Bust out of your fitness rut and make your workouts more fun by recruiting a friend. Jenn Zerling, author of Breaking the Chains of Obesity, has created a series of team-building workouts to get you back on you’re A-game
Perform four sets of each of the below exercises together, where each set lasts for 25 repetitions. Navigate through all seven exercises and repeat the circuit four times through. If this is too challenging, start off with 15 reps of each exercise for four sets. Work your way up. It is all about quality of movement more than the quantity of movement. Take 10 second breaks in between exercises.
It’s time to be a kid again. Grab a hand-sized bean bag and both of you should make your way into a plank position. Your hands go directly under your shoulders and balance on your toes with a wide stance (feet wider than hip distance apart for better balance). Decide who takes the bean bag in their possession first and then use your arms as a hockey goal as you both aim to score points by sliding the bean bag through the arms. Be sure to block the play with your hands. First person to score 10 points wins that round. This exercise is so much fun and it works every muscle in the body from head to toe, including your mind.
Throw Catch with Medicine Ball
Who doesn’t like a game of catch? Of course, this old-school exercise learned during your childhood allows you to work on coordination, and compound movements that strengthen both your upper and lower body at the same time. Get a 5 lb medicine ball and choose which person will roll the ball to the other first. The receiving partner squats down with a straight back, with the knees aligning over the toes as (s)he squats down to pick up the ball and throw the ball with both hands back to the starting partner for half the set. After half the reps of the set, whether it’s 12 or 8, switch positions so that the opposite person is now receiving the ball and tossing to the other.
Push Up to High Five
Pushups are one of the most standard exercises in any fitness program out there. If you cannot do a single pushup, no worries; drop to your knees and start there. Pushups are a closed chain exercise since they keep your hands connected to a surface. When executed correctly, this is highly beneficial for your shoulder girdle muscles along with your back, chest and core muscles. The pushup is performed followed by a high five with your partner. If you cannot do the full set, stay in plank position and take out the pushup. Wait for your partner to join you in the high five. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears and belly tight the whole set.
Side Plank with Bean Bag Pass
Starting in a side plank with your backs together, place the bottom hand directly in line with your shoulder for a strong foundation. Drive your shoulder down your back to create length in the neck. Stay on the knife edge of the bottom foot while taking the top leg and crossing it in front creating a “kickstand” for better stability. Lift your hips high to the sky creating a curve under your side body, igniting your obliques and core muscles. With your bean bag, reach up all the way and give your partner the bean bag while slightly externally rotating through the top shoulder to hand the bag to your partner. Once your partner grabs the bean bag, reach underneath your bottom arm to get the bean bag back and repeat the exercise for 7 or 12 reps before switching task order (have your partner now pass the bean bag up top to you while (s)he reaches underneath to grab it again).
Patty Cake in Static Squat
Get into a deep squat with your booty back and knees aligned over your ankles. Make sure the knees track in the same direction that your toes point to help protect the knees. Lift your chest up slightly so that you can see your partner, but keep your core super tight the whole set. Staying in a static squat, reach contra-laterally (across the body to the same hand of your partner) and hit hands 15-25 times while remaining in a static squat with good body alignment.
Crunch to Ball Pass
Starting in a seated position, interlock your feet with your partner, and have a 90 degree bend in both knees. Take a 5-10 lb medicine ball and have one person bring the ball down into full extension lifting the ball either overhead or to the chest. As you each lower towards the earth, take your time while engaging the core and lowering one vertebrae at a time. Both of you should lower down with and without the ball, and each rep that you come up, you pass the ball to each other and alternate between who is holding the ball for each rep. Inhale on the way down, exhale as you crunch up. Keep your neck neutral at all times, keeping the emphasis on the core.
Jenn Zerling’s Breaking the Chains of Obesity is available from Amazon