Buddy Up: 5 Tips for Working Out with an Exercise Partner

Looking for a way to make it easier to stick with your workout routine or simply enjoy it more? Try exercising with a partner. Research shows buddying up improves your ability to maintain a workout program. Plus, you get to spend time with someone you like. If you’re going to pair up, keep these in mind:

Number 1 Be clear about your goals


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Having a partner can help you stick to your goals.
What’s driving you to sweat with someone else? Is it to train for a 5K? Are you looking for accountability? Or do you simply want to spend more time with a friend—and get more fit? Know what you’re expecting when you start and look for someone with similar goals in mind.

Number 2 Create a plan


Will the two of you work out twice a week? Three times? Where will you meet? How long will you exercise? Commit to a schedule that’ll work for both of you. You can even take turns playing trainer and planning a workout. Then communicate: Let your buddy know if you’re running late, and if you need to cancel a workout, tell him or her as soon as possible.

Number 3 Talk it out—or not


Some people like to chat socially while they exercise. Others prefer to focus on what they’re doing. Some just want their partner to help encourage them through a challenging workout. Make sure you know what you each expect.

Number 4 Choose partner-friendly workouts


Some forms of exercise are better suited to joint workouts than others. If you’re new to biking and your buddy is a seasoned cyclist, an all-out 30-mile ride may not be a good fit. Instead, try an indoor cycling class together or jump on side-by-side treadmills so you can choose your own pace running. Group classes like yoga or Zumba also let you adapt your workout to your individual fitness level. Bonus: you’re less likely to be intimidated by a new class if you attend with a friend.
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HAP members are eligible for discounts on fitness centers and classes.

Circuit workouts are another great way to buddy up. You perform a series of exercises—say, squats, bench presses, lunges and bent-over rows—taking turns doing different ones. Or you can use weight machines, resting while your partner lifts and vice-versa.

Number 5 Check in with each other


Finally, exercising with a friend can make you push yourself harder than you would on your own. A little friendly competition can be motivating. But if you start dreading your workouts, let your partner know how you feel. Adjusting your expectations or taking a brief break from training together may help reboot your enthusiasm once again.

Finally, you’ll want to check out our videos that show exercises you can do with a partner, or by yourself.

Categories: Get Moving

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