If you’re spending a lot of time at home then that means spending a lot more time with your partner. You can make some of this time productive by grabbing them and getting in a great home couples workout. It’ll give you both something to do, get your bodies moving and lets not even mention the (extra) quality time you’ll get with each other.
In this article, we’ll run you through some partner exercises you can do for your upper and lower body, core work and of course, cardio. These will be fun, innovative ways to work together as a couple, either completing the workouts simultaneously or using each other as part of the exercise.
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Why You Should Workout as a Couple
1. HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS
Of course doing couples workouts can help you move closer towards achieving your fitness goals, whatever they may be. Whether it’s to do one unassisted push up, or be able to do 15 burpees in a row without stopping, having someone there can speed up your progress. You can both share the ups in your journey as well as the downs, which can make a difference in your emotional and mental state.
2. IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF YOUR WORKOUTS
Ever give up during a set when you’re working out alone? Well, with someone there cheering you along the way, you may find that you can do much more than you thought you could.
Sometimes we need that extra push from someone, and a couples workout is a great way for you to not only get that, but for you to also give that push to someone who needs it as well.
And, if you’re someone who likes a dose of friendly competition, who better to provide it than your partner?
Related Article: The At Home Shoulder Workout You Can Do With No Weight
3. YOU’LL BE HAPPIER IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Having the same fitness goal with your partner can improve the happiness you feel in your relationship. It gives you both something to achieve and work towards, and you can share the journey together.
Also, when you’re doing the same exercise or movements as each other, you’re displaying behavior known as nonverbal mimicry.
Mimicking these same physical movements will translate over to your emotional intimacy and help you become more emotionally attuned to one another. It’s a really great way to bond.
Exercises For Your Couples Workout
We’ve categorised each exercise as upper and lower body, core and cardio. You can choose to focus on one muscle group per day or select one or two exercises from each group to do a complete full body workout. So, let’s get started.
1. UPPER BODY EXERCISES
Push Up Reach
Push ups are a really great exercise in which the chest and tricep muscles dominate. While they are typically a solo movement, there’s nothing like adding a cheeky high five in there to make it fun with your partner as well as add in an extra challenge.
Make sure that you’re both doing push ups facing each other. Do whatever push up variation that’s suited to your level, on your toes or on your knees. Then each of you is going to take your left hand, reach over and give a high five. Then place your hand back down, complete another push up and then high five again with your right side.
It means that you have to work on synchronising your movements and timing your push ups so that you are both ready to high five the other person at the same time. Don’t want to leave them hanging!
Here’s a tip as well:
You can change which muscle you want to focus on by your push up variation. If you want to work your triceps more, then make sure you’re doing a close grip push up and your elbows are tucked in as you go down. To focus on your chest, do a wide grip push up with your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width.
Miss doing those back extensions?
You don’t actually need the gym to do this one, just your trusty partner and a couch.
To get into position, you need to lie facing downwards on the armrest of the couch but no, you’re not resting just yet. Your legs should be on the cushion side of the armrest and your upper body should be hanging off the edge, bending at the waist. Try and position the armrest just below your hip bone so that you’re able to get a full range of motion during this exercise.
Start by bending at the waist so you’re closer to the floor. Then inhale and engage your lower back muscles to lift yourself up until your back is straight. Make sure that you’re not ending up in an arch because that means your overextending. Then, repeat.
While you’re doing this, your partner is holding onto your legs so that you’re secure and can perform the exercise safely. Swap after your set.
2. LOWER BODY EXERCISES
In this exercise, you both need to stand with your backs touching facing away from each other. Hook your left arm with your partner’s right arm and the same on the other side.
Now, this is where the fun bit starts.
With your arms still entwined, squat down so that your thighs are parallel to the ground and your backs are upright. Then, once you’re both ready, start turning in a clockwise direction. Then, when you complete the full circle, turn around the other way. Now, that’s one rep down and repeat.
Back to Back Wall Sits
Just how you’ll sit back to back in the hook squats, for this couples workout, you’ll be doing the same thing. But this time, you don’t have to hook arms or walk in a circle together, you’ll just be sitting against each other and that’s it.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, your torso is upright and that you’re not cheating and are half standing. It’s called a wall sit for a reason! Get those knees at a 90-degree angle to the ground or as close to it as possible.
This one will work your hamstrings, quads and glutes. Not to mention, it’ll test your endurance and ability to keep pushing. Though, with the help and literal support of your partner, you might find that you’re able to keep going more than you would if you were on your own because if you stop, then your partner has no wall to sit against and vice versa.
If you’re looking for another hamstring workout, try these 12 at-home hamstring exercises.
Wall Sit and Tricep Dip
This exercise combines both the upper and lower body, using the wall sit and tricep dip.
One person is sitting in a wall sit. Back against the wall, knees at a 90 degree angle, thighs parallel to the floor. The second person then uses the first person’s legs as the base to do their tricep dip. Stand in front of them, with your back facing them. Then, use their thighs to do a tricep dip. Remember, the closer your legs are to you, the easier the movement is so if you need to increase the difficulty, keep your feet further away from you.
The person doing the wall sit has the challenge of creating a firm and stable base for the person doing the tricep dips. Not to mention, the extra weight on the legs will make it all the more challenging
Glute Ham Raise (GHR)
While working out at home, let’s try not to forget our glutes and hamstrings! In the gym, you might rely on the good ol’ GHR machine to get those glutes and hammies burning but at home, all you need is yourself and your trusted partner.
This GHR replacement consists of one person doing the exercise and the other acting as support. You’ll start by kneeling on the floor with your body upright. Your partner will stand behind you, holding your legs so that they don’t move during this exercise. When you’re ready, start lowering your upper body to the ground in a controlled movement. Then, when you’re nearly at the floor, start moving your body back to your starting position.
After you finish your reps, switch places.
To make this GHR movement easier, once you’ve descended as far as you can with as much control as possible, use your hands to catch yourself on the ground, then push off back to the starting position.
Squat and Throw
You’re going to need a ball or something to that effect for this one.
You’ll first hold the ball as you squat. Then, as you come out of the squat, throw the ball to your partner. Your partner should catch the ball while descending into their squat.
The key is to use your squat movements to help with the throwing and catching. As you leave the squat, your knees should already be bent, giving you the power you need for a good, strong throw.
Likewise when you catch the ball midway through squatting. Your knees should also be bent except this time, you’ll be moving into the squat.
This is a fun exercise you can do with your partner that’ll not only work on those legs but also your hand-eye coordination. It goes without saying, but be careful not to throw anything too heavy, especially if you’re at home with wooden floorboards or shelves filled with things you don’t want to break.
Plank and Reach
Holding a plank for 1-minute is hard enough, but with this fun couples workout, you can have someone cheering you along the way. Both yourself and your partner should go into a plank position facing each other, one arm’s length between the two of you. Make sure that you’re not pushing your butt out in the air or letting your back sink to the ground. Your body needs to be in a nice, straight line parallel to the floor.
With your left arm and your partner’s right, reach to each other and give them a high five. Then return to your starting plank position with both elbows to the ground before using your other hands to reach out to each other again.
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Lying Leg Throwdown
In the lying leg throw down, the first person lies on their back with their legs outstretched while the other person stands facing them, at the head.
Person A grabs Person B’s feet. That’ll act as their leverage. Then lift both legs up and over as if you’re trying to get into a pike position, only upside down. Keep your legs as straight as possible, then person B pushes your legs back down to the ground. When they push your legs, try not to let them touch the ground before going into your next rep.
If you have a medicine ball, great. If not, then anything that adds a bit of weight can help such as a filled water bottle will come in handy. Stand back to back and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then one person, holding the weight, turns to their left and passes it to their partner, who turns the opposite way to grab it. Then, you both turn the opposite way and pass it back on the other side. When you’re finished with this set, change directions.
This is a great oblique exercise that involves two people because there are multiple variations you can try. For example, instead of passing the weight around middle/chest level, why not pass it from high to low or low to high.
This is a similar move to the rotational twist but instead of squatting back to back, you’ll be sitting down back to back. Keep your legs in the air and pass the ball or item to and from your partner by twisting to one side and then the other. This is a great, well twist, to the Russian twist, that’ll get that core burning.
This one might remind you of fun memories from your childhood. We’re going to bring back the wheelbarrow move we used to do as kids in the backyard and use them as part of an actual workout.
Person A will get into a plank position but instead of supporting yourself with your elbows, your arms are going to be completely outstretched and you’ll be using your hands. Make sure that they’re shoulder-width apart. Your partner will then take your legs and hold them so you’re only supporting yourself with your arms. Then engage that core and use your arms to walk.
This will work best if you have a yard with space or even just a hallway in your house.
These next two exercises will require a resistance band to do but it’s great if you want to get some cardio in without having to leave your house. Plus, it requires 2 people.
The first one is a band sprint. One person is standing inside the band while the other is standing behind them, holding the band from the outside. Take a couple of steps forward to create enough distance between the two of you so that the band is taut. If you’re inside the band first, then start sprinting or doing high knees on the spot for 30 seconds. The band should create resistance against your movements. Then swap.
The next exercise is band jumps. It still requires one person to be inside the band and the other to be holding it from the outside but this time, stand in front of each other, both facing the same direction. Then, the first person will jump as far as they can go. Once they reach a certain distance in their jump, the band will create that resistance to make it difficult. Then go back to the starting position and repeat.
Plank hold and jump
This exercise combines core with cardio. One person is going to hold the plank while the other jumps over their body. You can do whatever type of jumps you prefer, normal jumping, lateral jumps (side to side). You can even hop with one leg over first. Just make sure that you’re jumping high enough to make it over your partner.
To make this more fun, why not give yourself a certain number of jumps to hit before you can call it a set? However long it takes for you to complete the designated number of jumps is how long your partner has to hold the plank. Plus, with a literal person as your height guide, you won’t be able to cheat with smaller jumps when you get tired.
This is a really fun workout that most people tend to enjoy. While it’ll work better if you had boxing gloves and pads, it’s okay to use just your bare hands as long as you’re careful to not hit too hard.
Remember that with each punch or kick, exhale to exert more power. And keep those hands up for defence. Boxing is a great exercise that will get your heart rate up, a good sweat in and it might just release some of that lockdown tension as well.
These are all different couples workout moves you can do when you’re at home with your partner or a friend. Not only will you be able to try new things but working out together can increase your relationship happiness, help you become more emotionally attuned with each other as well as keep you fit and healthy.
About The Author
As a health and fitness writer, Emily combines her two passions—powerlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under her belt, she spends her mornings lifting weights, her nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between