you want to sit down, putting your weight into your heels and glutes).
One of you is to stay in the squat position and hold (feel your quads burn!) whilst the other friend performs 5 jumping squats (on your way up from the traditional squat, jump and return straight back to your squat).
Once you have completed your 5, you hold the squat position and your friend performs 5 jumping squats.
Word of caution, your legs will ache and you will love it!

Dancing lunges
Just a fancy way of saying you can do a forward and backward lunge simultaneously and it feels like you’re doing a bit of salsa!
Stand opposite one another, about an arm’s length apart.
One of you is going to lunge forward with your right foot and the other will lunge back with their left foot.
On the same leg, your partner comes back with their left foot and you go back with your right foot.
Repeat 10 repetitions on one side before swapping to the other leg and repeating the process.
You could add in a dumbbell or a heavy jar of anything from the kitchen to pass to one another, or have one each and add it in as a shoulder press as you lunge!
See, you’re literally dancing whilst working those glutes and quads! It’s a lot of fun!

Press up and plank
Like the burpee, a press up and a plank are awesome exercises that are great for building your strength, especially your core. Performed together and you have a fab combination, which is effective and efficient if you are both short on time too.
Either on your knees or feet, one of you is to hold the plank and one of you is to do a press up.
You then alternate, one of you holds the plank and the other one performs a press up.
It’s as simple as that and a great way to work your core and shoulders - just keep cheering each other on until you’ve finished the set!

Sit ups
Remember the film, Bend it Like Beckham? Well, you’re basically going to reenact Jules and Jas performing their sit ups whilst having a bit of gossip too!
Lying down opposite one another, interlock your feet to you can ensure you provide each other with enough support, so that your feet do not lift
Now, take it in turns to sit up with your hands either by the side of your head (elbows out), or in a cross position across your chest.
Do your best to use your friend’s support to come all the way up. If it hurts your back however, only come up as far as you can and with each other’s support you’ll built up the strength in no time!
Feel those abs burn and enjoy the gossip!

Russian twists
A great exercise for your obliques and a nice one which flows well with sit ups!
Maintain your feet position as you had for the sit ups
Sitting on your seat bones (bone at the bottom of your glutes), lean back in a ‘V sit’ until you can feel the pressure on your abdominal muscles
Then, like you would with a traditional russian twist, twist side to side with both hands. You can add in a weight if you like too!
This one will be over before you know it and you’ll love the feeling afterwards!

Plank claps
And now, back to those planks for some teamwork and motivation!
Plank opposite one another (knees or feet), on your hands around an arm’s length apart
Now, you are going to ‘high five’ one another, one of you with your left hand and the other with the right hand.
Try your best to keep your hips steady and back in line with your shoulders as you clap.
You’ll really feel this in your core and shoulders! It’s a great one to do together !

Mountain climbers
Let’s finish with a little bit of cardio, remaining in that plank position
In the same position after your plank claps, imagine you are running on the spot bringing your feet in to a few sets of mountain climbers
If you can, go down onto your knees in between sets and maintain that plank position for an extra burn before you continue into the next set!
This one will definitely get you motivating one another to make it to the end and go get that coffee!

And that is it! Partner workouts are efficient, effective, motivating and most importantly, fun! We really hope you enjoy this one. Let us know how you get on and tag @toneandsculptapp into your posts to keep us updated! Remember, we cheer each other on, bring everyone together and most importantly, you are doing this for you with a community of like-minded women there to support you every step of the way!