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A couple who works out together, stays together!

Working out together is great for your relationship. I am lucky enough to have several couples on my roster and I absolutely love seeing the dynamic between them. One couple hires a babysitter so they can train 1 evening a week with me, followed by a post workout restaurant dinner. I ask them each week where they will be eating that night. It makes for a great date night. It can also be a quality hour on the weekend; one couple I train, workout on Sundays while their daughter naps. It is quality time.

Whether it’s a home gym, basement or full facility, working out is intimate and provides a great forum to talk openly. I always say, “what happens in the gym stays in the gym.” There’s something about pushing ourselves physically that opens up emotions and dialogue.

Partners who stay fit together stay young together and continue to nurture their physical relationship in a proactive way. Partners inspire and motivate each other to maintain the fitness status quo, and to not skip a workout! Habits are contagious; healthy ones help both partners thrive.
Couple workoutActive couples are a strong role model for a healthy family. Sharing exercise reinforces family values of self-care, well-being, quality of life, and quality family time.

Here are some ideas for training with your significant other.

Stretching:
Partner stretches are the bonus of having a workout buddy, especially one you are comfortable up-close-and-personal with! A basic downward dog position can be modified as a decompression release with a partner:
1. One person assumes a downward dog position with feet hip width apart.
2. The partner will take a “straddle” stance behind (place one foot between the other’s two feet, the other on the outside) and place hands on the ASIS joints (hip bones) from behind.
3. Both partners inhale together and with exhalation the standing partner lifts the hips up towards the ceiling. Be mindful of pulling back into the hamstrings- lift the hips to decompress the spine.
4. Lower the hips with inhalation and repeat.
Ask your trainer to show you more partner/assisted stretches and releases! Fascial work, gentle joint traction and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF stretching) can be applied to stretches with a partner!

Strength:
Take full advantage of the company during partner workouts. You can mix it up in ways you cannot when you are alone. Engage each other and have fun with it! Here are some creative ideas:
1. Kickboxing! Kicking and boxing is fun and pad holding is a workout unto itself. Try boxing drills for core, power and endurance. What a better way to blow off steam than to punch and kick your partner? Try to knock each other off the BOSU dome with boxing drills.
2. Use interval training to introduce competition. Try a 30:10 x 6 set for 4:00 of high intensity maximum rep calisthenics. Log your scores and see who wins with the most reps. The guys may be stronger, but the ladies have endurance! See who brings their “A-game” to each workout!
3. Your partner is your spotter! Take the opportunity to push your envelope by attempting more advanced moves that you wouldn’t try alone. Try standing on one leg on a BOSU dome; have your partner gently poke you all over to test your balance. Increase your chest press weight to heavier than you are comfortable with doing alone, with the spotter. Ask your partner to evaluate your form on any given exercise.

Book your workout! Just as you would schedule a business meeting, book a time slot for a family meeting/couple workout. Plans demand initiating action so don’t just toss the idea around; book it in!

It can be playful hard work when couples exercise together. Invite your significant other for a workout date. Bringing a trainer on board can help to guide the workout and dynamic in a fun and effective way, setting the tone for a lifetime of exercise together!

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