Grab your roommate, romantic partner, or friend and try this living room partner workout. These workouts are fun, fresh and can be done in any size apartment. Some require equipment—like a dumbbell or kettlebell—but could be substituted with something else your already have lying around your apartment.
Send this to your workout buddy and plan a workout sesh—stat. You'll probably burn just as many calories laughing as you do moving through these exercises.
Partner Squat with Kettlebell Pass
Start off back to back with your partner. Make sure you're wearing shoes and that they don't slip, advises Kym Nolden, CPT, NCSF, NASM, and AFAA, exercise specialist at Hearst Towers in New York City, who's taught kettlebell group fitness classes. Walk your feet about 8-12 inches in front of you, leaning against your buddy's back for support. You could start out simply holding this squat position for a lower body challenge.
If you want harder strength challenge, one of you will hold a kettlebell with both hands while you're back to back and lowered into the squat. Then, pass it to one side for the partner to grab with both hands. They'll pass it across their body to the other side where you'll grab the bell again.
Tip: Don't have a kettlebell? Swap in a gallon water jug or a heavy book.
"Simply squatting in this position is good for the quads, glutes and the core," says Nolden. "You'll get upper body, shoulders, and more core work by adding the kettlebell pass." Set a timer for one minute or aim for a certain number of reps to do. Take a breather by standing up in between timed passes. When you squat again, pass the kettlebell in the other direction.
Plank Hold with High Fives
You and your buddy will start out in full plank positions, toes on the floor, facing one another about a foot away from each other, suggests San Francisco-based, Paul Wright, NASM Certified Personal Trainer at DIAKADI. Each of you will reach your right arm off the ground and reach across to high five each other, then place that arm back down. Repeat with the other arm. If you want a bigger challenge, lift the opposite leg a few inches off the floor at the same time. "When you're doing core work and lifting an arm or leg up or both, you're stabilizing more core muscles," says Wright.
Dumbbell Pass Under Planks
Rest a 7- or 10-pound dumbbell behind your right hand and outside your body in the full plank position. Your partner will line up next to you along your left side, both facing the same direction. "Just doing the plank itself is awesome because it pretty much works your entire body," says Nolden. "Then, add a little bit more shoulder stability and mobility by passing the weight along underneath."
Tip: If you don't have a dumbbell, try sliding a heavy book underneath you.
Reach underneath your body with your left hand to grab the dumbbell (or object) and drag it across the floor underneath your chest towards your partner. He or she will grab it with their left hand and drag the dumbbell underneath them to the outside of their body. Then, after placing their left hand down on the floor, they'll reach for the dumbbell with their right hand, dragging it across towards you where you will reach for it with your right hand.
"You have to lift up enough in your core to stabilize on one arm to be able to move a weight to the side and then hold while waiting for your partner to move the weight to their side and then move the back and shift hands," says Nolden. Try to do this for 30 seconds to start, working up to a minute or a certain number of reps.
Remember doing these races outdoors as a kid? We're bringing them back because they're a fun way to build strength. The person on the bottom who's "walking" on their hands is challenging their stability and core, says Wright.
One partner will get on their hands and knees and their partner will stand behind them. Your partner will grab your shins and hold them about mid-thigh height on their body while your weight is going to be on your hands. Start "walking" using your hands, bracing your core, and keeping your body in line—as if you were in a plank.
"The bottom person will have to keep everything tight," says Wright. "You're getting anterior core movement [think of it as your core's keystone], engagement of the front core wall, and you're building shoulder stability," he says. If you're in a small apartment, "walk" the length then turn around and walk back. Switch roles with your buddy.
Wall Squat Timed Challenge
A friendly competition never hurt anyone, right? Well, maybe your quads when you try to outlast your partner during a wall sit squatting challenge. You'll both start with backs against a wall, and then walk your feet out in front until your knees are at 90-degree angles and thighs are parallel to the floor, advises Wright. (If you have bad knees you might want to skip this exercise.) Set a stopwatch and see who can hold this position the longest. Aim for 30 to 45 seconds if you're just starting out, trying to work up to a minute or longer. Best out of three wins bragging rights!
Photos: Christine Han | Wardrobe Stylist: Shea Daspin | Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh | Hair/Makeup: Valissa Yoe