We all have them: Those nights when you come home from work knowing you need to work out, but wanting to spend time snuggled up on the couch with your sweetie or sipping vino with your bff instead? Well, what if I told you that you could hang out with your S.O. or bestie and get your sweat on at the same time? You can—by working out together. And I’m not talking about a “let’s go to the gym, and I’ll hit the treadmill while you lift weights” kind of thing. I mean legitimately fun partner exercises and activities that let you spend quality time together while you get fit—no gym required. A total win-win, right? Check out 9 of the best partner workouts below.
For those days when you really need to let off some steam, grab your gloves (and your favorite human) for a little high-powered kickboxing. Square off in one-on-one combat—but don’t take it too hard on your partner—or try a group class rather than a partner workout for a less-intense alternative that still burns major calories.
Pack your backpacks, lace up your boots, and get ready for a day of calorie-burning and sightseeing with your favorite person. Even better, bring along a tent and set up camp at the top of the mountain or prettiest part of the trail for a quiet night of star-gazing and s’mores-roasting.
Train for a race
Be it a Spartan race, mud run or just your everyday 10K, training for weeks—even months—together can be even more rewarding than completing the race itself. Having your partner there to support you (and vice versa) can be a great reminder of how important it is to support one another, and training multiple times a week guarantees you’ll have plenty of time to bond. Plus, there’s no equipment required to get started.
If you and your partner are more into meditative exercises than something super high energy, partner exercises like acro yoga are the perfect way to increase strength and flexibility while deepening your connection. Known to improve communication and trust in one another, partner yoga also allows you to achieve a deeper stretch in many poses while challenging and improving your balance all at the same time. This is especially great as a couple’s workout because it’s an intimate, hands-on practice that helps you feel closer to and deeply trust your partner.
Fans of anything water-related will love this partner workout, which is great for toning arm muscles and learning how to work together as a team. Go for a tandem version to get a little closer, or have a race in single kayaks to up the competition. And unless you want a truly challenging (and somewhat risky) adventure, stick to still water like a lake or calm river.
This winter sport is a blast on its own, but even better when you do it together. Known to improve flexibility, strengthen joints, and get your heart rate up, this full-body workout feels like both a challenge and a mini-getaway at the same time. (Just imagine the cozy nights snuggled up in your ski chalet after a day on the slopes).
Playing one-on-one tennis with your partner can be both exciting and competitive, but why not work together to take on another pair? By playing as a team, you’ll improve your communication skills, while toning muscles and getting a major cardio workout. And who knows? Maybe you’ll pick up new friends along the way (we all know good ones can be really hard to find…).
If you’re big on outdoor adventures and want to take things a step beyond hiking, this is just the partner workout for you. Although perfectly safe when using the correct equipment, the risk and adrenaline will create an instantly deeper bond between you and your partner. No mountains nearby? Not a problem—just search for a local indoor rock climbing facility instead.