The best piece of workout equipment isn’t some u-shaped barbell or breathable shirt, but another human being. These two resistance band workouts require you to tap in your tag team partner and act as each other’s anchoring system and overall support. The bands keep tension on your muscles at all times, making for an effective and dynamic workout. And because you’ll be either holding the band for your partner or working out yourself, your muscles will always be engaged. If your spouse needs convincing, just mention that research shows that couples who exercise together on a regular basis are less likely to drop out of their fitness routine than those who exercise alone. Then bribe them with a post-workout back rub.
Resistance Band Partner Workout #1
How to Do It
This workout, created by Dan Gaz, wellness exercise specialist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester, MN., hits your entire body. Perform 8-12 repetitions, 2-3 sets per person for each exercise, alternating roles between sets.
Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand with the band behind you, held at the middle by your partner who is standing behind you. With your elbows at 90-degree angles, bring your arms to parallel to the floor. Step forward into a slight lunge. Press your hands forward away from your chest, extending both arms. Return your hands to the starting position. Step away from each other to add tension and make the exercise more challenging, but not so far that you lose good form.
Upper Back Row
Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand with the band in front of you, held at the middle by your partner who is standing in front of you. With your elbows straight, bring your arms in front of you so they are parallel to the floor. Step forward into a slight lunge. Pull your hands back, pinching your shoulder blades together and bending your elbows until they clear your ribcage. Return your hands to the starting position.
While facing your partner, both of you grasp a resistance band handle and step far enough away from each other that there is tension in the band. With knees slightly bent, both arms outstretched, and elbows straight, rotate away from your partner to the right, back to center, then to the left and back to center.
Hold the ends of the resistance band together in both hands with the band in front of you, held at the middle by your partner who is standing in front of you. Squat until your upper legs are parallel to the floor, then rise to standing. Combine a row to the top of the squat for a multi-joint exercise that will fatigue both your upper and lower body.
Partnered Resistance Band Circuit
How to Do It
Raphael Konforti, Youfit Health Clubs’ Fitness Education Coordinator, provided a circuit workout for you and your partner. Do each exercise for one minute total, switching with your partner at the 30 second mark. Do three rounds total.
Get into a pushup position with the resistance band around your waist. Your partner will hold the band to provide resistance. Bend your knees 90 degrees to move them below your hips. Keeping your back flat, crawl forward and backward on your hands and toes, moving your right hand and left foot together, then left hand and right foot.
Squat and Row
Set up for an Upper Back Row (see above), facing each other. Your partner moves into a squat while holding the middle of the resistance band. Perform rows as described above. The squat works your legs while the row works your back and biceps.
Standing Side Plank
Standing, hold the middle of the band with both hands directly in front of you. Your partner grabs the ends of the band. Hold your core tight as your partner pulls the band from side to side. This exercise targets your core; pulling the band from side to side should be a cardio booster.=
Side Hold High Knees
Stand with the resistance band around your waist, your partner at your side holding the ends of the band. Bring your knee up towards your chest and back down while your partner pulls on the band to disrupt your balance. Switch legs and repeat.