There’s nobody quite like your best friend. In a world of billions upon billions of people, if you’re lucky enough to have one (or more), it’s a pretty special bond. They’re always there for you, they are an everlasting sympathetic ear, and can always pull a smile out of you when you wouldn’t have thought it possible.
Also, best friends will be the first to laugh at you when you fall down. And they make fun of you when your favorite pro team loses. They tend to pull a lot of pranks, too. Some best friends even make a career out of it.
Hey, no one can get under your skin quite like your best friend, right? That’s part of the fun! But at the end of the day, you’re always there for each other, through thick and thin. But how often do you help each other to reach your fitness goals? If, between reciting your encyclopedia of inside jokes and making fun of the same movies, that’s not something you and your bestie typically do, maybe it’s time to start.
And this is the perfect day to do it! After all, today is National Best Friend Day — a day to appreciate the people you love and count on most in your life. In truth, good friends do more than make you laugh and help you move: Research shows that having a quality friend can directly attribute to reducing your stress, improving your self-confidence, and can even keep you from developing unhealthy habits such as lack of exercise.
A best friend could be your spouse, your high school buddy, a coworker, a sibling … heck, even your dog! Though to be fair, your dog probably can’t participate in most of what’s about to follow. Better find your best human friend.
That’s because we’ve compiled six of the best partner workouts ever created to give you and your closest pal a great, full-body workout. Keep an eye out to see if each exercise doesn’t symbolize a key element to a strong, lasting friendship.
And of course, you won’t be needing any weights or gym machines for any of these. You just need your body, your best friend’s body, and a willingness to put a fun spin on your workout routine.
So reach out to your dearest pal — whether you need to call, text, wake them up with mousetraps — whatever you need to do. Just get together at your favorite spot with plenty of open space (no gym needed, as usual) for these awesome tandem exercises. If you’re as competitive with your best friends as we are with ours, it should inspire some healthy competition … and maybe just a little smack talk.
Partner Wall Sit
You and your best friend always have each other’s back, right? Well, today you get to prove it. This is an interesting take on the classic, albeit dreaded, wall sit. With this exercise, your friend is the wall. Face back-to-back and lock arms. Assume a 90-degree squat position just as you would against a wall, using your friend as the support. This is a great workout as it simultaneously works the legs for both partners.
You can choose to hold for a predetermined amount of time (45 seconds-1 minute), or you could get those competitive juices flowing and hold the squat until someone quits.
Push-Up to High Five
OK, so let’s work the upper body next. A best friend is constantly pushing you to be better, so together you’ll be doing some push-ups. Begin by facing your friend in standard push-up position. Your heads should be about 1-1 ½ feet apart. Lower yourself down for a push-up, remembering to keep your back straight and core tight. Complete one rep.
When you’re back to starting position, take your left hand and extend it out to slap your partner’s right hand. Repeat 8-12 times (or, again, until someone says they’ve had enough), alternating the hand you extend each time.
Jump Squat to High Five
Just because we love high fives so much, let’s get back to the legs and keep them going!
We’re sure there have been at least a few fights between you and your dearest friend, if they are but slight road bumps on an otherwise long, smooth road. Friendship always has its ups and downs, so that’ll be expressed by going down for a squat and jumping up for that high five.
Face your friend in starting squat position, about three feet away from each other. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart. Drop down in a standard squat, making sure to keep your weight back and not leaning forward too much. Touch the floor with your fingers to make sure you’re getting nice and low. Then explode up at the same time as your friend, jumping up for a sweet, mid-air high five. Land back in the starting position. Complete 8-12, unless of course you’ve got that competitive fire roaring nice and strong — in that case, go until someone quits.
The great thing about your best friend is, no matter what, they always come back to you. One of you may move away, and you may even lose touch for a bit, but true best friends have a way of finding each other again. That’ll be a nice thought to think about while your core is on fire.
This exercise is all about competition. Friend A is going to try to keep their feet from touching the ground, while Friend B is going to try to make that happen. Here’s how it works:
Friend A will lay on their back while Friend B stands with their feet on either side of Friend A’s head. Friend A will grab Friend B’s ankles for support. With legs together and outstretched, Friend A will raise her legs up near Friend B. Then Friend B will use her hands to push Friend A’s legs toward the ground. Friend A must seize control of her legs and stop the momentum carrying them to the ground. And doing so requires some serious core activity. Once Friend A has regained control of their legs, come back to your friend for another rep!
Friend B can push Friend A’s legs to the left, right or down the middle. Go until Friend A’s feet hit the floor three times, then alternate. See who can handle the exercise longer before striking out.
Towel Bicep Curl
Now it’s time to sculpt those arms for an awesome bicep workout!
Remember that time your best friend talked you out of that hairstyle? Or when you were there to warn them about that “get rich quick” job they almost took? It’s nice to have someone in your life providing just the right amount of resistance.
And that’s what you and your bestie will be doing for each other in this exercise. With the aid of a towel (or a t-shirt you really don’t care about), you’re going to take turns getting a solid bicep workout. Roll or bunch up a towel longways so that there’s enough room for all four of your hands. Friend A will firmly grip the inside of the towel with palms up, just as you would with a normal bicep curl. Friend B will then firmly grip the outside of the towels so that Friend A’s hands are between Friend B’s.
Friend B will drop to one knee, keeping a grip on the towel. Friend A will then begin curling the towel up to his chest as Friend B provides some resistance — not so little that your friend doesn’t get a good workout, but not so much that they can’t complete a rep. In other words, you need to give just the right amount of resistance.
Complete 8-12 reps, or go until Friend A has to “throw in the towel” (we’ll take a small bow for that one) and alternate.
Push-Up Burpee Over Plank
Now, there’s a lot of different elements that go into a great friendship: similar personalities, mutual interests, an affinity for forcing that friend to ruin a game of bingo… but one thing that every solid friendship is built on, more than anything else, is trust. You’ve got to be able to depend on a true friend. And your best friend seems to come through for you every single time. They’re going to need to do it once again to finish this workout. This last exercise isn’t a competition. The only way to finish it is together.
Friend A is going to begin in a standard plank position. They must hold a plank the entire time the exercise is going. Friend B is going to be doing push-up burpees. This is done by dropping from a standing position into push-up position, completing a push-up, and returning to the standing position. Once Friend B is back up, they will jump laterally over the legs of Partner A to the other side of Partner A. There they will do another push-up burpee and jump back to the other side.
Both friends have a responsibility to the other here. Friend A must hold the plank position the entire time Friend B is performing the push-up burpees. It is extremely important that Friend A maintains a solid plank position, keeping their back straight and core tight. As people tire while performing the plank, they’re tempted to arch their back or stick their butt in the air to reduce the strain on their core. Doing this could trip your friend as they’re jumping over you.
Friend B is the one in control of how long the exercise lasts. They will set a number between 10 and 20 burpees to complete. It will be important for Friend B to push themselves, because Friend A must hold the plank until Friend B finishes the burpees.
And that’s it! You’ve gotten a great workout in with your closest pal on National Best Friends Day. If there’s a partner exercise you and your friend are fond of, let us know in the comments! Finally, be sure to thank each other — not just for pushing through this workout, but for how grateful you are to have such a tremendous person that impacts your life so positively.
Never take a gift as amazing as a best friend for granted. They do more for our health than we typically think. Cherish them, protect them, and appreciate every memory you make with them.
And yeah, keep pranking them, too. After all, what’s a best friend for?