Everything is better when you share it with a friend! And workouts are no exception. Whether you’re training for a big goal, or just love to work out for fun, doing it as a duo brings extra energy.
In honour of World Friendship Day (aw!) we’ve rounded up 8 awesome ways to workout with your amigo. Whether you’re cardio queens, group class addicts, or at home in the weight room, you’ll find something to enjoy here.
We’d love to hear your training partner stories!
Circuit training is one of the most fun ways to burn serious calories. You know what makes circuits even better? A friend. The beauty of circuit training is that you can include any kind of exercises – body weight, cardio, HIIT, dumbbells, kettlebells. You and your amigo want to do it? Add that exercise in.
How should you design a killer circuit? We reckon the best way is to choose one lower-body exercise, one upper-body, one compound or full-body, and one cardio element. This might look like goblet squats, overhead presses, weighted lunges, and skipping. But there are tons of ways to create a circuit. Put your heads together and get planning!
But hang on, how do you make it into a partner circuit? There are two ways to do it. You could both do the same section of the circuit at the same time and move through the circuit together. Or you could start on a different segment and encourage each other through the exercises.
Now get your heads together and choose those exercises for your circuit!
Partner ab workouts
Want to tone your waist and strengthen your abs? Core training can be a teensy bit dull (just being honest). But turning an ab workout into a partner ab workout makes it fun – and means you can do a ton of different exercises! How about trying these?
Plank hand taps: both of you get into a plank position facing each other. Lift one hand at a time and touch your left to their right hand, then your right to their left hand.
Med ball sit ups: sit on the floor facing each other, one of you holding a light medicine ball. Both perform a sit up in synchro, and pass the ball between you at the top.
Lying leg throws: your partner lies flat on their back, and you stand with your feet either side of their head. They perform a leg raise, bringing their feet right up to your chest level. You (gently) push their feet away from you towards the floor. They’ll feel the burn!
Plank med ball rolls: get into a high plank position (on your hands) alongside each other, about 3 feet apart. Roll a light medicine ball underneath your body and to your partner. They catch it with one hand, then roll it back to you using their outside hand.
What could be nicer than sharing some sunny outdoor cardio with a pal? Whether you love to run, cycle, hike, kayak, or SUP, make it a friend-date! You can push each other, motivate, and put the world to rights – all whilst getting fit.
Doing outdoor cardio with a friend is perfect if you have a big goal like training for a race or event. Accountability is such a huge part of achieving a goal. And what’s more motivating than knowing your buddy is out there waiting for you to show?
If you both use the same tracking app, you can tag each other and leave encouraging comments on each other’s workouts to keep the motivation high.
Pull up practice
Pull ups are one of the trickiest strength exercises to master. Know what makes it a lot easier? A good friend for (literal) support! If you’re determined to nail your first pull up, recruit your training buddy and go after it.
Here’s how they can help. Get them to stand behind you whilst you jump up and grab the pull ups bar or rig. As you hang there, have them take hold of your feet. Put your feet flat against their hips. Now as you start to do your pull up, you can press through your feet. Your partner can give you a little help (by holding your feet and giving you a stable base) or more help (by moving their body forward to give you a push).
Give it a go and see how your pull ups progress!
There are lots of ways to do weight training, from bodybuilding-style to big compound lifts like a powerlifter, through to the technical Olympic lifts of the snatch and clean & jerk. Training with weights is amazing for your physique and your health. It builds lean muscle tissue, helps burn fat, boosts your metabolism, and even protects your bone density. We stan!
So how does weight training with a partner make it better?
Spotting each other: do you know how to spot another weight lifter in the gym? We don’t mean how to see them from across the room. We’re talking about spotting, the important technique of helping someone lift heavy weights so they can keep making progress. We wrote a whole blog about how to be a great spotter for your training partner. Take a look here.
Feedback on form: when you want to build muscle and get strong, it’s important to train with great technique. You and your training partner can watch each other lift and give feedback on form so you keep making great progress.
Sharing equipment: the gym can get crowded, so why not share popular pieces of equipment? By “working in” with a friend, you basically get double the training done. Working in means one person does their reps during the other person’s rest period. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Group cycling classes
OK, you don’t need a friend for spinning or group cycling. But it shifts the fun up a gear! If you love the pulsing music and atmospheric lighting of a group cycle studio and live for the sweat, find a friend who shares your passion.
Finding someone who loves your favourite class (and instructor) as much as you do is true friendship goals. You can go to the gym together, grab your usual pair of bikes, and motivate each other through that high-octane class. Did somebody say adrenalin?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. The clue is in the name: this style of training is intense. We’re going to be honest, it’s hard to push the energy that high when you’re training solo. Find a friend who’s hot for HIIT and you’ll be able to motivate each other above and beyond.
HIIT workouts can be done “you go I go” style (where one partner works as the other one is resting) or with both of you doing the same exercise at the same time.
Or you can pair two exercises and do one each before you switch. A great way to do this is pairing a cardio exercise (sprints, skipping, burpees) and a strength exercise (front squats, push press, lunges).
Discuss with your partner to figure out which method will push you both to reach your full potential.
Video-call home workouts
Lockdown couldn’t shake our friendships! We just had to take things virtual. That included working out with friends. If it worked for you then, why not carry on?
Home workouts don’t have to replace gym sessions completely. They can be an amazing addition on those oh-so-busy days when the convenience of home makes more sense. It’s the best of both worlds.
Create excitement for your video workout session by sharing ideas with your friend over message until you both find one you love. Clear your space, gather your kit, then hit that video call button and get to work. Don’t forget your smiley sweaty screenshot at the end! Here are some great home exercises for the upper body to get you started.
Have our partner workout ideas inspired you to reconnect with a fitness friend? Or try something different with your gym bestie?
Grab your training buddy and celebrate World Friendship Day in the best way you two know how – by putting on your active wear and working up a sweat!