Man and woman sitting in spinning studio, facing each other stretching their arms

Four easy, no-equipment partner exercises

Grab a partner and try these beginner-friendly exercises built for two.

Sometimes I find working out on my own a challenge. It can feel lonely and sometimes I don’t feel very motivated. I have discovered –  and some research bears this out –  that social support is an essential to my workouts and ability to commit to a routine. Could recruiting a friend or family member help you with your fitness barriers? Not to mention add more fun into your workout? Consider these benefits, and then try out the four activities below:

Self-confidence/comfort – there is always a level of uncertainty or unease when trying new things on your own. Whether it’s lifting that  extra weight or hiking that last hill, having a partner may help you feel safer and gain more confidence.

Motivation – Four simple words can inspire a lot when used at the right time: “You can do it.” With a friend nearby, participating in any activity will result in increased effort.

Accountability – “Not feeling like it” or “I am too tired” can seem like flimsy excuses when telling your partner you don’t want to work out. Skipping scheduled workouts is more difficult when you have someone else relying on you.

Ready to get started? Here are a few fun exercises you can try with a partner (warm up for five minutes by marching in place or doing a few jumping jacks):

Back-to-back wall squats

What it works: Full body workout with focus on your core (abdominals, low back), legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves), and butt (gluteus maximus).

Back to back wall squats instructions

Added challenge:  If you are comfortable and strong enough, both you and your partner can dip down to a 90° angle – as if you are sitting on a chair.


Wheelbarrow walk

What it works: Upper body workout with focus on your chest (pectoral muscles), arms (biceps, triceps, and forearms), shoulders (deltoid muscles) and core (abdominals, obliques and lower back). 


wheelbarrow steps

Added challenge: At the halfway point, the person who is the wheelbarrow can do as many push-ups as possible before completing the lap. 

Reverse towel lunges 

What it worksLower body workout with a focus on your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings) and core (abdominals, obliques, lower back). 

Reverse towel lunges instructions

Added challenge: When you reach the bottom of your lunge, hold the position for five seconds. On the last lunge, hold the position for 20 seconds. 

Torso twist with weight

What it works: Core body workout with a focus on your abdominals, obliques and lower back.
5 Torso twist instructions

Added challenge: Keep your arms fully extended through the entire motion and pass off of the weight. This will add further resistance to your arms and shoulders while increasing the challenge in the core. 


  • Remember to cool down after these exercises by walking slowly and stretching. 
  • Participating with a partner can also extend to sports like hiking and cycling. Keep in mind that the activity should be fun and enjoyable for both of you. 
  • Before starting any new activity program, be sure to talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional. 



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