Fancy dinners, boxes of chocolate, shared bottles of wine – for many of us, Valentine’s Day means celebrating our love by filling our stomachs. It’s not that it’s bad to indulge for special occasions – in fact, science says that sharing food with your loved one may actually improve your bond! But that heavy, bloated feeling you’re often left with the next day? Yeah, no one likes that. Besides, building healthy habits with your partner can be just as romantic as sharing food or giving gifts.
If you’re thinking of adding some fitness fun to your V-Day plans, check out this partner workout by Premier Personal Trainer Jen Besten. For exercises where each partner is performing a different movement, be sure to switch roles so that both partners perform both parts of each exercise.
Wheelbarrow Push-Ups with Squats
- Partner A (push-ups): Start by getting into a push-up position with your hands in line with or slightly wider than your shoulders. Concentrate on bracing your core throughout the exercise to maintain a neutral spine and protect your back. As your partner lowers your legs, simultaneously move through the elbows, lowering your chest toward the ground, keeping your neck in line with your spine. As your partner returns to standing, push through your palms to elevate yourself back to starting position. Repeat.
- Partner B (squats): For this exercise, choose to stand between your partner’s legs for a traditional squat or place your feet outside of your partner’s to perform sumo squats. Stand with your feet in line with your partner’s feet and lift their legs from the ankles. To offset your partner’s weight, shift your weight into your heels and keep your chest high as you squat. When squatting, try to sink down to create a 90-degree angle with your legs. Push up from the ground to return to standing and repeat.
Plank with Jump-Over Burpees
- Partner A (burpees): Stand with feet shoulder-width apart right next to your planking partner. Drop your hands down to the floor directly in front of you, pushing back into your hips as your body lowers, then quickly jump your feet back to land in a plank position. Perform a push-up using the same cues as before; brace your abs to achieve a straight line from head to toe as you lower to the ground and rise back up to a plank. Using your hands for support, jump your feet back to their start position. In one swift motion, lift your hands and explode through your feet off the ground, jumping sideways to land on the opposite side of your partner. Be sure to tuck your legs up as you jump – you probably don’t want to kick or trip over your partner, after all!
- Partner B (plank): Put your forearms on the ground with your elbows right underneath your shoulders. Extend your feet behind you and balance on the balls of your feet. You can opt to keep your toes together or spread your feet slightly apart, though the latter may make it more challenging for your partner to jump over you. Squeeze your glutes together to help form one neat line with your legs, neck, and back and maintain this position until your partner has completed their burpees.
Squat with Rotational Pass
You’ll need a medicine ball for this exercise (or a pillow, or a book – really, it can be anything you like). Both partners should stand facing away from each other, with about a foot of space in between. The person that kicks off this exercise will start by rotating through the torso to turn to one side, lifting the ball over the corresponding shoulder. Their partner will rotate in the opposite direction to receive the ball then rotate to the other side, guiding the ball across their body in a downward diagonal motion. As the receiving partner turns, they will sink into a squat, bringing the ball down to pass at or below knee-level. Imagine there is a tilted ellipse surrounding both you and your partner with the high and low ends aligning with your shoulders – this is the path on which the ball will travel as it is passed back and forth. Be sure to switch your high and low sides for a balanced workout!
Leg Lift Throw
- Partner A (leg lifts): Lay on your back on the ground or on a mat, holding your partner’s ankles on either side of your head. Keeping your feet together and legs straight, pivot at the hips and raise your feet up above your pelvis. Concentrate on engaging your core to keep the full length of your back in contact with the floor. As your partner pushes your legs back toward the ground, try to prevent your heels from touching down while keeping your core engaged, then repeat the motion. To target more of your obliques, have your partner throw your feet down slightly to the left or right, alternating sides with each throw.
- Partner B (leg throws): Stand tall and position your feet on either side of your partner’s head. Catch your partner’s feet as they rise toward you, then throw their legs back toward the floor (but don’t use too much force!) Ask your partner if they would like you to push their feet along a straight, centered path or throw their feet to alternating sides to target their obliques.
Both partners will start in a standing position facing each other but with feet slightly offset. Grab your partner’s inside hand or forearm, raise your inside leg off the ground, and bend at the knee to lower into a single-leg squat. Don’t sink down so far that you cannot boost yourself back up to standing using only your planted leg. Keeping your inside leg elevated off the ground challenges your balance, so use your partner and your free arm to steady yourself.
Wall Sit with Tricep Dips
- Partner A (wall sit): Position yourself with your back against a sturdy wall and bend your knees at 90-degree angles as if you are sitting in a chair. Keep your core braced to support you while you maintain this static position. Plant your feet wide enough so that your partner can sink between your knees while performing tricep dips.
- Partner B (tricep dips): Once your partner is in the wall sit position, face away from your partner and place your hands slightly above their knees on top of their quads. Straighten your legs out in front of you so that your weight is supported by your hands and heels. Start with your arms extended, then bend at the waist and elbows to lower your upper body toward the floor until your arms form a 90-degree angle. Keeping your chest up, push through your arms to raise yourself back to the starting position. You can make this exercise more challenging by lifting one leg off the ground so that only one heel touches the floor, but be sure to alternate heels to keep the exercise balanced.