Fit Together: 3 Muscle-Building Partner Workouts
Partner workouts are great for extra motivation, bonding with friends, and pushing yourself to achieve fitness goals faster than you would on your own. Studies have shown working out with a partner increases your performance. When you work out with someone you perceive as a little faster or stronger, you tend to push harder.
For an extra challenge and health benefits, take your partner workout outdoors. Research has shown that working out in nature enhances mood and self-esteem, while reducing depression. Working out in the heat aids in glucose control and increases the production of heat-shock proteins, helping you burn more body fat, improve your immune system, and strengthen your muscular and cardiovascular systems.
Here are a few examples of some outdoor strength-building workouts that you and your gym pals can sweat through together:
Ready. Set. Go.
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned race to incite friendly competition and fun. This workout requires little to no equipment and capitalizes on the benefits of HIIT (high-intensity interval training). You and your partner will put forth maximum effort, rest, and repeat.
How it works:
- Pick an object 25 to 40 yards away, and pick one of the exercises below.
- Ready? Set? Go! Race your partner down the field!
- Rest for 2-3 minutes, and fully recover before racing back.
- Repeat 5-8 times for a calorie-torching HIIT session.
Recommended exercises: sprint, bear crawl, ball throws, frog jumps, side shuffle, lunges
Pass the Baton
Much like the relay races we used to run when we were kids, strength relays can be just as entertaining and sweat-inducing. Strength relays are a great way to incorporate resistance training into an outdoor workout. You’ll be so focused on completing your part of the relay, you’ll often push harder and faster than you normally would.
How it works:
- Pick your favorite piece of resistance equipment: dumbbell, kettlebell, wall ball, or bands.
- Pick a time goal (2-5 minutes).
- Take turns completing as many reps as possible before “passing the baton.”
- Make note of the number of reps you complete each round, and try to beat it!
Recommended exercises: kettlebell swings, dumbbell thrusters, kettlebell walking lunges, banded squats, wall ball slams
Race Against Time
Here, both you and your partner are teamed up racing against the clock.
How it works:
- Pick a strength exercise.
- Pick a large repetition goal (100+).
- Take turns completing as many reps as possible until you cumulatively reach your goal.
- Take down the time.
- Repeat 2-3 times, working to beat your time each round.
For example, select kettlebell swings as your exercise and 100 reps as your goal. One partner starts and completes as many reps as possible until fatigued. Next partner completes as many reps as possible while the other person rests. Continue this pattern until you reach 100 repetitions total!
Recommended exercises: lunge jumps, ball slams, kettlebell swings, squat jumps, burpees, box jumps