By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
With so many responsibilities on our plates on a day-in, day-out basis, getting to the gym can prove rather difficult. (Don’t ask me why it isn’t the same case for happy hour.) One solution to the gym commitment dilemma is to recruit a friend for a partner workout.
Consistency breeds results, so if you aren’t training on a regular basis, you can’t expect to bring about long term change. Exercising with a friend not only makes the experience of getting in a workout more enjoyable and pushes you to work harder, but it will hold you accountable. (At the very least, it will make getting to the gym at 6 am much more tolerable.)
The next time you are looking for a workout, grab a friend and try out this total-body partner workout that will challenge your core, leave you feeling stronger and able to take your athleticism to the next level.
Superset or pair moves 1+2, 3+4, and 5+6. You will complete move 7 as a partner conditioning finisher at the end of the workout. For pairs 1-6, complete 20 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest before moving on to the next movement (switch at the halfway mark where necessary). Complete 3-4 rounds for each pair and rest for 2 minutes in between pairs. For the final move, Complete 6-8 sets of 20-30 secs each. (Rest as your partner goes!)
Start off facing each other in a plank position with your shoulders over your hands and your feet shoulder-width apart. Initiate the movement by descending into a pushup (focus on keeping your glutes and abs engaged), pause for a second and explode back up to the top position. At this point reach across and tap your partner’s shoulder. Alternate in this fashion for the duration of the clock.
Grab a resistance band and stand parallel to your partner (choose a distance that leaves no slack in the band and challenges you!). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, your shoulders depressed (hold them down, no shrugging) and hold the resistance band at chest height with both partners’ arms fully extended.
One partner will initiate the movement by rotating towards their outside with a slow and controlled chop. Make sure that you pivot your inside foot. So if you are chopping to the right, pivot out on your left foot. While one partner is moving, the other remains stationary. Continue in this fashion for the duration of the time.
To perform the Goblet squat, begin with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly turned out. Holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at chest height, initiate the movement by driving back at your hips and descending into a deep squat (below parallel) or as deep as you can go without pain. Pause for a second at the bottom and then drive through the heels, engage your glutes, and explode back up into the starting position.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and assume a staggered stance position. Slightly bend both knees, and initiate the movement by driving back at your hips to perform a deadlift. Slowly descend toward the ground, pause at the bottom, then squeeze your glutes to explode back up to the starting position.
Get into a pushup position with one hand holding a Dumbbell directly under your shoulder (use 2 DBs to take it up a notch). If you need to take a wider stance at your feet for support, feel free to do so. Begin the movement by driving the DB side arm up close to your body, making sure to keep your shoulders down and shoulder blades pulled back. To finish the movement, lower the DB back down to the ground under control.
Jump up or pull yourself to the top of the pull-up position and hold it for the duration of the clock or as long as you can. (If you need to take a quick break, drop, rest for a couple of seconds, and then jump back in.) In this top position, work on engaging the lats and packing your shoulders into your sockets, while maintaining total body tension. (Squeeze your glutes, abs, quads, pump up your biceps, etc.) Remember: the tighter the body, the easier the movement.
For this partner workout, place the band around your partner’s hips. Hold the band so that there is slight resistance, but not enough so that the band is pulling your partner backward. Your partner should begin to go into a stationary sprint and place more emphasis on “reps” as opposed to sprinting forward. They should focus on high knees, arm action, and maintain a good tempo throughout the duration of the movement. If you don’t own any resistance bands to perform the sprints or pallof rotation exercises, I recommend the bands from WODFitters. They are cost-efficient and get the job done! Check them out here.