What's better than workout endorphins? Scoring them with a friend.
Catching up with your BFF is fun. Pushing each other to the next level? Even better!
That's the beauty of our partner workout: You'll not only spend time together, but you'll also exercise way harder than if you were going through the motions solo. "You push yourself more than you would on your own. You can't flake," notes Barry Jay, a cofounder of Barry's Bootcamp, home to one of the most body-morphing workouts around, and a big fan of partner workouts. (If you need more motivation, check out why having a workout buddy is the best thing to ever happen to your workout.)
But don't expect to be dishing about last night's date: Jay and fellow Barry's Bootcamp trainer Astrid McGuire created a fun but fierce head-to-toe routine that delivers fast results. This partner workout guarantees to keep your muscles and your mind engaged from start to finish. You'll shed fat and sculpt firm muscles while moving back and forth nonstop between strength exercises and cardio bursts.
How it works: Warm up for five minutes on a treadmill at an easy pace, jog in place, do low step-ups, or jog around the block. Then do one set of each of the following partner workout moves in any order, changing it up every time. Rest only as necessary, and after every third move do a cardio interval (see the final slide for a list of "Cardio Blast" ideas for this partner workout). If time allows and you're feeling supermotivated, add in a few more rounds of strength moves and cardio bursts.
Total Time: up to 30 minutes
Stand 1 foot apart, facing away from each other, feet wider than shoulder-width apart; partner A holds a dumbbell or medicine ball with both hands.
Squat so you're butt to butt; then A leans forward and passes weight between legs to B.
You both stand up; B passes weight back to A overhead to complete 1 rep.
Do 20 reps, then switch directions (B passes weight to A between legs, and A passes weight to B overhead).
2. Side-Plank Pass
Lie on right side 2 feet apart, parallel to each other and facing the same direction, with partner B in front and holding a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in left hand.
Lift hips so you're balancing on right forearm and on the side of right foot, feet stacked. Extend left arm straight up in line with shoulder, palm facing forward.
B lifts hips slightly and passes dumbbell underneath torso to A, who takes dumbbell in left hand and then extends arm back up again (staying in side plank). Partner A passes dumbbell back to B as B reaches under her body.
Do 20 reps, then flip to left side so A is in front. Repeat, with A passing dumbbell back to B. Note: Only the partner in front passes weight under raised hips. (Related: 4 Ways to Choose the Best Buddy From Your Squad To Try This Partner Workout With)
Stand facing each other, 2 to 3 feet apart, with feet wider than shoulder-width apart and hands in fists next to chin.
Partner A squats low while partner B brings right foot in toward left, then kicks right leg up and over A, finishing with feet wide.
B squats low while A kicks one leg over B.
Do 50 kicks total, switching legs every time or halfway through.
4. Triceps Pass
Partner A holds a medicine ball in both hands overhead. Partner B lies on the floor with head near A's feet and grasps A's ankles.
Partner A lowers ball behind head, keeping elbows close to ears.
Partner B lifts legs toward ceiling as A straightens arms and then leans forward, placing ball between B's feet (make sure ball is secure before letting go).
B lowers legs toward floor (don't allow lower back to arch off floor), then brings them up to A again to complete 1 rep.
Do 20 reps, then switch positions and repeat. (Keep that medicine ball handy after this partner workout for these core-carving moves.)
5. Wheelbarrow Push-Up with a Dead Lift
Partner A gets in plank position on hands and toes; partner B stands behind A and holds an ankle in each hand.
Partner B bends over from hips, keeping arms straight, as A bends elbows and lowers chest toward floor.
As A straightens arms, B stands up, keeping knees and back straight.
Do 20 reps, then switch positions and repeat.
6. Rotational Twist
Stand back to back with feet shoulder-width apart. Partner A holds medicine ball in both hands in front of abs.
Partner A turns to right and passes ball to partner B as B turns to left; B then rotates to right and A to left, passing ball again.
Continue for 30 seconds, then switch directions and repeat, with A turning to left first. (Related: The Tone It Up Girls Have 5 More Partner Workout Moves For You Two to Try)
30 seconds per side
7. Med Ball Waltz
Stand facing each other; partner A holds a medicine ball in both hands in front of chest. Partner A lunges forward with right leg, passing ball to partner B as B lunges back with left leg, bringing ball toward chest.
B immediately lunges forward again with left foot, passing ball to A as A lunges back with right leg.
Do 20 passes, then switch legs (A lunges forward with left leg and B lunges back with right to start).
8. Double Jump
Partner A gets in plank position on forearms and toes, body straight from head to heels. Partner B stands behind A, feet wide and arms bent in front of chest, and lowers into a squat.
Partner A jumps feet wide apart as B jumps feet together (imagine hopping between your partner's feet), landing in a squat. B then jumps feet wide and squats again as A hops feet together to complete 1 rep.
Do 20 reps, then switch positions and repeat. (Related: How to Build Your Own Circuit Training Partner Workout)
9. Squat and Dip
Partner A holds a medicine ball in both hands and stands 1 foot from a wall with feet shoulder-width apart. A leans back and slides down wall into a squat until thighs are parallel to floor and knees are aligned over ankles. Partner A then raises ball overhead and holds it there, arms straight and both shoulders against wall.
Partner B stands 12 to 18 inches in front of A's feet, facing away, then squats and rests palms on A's knees, fingers facing forward.
B bends elbows and lowers into a dip, then presses up and repeats.
B does 20 dips while A maintains squat. Switch positions and repeat. (BTW, here's why triceps dips are the upper-body move you should master ASAP.)
10. Partner Workout Cardio Blasts
Run or walk fast for 30 to 45 seconds, then recover for the same amount of time. Choose an intensity that's challenging. You have to do only three of these sprint intervals, so make them count.
No treadmill? No problem! Walk or run outside or jump rope for 3 to 4 1/2 minutes, hopping faster and then slower. Jumping jacks also work.
Walk or run at a 1.0 incline (choose a moderate-intensity speed) and increase the incline every 30 seconds. Repeat for 3 minutes (you should be close to your workout max), then reduce the incline every 30 seconds.
No treadmill? No problem! Repeat Challenge 1 or, holding a 5-pound dumbbell, do step-ups on a bench for 6 minutes, increasing the weight or the height each minute.
One-mile time trial
Run or walk (or do a combo) as fast as you can for one mile. Take note of how long it takes so you can try to beat it the next time.
No treadmill? No problem! Do it outdoors or jump rope for 8 to 10 minutes, counting revolutions per minute.
Insert one of these cardio bursts every three moves of the partner workout to torch extra calories.