Put aside that chocolate box, there’s a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! While dark chocolate can be a tasty source of antioxidants, exercising with your partner or a friend will release feel-good endorphins that can lead to a healthier relationship in more ways than one. When you work out in tandem, you’ll share an exercise “high,” due to increased serotonin in the brain, and build trust with your partner. Plus, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone — buddying up has been shown to boost exercise motivation by up to 100 percent.
Ready to get sweaty? From squats to push-ups and crazy acroyoga poses, we’ve rounded up 20 partner exercises you should (and some you shouldn’t!) try at home. With help of a few of our favorite fitness gurus on Instagram, we’ve got just the moves to strengthen your bond! And if we missed any of your favorites, let us know in the comments below.
Note: When attempting these moves, listed roughly from beginner to advanced, make sure to choose only those that are appropriate for you and your partner’s current fitness levels.
1. Double Tree Pose via @yogini_kristina
With your hips touching at the sides, get into tree pose to stretch your hips and improve your posture. Hold for a few breaths and then switch sides.
2. Squats in Sync via @gypsetgoddess
Getting low with each squat is a must if you want to truly challenge your quads and glutes. Gazing into each other’s eyes — that’s optional!
3. Best Friend Lunges via @dailyburn
Face each other and alternate with forward and backward lunges. Just remember to alternate legs so you get a balanced burn!
4. Double Dancer Pose via @yogabeyond
For more advanced yogis, the double dancer pose can be a nice way to stretch out while helping one another balance.
5. The Dip N’ Sit via @carlyd53
Team up to make wall sits and tricep dips a little more interesting! Be sure the partner doing tricep dips puts his or her hands on their buddy’s knees, not quads.
6. Double Boat via @nathyogini
Straighten your legs with the soles of your feet touching for a nice hamstring stretch when you buddy up for this yoga pose.
Ready to Meet the Parents
7. Bodyweight Partner Press via @crossfit
Want to take your love to new heights? Try this move only if you know that you or your partner can comfortably press the other’s bodyweight.
8. Wheel with Partner via @jensinkler
This advanced move, where the standing partner provides a base of support and pushes down on the bridging partner’s hips, will help improve your wheel or bridge pose.
Till Death Do Us Part
11. Square Pose via @gypsetgoddess
Hearts may be the shape of Valentine’s Day, but this square shape exercise will give your shoulders and core a serious workout.
12. Double Dare Crunches via @mankofit
Since this requires superhuman core strength, do not proceed unless both parties possess abs of steel — and an insane amount of trust.
13. Flying Bow via @bryceyoga
Flexibility and balance are the keys to success for this beautiful yoga move. To modify, have the partner on the bottom support the shoulders of the other partner for extra stability.
14. Helicopter Sequence via @yogabeyond
Make sure to enlist an extra friend to serve as a spotter for this daredevil move that requires lots of trust, strength and communication!
15. Flag with Partner in Pike via @progressive_calisthenics
Core and upper body strength are essential for the flag pose, and you can make it even more challenging by having someone else do a pike position while hanging on!
16. Hangle Dangle via @robinmartinyoga
Yes, that man is holding up a lady with just his foot. Holy flexibility! Don’t try this at home, folks.
17. Partner Handstand Push-Ups via @progressive_calisthenics
Ready to turn things upside down? If you think handstand push-ups are a walk in the park, we challenge you to do them on someone else!
18. Backbends for Two via @mankofit
These ladies make defying gravity look easy, but this move requires flexibility and stability in spades. Make sure both partners are secure before slowly leaning into the backbend.
19. Partner Bicycles via @santanaiglesias
Core strength allows this woman to do some air biking. Who needs spin class when you can ride your imaginary bike with a friend?
20. Three-Person Front Bird via @laurasykora
Last but not least, when you can’t choose just one BFF, there’s power in threes with this unconventional human pyramid. (Do NOT try this at home!)