Exercise with your Sweetheart!

By Ryan Unverzagt

If you’ve been following any of my advice, you may have discovered that exercising with a friend is a fun way to get that not so easy “chore” done and over with. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and would provide that perfect opportunity to exercise with your sweetheart. I have four partner designed exercises to share with you this month. In future Old Town Crier issues, my articles will consist of an “exercise of the month” in which I will explain the benefits and have pictures to show the techniques.

The first sweetheart exercise to try is the FitBall Squat. This is performed by placing a FitBall between you and your partner’s backs, then squatting together keeping the ball from falling to the floor. This one requires teamwork, great timing, and trust to pull it off successfully. Since you will be facing in opposite directions, communication is essential. Try 15 reps and if you want to increase the difficulty, just pause at the bottom of your squat for a ten second count, then repeat ten times.

The second sweetheart exercise is the seated medicine ball (MB) rotation. Sit on the floor beside your partner with knees bent as if you were to perform a sit-up. There should be about a two foot space in between. Both of you lean back about 45 degrees and lift your feet off the floor to balance on the tailbone. Now this is the start position. To begin, grab one MB with elbows bent 90 degrees and rotate at the waist away from your partner, then back toward the two foot space in the center to set the ball down on the floor. Your sweetheart then grabs it off the floor and rotates away from you and back to set it down in the same spot. You should maintain the 45 degree lean with heels off the floor when your partner has the MB. This position keeps constant tension on the abdominals during the exercise. Try 10 reps each before resting completely.

The third sweetheart exercise is a “tug-o-war.” This time sit on the floor facing each other with feet together and knees slightly bent. Both of you grab the end of a bath towel while sitting with good posture. You provide resistance for your sweetheart as they pull using the upper back muscles by squeezing the shoulder blades together. Try 10 reps each without leaning back for leverage.

The final sweetheart exercise is the “match ‘em” pushup. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but you will try to “match” your sweetheart pushup for pushup. So you will start with a pushup, then your partner will perform one as you wait for your turn. Keep alternating pushups to see who can finish with the most! (Hint for the fellas: If you want a great Valentine’s Day, let your sweetheart win this contest!) I wish everyone a Happy Fit Valentine’s Day this year…and keep up the hard work!

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