April 21, 2020

For those who regularly go to the gym, seeking exercise and the endorphins that come with it, this can be a challenging time. I personally have been missing the gym a lot lately, and while working out at home has its perks—music blasting through loud speakers, likely annoying the downstairs neighbors as you freely dance and sing badly to the tunes—most will attest it’s not the same as hitting the actual gym.

     This week, I decided to change things up a bit and try a quarantine-buddy workout. Working out with your friend from home can challenge you in ways working out alone cannot. While it was a lot of fun, there were definitely some challenges! 

     The exercises my quarantine-buddy and I tried included partner leg curls, pistol squats, and feet-elevated push ups. My partner also did squats while holding me in fireman’s carry.  

     For the partner leg curls, one partner kneels while the other partner holds said-kneeling person’s feet down. The kneeling person then lowers themself to the floor until they are in the pushup position, palms on floor, before pushing off and raising themself back up to the kneeling position. This may sound easy, but as someone who regularly does leg curls with cables, dumbbells, and exercise balls in the gym, I can attest that this exercise definitely got my hamstrings burning! This was probably the most effective partner exercise we tried. If you have hardwood floors, put a mat of blanket under your knees to make it more comfortable.  

     For partner pistol squats, you and your partner stand facing one another, slightly offset. Grasp the hand closest to you, then, keeping one foot up and straight in front of you, lower yourself to a squatting position before straightening up again. Both partners should perform the exercise at the same time and rely on one-another for balance. This exercise really challenges your balance! If you have amazing balance, this is likely a great exercise to try, but if you’re like me and performing any type of activity on one foot often leads to you sprawled on the floor, this exercise is more comical and fun! We weren’t able to perform many reps, but it was nice to have a laugh in the middle of a workout, so if you’re looking for a bit of a challenge and some fun, you should definitely try this one out! 

     Incline shoulder press is one of my favorite exercises, and feet-elevated push ups were probably the closest at-home alternative to this exercise I’ve found. One person stands and holds their partner’s feet while the other person, in the pushup position, straightens arms, pushing self up and then, bending arms again, lowers self back down, mimicking pushups. How high your partner holds your feet is dependent on what feels comfortable to you. Give this exercise a try if you’ve been missing your upper-chest/shoulder workouts at the gym. 

      My partner also held me in a fireman’s carry while performing squats. Do not try this unless you regularly do back squats with weight and feel confident that you can maintain the correct form. This was my favorite exercise, likely because I did not have to do anything! I just got to be carried around and watch my partner struggle. My partner also got a good workout from it, but it was a little awkward for him having to hold my body and balance my uneven weight distribution while maintaining good form.  

     Overall, I would recommend trying an at-home partner workout with your quarantine-buddy. If holding feet and grasping sweaty hands grosses you out, it likely won’t be the thing for you. If you’ve had just about enough of your quarantine buddy and look forward to anytime you can get away from them, this might intensify your feeling of annoyance towards said-individual and may not be your best option. But, if you’re looking for a fun way to physically challenge yourself while you’re stuck in the house, try this, or any other partner workout, out! You’ll get a sweat going, and you’ll likely have a few laughs along the way.