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The Couples’ Workout

Posted on: by Women's Health

Think you can’t work out at home because you don’t have any equipment? Well, you probably have everything you need, you just don’t know it. Just grab your other half and you’re ready to go. This full-body workout, compiled by exercise physiologist Dr Lisa Micklesfield, is designed to use two people’s body weights as resistance to build and strengthen both your muscles and his. “It doesn’t matter if your boyfriend is 30kg heavier than you because you use your own body weight as resistance, rather than his,” says Micklesfield.

Lateral Arm Raise


Works shoulder muscles and upperback

Stand with your arms at your sides and your feet hip-width apart. Have your partner placehis hands on your arms, just above your elbows. Lift your arms out to the sides for a count of five while he pushes down on your arms (A), resisting your movement, until your arms are in line with your shoulders. This works your deltoid muscles and his arm muscles. When your arms are level with your shoulders, have himmove his hands to under your arms, just above your elbows (B). Pull your arms down for a count of five while he resists your movement. This works your lats and his biceps. That’s one rep. Do 10, then swap around. Do this twice.

Quick Tip: Bend your knees slightly and engage your core to enhance stability.

Push-up With Clap


Works chest and upper arms

Face your partner in the push-up position, hands shoulder-width apart (A). Bend your elbows, keeping your back straight, until your chin is justoffthe ground. Push up until your arms are straight, then clap your right hands together (B). With both hands on the floor, lower yourself back to start. Repeaton the left.That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15.

Quick Tip: If you can’t do a push-up with straight legs, rest on your knees instead.

Pull-up With Squat


Works quadriceps and biceps

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet about 30cm away from your bottom. Have your partner stand in front of you, his toes nearly touching yours. Have him squat down, keeping his back straight and heels on the floor, and extend an arm towards you. Grab hold of his hand (A) and allow him to pull you into a standing position (this will work his quads as well as his biceps). At the same time, push yourself off the floor with your legs (this works your quads and glutes) (B). That’s one rep. Do eight to 10and then swap over so that you lift him.

Abdominal Curl


Works abdominal muscles

Start with both youand your partner lying on your backs, knees bent and feet flat on
the floor, facing each other with your toes touching. Have him holdamedicine ball to
his chest toadd resistance to the sit-up (A). Do a sit-up at the same time. At the top,
take the ball fromhim (B). Return to your starting position, then sit up again and pass
the ball back to him. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 20.

Quick Tip: Too hard? Have your partner hold your feet while you curl up into a sitting position, then lower yourself back down. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 20.

Leg Press With Squat


Works quadriceps and hamstrings

Lie on the floor behind your partner with your feet resting against his bottom and your legs straight. Your knees should not be locked (A). Bend your legs to take most of his body weightwhile he squats (B). Straighten your legs while he stands up again, both of you using his body weight for resistance. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15, then swap.



Works quadriceps and hamstrings

Stand facing your partner and hold his hands or wrists, whichever is more comfortable (A). Squat down at the same time as he does, leaning back so your knees do not move in front of your toes (B).When your thighs are parallel to the ground, straighten up. Hold your partner for support so you don’t fall backwards. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15.

Resistance-band Adduction


Works inner-thigh adductor muscles

Tie a resistance band into a loop and stand next to your partner.Wrap the band around the leg that is closest to your partner, and have him do the same to the leg closest to you. Hold your partner’s shoulder for support (A). Keeping your backs straight and supporting legs slightly bent,move your inner legs across the front of your supporting legs (B), then return them to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15; turn around and repeat on the other side.

Resistance-band Abduction


Works gluteal abductor muscles

Stand side by side with one resistance band tied to each of your outer legs. Hold your partner’s shoulder for support (A). Keeping your backs straight and supporting legs slightly bent, slowly raise your outer legs to the side (B), then bring them back down. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15, then turn around and repeat with the other leg.

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