Fun exercises for couples

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The Best At-Home Couples Workouts To Try When You & Your Partner Are Sick Of Netflix & Chill

It can be hard to convince yourself to work out sometimes, but having a partner to instill a healthy dose of motivation can go a long way. It especially helps when that workout buddy just so happens to be your ~bae~. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than sweating it out with your SO with some at-home couple workouts, because you’re spending time with your favorite person and you’re taking care of your body.

“Studies have shown that working out with a partner increases exercise frequency, and it’s more fun as well,” Allen Michael, a spokesperson and editor for the online workout guide Simple Fitness Hub, told Elite Dailyback in September.

It’s not just that your partner can help you steer clear of boredom during a workout; according to Michael, the two of you can “share your workout goals, and hold each other accountable to staying on-target week in and week out.”

These exercises literally don’t even require you to leave the house — because, let’s be real, what’s better than cozying up inside with your SO and avoiding all other human contact for the day? I mean, you’re bound to get a little cabin fever after awhile on such a lazy day, so when you and your partner can’t handle melting into the couch anymore, try some of these workouts to get your blood moving and laugh a little.

Push-Up High Fives

energeiabootcamp on YouTube

Push-ups are hard AF on their own, but add a high five with your partner to the equation? Then it’s really next-level.

You’ll both probably burst out laughing when you realize not just how difficult this move is, but a) how sweaty your palms both are, and b) how terrible your high-five aim is. Hey, that’s what makes it fun, right?

Jumping Lunges

Sunwarrior on YouTube

Sick of high-fiving your partner yet? You two don’t necessarily have to do it again with these jumping lunges, but either way, this workout is awesome if you and your SO are looking to bring a little cardio into your apartment. Trust me, these jumping lunges that will have you sweating, panting, and red-in-the-face in no time. Cue up that motivational workout playlist, and get to it — and don’t forget to cheer each other on.

Lying-Leg Throw-Down

eHowFitness on YouTube

You might not believe me, but I truly think this move makes core work kind of… fun? I don’t know, peeps, something about semi-aggressively throwing your partner’s legs down in the name of increased abdominal strength is just thrilling. Try as many as you can possibly muster, then switch places with your SO.

Wheelbarrow Push-ups/Squats

Everybody Leisure on YouTube

Normally, wheelbarrow push-ups are only challenging for the person who’s the “wheelbarrow,” but not this time. This partner workout adds in squats for the person doing the carrying so that both of you are getting in a great workout. One of you will get the glute gains, while the other will work on arms and core.

Switch it up afterward if you feel like it — or just lie on the ground in your own sweat and complain, because that’s part of the fun, too, right?

Wall-Sit/Tricep Dips

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on YouTube

Finish up with some wall-sit/tricep dips, which, again, will give the two of you totally different workouts to try. Remember, communication is key here. If the wall-sitter is getting tired, take a breather and try again after a little break.

10 Hot Couple Workouts to Do With Your Partner

Working out plays an important role in the health and fitness of a person and it also helps to create a bond. Your gym buddy understands the pain, the problems and the sheer will power it takes to get through your workout. In this case, why not get your significant other on board the health and fitness train? Couple workouts are a fun way to bond, spend time together and push each other to achieve your goals. It can be a bit easy to make mistakes in couple workouts so it is wise to be careful. Always start your workout with a warm-up exercise. This can be anything light like skipping and stretching. This ensures that you don’t overstrain your muscles and are able to avoid any injuries. Never try to exercise without a warm-up, even if it is an easy workout. This can significantly impact the kind of results you get from your couple workout. Research also suggests that couples who actively workout together are more likely to successfully complete their chosen fitness program. With a low dropout rate of 8%, this is one of the best ways for anyone to achieve their fitness goals. Even celebrities have gotten onboard this trend and this is why you will see them so often working out with their significant other. From singer Ciara and Russell Wilson to super model Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, you can often see these active celebrities enjoying a workout session. https://www.instagram.com/p/BKLu61LD_iP/?utm_source=ig_embed https://www.instagram.com/p/BWBnAqWhV31/?utm_source=ig_embed With a partner who is already so invested in the sports industry, it is easy to see that they have some of the best coaches, workout equipment and the best workout partners too. It’s not just couples with athletes who take their health and fitness seriously. Celebrities are always under the limelight and need to look perfect. Working out is an essential part of their daily routine and having a partner who takes part in it actually helps to strengthen their bond more. Singer Adam Lavine and Behati Prinsloo as well as actor Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Patsky also indulge in some serious couple workouts. https://www.instagram.com/p/9zF4tGwliT/?utm_source=ig_embed https://www.instagram.com/p/BbPnZ9QHo0F/?utm_source=ig_embed Whether you want to look good, lose some pounds or just want to bond in a fun manner, a couple’s workout session can be better for you. The best part is that they don’t have to be dull or boring either. You can easily find easy workouts and if you are feeling particularly lazy, workouts at home. The following are some of our best suggestions for you:

1. Mix Your Workouts

A good way to workout is by making sure that you mix up your workouts. This means that while you are doing shoulder presses, they can do pushups. Mixing your couple workouts is necessary because not only do you both have different bodies, you also have different fitness goals. Mixing things up also prevents you or your partner from feeling bored from the workout. It also ensures that you are meeting your fitness goals without holding anyone back. Many couple workouts are designed to engage both partners and make it easier for you to workout. Couples also find that by mixing their workouts, they can also learn to trust and bond with their partners.

2. Lying Leg Raises Throw downs

This is a great exercise for an easy workout and can even be done at home. You start out by lying on the floor with your legs extended. Your partner will with one foot on either side of your head and stand with knees bent. You should hold onto your partner’s ankles. Now, bend your knees slightly and do a reverse crunch by raising your feet off the floor and towards your partner. Make sure that your hips are raised off the floor. Your partner will then grab your ankles and push them back. When you bring your feet back, don’t let them touch the floor and repeat.

3. The Sit n’ Twist This exercise really helps to work out your core muscles. All you have to do is sit back to back with each other on the floor. Make sure that you are both supporting each other and have feet placed properly on the ground. Taking a ball, or a weight, Russian twist and pass it to your partner. In this position, you can then start to pass the ball or the weight you have. Use a weight that you and your partner both can lift without any problems. Make sure you keep your belly down in order to keep your core centered and engaged. Once you’re done, switch sides and repeat the same exercise.

4. Cross Jump Lunges

Lunges are a great way to work out your lower body and as part of a couple workout, they can be extremely fun. Make your lunges high energy and a little cardio with cross jumping added to the mix. All you have to do is lunge and jump on the opposite foot to each other. Switch sides and use your hands to grasp and stabilize your partner. Keep an eye on your form and challenge each other to go deeper in the lunge. Remember to take a break if your form is getting ruined or you are feeling imbalanced.

5. Pushup Cross High Five

Pushups can be grueling but they’re perfect for strengthening your posture and increasing your metabolic system. While they are so simple to perform that they are always included in easy workouts, pushups do tend to be a bit dull. Luckily, with a couple workout routine you can make them fun for yourself. After each pushup, high five your partner and then do another one. Keep an eye on your form and make sure that your abdominal muscles are engaged and your chin is not tucked into your chest.

6. Double Dare Crunches

This is one of the exercises that made couple workouts so popular. A double crunch is already pretty grueling as you have to assume the position for a crunch then push yourself further by curling up into a ball. In a double dare crunch, you have to perform a crunch while hanging off your partner’s body. Using your legs around their waist, keep your core stabilized as you perform a crunch. You can reach up to their shoulders and uncurl by reaching backwards. Your partner can hold on to your thighs to give you more support.

7. Leap Frog

While you might think this is similar to your childhood days this couple exercise makes use of burpees. The burpee leap frog allows you to engage your core, improve balance and stamina. You can leap frog over each other while one partner lies on the floor. Remember to be careful of your landing and also avoid slippery surfaces. To make it more challenging, you can also choose to have a leap frog race by using a yoga ball and leaping over it and see who does the most. Keep good form when leap frog jumping to avoid any injuries. Poor form can result in an accidental kick to your partner’s shoulder or head or even cause a twisted ankle.

8. Partner Sleds

This is a fun workout that allows you and your partner to get an intensive workout with ease. You will have to assume the position of a pushup. Instead of placing your feet on the ground, you have to place them on your partner’s waist. Your partner should stand in with their feet placed shoulder length apart. When they go in for a squat, you will have to do a pushup and vice versa. Make sure that you’re working in synch here. This couple workout also relies on attentiveness on the partner’s part. They will have to watch your form and see that you are doing the pushups properly. If you start to feel fatigued, they can then safely lower your legs to the ground, allowing you to get up from the pushup position with ease.

9. Flat Back Chair Twist

A challenging workout that involves a lot of trust, the flat back chair twist also engages your core muscles to the fullest. You and your partner will have to assume a position as if you are sitting in a chair. For added stability, lock your hands together. Like in a squat, make sure your knees are in line with your ankles. Now twist your waist and use one hand to bend and touch the floor. Alternate sides with your partner and keep your tummy tucked in. This will definitely make you feel the burn on your legs and your waistline as well.

10. Reach and Touch Plank

For an intensive core workout, planks are always recommended and if you want to take things to the next level, try out reach and touch planks with your partner. As part of couple workout plans this can be fun and challenging to try with your partner. Start out by assuming the plank position, making sure that your elbow is in line with your shoulder. Your partner should be facing you. Use your abdominal muscles and reach out with one arm to touch your partner’s arm. Keep the position for the duration of the plank. Now repeat as many times as the rep set. You can also try to alternate arms in the plank to make it more challenging.

Do’s and Don’ts of Couple Workouts

Working out together can be fun but there are a few dos and don’ts to it as well. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that you are making good progress and aren’t annoying your partner or yourself.Many couples don’t work out together because of this simple reason. However, couples workout is all about improving your connection with each other so it is necessary to be mindful, kind and considerate.

Do’s

The following are some simple dos that you need to follow when you want to indulge in couple workout at home or at the gym:

  1. Always keep an eye on the form of your partner and yourself. Good form can prevent muscle damage as well as prevent you from overstraining your body.
  2. Start out with easy workouts and build up to the challenging couple workout exercises. Not every couple can do double dare crunches or the flat back chair twist properly in the first try.
  3. Remember to have fun. It’s great to be competitive but don’t let your competitive nature ruin the couple workout sessions.
  4. Communicate with your partner while you are working out. If your posture feels bad or you are feeling weak, let them know. They will be ready to help you out and also give you feedback.
  5. Plan out the couple workout session beforehand. You don’t want to spring it as a surprise to them. Pick a time that is suitable for the both of you.

Don’ts

The following are some simple don’ts that you need to follow when you want to indulge in couple workout at home or at the gym:

  1. Don’t start acting like your partner’s coach. You might be going to the gym longer than them but it doesn’t mean you know more.
  2. Don’t push yourself or your partner. You both have limits and your stamina will build as you keep working out. Pushing yourself too early will result in damage to your body.
  3. Avoid being critical of your partner’s performance. Couple workouts are to develop a bond and if your partner has to work on a certain exercise more, help them instead of criticizing them.
  4. Don’t become a distraction. If you are working out in the gym, the endorphins you release from working out will make you happy. While it is nice to have fun don’t become a nuisance to the other gym goers.
  5. Don’t be stuck in an exercise regimen. If you like cardio but your partner likes yoga, don’t give up on working together. Be ready to try new exercises. You can look for couple workout plans that are a hybrid of both exercises.

Once you start following these, you will have a lot more fun than you would have imagined. By paying attention to these simple do’s and don’ts you can start practicing couple workouts with ease.

SHOP ALL NEW IN

If you’ve lost all sense of motivation, and no form of persuasion is going to make you want to workout then don’t worry, we understand. It gets to this time of year and you’re just ready to spend your days in the beer garden, not the gym. But what if we tell you that you don’t have to workout alone?

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The gym may have been a good idea back in January but you’re now getting pretty bored of your standard workouts, thus, loosing all motivation. If this is the case then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a new workout trend and we love it. You and your girlfriend may already go to the gym together but always do different things, or you may already be gym partners, or, you both want to start a new kind of fitness routine before the summer kicks in. Whatever your situation is, why not scrap your current workout and do your gym sessions together?

This may sound good but, the real issue is yet to arise. How do you work out and not look like one of those annoying, cringey couples in the gym? The best couple workouts are those that you could do with anyone, not just your significant other half. They’re the workouts that you can actually feel the next day as well as the ones that make the gym session a lot more fun. So, if it’s one of those days where the gym seems like a challenge, pair up and work on your muscle building and fat loss in couple form.

Couple Ab workouts

Your abs seem like one of the hardest parts of your body to train (from my experience anyway), as whatever you do, the definition just goes away as soon as you have a meal. And to make things even more difficult, it always seems that when you’re training them, they ache which is good. But as soon as you’re done, you don’t feel the burn like you do after arm or leg day. Maybe you should do more, or maybe we’re just going to have to live with the fact that food just takes over the need to have abs.

For those of you couples that want to get abs and want to do it together, we’ve got a few exercises for you to try. You probably know a few of these already but have never tried them as a pair. You can do them at home or in the gym so you really have no excuse! Couple workouts at home can be tricky because of space and equipment, but with these, you should be able to do with ease.

  • Passing sit up – You can do the cringey version or the un-cringey version o of this. The cringey way is when the guys stands up, the girls wrapped around him and she does the sit ups. This only really works the abs of the women so to switch it up, both sit opposite each other with your legs locked, and in a sit up position. You then simply sit up and either tap hands or pass a weight to each other. One of the cute couple workouts, just without being too over the top.
  • Leg throw down – One of you stands up, legs apart. The other lies straight out on the floor with your head between your partners feet with their hands around the others ankles. The one that’s standing throws the others legs down while the other makes sure they don’t touch the floor.
  • The Plank – Face each in the plank position but with your arms straight. Decide on a time frame and tap the opposite hands alternately. This works your core much more than a simple plank as you need to work harder to keep it engaged and balanced.

You can do your couple ab workouts anywhere
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Leg Day Workouts

For girls, leg and bum day is the favourite and go to choice. But this doesn’t seem to be the case for guys (well not so much anyway). This is why leg day should be done with your girlfriend, so they can motivate you. No girl wants a boyfriend with massive arms and stick thin legs. They’re going to push you, and hopefully, over time you’ll love doing leg day as a couple.

Leg day comes with a few creative couple workouts. We’re not talking creative as in getting into some weird positions, we’re talking about doing super sets or weight-cardio interval training. For the super sets, choose two exercises and while one of you does the first one, the other does the second and then you swap. With no rest time in-between. Weight-cardio training is when one does the weight sets while the other does some kind of cardio movement like burpees, and then you switch.

  • Reverse lunge – You can either do it with or without the mechanical ball but we’d recommend using one as we want you to really push yourself! Stand up and face each other, with one of your holding the ball. At the same time, take a step back into a lunge position, hold for two seconds and return to the standing position. Pass the ball to your partner and repeat.
  • Body weight squat – This is one of the easy couple workouts you can do as it doesn’t involve any equipment. Stand facing each other ready to squat at and arms length. Hold hands with your arms out straight and simultaneously squat down while still holding each other. Hold for a couple of second, stand and repeat. You can lean back a little with this to really work your legs as you have the support from each other.
  • Back to back wall sits – This is pretty self explanatory. It’s more of an endurance one as well so it’s sometimes best to do it at the end of your workout. Stand back to back and link arms either side of you then, squat down to a seated position while leaning back on each other for support. See how long you can both stay in this position for and when you’re done, you’ll be able to leave the gym more than satisfied.

Squats

First of all, if you’re going to the gym with your girlfriend, you’re probably going to love this whole squat section because, we get it, squats look good. Plus, you can show off to your partner with your squat ability. The technique, the weight and the amount of reps. And even though we’ve already talked about leg day, squats need their own subheading.

For good couple gym workouts, you need to support each other. There are loads of squats or squat related movements to try so you can mix it up each time. We’ve got a few of our favourites, but there’s just one thing to remember. If you’re using a bar, the partner that’s not doing the movement needs to check form and be there in case the weight is too much.

  • Squat with rotation – This is one that uses the mechanical ball so find a weight that you are both comfortable with. Back to back, but not touching, one of you holds the ball and you both squat. When you’re in the squat position, you each turn to the side and meet in the middle passing the ball. You can then extend and repeat the movement so the ball goes full circle.
  • Barbell squat – You’re going to need a bar with your desired weights on for this one. One of you will help with form and positioning and the other will do the squat. So, place the bar between your shoulders blades, making sure it’s not on your neck. You then simply squat down without bending too far forward or going so far that your knees go over your toes. Keep your core engaged and come back up. 3 sets of 12 work well for this move so rotate and rest while your partner squats.
  • Wheelbarrow push up and squat – This is a bodyweight exercise and one of the fun couple workouts as you’re actually doing it together. In a wheelbarrow position, one of you has the push up stance while the other holds their legs. Together, you push up or squat, making sure you go down and up at the same time. Do this for a few reps and then swap.

Beginner couple workouts are easy to learn
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

HIIT

Many of you gym goers and fitness fanatics may have already heard of this kind of workout, but for those of you that don’y quite know, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This pretty intense so, by putting it down as a couples workout, hopefully will make it seem a lot more fun and achievable.

HIIT consists of short burst of high intensity movements with then a short rest or low intensity period. For example, sprinting for 30 seconds, then walking for 30 seconds. You’d do this for a total of 15-20 minutes to get the best result. Doing this as a couple can help with motivation and will power to carry on as it can get pretty tiring. You can create your own routines so even the basic couple workouts can seem complex when you mix different moves together. To help, here are some potential HIIT movements for you to try.

  • Goblet Squat
  • Kettlebell swing
  • Battle ropes
  • Burpees
  • Sprint
  • Jump lunge
  • Mountain climber
  • Squat jump

On That Note

Couple workouts don’t have to be cringe worthy. You can still hit up the gym on date night for a session together, and before you start thinking, date night at the gym? It’s a good way to get closer and enjoy your time together while also doing something productive. So whether it’s couple home workouts, couple workouts for beginners or new and exciting couple workouts, you’ll be wanting to spend a lot more time in the gym now you don’t have to go alone.

How To Workout With Your Girlfriend

6 Secrets To Surviving A Workout With Your Girlfriend

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Working out with a partner can make your both feel more accountable and can even help you train harder at the gym. But when your workout partner is also your partner in life, things can get a little more tricky.

If you’re already a gym rat, inviting your significant other is great way to incorporate her into another side of your life, says NYC-based personal trainer Barrington Bennett. “It’s an unconventional date so there’s the chance that she’ll find that intriguing, he said. “Plus, it gets your endorphins going which is good for the holiday like Valentine’s Day.”

Sure, you could go on another movie date or out for yet another dinner and drinks. But hitting a partner workout has tons of benefits, including stress relief, improving sleep and yes, better sex, but working out together also builds trust and camaraderie. Beware however, this is not a trip to the gym to go crush it with your fellow barbell busters. When hitting a training session with bae, your approach needs to be different. The last thing you want to do is go home tired, sweaty and angry.

Rule #1 : Be Supportive. Don’t Be The Coach

Unless your girlfriend specifically asked you to kick her butt in the gym, leave your drill sergeant whistle at home. If you’re a fitness professional, avoid treating your workout date like a client. The likelihood is that she did not sign up for that. And if you’re not a pro, that is even more reason to turn it down a notch. Be encouraging. “Great job. That’s a good set. You’re form looks great.” If you need to correct your partner’s posture or form, be sure that you keep a supportive, helpful tone and avoid criticism. Keep it light and fun.

Rule #2: Be Willing To Try Something Different

Maybe you love hitting the weights hard and maybe she loves Pilates and Zumba. All is not lost. Be willing to try something that’s outside of your normal routine. If she likes to run but going for a 10-miler on Sunday morning is completely out of the question, then try a yoga class and set your floor mats next to each other or try that new bootcamp class at your local gym. You’ll still be getting a workout out in and you will have something to experience together. Better still, agree to try her favorite workout style if she tries yours in return. See, now you’ve just booked two workout sessions.

Rule #3: Don’t Make It A Competition

The last thing your partner wants is to feel like you’re showing them up. Be sure to make certain your partner feels supported and encouraged. But your partner is looking to go beastmode, Bennett suggests trying an interval workout. That way you can both work at the same time but don’t necessarily have to do the same thing. If you and your S.O. are competitive types, time your interval workout and keep score by counting reps. Loser pays for dinner.

Rule #4: Share Leadership Duties

I’m guilty of walking into the gym and going straight to the treadmill or waving my arms around a few times, touching my toes twice and making my way over to the free weights. But if your partner loves to stretch, let them lead the way through your pre and post workout routine. If your partner is a treadmill warrior, let them set the pace and decide when you speed up or slow down. If she’s not into lifting weights, there’s your chance lead.

Rule #5: Communicate Your Expectations

Before you even step foot in a gym or studio it’s best to get a sense of what’s going to happen once you get there. If you expect to keep a conversation going throughout the workout but your partner planned on pushing in some wireless headphones and getting down to business, you’re in for a long session. Also, it’s important to know what your partner’s style is. Find out how they like to be encouraged – some people like tough love while with others it will ensure a very long car ride home.

Rule #6: Don’t Be Afraid To Take Care Of Yourself Too

Let’s face it. We’re all not at the same fitness level all the time. You may need to slow it down or scale things back in order to get the benefits of working out with your partner. But that doesn’t mean you need to completely ignore your own needs. If you know you’ll need more, show up early and squeeze a few miles in before your partner arrives or build in another 20-30 minutes to add in a couple workout finishers while your partner showers or relaxes in the sauna. Just plan ahead and be sure to communicate with your loved one that you’re going to squeeze in a little extra work.

And if all goes well, you guys can work in a little extra “cardio” at home.

A couple’s sexual relationship often has struggles that drive you to grow and learn new things, about yourself, your anxieties, and your emotions. There are surprisingly simple couples sex therapy exercises you can do that will propel your growth in managing your relational anxieties and make you confident with your emotions in your sexual relationship.

All three couples sex therapy exercises and quotes below are copyrighted and from Dr. David Schnarch’s book, Intimacy and Desire. All of them are intended to increase one’s sense of autonomy while in physical contact. This would be quite the opposite of the self-consciousness, and consequent anxiety, that we otherwise bring into sex. For many couples, the anxieties of physical contact make sex an emotional flurry, a virtual drive-by shooting.

Being constantly worried about getting the right feedback from your partner to ensure that “I’m okay” makes sexual contact highly anxiety-producing. Schnarch would call it ‘a reflected sense of self,’ as opposed to a ‘solid sense of self.’ Whatever you call it, it is codependent and produces unsureness in your partner as well.

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3 Couples Sex Therapy Techniques

Exercise 1: Hugging Until Relaxed

Hugging until relaxed is pretty simple. Partners remain fully clothed and give a full-body hug. They are not leaning on each other. If you do, then if one falls, you both fall. If you are standing on your own two feet, then if your partner falls, you are still holding them up. So the idea is to be standing on your own two feet not just physically, but emotionally – that is, to hang onto your sense of self, to calm your anxieties, and get to relaxation while in full physical contact with your partner.

In this exercise, there is no genital contact – in fact, there is nothing erotic here at all. It’s about relaxing during physical contact. It needs to be understood that sex is not an option at this point – it is off the table. As such, neither partner will read this as a prelude to sex, nothing more than what it is.

There are no other rules. You begin to see your relational and physical anxieties surface as you wonder, “She just moved, is she uncomfortable?” “I’m uncomfortable, what will he think if I adjust?” “When do we stop? How do we communicate that?” and a whole host of other questions and anxieties come up. However, you will find that they are much easier to deal with than during sex, partly because of the low level of physicality, but especially because it is the goal of the activity.

It takes real purposefulness to do this exercise – someone has to initiate it, and hopefully 2-3 times per week. When becoming really relaxed in full contact becomes an easy state to reach, it’s time to move on to the next exercise.

Exercise 2: Heads on Pillows

This also is not erotic, and it must be an agreement beforehand that it does not lead to intercourse. That is essential to removing any innuendos and to allow each of you to freely soothe your anxieties and gain control of yourself.

Here’s how it works: You both lie down, each with your head on your own pillow and facing each other. Quiet your mind and heart, and look into your spouse’s eyes. Touching is okay, but try to stay with hands, face, or other non-erotic places.

It can be a real challenge to be both relaxed and intimate. The awkwardness, the connection or lack of connection, shows up. Schnarch says, “With your mind and eyes, try to touch your partner’s heart.” All the while you are soothing your own anxieties with self-talk, what your purpose is, and maintaining self-control.

Exercise 3: Feeling While Touching

If you’ve done Exercise 2 enough to get really comfortable – actually to the point of relaxing and enjoying – then it’s time to move on.

The contract must still be clear: this exercise cannot lead to sex.

Again, you are lying down. The emphasis is on feeling your spouse while you are touching them. “One partner touches the other, while both of you mentally follow your point of physical connection as it moves. Instead of focusing on your sexual technique (or on your physical sensations), focus on feeling each other.”

Start with non-genital areas, like hands, arms, face, etc. It will take discipline and an established alliance between you to do this.

Talking is okay, as are candles or music – or not. The emphasis is on genuinely feeling your partner while he or she follows your touch – it becomes a shared experience, a communing of touch that you feel together.

Sexual Therapy Coaching

As good as these exercises are, it can be helpful to have a trained counselor to discuss your particular challenges and hindrances.

Reference
Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship, by David Schnarch

Photos
“Anchor,” courtesy of Takmeomeo, .com, CC0 Public Domain License; “Still in Your Arms,” courtesy of Toa Heftiba, unsplash.com, Public Domain; “Under the Covers,” courtesy of Prinz Peter, .com, CC0 Public Domain License

Men’s Health partnered with our sibling publication Women’s Health to find and recognize Power Couples—ultra-fit pairs who work out together and basically epitomize #swolemategoals. Meet half of our first Power Couple: trainer CJ Koegel. Then, visit Women’s Health to read about trainer Bree Branker.

When fitness model, trainer, and inventor CJ Koegel needs some inspiration to push through a tough workout, he typically doesn’t have to look very far. After all, he’s probably taking a class taught by his girlfriend, former Broadway dancer and Akins Army trainer Bree Branker.

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Koegel and Branker are both trainers and models, so their careers revolve around staying in shape and helping others look and feel their best. Their commitment to a physically active and healthy lifestyle extends to their relationship, too — along with doing each others’ classes, the two often build routines that compliment both of their strengths so they can train together. The pair exemplifies what we at Men’s and Women’s Health value most: A strong, principled focus on physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.

That’s why we’ve named them the first Men’s and Women’s Health Power Couple, so they can serve as an example for other pairs who want to use fitness and exercise as a tool to make their relationships even stronger.

Building a Strong Base

The couple often works out together, but they each have their own specialties and preferences shaped by their background. Koegel was deeply ingrained in the fitness world long before he met Branker.

Mens Health

He was a gifted athlete growing up, and earned a football scholarship to the University of Massachusetts. Even though he was a starter on the DI squad, he always felt he had something more to prove to his teammates on the football field. He was a kicker, which he said is often considered one of the “softer positions” in the sport.

“I didn’t want to define the type of athlete I was,” he said. “I was very heavy on wanting to learn the best things to do in the gym. I realized that some of the more athletic players started coming to me saying, ‘hey, love that exercise you’re doing, what is that for?’ I noticed there was an influence were I wasn’t one of the most badass players, but I got respect.”

Koegel drew attention from more than just his teammates, and had an opportunity to pursue a spot in the NFL after finishing his college career ranked as one of the top 10 punters in his draft class by Mel Kiper Jr. Koegel didn’t wind up making it to the pros, and after a stint on MTV’s reality show circuit he moved to New York City to pursue a career as a fitness trainer and Wilhemina model.

That’s where he met Branker — but they didn’t fall head over heels for each other right away. “We met at a Wilhemina Fitness Friday,” Koegel said. “We were rock climbing. I was actually in a different relationship at the time, and Bree was new .”

After helping to introduce her to some of the other people within the organization, Koegel said the pair formed “a really cool friendship.” When he split up with his girlfriend a few months later, he and Branker started seeing more of each other. “We started hanging out, and here we are, everyday since,” he said.

Staying Fit Together

Since they got together, the two have built up their relationship by supporting each other in and out of the gym. Koegel invented a home exercise product, OTTO, which he hopes will allow him to diversify his career when his modeling days are over. The kit recently launched on Indiegogo with a slick promo video, intercut with footage of Branker showing off its features.

Men’s Health

When Branker wanted to build up her endurance to run six miles, Koegel was huffing and puffing right alongside her. “We accomplished that by just getting out there, putting the miles in,” he said. “I didn’t really want to run that six miles — but instead of being like oh, that sucks, it’s like a part of me was like you’re doing this with your lady, let’s do this together.”

Koegel also credits Branker’s influence for helping him to stay on track to achieve his goals even when he loses his own way. “When you’re somebody who everyone asks for fitness stuff from, sometimes you lose track of your own fitness,” he said. “A year and a half ago, I realized I was losing a little bit of my own drive to get in and focus on the things that I wanted to focus on. From taking her classes I’ve been able to find this rebound excitement.”

That support has built a bedrock of trust that extends beyond their time spent together exercising. Koegel credits the stability of the relationship for his own recent successes.

“What makes Bree so easy to love is that she’s the type of woman that gives you confidence within a relationship in ways deeper than fitness, he said. “Sometimes in relationships there’s something in your gut telling you that you don’t trust the other person — that was never an issue in our relationship. That’s why I think I’ve been able to thrive so much in the past year, since I’ve had this confidence inside the relationship that extends way outside the relationship.”

The Power Couple’s Advice to You

If you want to use fitness as a way to ground your own relationship, Koegel has some simple advice: Communicate honestly.

“With Bree and I, it’s about having open communication about one, how do our bodies feel, and two, what do we really enjoy doing?” he said. “If we both find these commonalities, why don’t we start doing those things more? Through that we’ve been able to have so much fun.”

That openness might mean that you’re not always glued together 24/7 — you have to be able to tell your partner when you need space to do your own thing.

“There are moments when I don’t want to go to the gym with her,” Koegel said. “I want to do my bench press and work all my little tricep beach muscles, and she’s like yeah, I totally get that, that’s cool. So she doesn’t keep me from being me in the gym, which makes me want to work out with her more.”

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Perform all of these exercises consecutively as a circuit. After you’ve finished with one round, rest for 2 minutes. Repeat twice for 3 total sets.

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10 reps per partner

Squat hold: Starting in an athletic stance, bend at the knees and push your hips back to assume a squat position. Squeeze your core and keep your arms in front of your body, maintaining an erect spine. Hold this while your partner completes 10 jump squats. Or if you’re at it solo, hold for twenty seconds. Then slowly push yourself back up.

Jump Squat: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Keeping your chest upright and core tight, bend your knees and sit your hips back, extending your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height. Press through your heels to jump as high as you can off the ground, swinging your arms behind you. That’s one rep. Land softly and immediately lower into your next squat. Complete 10 reps, then switch with your partner.

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10 reps per partner

Plank Hold: Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Lower your forearms to the floor with elbows positioned under your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart, forming a 90-degree angle. Extend your feet back and rest on your toes. Squeeze your core and glutes to maintain straight spinal alignment. Look down at the floor, with gaze slightly in front of your face. Hold while your partner completes 10 lateral hops in each direction, or for 30-45 seconds.

Lateral Hop: Assume an athletic stance, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your feet on the same plane, bound from side to side to jump over your partner. Land lightly and take off on the balls of your feet. Complete 10 reps on each side.

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10 reps per partner

Elevated pushup: Assume a pushup position. Allow your partner to grab your feet and hold them on your thighs. From that position, squeeze your glutes and core and perform 10 pushups.

Squat hold: Grad your partner’s feet with both hands. Bend at the knees and push your hips back to assume a squat position, holding their feet on your lap. Squeeze your core and keep your arms in front of your body, maintaining an erect spine. Hold this while your partner completes 10 pushups.

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10 reps together

How to: Start in a standing position with feet hip-width apart, with a mat placed behind you. Lower your body down until your butt reaches the mat, then roll your back onto the mat and lift your legs over your hips. Use momentum to roll quickly back to the starting position, but bend your knees and place your feet flat on the mat. Plant your feet and stand up. That’s one rep. Do 10.

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10 reps together

How to: Start in a plank position, with your hands on the ground instead of your elbows. Squeeze your glutes and core to maintain a straight spine alignment. Hinge at the hip and hop your feet just behind your hands. Take your hands off the ground and raise your torso into a squat position. Hold for a beat, then hinge at the hip to place your hands back on the ground and hop your feet back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 10.

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10 reps together

How to: Start on all fours, with your hands on the ground and your weight on your toes, raising your hips slightly to lift your knees off the floor. Keeping your core tight and hips level, lift your left hand up to touch your right shoulder. Reverse the movement to return to start, then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 10.

Read more about trainer Bree Branker on Women’s Health.

Brett Williams Brett Williams, an associate fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.

Why You Should Workout With Your Spouse

Who’s the person who believes in you most, and wants you to succeed in all areas of life? That’s right, your spouse! To me it makes perfect sense that they are the ideal workout partner. I call my husband my SWOLEmate. After all, don’t they say that couples who sweat together stay together…

My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years and I’m pretty sure we have been mirroring each other’s habits for most our marriage. A few months ago we came across a picture of us from my first pregnancy in 2010 and got a good chuckle over my husbands sympathy weight gain. Yes it was funny, like rolling on the floor funny, but it just goes to show that we really do follow in each other’s footsteps.

My husband and I first started working out together as a couple in 2010 after we had our first child, Brett. We got ahold of the P90X videos and started doing them in our kitchen early in the morning before we went to work. We did that off and on for a few months and really enjoyed it. We loved talking about the workouts, how sore we were, how cheesy Tony Horton’s jokes were, etc. It was something we shared and it helped us shed those pregnancy pounds.

When I was pregnant with our second little boy my husband didn’t gain the sympathy weight. In fact, he was going to the gym regularly and getting nice and swole while I was being lazy and blowing up like a balloon. I’ll admit it, I resented him. He was working long days and spending extra time away from home at the gym while I was doing house chores and trying to take care of the one child we already had. Of course this was probably my pregnancy hormones making me angry, but I think we have all felt this way to some extent about our spouse going to the gym or simply getting in shape when we are not. I have discovered that these are feelings that can easily be avoided by simply getting fit together.

Long story short, a little over a year ago my husband and I decided that it wasn’t feasible for us to work all day and then take time away from our children by going to the gym. Our solution? We were going to start building our own garage gym and start working out together. The BEST decision we ever made!

With that said, I want to share with you what I have learned from the time we have been spending together in the gym as swolemates. Here are my top reasons you should workout with your spouse:

Us Time My husband and I work out in the evenings after we both work all day. Now during the day I look forward to our workouts because I know we will be spending time together. Yes our children are running around like wild boys while we workout but it is still our thing. My husband told me a few days ago that he loves that he gets to coach me (he used to be big into high school football coaching) and enjoys the time that we get to spend together in the gym every night.

Motivate Each Other I love when I get a new PR (personal record) and my husband is proud of me. I share everything with my husband so being able to share workout accomplishments with him, and he understands that same excitement, is awesome. We always encourage one another during workouts and love to see one another making progress daily. My husband is my number 1 source of motivation and always pushes me to work harder.

Hold Each Other Accountable When my husband or I are having a rough day, and just want to go home and relax, we make the other one suck it up and workout anyway. Obviously it’s extremely hard to avoid or make up excuses to a workout partner you live with. We like to give one another a hard time when the other is slacking so that this is definitely a bonus!

Builds a Stronger Relationship We’ve now seen each other emotionally challenged, defeated, elated, exhausted, determined, you name it. We know that making one another workout will improve our moods, give us energy, reduce stress, build confidence, and simply bring us closer together. We value our time together in the gym and our relationship has been strengthened because of it.

Do you workout with your spouse? Need help getting your spouse motivated? Join the conversation on the StayFitMom Facebook page.

Interacting with our community on social media fuels our passion to keep on creating! We do our best to read and respond to every single comment. It means the world to us to know that you’re out there listening and going through the trenches right alongside us!

on Instagram: @stayfitmom_tracy and @stayfitmom_Krista

If you really want to score some Valentine’s Day points with your spouse, try making them this delicious treat!

Fit to be in love: a couples workout plan

Do you want to learn an easy way to get in better shape AND improve your relationship? Of course you do!

Let’s talk about couples fitness.

Normally, you head to the gym to lift some weights. In the back corner of the facility, you and a bunch of other dudes lifting weights grunt and groan while trying to do “one more rep bro!”

Meanwhile, your significant other is taking a spinning class at another health and fitness facility across town.

Fitness is important to both of you, but you just don’t know how to exercise as a couple when you both have different fitness interests.

In this article you will learn a great couple workout plan that you and your significant other can do together.

When you get home, you both feel good from your respective workouts. But you wonder…

Is there any benefit to working out as a couple?

Yes. In fact, there is plenty of benefit.

There have been numerous studies that show couples who exercise together find they stick to a workout program longer and maintain a healthier relationship. One study, from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together and found that couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate over the course of a year. Those who go to the gym together, regardless of whether they focused on the same type of exercise, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.”

Everyone knows that having a gym buddy is a great tool that helps a lot of people stay accountable and dedicated to their fitness goals. So, it makes sense that more couples are looking to become each other’s fitness partner. Besides, who knows you better or spends more time with you than your significant other?

So maybe you are intrigued but you have a problem. You don’t enjoy spinning classes and your lady has no interest in joining the cavemen in the free weight room.

Is there another way the two of you can exercise together in a way that makes everyone happy?

There is a workout for couples, and you’re about to find out what it looks like.

Important tips for Working out as a couple:

  1. No expectations: Remember that you and your significant other have different fitness levels and abilities. What she can do is great, but you may not be at her level, and vice versa.
  2. Learn to enjoy the workout without expectations about how it will go.
  3. Have fun
  4. When you let go of all expectations you can enjoy the time together. The workout can be fun in a way that you never experience when training alone.
  5. Laugh, encourage your partner, and take a moment to enjoy reaching a higher level of fitness as a couple.

The couples workout: You Go, I Go

This workout is one of my all-time favorites for couples or partners. It’s called you go-I go because the structure is just like it sounds; you do one set of an exercise, then your partner does a set.

It’s simple to follow, and an ideal setup for two people who have different fitness levels. For example; you can do twenty pushups in a set but your partner can only do seven. No problem. As you perform your set, your partner rests. Then you rest while your partner does her set.

It may seem unfair that one of you rests for longer, but it works itself out during the training session. Each person is challenged relative to his/her own fitness level.

Let’s dive into the workout here. This example will require no equipment or fitness trainer. Just your body-weight.

The Best Couples Workout Plan (without equipment)

  1. Warm-up for five minutes with calisthenics. (jumping jacks, high knees, run in place, mountain climbers, planks..)
  2. Pushups- 5 sets (however many reps you can do that is challenging, but not until failure)
  3. Squats- 5 sets (same as pushups)
  4. Reverse crunches- 4 sets (do reps until you feel the burn but not until total failure)
  5. Burpees- 4 sets (same as reverse crunches)
  6. Cooldown/stretching- five minutes

Remember- you go, I go. When your set is complete, your partner begins her set, and vice versa, until all sets are finished.

The Best Couples Workout (with equipment)

  1. This workout starts with a five minute warm-up, as always. Then you start the intervals on whatever equipment you have available. Your partner will be on another piece of equipment, OR you can swap out if you only have one machine.
  2. 15 seconds of fast cycling/rowing followed by 45 seconds of easy exercise. If you are sharing one piece of home fitness equipment, your partner will run in place/hold a plank until you are finished with the first interval. Then you switch.
  3. Repeat the intervals for a total of 15 minutes each.
  4. Finish with a five minute cool-down.

HIIT (High-intensity interval training) is discussed in detail in “From Fad to Fact: HIIT Training Just Plain Works.”

For this workout, you will still be following the “you go, I go” structure but instead of body-weight exercises, you’ll be using one of my favorite pieces of equipment for interval training- an Airdyne bike or rower.

Check out the Airdyne Bike:

Now you’ve experienced a great workout with your partner.

Does this mean that you have to exercise together all the time? Not at all! You can still hit the weights as your partner goes spinning. But if you want to experience the benefits of working out together, schedule a day or two each month. Get sweaty and have fun!

It’s not only good for your body but also great for your long-term relationship goals.

For more tips on achieving your fitness goals, we recommend these articles: Resolutions Got You Down?, Get Fit in the Gym, Lose Weight in the Kitchen, 5 Tips to Stop Treadmill Static, How to Set Your New Year Fitness Goals, It’s Not About Getting Skinny.

If you’re ready to take the next steps in your fitness journey, contact the experts at G&G Fitness Equipment today, use the chat feature on the bottom right of this window to connect live with a G&G expert, or stop into a G&G Fitness Equipment showroom and let us show you why we are the best specialty fitness equipment retailer in the northeast.

About the Author

Jim White is a freelance contributor for G&G fitness. He’s also a personal trainer and owner of Strength Essentials716. He loves helping people build Strength for Life. When he’s not writing or training clients, he loves hiking and howling at the moon. He has a natural ability to see great potential in you, even if you can’t see it in yourself. Jim also enjoys long walks on the beach and classic novels. Find out more at strengthessentials716.com

Why Choose G&G Fitness Equipment

I know plenty of people who hate exercise but WANT to find a way to like it.

And that’s what today’s post is all about:

Exercising in a way where life doesn’t suck AND helps you reach your goals.

Luckily, this is exactly what we do for a living!

  • “Exercise” sucks! Do this instead:
  • 40 ways to exercise without realizing it.
  • Next steps, and my personal challenge to you:

I know what it’s like to hate exercise, and ALSO want to lose weight and see results. Ugh.

We’ve built an entire company and community around helping people overcome these obstacles – our Online Coaching Program helps people find exercise they love, and also how to make the right nutritional choices.

We are all on a unique journey and we’d love to help you with yours!

Exercise doesn’t have to suck. Let our coaches help you level up your life!

ExercIse Sucks. Do This Instead.

“But Steve, I don’t like to exercise!”

While some are like Odie and love to run around all day, others are like Garfield and feel like they must be allergic to exercise.

I hear this every day, and I’m not surprised.

After all, I think “exercise” sucks too.

Which is why we’re gonna focus on exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise!

After all, nutrition is like 90% of the equation.

Exercise is merely a supporting actor, which is why we don’t ever NEED to spend time doing exercise we hate.

We’ve already talked extensively on Nerd Fitness on how to eat better, so I won’t hash that out here.

So let’s talk about exercise.

Sure, it would be great if we all strength trained 5 days a week and got super strong, but the reality is most of us don’t have that time – or the desire – to hit the gym.

And more importantly – the best exercise program is the one you actually do!

And thus today we’re going to focus on TWO key elements of getting more exercise in our lives:

#1) FIDGETING: Did you know ‘fidgeting’ (aka “small micromovements”) can account for up to 350 additional calories burned per day?

Per the New York times:

“Overweight people have a tendency to sit, while lean ones have trouble holding still and spend two hours more a day on their feet, pacing around and fidgeting, researchers are reporting in findings published today.

The difference translates into about 350 calories a day…”

350 extra calories burned per day ain’t no joke!

As we cover in our “How many calories should I eat every day?” guide, burning an extra 350 calories per day can result in sustainable weight loss and maintenance over time for many.

Not only that, but when you factor in inertia (an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and object in motion tends to stay in motion), it paints a pretty interesting picture:

We spend our lives trying to be more “efficient,” but what if the key to weight loss is to be LESS efficient?

From standing up more frequently to parking FARTHER away from the grocery store, every additional step or movement counts. Today’s guide shares TONS of ways to get yourself used to moving more frequently.

I’m actually air drumming and shuffling my feet as we speak!

#2) FUN EXERCISE: Who cares what the optimal workout is?

Unless you have a very specific physique you’re trying to build, ANY exercise is good exercise.

From dancing to yoga to climbing to roughhousing with your kids, it all counts.

Which brings me to today’s point:

Exercise is a bonus. Exercise helps your heart get stronger, can help build muscle, usually gets you outside the house and absorbing vitamin D, and brings you a litany of other health benefits. Also, any additional calories burned is a bonus!

Exercise can help us make fewer unhealthy food choices. Instead of “I earned this” you can start telling yourself: “If I’m going to exercise regularly, I might as well make it worth it by eating right too.”

Daily exercise is a constant reminder that we are leveling up our lives – that we should continue to make other good choices or we’re practically wasting our time.

This is the type of stuff we focus on – with personalized instruction, with each of our online coaching clients.

Some clients are learning Olympic lifting, while others are simply focusing on taking the stairs more and tracking their food. We are all on a unique journey and we’d love to help you on yours!

Our coaching program makes getting healthy fun. Seriously! Learn how we can help you on your journey:

40 Ways to Exercise Without Exercising

#1) Hiking, especially with friends – Strap on a pair of shoes, get out of the comfy confines of your hobbit hole, and go explore the world around you!

Make sure you follow our Beginner Hiking Guide on how to find a hiking spot near you, what shoes to wear, what to bring with you, and more.

#2) Walking – No time to hike? Go for a simple walk. Even a 15-minute brisk walk is enough time to get close to a mile walked, which gets you one step closer to Mordor.

Do you have a 30-minute meeting at work? Have a walking meeting instead. Steve Jobs was known for doing this.

You should know Tim, a member of our Nerd Fitness community who lost 50 pounds – while injured – just by fixing his nutrition and going for long walks every day!

I’m proud that Tim used the philosophies laid out in our online course, the NF Academy, to get his results!

#3) LARP – Live Action Role Playing. Might seem silly to those on the outside, but to those playing, it’s an amazing adventure that reminds us how awesome our imaginations are.

Also, depending on the game, you could be wearing a heavy costume, swinging heavy weaponry, and running for your life!

#4) Rock Climbing – I love rock climbing. It’s one of the best arm/back/forearm workouts in existence, you get to feel like a badass when you reach the top of the wall, and all climbing routes are graded so you can level up the challenge as you get stronger/fitter/better.

It’s a fit nerd’s dream!

#5) Geocaching – If rock climbing is a fit-nerd’s dream, then geocaching is a adventure nerd’s dream brought to life. Become a real life treasure-hunter (Lara Croft? Nathan Drake? You decide!), and get a great workout in while you’re at it.

Or, if you’re truly nerdy, you can do some Digital Geocaching with Pokemon Go or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

#6) Dancing – Ever tried serious swing dancing? You’ll be sweating within ten minutes. How about hip hop? Drenched in sweat, and sore as hell the next day.

Zumba? Tango? Flamenco? You’d be surprised what you can sign up for and what will elevate your heart rate.

#7) Roughhousing with your kids. I don’t have kids, but when I do, you can bet your ass I’ll be the dad out rolling around in the back yard with them. Don’t forget what it’s like to be a kid – it keeps you young.

I really enjoyed this article from Art of Manliness on the importance of roughhousing!

#8) Climbing on stuff – A few years back, I attended a great conference, Midoricon, I was walking through the woods with NF Rebel Joe (No, not THAT Joe).

It was awesome to see this guy, having lost 100 pounds since finding Nerd Fitness, explore the woods like it was no problem: climbing on stumps, balancing on fallen trees, climbing trees, and more.

We work with LOTS of Coaching Clients to get them outdoors and help build them “fun climbing programs” that burn tons of calories but don’t really feel like exercise.

Let us build a fun “playout” program that helps you get stronger and lose weight without needing a gym! Learn more:

#9) Martial arts – Be honest. You watched The Matrix, you heard Neo go “I know Kung Fu” and you wanted to be able to one day say the same thing.

Whether it’s Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Karate or Capoeira (breakdance fighting, seriously), there’s a martial art out there that will make you feel like a badass.

#10 Consider a standing desk – Although we all know that correlation does not prove causation, it’s no surprise that there’s a strong correlation between sitting all day and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Why not fix your posture, strengthen your legs, get more “fidget time” in, and spend the day being more productive with a standing desk? I have THIS desk and it allows me to switch between sitting and standing.

If you don’t want to stand all day, make sure you read up on our guide, “how to survive sitting all day in an office.”

#11) Have an active meeting – Hat tip to Charlie Hoehn on this one. If somebody wants to meet up with you for coffee, suggest something active: throwing a baseball, tossing a frisbee, going for a hike – anything that gets you up and moving.

I say yes to pretty much anybody that invites me to play golf. Wink wink.

#12) You know… – That thing that consenting adults do?

Yeah. Do that.

Self-explanatory.

Moving on…

#13) Clean! – Ugh, nobody likes to clean the house/apartment. It’s not my favorite thing to do. So I instead make a game out of it.

I see how much I can accomplish with a single song blasting at max volume, while probably also dancing. I also CRUSH podcasts while doing the dishes.

Of course, after getting through one song, I figure “welp, I’ve already started, might as well keep going.”

#14) Try handstands – Here’s how to do handstands. This is a fun activity that builds up serious arm and core strength and will leave you sweating bullets after even a few minutes.

So go find a park, go do handstands, cartwheels, somersaults, and whatever else makes you feel young again.

Check out our Beginner Handstand Course!

#15) Parkour – Our beginner’s guide to Parkour is one of the most popular on Nerd Fitness. I don’t care how old you are, there’s no reason you can’t get started with rolling around in your yard and vaulting over picnic tables and bike racks.

Or, you can do it in your office:

#16) Play out – Is Parkour too serious for you? Try a playout! Spiderman was on to something – climbing walls, swinging from skyscrapers, and popping flips around the bad guys.

You might not be able to swing between buildings, but you can definitely visit a playground in your area and get creative!

#17) Adult gymnastics – In the same vein as Parkour, gymnastics will help you build some of the BEST real world strength you can get with any type of exercise, and it’s all done in a playful way without a single weight being picked up.

Swing from rings, somersault, flip onto pads, and more.

There are gyms all over the country.

#18) Yoga – Build flexibility, strength, and learn to freaking relax.

There are million kinds of Yoga, including awesome stuff like Acro-Yoga, baby goat Yoga (not kidding), and Yoga with beer.

Sign up for a few different kinds and see which one lines up the best with what you’re looking for.

#19) Play video games that make you be active – Beat Saber. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) counts too. Just Move. Anything that gets you off your ass and moving!

Oh what’s that? You’re playing a normal game like Grand Theft Auto V? Make a rule that you can only play while standing up, or that you have to do 10 push-ups every time you die.

That’s what I do to keep myself from spending twelve hours on the couch in marathon gaming sessions!

#20) Play on a playground – Go down the slide, swing across the monkey bars, climb the rope all, balance on the balance beam.

Create an obstacle course for yourself and see how quickly you can get through it.

You can even work out on a playground too:

#21) Play a musical instrument – Did you know playing musical instruments can burn a boat load of calories too?

I imagine this is doubly true if you’re dancing around like Taylor Davies playing the violin.

#22) Join a Rec League – New in town? Want to be active and meet people? Join a co-ed kickball, softball, or tennis league.

You get to exercise AND it’s a great way to meet new people through exercise!

Get your Nerd Fitness Starter Kit

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • Full guide to the most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete and track your first workout today, no gym required.

#23) Bike to work – I know there are a lot of Rebels in our community who dropped a bunch of weight by making one change: they biked to work, or biked to their friend’s house, or started biking generlaly.

You get from Point A to Point B, you save money on gas, and you get a workout. That would make Michael Scott proud.

#24) Play a childhood game – What games did you play as a child? Capture the flag? Kick the can? Simple tag?

Get a few friends together and give it a try – it will be the most fun you’ve had in a while!

#25) Park at the far end of the parking lot – Every step counts.

Every tiny decision that is slightly different than the “OLD you” counts.

IT ALL COUNTS when it comes to burning more calories than you consume every day.

Getting in shape doesn’t have to be miserable. Learn more:

#26) Take the stairs. It’s only two flights! And we are designed to move. You can do this.

Sure, you’ll get winded the first handful of times. But it eventually becomes routine.

And it all counts! Make a game out of it.

#27) Crush audiobooks while “exercising.” This is called ‘temptation bundling.‘ Pair something you love with an activity you’re trying to do more of.

But I bet if you could only listen to Harry Potter (for the 600th time) while walking on a treadmill, you’d be more likely to get to the gym.

#28) Build stuff. Whether you’re building a fort with your kid in the backyard, or trying to figure out why you have 5 extra screws in that IKEA dresser you’re putting together, building stuff involves lots of moving and bending and picking up and maneuvering.

Warning: you’ll swear no less than 100 times building furniture. Earmuffs!

#29) Sit in a squat, or pike position on the floor while watching TV. No, not leaning against the couch. Sitting up actively engaging your core!

You can also do some sort of stretch or movement like these bodyweight exercises during commercials (or in the 15 seconds between Netflix episodes!)

#30) Impromptu dance parties. Kids or no kids, I find that great Disney songs are fantastic for bringing out your inner child.

Blast the tunes, dance around the house, and be absurd. WHO CARES! As a wise woman once said…”Let it gooooooo.”

#31) Go for a walk while on the phone. What if you just decided you had to stand for all of your phone calls?

For starters, I know many people who do phone interviews while standing because it makes them more alert and a better guest.

Next: you’re gonna get so many steps in while on the phone without realizing it!

#32) Having an impromptu picnic. Instead of sitting and gorging yourself at the dining room table, why not eat on the floor?

Grab a blanket or a towel, eat in your living room or head out into the backyard, and make it a picnic!

You’ll need to adjust your posture and seating style constantly.

#33) Sit in a squat. We cover this in our “How to squat” guide, but sitting in a deep squat – often for long timeframes – is built into us as a species! We’ve just become soft from sitting in chairs all day long.

I try to accumulate 15 minutes of “squat time” each day – sitting in a squat while reading a chapter in a book, or journaling, or answering an email with my laptop on the ground.

Here I am sitting in a squat while reading Level Up Your Life (available online and in bookstores nationwide!)

#34) The “Pull-up bar Tax”. Get yourself a door-frame pull-up bar. Put it on a door that you have to cross through regularly.

And every time you go through, you have to do either 1 pull-up, 1 negative pull-up, or 10 seconds of hanging from the bar.

Can’t do a pull-up yet? Learn how to get your first pull-up or chin-up.

#35) Lasers around the house. Set up colored string pulled tightly across your kids rooms or in certain hallways, and you have to go over and under the lasers each time you traverse the hallway.

Don’t touch the lasers!

#36) Climb a tree. Your level of safety and ability on this will be dependent on your experience here, but I remember climbing trees like a monkey as a kid and loving every minute of it.

Even if it’s just hanging from a tree branch or trying to scramble up to a low branch, it can be a great way to “exercise.”

#37) The floor is lava. This is both great for exercise around your apartment, for a fun date night or night with the kids, and for playing True American. Though one is slightly more healthy than the other.

#38) Casual Parkour. From avoiding cracks on the sidewalk to balancing on curbs, or jumping from tile to tile, or hopping up onto a bench and then back down, it all counts!

Just get yourself to move differently than you would have otherwise! We are currently working with a woman who has lost 100-pounds through our Coaching Program, and her exercise is all “fun parkour in the woods behind the house!”

Let us build a weight loss program for you that’s ACTUALLY fun! Learn more:

#39) Literally fidget more! Yes, from tapping your toes to music and twitching your legs to the beat of music. Getting up and sitting back down. Doing laps around your office.

You don’t need to get a standing desk or treadmill desk, but there’s definite correlation between those that can’t sit still and body composition.

#40) Your kid is a backpack! From piggy back rides to playing horsey, staying active with your kids is really powerful in instilling a love of fitness in them.

If you’re a badass mom like Brownwyn – a success story from the NF Academy, you can even do pull-ups while your kid holds on!

Get your Nerd Fitness Starter Kit

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • Full guide to the most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete and track your first workout today, no gym required.

Challenge yourself to Have fun: Next Steps!

If you are you looking for more guidance beyond the 40 Fun Exercise Suggestions above, we have three options to continue your journey:

1) Join our epic Online Coaching Program! We create personalized programs for each customer based on their lifestyle, goals, and personality. From parkour in the park to just walking more with your children, or even “becoming a badass powerlifter,” we cater each experience to each person.

Learn how we make exercise fun and actually get results in our Online Coaching Program:

2) Join the NF Academy: Our self-paced online course that helps you through the first 6-12 months of your fitness journey!

It has 20+ workouts to follow, boss battles, a 10-level nutrition guide, and even quests to complete in real life so you can level up your character.

Oh, and the most supportive online community in the galaxy.

Join the Nerd Fitness Academy: 1 payment, lifetime access!

3) Join The Rebellion (it’s free)! Sign up for our biweekly newsletter and join the Nerd Fitness Rebellion!

I’ll send you tons of free guides and bonuses to help you get started on your journey today.

Sign up below:

Get your Nerd Fitness Starter Kit

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • Full guide to the most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete and track your first workout today, no gym required.

No matter which path you pick above, I want you to commit to trying something new, or doing something different, at some point in the next week:

  • Say yes before you can say no. Stop saying “I don’t have time” and realize you do. Stop saying “I can’t afford it” and find a way to make it a priority. Do all of this before you can talk yourself out of it. The best way to do that?
  • Commit in advance. Put down a deposit and make an investment in yourself. I pre-paid 6 weeks of swing dance lessons. Having already paid for it, I knew I’d be just throwing my money away if I didn’t attend.
  • Go with a friend. I went to my swing classes alone, which forced me to further develop my social skills, but if you happen to be TOO afraid to attend a class, get a friend to drag you there.
  • Expect to suck. If you are learning a new skill, expect to suck at it. You’ll get better as long as you remember to…
  • Have fun. Remember, we could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Every day above ground is a blessing, so enjoy it!
  • When in doubt, move more.

That one thing you always wanted to try but have been putting off?

Today’s a good a day to get started. Just take that FIRST step.

Google classes in your city. Find a site that focuses on beginners, and read about it. If there’s a place to pre-pay or make a deposit, do it.

And then go.

Use 20 seconds fo courage if you have to.

What’s the one new thing you’re going to try this month?

-Steve

photo credit: Reiterlied 02/52 – Confidence, treadmill fall, dog, jump, garfield

Train Together, Stay Together: 9 Fun Ways for Couples to Workout and Connect

If you think that improving your fitness and your relationship are mutually exclusive, think again! You can benefit both your body and bond at the same time by exercising with your significant other.

Whether you are just starting down the path of getting healthy, or you’ve been a “fitness freak” for years, don’t do it alone. Even if you’re the focused, lone ranger, introverted type at the gym, mix it up from time to time and workout with your partner. Not only will you both get in better shape, but you’ll also reap benefits like:

  • Being happier in your relationship
  • Increased attraction to your partner
  • Feeling a deeper emotional bond

According to PsychologyToday.com, “Lab studies show that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner… Sharing a fitness goal, taking regular runs together, ballroom dancing, or having a date night at the gym can boost the quality of your romantic relationship.”

Try one – or all – of these exercise ideas to get more fit this year while growing your relationship. Because the couple who trains together, stays together!

1. Run a Race

Nothing bonds people quite like overcoming challenges and “suffering” together! Choose a race that neither of you have done before, and set out to conquer it as a team. If you’re new to races, try a 5k, sprint triathlon, or a mud run. If you want to laugh and have more fun along the way, try The Color Run, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, or a Disney Marathon. Then you can take turns foam rolling and massaging each other’s sore muscles afterwards!

2. Make it a Competition (AMRAP Workout)

Turn your workout into a friendly competition – loser takes the winner on a date of their choice! You can even skip the gym and do a workout at home using just bodyweight exercises. See who can complete the most rounds of determined exercises in a set amount of time. For instance, set a timer for 15 minutes and complete as many reps as possible (AMRAP) of the following: 10 push-ups, 20 squats, 30 jumps with a jump rope, 20 sit-ups – or any other exercises that you like.

3. Rock Climbing

It’s all about team work! Depending on where you live, it can be pretty easy to find a climbing gym. Spend a few hours learning how to belay and making sure you don’t let each other fall. You’ll have to learn to support and trust each other, which is perfect for building your relationship outside of the gym. Plus, the fun will distract you from the fact that you’re seriously working muscles all over your body.

4. Go Hiking

Soak up some mood-boosting vitamin D and enjoy the outdoors together by going on a hike. You could make this a romantic date by choosing a slightly easier hike and packing a picnic for when you find a spot with a view. Choose a more grueling hike when you’re ready for a challenge and need each other’s support to keep going when you’re tired, or lend a hand crossing a river.

5. Go on a Bike Tour

Depending on where you live and your style, you can find a fun day or weekend bike tour to explore a new area together – or see your neighborhood in new light. Take a scenic wine tasting and picnic trip in the hills, a casual ride through a beach town, or a fresh-air mountain trail tour. You’ll get to see and try new things together while burning calories the whole time.

6. Acro Yoga

Admittedly, ladies, this one may take some convincing to get your man to agree, so assure him that this circus-like partner yoga will allow him to show off his strength and put him in control. According to YogaJournal.com, this form of yoga is “About becoming completely vulnerable, in trust with a yoga partner, and discovering that sweet spot of opening up to curiosity, freedom, and play.” What better way to build your relationship? If this one’s too much, then try a yoga and beer event – many cities now offer yoga classes followed by a beer garden, which may be a good first step for your man.

7. Go Dancing

Again, every guy may not jump at the idea of this one. But part of connecting as a couple is trying new things together, right? Show off your skills as a couple or make fools of yourselves together, but either way, dancing is a fun way to burn tons of calories and tone muscles. Try out a variety of styles to see what you both enjoy – ballroom, country line, salsa, swing. If nothing else, stay at home and pump some jams you both love and freestyle without worries of looking silly to anyone else.

8. Touch Football with Friends

If the dancing and yoga were too much, then this one should suit most guys a bit better. Grab a group of friends and a pigskin and head to a local park for a friendly game of touch or flag football. This will allow you to be together while getting in social time and a great workout. Play on the same team so you can root each other on and celebrate your shared victory when it’s all over!

9. Have Sex

We’re sure you can both agree to this one! Technically this isn’t the same as working out at the gym or playing tennis, but it is sure better than sitting on the couch and will definitely help you to feel connected. Plus, hormones released during sex help to reduce stress and make you feel relaxed and sleepy. More sleep and less stress are key factors in staying fit and maintaining your weight, so it’s a win all around!

Adam Riemer

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