Here's the sad truth: most of us said our goodbyes to the gym some random week in March last year. No one saw it coming – or knew what was going to happen next.
Now, it’s easy enough to pull together some kind of routine when you’re working out alone at home, but what if your routine consisted of working out with someone else? Maybe you spotted each other at the bench press or pushed each other on the treadmill. Well, never fear. Gym or no gym, there's a whole lot of highly effective couple workouts that require minimal equipment and can be done as easily in your backyard as your local gym!
Here's our list of the top 9 couple workouts for home or the gym:
#1: BACK-TO-BACK WALL SIT
This is how you do a back-to-back wall sit.
Wall sits are great for relieving lower back pain and improving your quads. The back-to-back wall sit is a slight variation to the typical wall sit. It involves two people and requires zero equipment - making it the perfect couple's workout at home.
Start off with both of you standing back-to-back. Slide your legs 2 feet away from your back, and slowly start to lower yourself as your knees bend. Hold the position once your thighs are 90 degrees to your legs and start the timer. Remember: If either one of you gives up before the other, both of you will fall.
Tip: Decide how long you want to hold the position and place the timer somewhere you can see. This will help both of you to maintain proper form while you wait for the timer to run out.
#2: WALL SIT AND TRICEPS DIP
This is how you do a wall sit and triceps dip.
Another variation of the wall sit, this one targets several muscle groups at once - arms, quads, and your core. This is an exercise right out of the couple's workout handbook. One person leans against the wall in a typical wall-sit manner. At the same time, the other supports themselves on person 1 - using their knees as the base for their triceps dip. The extra weight on the legs challenges your quads even further. Once you're done, swap positions and repeat.
Tip: Make the wall sit a little more difficult by extending your legs further. Increase the intensity of the triceps dips by moving slower, increasing the time under tension.
#3: JUMP SQUATS HIGH FIVE!
This is how you do jump squats high five.
Squats are tough... jump squats are tougher... but jump squats high five, oh boy, you’re in for a treat. This is a highly effective but demanding couple's workout.
Start off by facing each other - get into a squat position, arms fully extended and legs shoulder-width apart. Jump as high as you can, bringing your arm up and high-fiving your partner with both hands. Retract your arms back as you land, immediately jump and high-five again to maintain that momentum and timing. Try to do 3 sets of 10 reps each. Don't beat yourself up if you start to lose sync by the third set. Just keep on going!
The great thing about this move is that, since this workout requires no additional equipment - it's the ideal couple's workout for the gym and at home.
Tip: Avoid drinking water between sets, so that you don't end up feeling sick.
#4: FACE TO FACE HIGH KNEE JUMPS
This is how you do face to face high knee jumps.
Start by facing off each other. Hold out your arms at shoulder-height. Now, bring your right leg so that it touches your hand. As soon as your right leg touches the ground, repeat with the left leg, and alternate. Jump vigorously for 30 seconds and then slower for 15 seconds or rest. Do three such sets for maximum results. Try mixing this one up with other bodyweight cardio exercises for a great HIIT workout blast. High knee jumps are a great way to burn fat while working out your heart and lungs.
Facing off each other will motivate both of you to get in those extra 3 or 5 seconds, making this the ideal couple's workout. As an added benefit, the movement involved in this workout helps to get rid of any muscle stiffness you might have from being seated all day or from that killer glute workout you did the other day.
Tip: This is all about being explosive and creating as much power as possible. Remember, most of that power will come from the large muscles in your lower body (glutes, hamstrings, quads) so be sure to be fully warmed up when performing this exercise.
#5: BUTT KICKERS AND JUMPING JACKS
One of our favorite couple workouts - this one can be done side-by-side or facing each other. One partner is going to do the jumping jacks, while the other does butt-kickers (classy name, right?). After each set, rest for 10-15 seconds, swap and repeat.
Butt kickers: Stand up straight. Hold out your arms, with your elbows pointing downwards. Bring your right leg backwards so that your foot touches your butt. Make sure that your thigh does not move. Repeat with the left leg, and continue to alternate these movements for 30 seconds. Think of it as static jogging; it's the same form, just on the spot!
Jumping jacks: Stand up straight with your arms extended by your sides. Bend your knee slightly and jump. As you jump, stretch your arms up above your head and spread your legs to shoulder-width. As your feet touch the ground, jump again to the starting position, bringing your arms to your side and your legs together.
Tip: This might look easy but it certainly isn’t! Exercises like these create lots of movement in your extremities so be sure to keep that core nice a stable to create a solid base.
#6: THE PARTNER SQUATS
This is how you do partner squats.
The perfect workout for couples who want to tone those glutes. Start off by holding each other's hands, fingers intertwined, slowly getting into the squatting position while simultaneously holding hands. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, hold this position for a few seconds, and then explosively return to the initial position. Once up, repeat 10 times for each set. Do 3 sets for maximum results.
Tip: If you find it difficult to do 10 reps in each set, try to close the distance between each other, or hold the position for a shorter time period.
#7: PLANK AND JUMP
This is how you do a plank and jump.
This workout for couples is the best when it comes to combining core strength with cardio. One of the partners holds the plank for a minute, while the other jumps next to them. These could be any kind of jumps, lateral jumps, fake rope skipping, etc. Once the minute’s over, swap positions and repeat! Make sure you do not rest between stopping jumping and starting the plank - this is what makes the workout challenging!
Tip: Spice this workout up even further by increasing the plank time or jumping more explosively.
#8: PARTNER BURPEES
This is how you do partner burpees.
In this exercise, both partners stand side-by-side. One of them does the exercise, while the other acts as the PT, egging them on and encouraging them to keep pushing. As partner A rests, partner B does the exercise as partner A cheers them on.
To do this couple's workout, start off in a squatting position, then place your hands in front of you. Kick your feet back so you're in the plank position. From here, drop down so that you almost touch the ground, then push yourself up from your arms, jump your feet forwards, and jump straight up to complete the exercise. Repeat 10 times for each set.
Tip: An absolute killer and one to really get your heart rate up! A competitive AMRAP (as many reps as possible) is always fun here!
#9: GLUTE HAM RAISE
This is how you do a glute ham raise.
The perfect couple workout at home! This move includes one person acting as the support while the other does the exercise. Start by putting your knees on the floor, your legs parallel to the ground and body upright. The other person will hold your feet down as you do this exercise. Then slowly move your body towards the ground in a controlled fashion - when you're about to touch the ground, slowly move back to your initial position. Do 10 reps for each set and exchange positions with your partner.
Tip: One of the most underrated movements! The GHR is wonderful for developing total posterior chain strength, especially in the hamstrings and glutes. These muscles are really important in creating a strong, supportive lower back so make sure to keep your core tight and glutes squeezed hard throughout the movement.
As you can see, there are plenty of great workout moves for couples to do at home. While it’s not as straight forward as working out from home alone, putting together a routine with your significant other or workout buddy is simple enough when you have the right moves to work with. What are your favourite couples workout to do from home? Were there any moves you think we missed? Follow us on Instagram and let us know! @myoplantnutrition