Partner exercises: Get in shape with a friend

Spring is here and the weather is getting warmer. That means there’s really no more time for procrastinating. Remember that New Year’s Resolution where you promised to get in shape and have that beach body by summertime? Well it’s time to kick it in gear. For extra motivation to hit those beach body goals, we suggest working out with a friend. Whether it’s your significant other or just a buddy what better way to get in shape than with some partner exercises?

Once again, Men’s Life DC has enlisted Equinox Sports Club to provide you with some of the exercises to help you attain you fitness goals. This time it’s some of the best partner exercises. What’s nice about these exercises is that you do not need to be in a gym. These partner exercises do not require equipment. You’ll get a great workout using just bodyweight.


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1. Partner push up and clap

Each person should set up in a push up position, with heads towards each other and feet the opposite way. Perform a push up together, and then give your partner a high five in between each push up. Alternate hands for the high fives!


Photo by: Drew Stephens – Creative Commons

2. Squat hold/Glute bridges

Partner 1 starts in a static squat position and must hold until partner 2 completes 15 glute bridges. As soon as partner 2 is finished with their reps, they will squat and hold while Partner 1 completes their bridges.

To squat: Feet should be a little wider than hip width apart and toes slightly turned out. Sit back as if you are sitting on a chair, until your thighs are parallel to the ground and keeping your feet flat on the floor. HOLD!

To bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hip distance apart. Engage your core and drive your heels into the floor in order to lift your hips by squeezing your butt. Then return your hips to the floor. That is one repetition.

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3. Partner planks

Partner 1 should perform a forearm plank position on the floor. Partner 2 then positions themselves perpendicular to the body of Partner 1 and sets up for a forearm plank by placing their forearms on the mid back of Partner 2. This will add an extra challenge for Partner 1. Hold until Partner 1 is no longer able to keep their spine neutral (any stress on the lower back warrants the end of the set). Then trade!

Note: There may be too much of a weight difference between partners. If you find that a partner cannot hold the bottom plank while the other partner planks on top of them, just have them provide a gentle push down on the planking partner’s back for the extra challenge. Again, be mindful that it should be challenging, but should not be so much pressure that the planker cannot keep the core engaged and the spine strong.



4. Runner’s Tag (3 Options)

For all of the runners – play a simple game of tag the next time that you go for a run with your significant other. The couple would decide a distance and take turns leading the run. For example, you could use MapMyRun and trade places every .25 or .5 miles.

If sprints are more the speed for the day, then take turns running away from each other – literally. One person would set the pace by sprinting away. Once a certain amount of time passes, say 5 seconds, then the partner would sprint to them, past them, and keep pushing until THEY get about a 5 second lead. During each sprint the pace setter recovers with a simple recovery jog until their partner is the necessary distance ahead of them.

Lastly, a literal game of tag. Adding 3D movement to the list is important for health, fitness, and fun. Add in agility, core mobility, and speed into a fun game of adult tag. Set the clock for a few minutes and take turns chasing each other around your local park until time expires or you get tagged.


These 4 partner exercises come from Equinox personal trainer Whitney King. There are three Equinox Sports Clubs in the Washington metropolitan area. The Equinox in DC is located at 1170 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20037. The one in Bethesda is at 4905 Elm Street Bethesda, MD 20814 . The Virginia location is at 8065 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182.

Also check out our other tips: Work out while on the road and Staying in shape over the holidays.

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