Women’s Health Next Fitness Star Stacie Clark co-owns a gym with her husband in Plymouth, Minnesota—so she knows a thing or two about working out as a couple. Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so we asked her to share her favorite exercises to do with her hubby. Try them at home—you’ll feel the burn and the love.
KNEELING PARTNER TWIST
Strengthen your abs and your bond at the same time with this toner: All you need is a medicine ball (you can use any similar-sized ball if you don’t have one). Kneel on the floor back-to-back, and slowly twist to one side to hand the ball off to your partner (who should be turning toward you). Then twist to the other side as they turn to hand the ball back to you. Continue passing the ball in that direction for 60-90 seconds, and then repeat the exercise in reverse.
The key to this move is precise coordination with your partner—and who doesn’t want to feel like they’re in sync with their S.O.? Stand facing your partner, about an arm’s length apart, and hold each other’s hands. Lunge forward with your right leg as your partner lunges backward with their left leg. Reverse the motion, lunging backward with your right leg as your partner lunges forward with their left. Complete 10-12 reps, then switch sides.
WHEELBARROW PUSHUP WITH SQUAT
This upper-body move gives your partner a great view of your butt—which sets the stage some post-workout fun. Start in the top of a pushup, and have your partner hold your feet in their hands. Brace your core, and do as many pushups as you can while maintaining your form. As you lower yourself down, your partner should simultaneously lower into a squat, keeping his or her arms straight and engaging his or her butt muscles. Each of you should do 10-20 reps in each position.
SQUAT & DIP
Have your partner stand one foot from a wall, facing away from it, with their feet shoulder-width apart. Then have them lean back and slide down the wall into a squat until their thighs are parallel to the floor and their knees are directly over their ankles. Their arms should be raised overhead, with their shoulders pressed against the wall. Meanwhile, you should stand 12 to 18 inches in front of your partner, facing away from them. Squat, then rest your palms on their knees, fingers facing forward. Lower yourself by bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle (you should feel it in your arms), then press up back to start. Do 20 reps as your partner holds his or her squat, then switch positions.
PARTNER SHUFFLE DRILL
Grab a ball—any kind will do—and stand face-to-face with your partner with a few feet of space between you. Slightly bend your knees, and engage your core. When someone says “go,” you should both shuffle about 20 feet in one direction, passing the ball back and forth as you move. Repeat in the opposite direction. Continue for 30 seconds.
HIGH-FIVE UP DOWN
Now that you’ve worked up a sweat, it’s time to unwind: Start with both of you in plank position, facing each other, with about a foot of space between you. Lower yourself onto your left forearm and then your right forearm. Next, push yourself back up so you’re on your left hand and then your right; your partner should do the same moves, but with the opposite hand/arm. At the end of the rep—when you’re back up on both hands—give your partner a high-five, your right hand to their left. Repeat the exercise, starting from the opposite side. Complete 8-10 reps.
Before you hit the shower—together, perhaps?—give your muscles a well-deserved massage says Clark. Her favorite tool for this is the foam roller, which works out all of those kinks in your body.