Muscle Mates: Training for Two

Working out with a friend or partner can be a lot more fun than sweating it out alone, plus it can inject a little bit of spice and competition into the workout that may push you both to work even harder! These partner exercises provide new and exciting ways to challenge your balance, coordination and strength. All you’ll need is a slam ball and each others’ body weight. Perform 8-12 reps of each exercise, alternating back and forth between partners for most exercises, or taking a break between sets for the ones you both do at the same time. Complete 2-3 sets before moving on to the next exercise.If you’re looking for a new addition to your home-gym that doesn’t take up a lot of space yet lets you add a variety of new moves to your fitness routine, then check these out. The Lebert Equalizer bars are versatile pieces of equipment that allow you to use body weight to get a great, full-body workout and can be neatly tucked away. Perform 2-3 sets of the following exercises, 12-15 repetitions per exercise.

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Ball Slam Pass: Stand about two paces apart facing each other. One partner slams the ball into the ground with as much power as possible, making sure to hinge at the hips and bend at the knees. Partner two squats down to pick the ball up and alternately slam the ball into the ground. This is a full body exercise that is sure to get the heart rate up!


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Assisted Pistol Squat: Stand about two arm’s length apart facing each other slightly off center with right shoulders lined up. Clasp each other’s right wrists while extending the left leg straight in front and slowly lower down into a pistol squat together and then stand back up. You’ll be using your partner’s body weight and shared strength to help stabilize and keep your weight slightly forward.


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Wall Sit and Pushup: Partner one assumes a squat position against a wall, with knees and hips at 90 degree angles, while pushing through the heels to keep the pelvis firmly against the wall. Partner two places their feet on partner one’s thighs to perform pushups. Make sure wrists, elbows and shoulders are stacked at the top of the pushup.


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Sit up pass: Lay down facing each other with knees bent and feet interlocked. Partner one lays back and reaches ball overhead, then sits up and passes to partner two. Partner two then does the same. A few ways to make it harder is to reach further overhead, to keep arms straight, and to keep the ball back and in line with the shoulders until passed to the partner. A few ways to make it easier is to sit back only part way and/or to keep the ball in front of the body.


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V-sit side to side pass: Sit in a v-sit beside your partner about arms length apart and facing the same direction. Chest should be lifted, back straight and then lean back until you feel your abs working hard! Each partner takes a turn rotating away from the other and then rotating back and passing the ball. Perform reps facing one direction, then turn around and repeat facing in the other direction.


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Leg Throws: Partner one lays face up on the ground and grips on to Partners Two’s ankles. Partner one lifts their legs up towards partner two, who then throws the legs towards the ground. Partner one should resist the throw and regain control of the movement, and then slowly lower the legs to the floor. Ways to make this easier are to bend the knees a bit and/or only lower the legs as close to the ground as you can with control.


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*BONUS* Partner shoulder squats (only for the advanced): If partner one is squatting, partner two should stand on their right side. Partner one will squat down and grab onto partner two’s right thigh. The pelvis should rest on partner one’s shoulder and the upper body should balance mainly on the shoulders while partner two’s right arm links around partner one’s left arm. Make sure weight is distributed as evenly as possible before partner one performs a set of squats. Have fun!

 

Originally published: January 18, 2018

Photography by Bob House

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Jacquie Blanchette, Fitness Editor and owner of The Fitness Guild

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Jacquie is a fitness & lifestyle coach who believes that one of life'e greatest joys is movement, and is passionate about enriching people’s lives through strength. After working in the fitness industry for over 15 years she feels fortunate to have found a home for her boutique gym in Rossmore. Jacquie has a BA in Sociology, a diploma in Fitness & Health Promotion and is currently certified in personal training, indoor cycling, fitness kickboxing and kettlebell foundations. Outside of the gym she can be found running/hiking/biking local trails or better yet local wine routes!