Working out with a partner is a great way to make exercise a social activity, but its benefits actually go far beyond that. People whose partners are active spend more time being active themselves – and exercising with a partner tends to improve both individuals’ performance. Here are three ways to be active with a partner that are both fun and functional:
Partner Bodyweight Workout
Doing bodyweight exercises with a partner allows for greater range of motion and additional stability. For people new to strength training, partner workouts can be especially effective because when one partner adopts a new healthy behavior, the other partner is more likely to follow suit. Then both benefit, since resistance training builds lean muscle mass, improves bone strength, reduces body fat and boosts metabolism.
There are many ways to use a partner in typical bodyweight exercises. Counter-balance each other on a squat, or provide assistance with dips and static hangs. To make exercises more difficult, add resistance for your partner in push-ups, pull-ups, squats and lunges.
Fitness courses that include obstacles like climbing walls, muddy fields and giant slides have recently surged in popularity. Although they’re typically marketed as team-building events, going through one with your partner can improve your romantic relationship as well. In a study published in 2000 in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,” couples who completed an obstacle course together reported greater relationship satisfaction than those who participated in more mundane activities.
Dancing with a partner is an incredible workout that can improve muscle tone, strength and overall endurance. It’s also associated with better flexibility, coordination, agility, balance, confidence and mental functioning. A unique benefit of dance is its association with human touch. Incorporating touch into an activity can mean increased compassion, stronger bonding and lower stress levels.
Dance schools, health clubs and community centers commonly offer dance lessons. After learning the basics, you can practice with your partner anytime with an open space and some music.