Couple’s Workout Routine

This couple’s workout is highly effective, unique, and NOT boring. There is no other at-home couple workout like it available online.

Our intense Couple’s Workout Routine comprises total-body exercises, HIIT cardio, and only requires bodyweight. This at-home couple workout is perfect for you and your significant other while in quarantine.

Let’s dive into our inspiration for this partner workout, our results, and video GIF instruction for all 18 partner exercises.

couple’s workout routine

This Couple’s Workout Routine is one of four Ryan and Alex Duo Life blog posts about working out as a couple. The others are Couple’s Yoga Poses, the Complete Guide to Working Out as a Couple, and Benefits of Working Out With Your Spouse.

In these times of isolation and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, exercise is more important than ever for its immunity-boosting and stress-relieving powers. Plus, with all gyms closed, many need a Plan B.

Our job at Ryan and Alex Duo Life is to help couples live healthily together. Since fitness spills into all areas of life, it’s the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, which is why, in response to this world-wide pandemic, we were eager to recommend an at-home couple’s workout.

Unfortunately, what we found on Google and YouTube were just ‘meh.’ Too many of the same old partner exercises regurgitated over and over, routines that required equipment, exercise ideas without structure, and fun routines that were just that (barely a workout).

So, we hit the drawing board, curated a list of the most effective total-body exercises, and morphed them into partner exercises. We wanted a challenging and well-rounded routine.

Therefore, we designed a total-body Couple’s Workout Routine, and to make it more intense, both people are working out non-stop, rather than having one person in a supporting role. What’s more, is we still made it fun and engaging so that you can capitalize on all the benefits of working out with your significant other.

Based on our heart rate data below, we succeeded! In this in-depth couple’s workout plan, we provide video GIFs of the 18 partner bodyweight exercises as well as instruction on how to do them with proper form.

Review the moves in the Couple’s Workout Routine beforehand. It’s reasonably tough, and we rate this for people who have an intermediate level of fitness. As always, though, you can modify as needed to make it work for you both.

Our Couple’s Workout Results

We didn’t want this to be another easy two-person workout. And we didn’t want you to have to pick and chose partner exercises to make your own plan. So, our routine has a solid structure, covering all major body groups. And, we wouldn’t push anything to the website without first testing it.

So, we did the full Couple’s Workout Routine and gathered data to see how good it really was. We have experience running these experiments and recently ran one to figure out what is the best form of cardio.

Our results for this couple’s workout were measured on Apple Watches (we have the Series 3 for him and her), pictured below.

For both of us, our average heart rate and calories burned were impressive. The numbers didn’t surprise us because we were dragging by the end of the 23-minute partner workout circuit.

We also tracked our average heart rate and calories burned for 30 minutes after completing the workout, to measure the ‘afterburn.’ It took the full 30 minutes for both of us to feel recovered from the intense partner workout. You know it’s a highly effective workout when you burn that many calories even after the workout ends!!

For reference with our data, Ryan is 6’1″ (1.85 m) and weighs 175 lbs. (79 kg). Alex is 5’4″ (1.62 m) and weighs 105 lbs. (48 kg). Calorie burn is directly tied to weight.

The Couple’s Workout Plan Exercises

Our promise to you is that none of these moves are the “same old, same old” basic partner exercises. There are 18 moves and every one will challenge both of you at the same time!

You don’t need any equipment. However, a mat (we use this one because it’s quality and environmentally friendly) would be helpful if you’re on a rough surface. 

The below table is a glimpse into how we designed this couple’s workout challenge. The order of the moves, muscle groups targeted, and the cardio value of each partner exercise were all taken into consideration.

Couple’s Workout Routine

Download our Couple’s Workout video so you can:

– Follow the Tabata, cardio, and strength training routine along with us at home

– See the name of the move and hear the buzzer indicating when to work and rest

– Two video options: One video has epic pump-up music and the other has none so you can listen to your own playlist

1. Chair Squat High Five

During this lower body HIIT exercise, keep your core tight and sink your weight into your heels. Never let your knees go in front of your toes.

Start in chair pose with your hands in prayer position. Then, jump into a squat and sink as low as you can while giving your partner a high five. Do as many reps as you can.  

2. Speedy Double Dips

Do these bodyweight tricep dips as fast as you safely can and with proper form. Never go past a 90-degree bend in your elbow and prevent your elbows from flaring out.

Remember to switch roles after the first set so you each do both moves in this upper body partner exercise. Yes, your triceps are going to be burning after doing these two exercises in a row. 

3. Push-up Supercouple Hug Pulls

Start this partner exercise in plank with your hands about two feet apart. Be careful not to bump heads. In unison, do one pushup, hold a one-second hug in Superperson pose, and do one lat pull. Then, reverse and repeat, as shown below. 

4. Jumping Lunges

This partner HIIT exercise doesn’t get a fun name because, well, let’s face it; there is nothing fun about jumping lunges. However, they are incredibly effective at building lower body strength and stability. Our Couple’s Workout Routine would have been void without them. 

Hold your partner’s forearm and make sure you communicate about which leg you’ll lunge forward first. Try to maintain eye contact with your partner during this cardio exercise. We found this made it more fun, and challenged our balance muscles. 

With lunges, try to sink into a 90-degree bend in both legs. Keep your weight in your heels and it will be easier to go deeper in the lunge while preventing your front knee from jutting out past your toes.  

Who can jump higher? Push each other.

5. Side-To-Side Crunches

This is the first of many partner exercises for abs in our routine, and it targets your obliques. Take your standard crunch position with your feet overlapping.

Then, lift your shoulders off the ground by engaging your core muscles, and pivot your upper bodies from side to side. Reach for your partner’s hand to maximize the range of motion.

Try to smile at them and see if you can get a smile back. Remember to breathe!

6. Back Extension Burpee Push-Ups

We gave a twist to this classic total body partner exercise to target a crucial area of your core: your lower back muscles!

One person lies down on their stomach for back extensions. Keep your toes on the ground, engage your glutes, push your heels together, and lift your upper body by engaging the muscles in your lower back. Keep your hands hovering off the ground so that those muscles remain engaged for the entire set. 

The other Person gets to do the classic burpee with added push-ups. In the burpee, make sure your hands are on the ground before you kick your legs back. This protects your lower back. Also, while doing push-ups, don’t go past a 90-degree bend in your elbow. 

7. Triple Bear Glute Bridge

We borrowed the “triple bear” move from Joel Freeman’s LIIFT4 program. It’s an incredible quad exercise. While one person is on the ground doing glute bridges (make sure you keep your feet and knees aligned slightly narrower than shoulder-width), the second person gets to look them in the eyes while doing triple bear. 

For triple bear, place your hands and toes shoulder-width apart, while hovering your knees two-inches off the ground. Then, start hopping right-center-left-center as quickly as possible. Shift your weight out of your shoulders and into your quads to increase difficulty. 

Then, switch roles. Whoever gets sweat on loses. At this point in the couple’s workout, there should be a loser! Just kidding, we’re all a team here.

8. Patty Cakes Pulsing Ballet Sumo Squats

This partner workout exercise one of the hardest moves in our Couple’s Workout Routine. At least we thought so. Stand in sumo squat stance, push your heels as far off the ground as you can, and fight to maintain balance while doing pulsing sumo squats.

Once you get in a groove, start playing patty cakes with your partner to the beat of your pulsing sumo squats. Does it look hard? Well, it’s even harder than it looks.

9. High Five In-And-Outs

This partner ab workout might take a few tries to master. Practice doing the in-and-outs, aka pike-ups, separately before incorporating the high fives. Once you’re both in a rhythm, add a high five when your feet are on their way back out (on the way into plank position). 

We love this couple ab workout because it’s also an incredible cardio exercise!

10. Bent-Over Row Plank Hold

There is no better exercise than bent-over row for activating the large muscle groups in your back. If you and your partner are different sizes or have different strength levels, there are two variations of this move. 

The harder variation involves one person lying on their back facing the other. The second person will grip their forearms, bend their knees, lean forward slightly, and keep their spine long while lifting the other person. To make it tougher, add in a leg lift while being raised off the ground.

The easier version consists of one person lying on their back and the other facing away. Grip their ankles, assume bent-over row position, and lift your partner off the ground (ankles tracking along your side).

Although it may look like I am sleeping, I am deeply focusing on engaging my core muscles. 

11. Calf Raiser Decline Wide Push-Ups

This wouldn’t be a total-body couple’s workout plan without activating the calves and chest muscles. One person stands while holding the other’s ankles, while in a plank position. While their calf muscles raise their heel up, the person in plank lowers into a decline push-up.

12. Mountain Climber Crunch Kiss

This combination of HIIT cardio and core partner exercises will leave you winded and feeling it throughout your core.

Try to do four mountain climbers and then pause to meet your partner at the top of their crunch for a kiss. Then, switch roles. 

13. Speedy Plank Jack Shoulder Taps

To start this partner workout exercise, kick your legs out, then, while jumping your legs back to center, reach up and touch your partner’s shoulder.

Maintain stability by flexing your core and be careful not to bump heads. This exercise is incredible for cardio while increasing core strength. 

14. C-Sit Squares

Prepare for a challenging couple’s ab workout. Take a C-sit position with your hands on the ground and your legs overlapping. Then, lift and straighten your legs and start drawing squares with your feet.

Keep your core engaged and do not arch your back.

15. High Knees Pulsing Warrior 3

Get ready for an incredible lower body strength and balance exercise. Since this is a one-legged exercise, you will need to switch roles four times so that both people work both legs. 

Have one person start in the Warrior 3 yoga pose with their hands extended forward. Their plus one does a high knee sprint, using their partner’s hands as their target knee height. Once you have found your balance in Warrior 3 pose, start pulsing up and down to increase difficulty. 

Make sure to switch legs and then switch roles.

16. Pistol Split Squats

This partner leg exercise burns! Hold onto your partner’s ankle, and both of you will balance on one leg. Once you have found your balance, start repping out pistol squats while your partner drops into a pulsing split squat.

Again, switch legs before you and your partner switch roles. 

17. Panther Walk Tuck Jump Shoulder Press

These exercises might be new to you. We borrowed “panther walk” from Alex’s kung fu studio. You’re on your toes and hands, stealthily hopping forward in a low push-up without letting your hips or chest touch the ground. Once you panther walk under your partner, do a tuck jump, and repeat. 

Meanwhile, your partner will be doing shoulder presses. Think of shoulder presses as push-ups in the downward-dog position. To isolate your shoulder muscles, angle your fingers inward at a 45-degree angle. 

18. Speed Skaters Side Plank Spank

It’s the final stretch of our Couple’s Workout Routine. Since this is a one-sided exercise (side plank), you will need to switch roles four times so that both people work both sides (and get all four cheeks spanked). Fair is fair.

One person will hold side plank on their hand or forearm, while the second person does jumping speed skaters. Finish strong! 

How should we follow the Couple’s Workout Routine?

The best way to follow our Couple’s Workout Routine is by providing your email address below so we can send you our recorded exercise videos.

If we could give it to you all here, we would. But, the videos are massive, and as you may have noticed, the page already bogged down from the large GIFs.

Sign up below and we will send you everything you need. Then, all you have to do is grab your significant other and press go!

Couple’s Workout Routine

Download our Couple’s Workout video so you can:

– Follow the Tabata, cardio, and strength training routine along with us at home

– See the name of the move and hear the buzzer indicating when to work and rest

– Two video options: One video has epic pump-up music and the other has none so you can listen to your own playlist

Or, you can DYI. All the moves are provided above. We also recommend that you request access to our Duo Life Community, a free accountability and support group for couple’s improving their healthy lifestyle, together. This community is available on Facebook or in a private app.

Join the Duo Life Community: Request access to our private Facebook Group for accountability and support through your healthy lifestyle journey

Why is there no equipment?

Mostly because we wanted this to be an at-home couple’s workout available to everyone, and because we believe your body is the best equipment out there.

It’s counterintuitive, but bodyweight workouts can be more effective than exercises with weights. Why? Because your body moves functionally, challenging balance, and range of motion and strength on multiple planes. With weights, often you’re only challenging muscles within the vertical plane. 

We chose not to include a medicine ball or resistance band because they are unnecessary. First, we don’t have a medicine ball and we never have in our home gym. Second, you can’t control the resistance level of a resistance band during couple’s workouts. 

If you are looking to add resistance training to your at-home routine, check out our Resistance Band Workout Routine, made up of 55 exercises, all with GIF video guidance. Just like this one.

I still have questions. What do I do?

Ask away in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible and add your recommendations to this article accordingly.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your comment!

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Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world, originally as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship, as a couple.

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