A lot of things in life are better when you do them together, with a partner. Whether it’s a friend, roommate, sibling, companion, spouse or your child, many life experiences are more enjoyable or even more successful when they’re shared. The same is true for getting healthy and losing weight. In fact, a British study of more than 3,700 couples found that when both partners made a healthy change, they had better results than when only one did.
This is exactly why we’ve created the Nutrisystem Partner Plan. There are so many benefits to having an accountability partner when it comes to staying on track.
In terms of exercising, it can be more fun when you work out with your partner. You’ll be more likely to pass the time, push yourself and possibly even have a more enjoyable experience. There’s a social aspect to it.
If you’re on the Nutrisystem Partner Plan, you might be looking for some exercise buddy workouts. Here are some effective ones to try.
1. Medicine Ball Workouts
A medicine ball, which is a weighted ball for exercise, can be a great tool for strength and endurance training. When you add a partner to your medicine ball workout, you can add in some tossing. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the “Side Shuffle with Medicine Ball Toss” works as partners stand four to five feet apart, shuffling laterally while tossing a medicine ball back and forth. Try to toss the ball at chest height. This raises the heart rate and burns calories while improving agility, balance and power.1
Planet Fitness recommends trying the “Overhead Pass with Squat” exercise with a medicine ball. Stand a few inches apart from your partner with your backs facing each other. Hold a medicine ball over your head, then pass it backwards to your workout buddy. You should both do a squat as your partner moves the ball down onto the floor, rolling the ball back to you between the legs. Return to starting position and switch places with your buddy after a few reps, says Planet Fitness.2
Another great medicine ball workout is a “Sit-Up Pass.” Planet Fitness explains that you and your partner should get in sit-up position with your backs on the floor, knees bent and feet flat. With one of you holding a medicine ball extended overhead, you should each do a sit-up at the same time. Pass the ball at the top of the move and lower back down to the starting position. Tap the medicine ball on the floor behind the head and repeat the move, passing the ball back and forth.2
In general, a medicine ball can be a great tool for partner workouts, even if you’re taking turns using it and encouraging one another. There are many different medicine ball workouts that you can find online and try. ACE lists many different suggestions on their website and blog.
2. Stability Ball Exercises
Just like a medicine ball, a stability ball can be a great exercise tool and is worth the investment. There are many partner exercises using a medicine ball—or you can encourage one another as you take turns using it. It’s also nice that it’s a relatively inexpensive piece of “equipment” that can be used at home.
Another great partner workout suggested by ACE is a “Stability Ball Squat Walk.” With a stability ball between you, each partner places their right hand on the ball at shoulder height. According to ACE, this engages the core and stabilizes the arm. Working together, lower yourselves into a squat simultaneously. You and your partner will then squat walk laterally in one direction. Switch arms and squat walk in the other direction.1
3. Body Weight Workouts
Unlike the first three, body weight exercises don’t require any equipment, making them easy to do anytime, anywhere.
Planet Fitness suggests several variations of common workouts that you can do with a partner. The “Push-Up With Shoulder Tap” starts with you and your partner facing each other in a high plank position. You should each do a push-up at the same time. When you get back to the starting position, you should each reach out and tap each other on the left shoulder with right hand. Repeat the move, alternating hands and shoulders.2
You can also make squats a partner workout by doing a “Body Weight Squat.” Stand facing your partner and grip each other’s forearms. Place your feet a little bit wider than your hips, then perform a squat together. Hold the squat for a second once your thighs are parallels to the ground, then repeat the move.2
ACE provides a great variation on the plank that allows both partners to get a great workout. They call it “Plank Tire Runs.” One person goes into plank position with their legs shoulder-distance apart. The second person completes a “tire run,” by jogging in-between the planking person’s legs—much like you would in a tire run. Complete the desired number of reps back and forth and then switch positions. The runner should go into plank position and the “planker” should become the runner.1
4. Battle Rope and Resistance Band Exercises
If you have access to a battle rope either at a gym or at home, this is another great tool that can be incorporated into partner workouts. You and your partner should stand on each end of the two ropes. One common workout is to “create waves” while you each alternate your arm movements.
But ACE suggests using the “Anchor Waves” exercise to switch things up a bit. One person serves as the “anchor” in plank position at the end of the battle ropes while the other person creates waves. Then switch positions and repeat.1
You can also use resistance bands in your partner workout routine. The “Squat Jump” utilizes two resistance bands. You and your partner will face each other holding one the end of one band in your right hand and the other in your left hand. Straighten your arms out to add tension. Perform a squat together, then jump up together, landing softly on your toes before repeating.2
5. Jog, Walk or Try a Class with Your Partner
Of course, any exercise can become a partner exercise when you bring your workout buddy along. It can make the experience so much more fun! Whether you’re going for a walk, run or hike—or maybe you’re trying out a fitness class—consider pairing up. You’ll be surprised at how much harder your push yourself as well as how much faster the time flies.
With many more people working out at home, you can include your partner in an at-home workout, too. That workout video will be so much more fun with your partner doing it along with you. Whether it’s yoga in the backyard or a dance cardio routine in your living room, you’re likely to get more out of it together.
*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.