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How to Train with a Partner Using No Equipment

Who says you need a gym membership or fancy equipment to get in shape? As long as you have a partner, some well-executed resistance is all it really takes.


  • Step 1: Work your traps – the muscles between your neck and the top of your shoulder – with some shrugs. Sit cross-legged on the floor with your partner standing behind you. As their hands press down onto your shoulders, resist and lift up towards your ears and release.
  • TIP: For beginners, perform each of these exercises with two sets of eight to 12 reps.
  • Step 2: Work your shoulders and upper back with a military-style shoulder press. Sit on a bench and position your upper arms parallel with the ground. Have your partner stand behind you. Join palms with your partner and as they push down, press and lift upwards.
  • TIP: Never hold your breath while training. Inhale when relaxed and exhale when exerting.
  • Step 3: Work the pectoral muscles by doing a chest press. Lie on your back on the mat. Bend your elbows at your sides, palms up. With your partner bending forward above you, lock palms. Push straight up, and then bend your elbows back downward slowly.
  • TIP: Resistance requires give and take. Always communicate with your partner when it comes to the amount of force and resistance they're using.
  • Step 4: Fight arm flab by working the tricep muscles. You and your partner remain in the same position as the chest press. This time, instead of pushing your arms up and down, raise your arms above your head so that your elbows are at your ears and your fingertips are touching the floor. Lock palms with your partner, and smoothly straighten and bend your elbows.
  • Step 5: Target the biceps and triceps with arm curls. Standing with your elbows bent and tucked into your mid-section and your palms facing up, stand face to face with your partner and lock hands. Without applying any force to the wrist, curl your arms up to work the bicep muscle. Then, resist on the way down to hit the tricep.
  • Step 6: Move on to the lower body. Strengthen your quadriceps – the front of your thighs – with leg presses. Lie on your back with your knees bent into your chest and have your partner apply resistance to the soles of your feet. Straighten your legs upward at a 45-degree angle against your partner's resistance.
  • Step 7: To work your butt and hamstrings, get down on your knees and rest your forearms on the mat. Raise one leg so the bottom of your shoe is facing the ceiling. Push it upwards while your partner applies resistance down onto your foot. Repeat with your other leg.
  • Step 8: To work your outer thigh, lie on your side with your legs stacked and your bent arm supporting your head. While your partner's hands are applying resistance to either side of your top knee, slowly lift up a few inches and ease back down. Turn over and repeat with other leg.
  • Step 9: To target the inner thigh, remain in the same position, this time with your top leg raised a few inches and your partner's hands on the inside of your leg. Push your leg downward a few inches into resistance. Turn over and repeat with other leg.
  • FACT: According to one prediction, 86 percent of Americans will be obese or overweight by 2030.

You Will Need

  • A workout partner
  • A exercise mat

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