Bonding Through Fitness: Fun & Easy Workouts for Couples
Couples who work out together are statistically shown to have stronger and more enjoyable relationships. Working out together can be fun, and you’ll build more than just a great physique!
Benefits of Working Out with Your Significant Other
Fostering partnership and experiencing healthier living is easy when you work out with your partner. There are a lot of ways you can work out together, and the benefits are huge. Some of the main advantages are:
Spending time together in a healthy way—couples who carve out time to spend with each other working out have stronger, more positive relationships. Studies show that couples who take the time to exercise together are more successful at reaching their exercise goals, have more fun getting there, and are more likely to be consistent.
Sharing goals, dreams, and plans—exercising together and discussing fitness and health goals can bring you closer together as you plan and execute. Having shared goals means working together toward something as a team. This teamwork means finding ways to reach your goals together as well as getting around obstacles and setbacks. Also, having a sounding board in your partner is helpful when you want to discuss and visualize your goals.
Accountability—sharing goals means you’re in a partnership. Being accountable to someone you’re already committed to is another way to strengthen your relationship. It may be relatively easy to let yourself down when you don’t feel like working out or want to throw in the towel, but it’s a different ballgame when you’re accountable to your partner. You’re less likely to be cavalier about disappointing each other. When you’re supporting each other, letting your partner down will be something you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
Achieving goals together—what a great feeling when the two of you have worked hard toward some common fitness goals and you reach them! This shared fitness success can foster a sense of camaraderie and cohesiveness that you wouldn’t experience if you’d simply achieved the same goals on your own. This can spur you on toward bigger mutual goals in the future.
Emotional bonding and amping up attractiveness—studies also show that working out with your partner can make you more attractive to each other. As you build your bodies in sync with one another, your emotional and physical ties also grow stronger. The more you work out together and realize mutual fitness and health goals, the more your confidence will build, and those healthy, happy feelings will be attributed to your time with your partner.
Try These Fun & Easy Workouts for Couples
It’s always important to start with a good warm-up. You can warm up on your own or bond over some easy warm-ups for couples. Start with a five- to ten-minute walk on the treadmill or a session on a bike or elliptical to get your heart rate up. Next, stretch your body lightly with these yoga warm-ups for couples.
Partner Stretch #1—sit on the ground with your backs touching. Next, have partner one lift their arms into the air and extend them as high as they can and then lean backward onto partner two while partner two leans forward into a stretch as far as they can go. Move back to the starting position and then repeat but in the opposite direction. You can start by sitting cross-legged, and as your body warms up and you get more flexible, try these stretches with your legs straight.
Partner Stretch #2—start with partner one lying on the ground on their back with their legs straight and arms by their sides. Next, lift the right leg and let partner two grab the foot and lift the leg upward, gently stretching the hamstrings. Hold for a count of five and then repeat on the opposite side.
Next, bend at the knee, bring the knee to the chest, and have partner two push down gently on the shin, allowing for a good stretch through the hips. Repeat on the opposite side and then switch places with your partner and go through the stretches again.
One quick caveat: Make sure you’re communicating with your partner as you stretch. The stretch should feel good. You don’t want to overstretch or push past your edge. The goal isn’t to see how much you can stretch but rather to allow you to relax into a deeper, more enjoyable stretch. If you feel any discomfort, ask your partner to back off immediately.
Once you’re fully warmed up, it’s time to get into the meat of your workouts. Try some of these partner exercises or create your own.
Rotational Squats with Ball Pass—start by squatting down with your backs touching each other with partner one holding a medicine ball. Partner one twists to the right while partner two twists to the left to hand off the medicine ball. Next, remaining in the squat position, twist to your opposite sides to pass the ball back to your partner. Repeat.
Partner Planks with High-Fives—start by getting into a plank position while facing each other (head-to-head). You can do these either while resting on your forearms or using straight arms. Simultaneously, reach forward with your right hand to high-five each other. Return your hand to the ground, pause for a count of five, and then reach out with the left hand to high-five each other. Keep it going until you have reached 30 seconds to one minute, and then rest.
Wall Squats with Partner Triceps Dips—with this exercise, you’ll take turns doing triceps dips. To start, have partner one squat down against a wall until their legs are at a 90-degree angle. Facing away from the wall, have partner two place their hands on partner one’s knees and, bending at the elbows, do triceps dips using partner one’s legs for balance and support. Do as many as you can, and then switch positions.
Wheelbarrow Pushups—these are a fun (and challenging) partner exercise. Start with partner one on the floor in a pushup position and have partner two stand behind and grab their ankles, bringing them up to hip level (balancing one leg along each hip). Partner one performs as many pushups as possible, and then the partners can switch positions.
Leg Push Aways—this will tax your abdominals. Start with partner one lying on the ground, face up, legs outstretched, and arms by their sides. Partner two will stand above partner one’s head. Partner one will grab partner two’s ankles as they lift their straight legs toward partner two, and partner two will gently push them away. As their legs get pushed away, partner one should tighten their abs and control the descent of their legs before bringing them back up for another push away. Do 15 – 20 repetitions and then switch positions and repeat.
These exercises are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun and easy couple’s workouts. Your imagination is your only limit. You can also try working out indirectly with a partner by going on walks and hikes, biking, rock climbing, dancing, paddle boarding, tennis, pickleball, weight training together, and more!
And there’s more good news when it comes to training with a partner. Even working out with friends or other “gym regulars” can help you bond through fitness. The benefits are not reserved exclusively for couples.