Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020

#CoupleGoals: Try these partner workouts this Valentine's Day

Squats, lunges, push-ups and sit-ups can all be done in tandem

Partner workouts are both fun and effective, says Dubai athlete Marcus Smith.
Partner workouts are both fun and effective, says Dubai athlete Marcus Smith.

Speaking from first-hand experience with Holly, my wife of 10 years, couples who train together, stay together. So instead of trying to win your beloved’s heart with chocolates and ­flowers this Valentine’s Day, why not get their heart racing with a partners’ workout?

Here is a straightforward synchronisation routine that will not only get your pulse racing, but also make for a cute photo for the ’Gram. #CoupleGoals


Begin your session with a walk to your local park or any other cool and pleasant outdoor spot. Keep conversation light – for example, share what you most love about each other. This is your warm-up, so keep the pace ­deliberate but easy. Once you’re there, give yourself 30 minutes to repeat as many rounds as possible of the five exercises below.

Air squats x 50

Squats position 1
Take your starting position by facing your partner

Face each other, and with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, squat so your hip passes below the knee. Be sure to keep your chest up and back straight. Then rise until you are standing straight again and repeat until you reach a count of 50. Remember, the air squat is a fundamental movement and great for building leg strength no matter what sport you play, or don’t.

Squats position 2
Ensure your hip passes below the knee

And 50 of these bad boys will get your heart rate up for sure.

Lunges x 40

Lunges position 1
Stand side to side before you begin

Stand side to side, and starting with both feet together, lunge forward one leg at a time, bending from the knee until the trailing knee touches the floor. Return to the start position to complete the rep. Repeat the move with the opposite leg, and continue until you reach 40.

Lunges position 2
Ensure the trailing knee touches the floor

The lunge is without a doubt one of my favourite movements, and really helps with running and cycling. And you can compare notes about the ache – and strength – you feel in your glutes and quads the next day.

Slow mountain climbers x 30

Mountain climbers position 1
Go head-to-head

Position yourself head-to-head with your legs stretched out and away from one another. Start in the push-up position, with your arms locked and your back and legs straight. Then take two seconds to move your right knee to your right elbow or tricep. Once it touches, return it to the start position to complete the rep. Repeat the same movement on the left leg and alternate until you reach 30. As the name of the routine suggests, keep the movement slow and steady.

Mountain climbers position 2
Maintain the push-up position throughout

This is also an abs exercise, so it’s important to keep your core muscles engaged. If done correctly, you should both feel at least the stirrings of a six-pack by the end of the 30 reps.

Push-ups x 20

Push-ups position 1
Start in the same position as the mountain climber

This is one of the oldest moves in the book, but it’s here because it’s so effective. Position yourselves in the same stance as you did for the mountain climbers. Ensure that if you are doing a full push-up, your chest touches the floor each time and you return to your arms at full lockout. Your core should be switched on so there is no pressure on your back.

Push-ups position 2
Ensure your chest touches the floor each time

If you choose to modify the exercise, you can do these reps on your knees, but the same rules apply: keep your core engaged and ensure that the chest and arms are doing the work, not the lower back.

Partner sit-ups x 10

Sit-ups starting position
Come up for a high five or eye gaze: the choice is yours

Let’s end the routine on a ­romantic note. The first ­option is to face each other with your knees bent at 90 degrees, touch the floor behind you and come up and give each other a high five. The second option is to keep your hands firm on your legs and slide them up over your kneecaps. Come up at the same time as your partner, hold their gaze for a few seconds, then return to the start position. The key to the desired six-pack is a healthy diet, but abdominal exercises such as this one can speed up the process.


Use the walk back home to gain control over your breath, pulse and heart rate. Holding hands is recommended.

Marcus Smith is an extreme athlete from Dubai and owner of InnerFight gym, which is holding a partners week from February 14 to 20, allowing members to bring a friend to the gym for a week of organised partner workouts

Updated: February 12, 2020 09:27 AM

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