Working out in summer can be as leisurely as you want it to be. You can spend an hour or more if that’s your idea of fun. But if a packed schedule or the idea of lazing by the pool is your priority, you’re going to need an action-packed high-intensity workout that works as hard as your calendar is. Enter: a power-packed buddy workout that you can do with a friend. Because who doesn’t like a bit of company?
The buddy workout
Our total-body buddy workout— designed by trainer Ashley Borden—will help you tap into the science-backed source of better results: having a friend while you sweat. It consists of five mini-challenges, which make up a circuit that will strengthen your arms, shoulders, and back, sculpt your thighs and glutes, tone your core, and boost your cardio endurance. The buddy workout was created to hit sticking points that you might struggle with or rush through if you were on your own. (All of the exercises can technically be done solo, but you’ll find that banging them out as a twosome takes it to a whole new level, especially when you’re feeling more social in summer).
If you and your buddy have different abilities, no worries—we’re one step ahead of you. The plan is completely scalable, so you never have to worry about anyone being left behind. Sounds like a vibe? Let’s get to it.
1. Partner Pull-ups
Loop a resistance band around a chin up bar; place knees in the loop and grab the bar with an overhand grip, arms completely straight (1). Bend your elbows and pull your shoulder blades together to pull your chest toward the bar (2). Slowly return to start. That’s 1 rep. Before you begin, start a timer. Do 8 reps, then rest for the remainder of the minute. At the start of the next minute, repeat the same pattern. Continue for a total of 8 minutes.
2. Team Burpees
Stand with arms at sides (1), then squat (2) to place hands on floor and quickly jump feet back into a push-up position; bend elbows to lower chest toward floor (3). Reverse movement to return to standing. That’s 1 rep. Do 25, keeping tempo with your partner. If either person needs to pause, hold a glute bridge together until both are ready to start again.
3. Tempo Step-Downs
Stand on box or bench, feet together and hands on hips (1). Slowly bend your right knee to step down and touch the floor with your left foot (2). Quickly step back up to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Switch legs and repeat on the other side; continue alternating, keeping pace with your partner, for a total of 40 alternating step-downs.
4. Overhead Plate-Hold Challenge
Grab a heavy-weight plate and hold with both hands at arm’s length. Keeping legs straight and core tight, raise weight directly overhead, arms next to ears (A). Face each other and compete to see who can hold the longest.
5. Follow-The-Leader Cardio
Agree on a piece of cardio equipment (bike, rower, skipping rope, speed runs) and grab two next to each other. Partner A sets a pace that’s challenging for both to hold for one minute. Rest one minute. Partner B sets the pace for one minute. Rest one minute. Continue for 16 more minutes.
This story was written by Jen Ator and was first published in Women’s Health Magazine in March 2019.