Valentine’s day is traditionally ensconced with a truckload of chocolates, dining out, flowers and a card for good measure. You know, the greatest hits. All those things are great (especially chocolate!) but there’s another way to stay connected with your swole-mate that costs a whole heck of a lot less and one would argue is far more intimate: a couple’s workout routine.
Let this be 10-30 minutes of blood pumping, heart rate bumping cardio that you each choose. It’s the “getting ready” portion of the workout date and everyone prepares differently. Maybe you both want to run on the treadmill together? Perhaps one of you prefers five minutes on the bike and foam rolling while the other stair climbs? What matters is you’re fired up and ready to light it up together through this next series of exercises!
Round 1 – Best Way to the Heart is Through the Stomach
This starting round is all about getting the entirety of the body into beast mode with a focus on your core. Do the following workout routine all in a row as quickly as you can, three times through. Rest as needed, but keep your hustle high!
- 20 Partner Crunch/Squat-Sits (both of you each do a set)– One of you lays down on the mat with your heels tucked, ready to crunch. The other will anchor their partners feet by standing on them AND holding a down-squat position. Keep your hands high to make the cruncher stretch for it! Hold this while your cohort crunches it out then switch!
- 30 “Showdown” Planks Claps– Get in a straight arm plank position facing your partner (who is doing the same). Make sure you’re an arms width apart and your feet are in a wide stance. Then, simply alternate hand claps with each other!
- 20 Crunch Tosses– Grab a weighted ball of some sort (preferably a soft wrapped one) and lay down on your backs with the bottoms of your feet about a foot away from each other’s. One of you starts with the ball and crunches up, tossing the ball to your partner in the process. Your partner, seated and waiting for the ball will catch it, drop down, crunch up, and toss it back!
- 10 Partner Crawl-and-Jumps– Have one of you get in a downward dog position (hips high enough to crawl under) and have your partner crawl under you while avoiding touching your knees to the ground. Once the crawler has made their way to the other side you’re going to stand up and jump the downward dogger (who has now lowered their hips into a plank) leaving the crawler right back where they started, getting into a downward dog pose immediately. Now the roles reverse! Repeat!
Round 2 – Love is a Battlefield
This next round is going to wear your arms out! You’ve been warned. Do the following exercises all in a row as quickly as you can, three times through. Rest as needed but again, move quickly!
- 20 Partner Crunches– Line up in push-up position facing one another. One of you does a push-up then holds while the other does a push-up, then holds. Repeat for 20 reps. Feel free to modify with your knees down! Just be sure to make sure your hips travel with you to the floor.
- 20 Dumbbell Daps– Grab a pair of dumbbells that you feel comfortable and confident enough in holding out at shoulder height with your arms fully extended. Keep your palms facing each other at all times. One of you starts with your dumbbells extended inside the dumbbells of your partner. You’re then going to raise your dumbbells, give the top of theirs a little “bonk” with yours, then bring your dumbbells outside of theirs making the two of you switch positions. Now they “bonk” your dumbbells in the same fashion! Repeat!
- 20 Band “See-Saws”– Grab a resistance band and then have each of you grab one end. Stand in a shoulder width stance facing each other far enough away so that there is tension on the band while still allowing you room to move it. One of you will raise the end of your band all the way up overhead with their arms extended, engaging the back/shoulder/core/leg muscles while the other drives their end down while hinging at the waist (like you’re hiking a football) with their arms fully extended (engaging all the same muscles). Find a rhythm and build a burn together!
- 30 Jumping Jacks– Nothing fancy here… just both of you doing 30 jumping jacks.
Round 3 – Do the Leg Work
This last round will finalize the workout and get you one step closer to cuddle time. Just…be sure to shower first. Sticking to the same format as the rest do the following exercises all in a row as quickly as you can, three times through. Rest as needed but keep moving!
- 15 Partner Jump Squats– Get in squat position. Squat. Jump as high as you can as you come up. Once you’ve done this, then your partner does the same. The goal is to look like a couple of pistons roaring!
- 20 Lateral Lunge Hand-Offs– Grab a weighted ball of your choice and stand side to side. Make sure you’re about a foot away from one another and in a super wide stance. Wider than it feels like you should be at first. This is important for the range of motion. One of you will start with the ball and lateral lunges towards your partner while the other person is lateral lunging towards you as well. Once you hand the ball off, both of you will lateral lunge away from other before repeating back to center and handing the ball off again. Repeat!
- 20 Lunge Battles (each leg!)– This can be done side to side or facing each other since all that really matters is that you have space to stationary lunge. One of you will start out with doing five lunges while the other holds the down lunge position. Once the lunger has completed five reps, they will now be the one to hold the down lunge position while the other partner does their set of five lunges. Repeat until you’ve both completed 20 lunges… then do the same thing on the other leg!
- 50 Squat-Sit Patty Cakes– Get in a down squat position facing each other. You need to be close enough to play a game of “patty cake” (high five across the body, clap in the center, repeat other side). Do 50 of these! You have to do a lot in order to build that longevity burn!
If you need to do a few minutes of light cardio cool down on a machine, get on it! The highlight will be taking care of each other after with proper nutrition (and snuggles). Whether you’re going out or going home, make sure to fuel up, toast to the great sweat session you both had, and remind yourselves you don’t need to wait until February 14th, 2020 to do this again!
Our Guide to Exercising Outside
Heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke, occur when your body can’t cool itself properly. In extreme cases, overheating can hurt the brain and other vital organs. Sweat normally keeps us cool, but in some cases, sweat just can’t keep up with your body.
Plan for the Heat
Schedule your outdoor exercise around the coolest part of the day: early in the morning or after nightfall. Take advantage of shaded paths. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing. Choose cotton or moisture-wicking fabrics that allow air to circulate without chafing. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sports-suitable sunscreen.
We can’t say this enough: drink more water! In high heat and humid conditions, it’s easy to underestimate how much water you need to drink. The CDC directs you to drink 16-32 oz. of water each hour during heavy exercise in a hot environment. If you have a hard time keeping up with that amount, try using flavored water—add a wedge of lime to your water bottle or try a sports drink. If you aren’t on a salt-restricted diet, you can allow yourself a few more salty snacks (like pretzels and chips and salsa) to replenish the sodium lost through sweat.
Exercising outside means you are waving goodbye to the comforts of your indoor gym. For many, that’s the allure—but dressing properly is important. If you plan to break a sweat in a wooded area, put a light jacket over your favorite tank top to make sure you are fully clothed. If you’re working out in a park or on a pathway with little to no shade, make sure to wear a hat and load up on the SPF.
Be Cautious of Overheating
Exercising raises your body temperature, and when the air is hotter than your body, heat can’t dissipate into the air. To make the situation worse, heat gets trapped in dark-colored asphalt and the sun reflects off water, sand and glass, bombarding you with heat from every direction. This environment is ripe for heat-related illness, but with some good sense, you can still enjoy your time outside, without having to pay for it later.
Focus on the experience when exercising outdoors and don’t expect to set personal records. To avoid over-working yourself, wear your heart rate monitor and know your target heart rate for your age and fitness level. The American Council on Exercise even provides a heart rate calculator!
Find an Exercise Buddy or Group
Working out is always way more fun when you do it with friends. It’s also safer—and when you’re exercising outside, safety is top of mind. There are lots of local exercise groups on Facebook and some Anytime Fitness clubs offer free outdoor workouts in the month of May to kick off a summer of fitness fun. Check with your local Anytime Fitness to see where you can find a class!
4 Ways to Stay Motivated During Your Workout
We’re all tempted to cheat on our workout at times—whether you’re talking yourself out of doing that last set, debating if you really need to do cardio today, or convincing yourself to not do leg day so you can walk tomorrow, experiencing a lack of motivation in the gym can be just as detrimental as experiencing it before you get there.
We believe that the only workout hurdles that test us are the ones we jump over, so we’ve compiled a list of ways to stay invested during your entire workout. You’ve got this!
Make it a friendly competition.
Even if you don’t have a competitive nature, having to push your efforts in relation to someone else can be a major motivator. Whether it’s the stranger running on the treadmill next to you or a dedicated workout partner that’s a little bit closer to where you want to be, letting someone else’s motivation rub off on you will help you push yourself farther, keep going longer and stop you from being tempted to quit.
Make a bet.
From fitness accountability apps to friends who won’t let you off the hook, there are plenty of ways to hold yourself accountable—especially when there’s cash on the line. Make a bet with yourself, a friend or an online community about a goal of yours. Whether it’s frequency of workouts for the next two weeks, amount of progress made over the next three months or the amount you’re able to deadlift this time next year, putting your paycheck on the line will make you think twice about skipping that extra rep
Setting physical goals are great, but what powers you to achieve them? The satisfaction isn’t always enough incentive for you to see your goals through, so try giving yourself a tangible reward! A new pair of headphones or maybe a pair of jeans, even a dinner at your favorite restaurant are all awesome ways you an encourage yourself to stay motivated.
Consider a trainer.
Many people think that they don’t need a personal trainer if they know what they’re doing, but working with a trainer at any level can help kick your workout into overdrive. Having a professional there to remind you about form, technique, and following through on each rep will take you further, encourage you to work harder and keep you dedicated for the full duration of your workout.
Sometimes motivation is hard to come by…but with these tips, you’ll be ready to kill it at the gym for the entire time, every time!
7 Essentials You Need In Your Gym Bag
From a change of clothes to your trusty deodorant and everything else in between, gym bags are both unique and necessary. But the problem isn’t coming up with things to put in them, it’s editing down the list in order to fit everything into your bag. Instead of cramming useless items into your bag, follow along for a list of our top must-haves that will keep you prepared and ready for the gym—or ready to freshen up afterwards.
If you’re running short on time and the prospect of getting a shower in after your workout becomes less likely than you originally planned—these wipes are here to save the day. They’re big enough to use on your whole body and won’t leave an icky residue. Keep a pack of these in your bag and you’ll unlock the keys to those lunchtime workouts you’ve been wanting to do!
If dry shampoo isn’t already in your gym bag, it needs to be—STAT. Depending on your hair needs, you may already have a preferred brand, but we like this one because it’s small and fits in a gym bag easily—but not too small so you have to constantly replenish. It also has a fresh scent that will leave your post-sweat sesh hair feeling rejuvenated and lively.
Everyone’s gym bag holds small odds and ends that don’t quite have place. Contact cases, bobby pins, band-aids, or travel toothbrushes—whatever items you need that don’t have a home now do thanks to this versatile drawstring pouch.
If you love your classic BlenderBottle, just wait—it gets better with the introduction of the ProStak system. Keep snacks to power your workout in the storage system or use it to hold your supplements and powders. Whatever you choose to keep inside, make sure to keep it on hand in your gym bag!
Getting into your fitness routine has few negative impacts on your body except for one: dry skin. More showers, more sweat—all of it can cause your skin to feel parched more often than not. If your face is in need of serious moisture, keep this stick in your bag to perk your skin right up!
This isn’t your average towel! It’s compact and made with microfiber making it extra absorbent and it can handle both sweat or post-shower drip, alike. Perfect for an extra hard and sweaty workout, this towel is made for your gym bag.
The most important rule for any gym bag is this: make sure it doesn’t stink. There’s nothing worse than a gym bag that reeks of sweat and smelly tennis shoes! Don’t worry, there’s a solution for every problem and in this case it’s a genius bag that holds all your stinky things and keeps them (and their smells) contained.
What’s your favorite gym bag goodie you can’t live without? Share your must-haves with us!
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