Photos: Instagram @timrobards, @rachaelfinch
Most people wouldn’t dare get their partner a gym membership for Valentine’s Day – but what if we told you that it could deepen your bond and mutual affection?
Studies show that after couples participated in an exciting physical challenge or activity, they felt more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner. It might just be the endorphins… but regardless, any mood-boosting, love-creating, calorie-blasting activity is a worthwhile one.
And exercise is a perfect example of the type of invigorating activity that can have these positive effects. The sweaty hands, racing pulse, shortness of breath all mirror the thrill of romantic attraction, when you think about it.
Here Kate Allott, the National Fitness Manager at Anytime Fitness has put together a workout to benefit both your health and your relationship, with just seven nerve-busting moves.
Back to Back Squats with Rotational Medicine Ball Pass
Back to Back Squats require constant willpower from each partner. If one of you stops the motion, the exercise can’t be completed. “You have to motivate and support each other,” says Kate.
- Stand back to back with your partner with your feet out in front of you
- Squat down together and ensure your knees are over your ankles
- Slowly twist to one side, handing the ball off to your partner (who should be turning towards you)
- Then twist to the other side as they turn to hand the ball back to you
- Continue passing the ball in this direction for 30 seconds, and then repeat the exercise in reverse
Push Up High Five
- Face your partner arms length apart. Get in push-up position, hands directly under your shoulders, legs extended and abs engaged
- Do a push-up, bending elbows 90 degrees. Push back up to starting position and give each other a low five, extending arm straight out
- Be sure to keep your hips as square as possible at all times
- Complete reps until fatigued
Plyometric Lunge“This exercise requires precise coordination with your partner, making you perfectly in sync.” Says Kate.
- Stand facing your partner, about an arm’s length apart
- Lunge forward with your right leg as your partner lunges forward with their right at the same time, your legs parallel to each other
- In unison, jump and switch legs, trying to stay the same distance from one another
- Complete 10-12 reps, for 3 sets
Wheelbarrow Pushup with Squat
- Start in the top of a pushup, and have your partner hold your feet in their hands
- Brace your core, and do as many pushups as you can while maintaining form
- As you lower yourself down, your partner should simultaneously lower into a squat, keeping his or her arms straight and engaging their butt muscles
- Each of you should do 10-20 reps in each position
Squat and Dip
- Have your partner to a wall squat (lean back against a wall and slide down the wall into a squat until their thighs are parallel to the floor and their knees are directly over their ankles)
- Your partner’s arms should be raised out in front, with their shoulders pressed against the wall
- Meanwhile, you should stand 12 to 18 inches in front of your partner, facing away from them. Squat, then rest you palms on their knees, fingers facing forward to do the dips
- Lower yourself by bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle and ensure they point back towards your partner (you should feel it in the back of your arms), then press up back to start
- Do 20 reps as your partner holds his or her squat, then switch positions
Crunch and Pass
- Sit on the floor facing each other, legs straight and feet touching
- Bend knees slightly and place one foot inside your partners feet, while they do the same
- With one partner holding a medicine ball, both crunch simultaneously
- Pass the ball at the top of each crunch
(Bonus for our super fit couples!) Partner Pistol Squat
- Stand and face your partner, arm’s length apart
- Hold your partner’s right hand in fireman’s grip
- Raise your right foot off the floor slightly with leg straight, so the outside of your right ankle faces your partners
- Slowly lower into a squat simultaneously and slowly come back to standing
- Try 5 reps on each leg, remember the key to this one is control!