Fun Partner Exercises

Fun Partner Exercises


Jessica Matthews, ACE-certified Personal Trainer: Exercising with a partner can add excitement and variety to your workout program. Here are a few fun, interactive exercises that you can do with a friend or a loved one. Medicine ball v-sit with pass and rotation. Sitting tall with the knees bent, heels on the ground, both partners recline back slightly. Maintaining this position, the person with the medicine ball rotates in each direction, while the partner mirrors the movement. Returning to the starting position, the ball is passed to the partner, who then repeats the sequence, rotating once in each direction, then passing the ball back. Throughout the movement, keep the core and abdominal muscles engaged to prevent any arching in the low back. A variation of this exercise, which can be done in a smaller space, is a progression of the seated medicine ball trunk rotation, in which the partners sit side-by-side. Mid-row with tubing. With the tubing intertwined, one handle in each hand, stand facing your partner with the feet hip distance apart and the arms fully extended. Pushing the hips back, lower to a squat position, keeping the abdominals engaged and the back flat. Maintaining this position, slowly pull the tubing, driving the elbows straight back with the palms facing in. As you pull, squeeze the shoulder blades down and back. Lunge with chest pass. Stand facing your partner with the feet hip-width apart. Starting with the medicine ball at chest level, the person with the ball lunges forward, and, using a chest pass, passes the ball to the partner, who is performing a backwards lunge. As you switch and repeat this exercise, remember to initiate the lunge movement by pushing the hips backwards first, before lowering the thigh parallel to the ground. As you lunge forward, the heel of the front foot should strike the ground first, followed by the rest of the foot. Yoga tree with unfixed support. Standing side-by-side, arms’ length apart, both partners extend their inside arm until the fingers are touching. Gazing forward, partners shift the weight onto the inside foot while lifting the opposite foot off the mat and placing it on the inside of the standing leg. Using one another for support, partners press the palms together and extend both arms out to shoulder height. Continue to maintain balance by grounding down through all four corners of the standing foot. There are three foot variations for tree: Opening the knee to the side, the first option is to draw the heel to the inside of the ankle, keeping the toes on the ground. The second option is to draw the foot to the inside of the calf, avoiding the knee joint. And the third option is to use the hand as a guide to bring the foot to the inner thigh. Partner tree can also be performed with prayer hands. Standing side-by-side, shift the weight to the inside foot, open the opposite knee to the side, and choose one of the foot variations. Once situated, partners extend their inside arm up, palms to touch. The outside hand then draws across the midline of the body, palms joining, forming prayer hands at center. Gaze forward and continue to ground down through all four corners of the standing foot. To maintain this pose, be mindful of pressing the foot into the standing leg, while simultaneously pressing the leg into the foot. For more exercise demonstrations, workout ideas, and fitness tips, visit acefitness.org.

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