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 you’ll 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.
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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.
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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 @kristina_gangthewolf
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.
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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!
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3. 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.
4. The Sit n’ Twist via @royceasana
Team up to make thoracic twists a little more interesting! Be to keep your posture upright and twist gently for a relaxing stretch.
5. Double Boat via @evolutionyoganc
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
6. 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.
7. Partner Lunges via @eshannz
Weighted lunges just got a little more fun. Make sure to keep your knee from going over your toes when lunging forward for proper alignment!
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.
9. Elevated Push-Ups via @dailymuscle
Expect to get some funny looks if you attempt this exercise in public! But, it’s a sure-fire way to add an extra challenge to standard push-ups.
10. Front Bird Pose via @theyogafamily
The front bird (or airplane!) move can develop core strength and communication. For more advanced couples, try doing a few leg presses with your partner.
Till Death Do Us Part
11. Curved Handstand via @gypsetgoddess
Hearts may be the shape of Valentine’s Day, but this handstand 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 Lotus via @bryceyoga
Flexibility and balance are the keys to success for this beautiful yoga move.
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. Double Bow via @robinmartinyoga
Yes, one of these ladies is doing a bow on the other one’s feet. Holy balance! Don’t try this at home, folks.
17. Tree Topper via @moderntarzan
If you think tree pose is a walk in the park, we challenge you to do one on someone else!
18. Backbends for Three 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 Curls via @dailyburn
Core strength allows this woman to stay straight while her partner does a few bicep curls. Who needs weights when you can curl with a friend?
20. Double Backbends via @laurasykora
Last but not least, when you can’t choose just one BFF, there’s power in threes with this unconventional double backbend with a spiderman on the wall. (Do NOT try this at home!)
Originally posted February 2014. Updated February 2016.