Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Partner Exercises

In today’s society, people struggle to find enough time to complete work-related projects, enjoy their loved ones and also take good care of themselves.

Tubing Partner Exercises

Try these fun, effective partner exercises to build strength.

Mid-Row. Stand facing your partner. Intertwine the tubes, holding one handle each in your right and left hands. Back away from each other, arms fully extended, until there is some resistance on the tube. Begin in a squat stance with feet between hip and shoulder width apart. Slowly pull the tube, leading with your elbows, driving them backward. As you’re rowing backward, pinch your shoulder blades together and toward the ground. As you release your arms forward, squat toward the ground. Complete 1 set of 8–20 reps. This partner exercise helps improve posture.

External Rotation. Stand side-by-side with your partner, facing the same direction. Each of you holds one handle of one tube in your outside arm. Your outside elbow, bent at 90 degrees, is anchored at your waist. Keeping your upper arm at your side, slowly rotate your forearm away from your body. Complete 1 set of 8–20 reps for each arm. This partner exercise strengthens weak rotator cuff muscles.

Trunk Rotation. Stand facing your partner. Wrap the tubes around each other and each hold one handle in your right and left hands. Back away from each other until there is some light resistance on the tube. Contract your abdominals inward and maintain good posture throughout the entire exercise. Begin by rotating your torso one way while your partner rotates in the other direction. Slowly return to the starting position. Perform 8–20 reps on each side.

Lunge and Full-Body Rotation. Start facing sideways to your partner, holding one end of one tube in your hands. Lunge your outside leg (leg farthest away from your partner) forward while simultaneously rotating to the outside of your body. Press up and backward and do 8–20 reps one side; then repeat on the other side. Be sure that, while lunging, your front knee stays over your front foot and you always push from the leg in front. Both people lunge simultaneously.

Triceps Kickbacks. Stand facing your partner. Wrap the tubes around each other and each hold one handle in your right and left hands. Slowly bend forward at the hip while maintaining perfect posture and a long spine. Position both of your elbows up high and keep them there throughout the entire exercise. Your elbows will act as a hinge as you and your partner slowly straighten your arms backward. Your elbows should not move out of position. Slowly return to the starting position. Complete 1 set of 8–20 reps.

Medicine Ball Partner Exercises

Add some fun and power to clients’ workouts with these medicine ball partner exercises.

Partner Floor Slams. Start by standing upright and holding the medicine ball over your head. Keep your abdominals contracted throughout the entire exercise as you squat and throw the ball to the floor so that it bounces up toward your partner. Your partner catches the ball and quickly throws it back to you. Be sure you both maintain good posture. Continue for 60–120 seconds.

Single-Leg Partner Chest Pass. Stand facing your partner, each of you balancing on one leg. Keep your abdominals contracted and your body erect and stable. Pass the ball back and forth to each other using a basketball chest pass. Continue for 30–60 seconds on each leg.

Kneeling Partner Twist. Kneel back-to-back with your partner. Keep your
abdominals contracted and maintain perfect posture. Slowly twist to one side and pass the ball off to your partner. Return to the other side to retrieve the ball. Continue for 30–90 seconds, going one way. Repeat, going the other direction.

Partner Shuffle Drill. Stand facing your partner. Shuffle for about 10 feet, going one way, while simultaneously tossing the medicine ball back and forth to your partner. Repeat, going the opposite direction. Continue for 60–120 seconds.

Lunge and Chest Pass to Partner. Start by standing tall with perfect posture, facing your partner. Lunge forward as you throw the medicine ball to your partner using a chest pass. Your partner will catch the ball while performing a backward lunge. Repeat, lunging forward and backward. Remember to push off the front leg and be sure that your front knee stays over your front foot while lunging. Continue for 30–60 seconds each side.

Partner Side Swing Pass. Stand side-by-side about 2 feet from your partner. Maintain perfect posture and keep your abdominals contracted throughout the entire exercise. Keep your arms straight and swing the ball from the outside of your body to the inside; then toss the ball to your partner. Your outside leg will pivot as you rotate across your body. Your partner catches the ball and repeats the exercise. Continue for 30–90 seconds each side.

V-Sits With Rotation and Pass to Partner. Sit on the floor about 1–2 feet away from your partner with your knees bent. Sit upright with perfect posture, abdominals contracted tightly throughout the entire exercise. Start by holding the medicine ball into your chest. Now you and your partner recline back a few inches while maintaining perfect posture. Hold that position as you both rotate one way and then the other. Return to the starting position and, once you’re upright, throw the ball to your partner. Your partner will catch it, and you’ll both repeat the exercise. Repeat for 30–90 seconds.

Squat and Overhead Press Throw to Partner. Start by standing 5–6 feet away from your partner. Hold the medicine ball at chest level. Using an overhead press, toss the ball to your partner. Stay square to your partner. Your partner should catch the ball in an overhead position. Be sure to keep your abdominals contracted, your chest out and up, and your shoulders back and down. Continue for 30–90 seconds.

Partner Exercises Not Requiring Equipment

If you don’t have access to equipment, you can still use these partner exercises with your clients:

Partner Squats. Start by facing your partner, holding onto each other’s arms. As you begin the exercise, each of you slowly squats backward, keeping your kneecaps pointing forward. Avoid allowing your knees to collapse inward. Try to keep your weight equally distributed on all four corners of your feet. Avoid allowing your arches to collapse inward. Lower until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor, or to a comfortable position. Now slowly extend back up. Complete 1 set of 8–20 reps. This exercise is good for developing trust in your partner!

Push-Up Contest. Nothing like a little contest to pump those muscles and have a little fun! But it’s important to level the playing field if one of you is clearly stronger than the other. So here’s how it goes: The stronger partner has to perform the push-ups on a slight decline or from a toe position. The less strong partner can be in an inclined position or do the push-ups from the knees. Make it is as fair as possible so that it’s actually a contest. Start together, go at the same tempo and see who can last the longest.

Oblique Crunches. Start by lying on your backs, facing opposite directions, with the outside of your hips almost touching. Keep your chin away from your chest, and focus your vision toward the ceiling at about 45 degrees. Avoid looking straight up at the ceiling or toward the opposite wall. Now slowly curl your torso up, rotate toward your partner and give him or her a “high five” with your farthest arm. Be sure to contract your abdominals on each repetition. Alternate sides, performing 8–15 reps on each side.