We all know that staying in shape is a huge factor in having a good sex life, which contributes to a super solid love life. So in honor of Valentine's Day, and because we believe Spartans make the best lovers, we're here to tell you why a couples home workout can revamp more than your fitness routine. (Plus, an epic core workout to try together ASAP.)
Research published in the Sex Medical Review found women who regularly exercise experienced improved mood, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Additionally, the study says the psychological benefits of staying in shape boosts women’s self-image, and makes them feel more desirable. Another study published in Front Psychology found that leaner men have higher testosterone levels, which directly boosts sexual function and desire.
Of course, there are also intangible benefits to working out (and working out together!) that are tough for researchers to quantify, like the fun of teamwork, or the sense that it re-affirms your commitment to each other. Krista Stryker, the founder of 12 Minute Athlete, says a shared commitment to fitness can enhance a romantic relationship. “Not only will staying in shape help make you more attractive to your partner and vise versa, you’ll both feel more like the other person cares enough to not totally let themselves go,” she says.
And hey, if you're single this Valentine's Day? No sweat! (But also, no excuses not to get your sweat on.) You can still get the same benefits from this at-home core-burner. Grab a friend and get cracking.
The Benefits of Doing a Couples Home Workout
Working out at at home together—as opposed to hitting the gym, joining a sports league, or venturing outdoors—offers some unique benefits.
1. You Cut Down Travel Time to the Gym
Most obviously, it saves time and effort since you don’t have to go anywhere. “Not having time to exercise is most people’s biggest excuse for missing a workout, and home workouts (especially short, high intensity workouts) are a huge help for busy people,” says Stryker. And for couples, working out at home is easy, because you’re already there consistently together.
2. You Don't Need Much Equipment to Get Your Sweat Sesh On
Working out at home also allows you to avoid distractions, as well as wait time for the equipment you want to use. In fact, most home bodyweight workouts tend to use little or no equipment. Win, win. Just grab your tennis shoes and get moving.
3. You Can Get Creative (And No One is Watching You!)
“Another huge benefit is that home workouts can be tailored to any fitness level to make them less or more challenging. For example, a basic push up can be made easier by placing your hands on an elevated surface, and can be made more difficult by adding a plyometric element (think clapping or superman push ups) or by working one arm variations. The possibilities are endless!”
4. You and Your Partner Can Motivate Each Other
Many people find it hard to motivate themselves to work out at home, and feel they need to be in a gym or other dedicated exercise space to get “in the zone,” mentally. That said, having a partner can make this a non-issue. “If you have fairly separate lives and don’t see each other as often as you’d like, exercising together can be a great way to spend time together as a couple," says Stryker. Plus, going through a difficult workout with your partner can actually enhance the chemical bond between the two of you when oxytocin, a hormone that creates feelings of comfort, is released. Plus, it makes the sweat sesh go by quickly and it can be more fun than working out alone. "And if something is more fun, you’ll both be that much more likely to do it,” she says.
The Epic Core Couples Home Workout (Try it Tonight!)
The following core-burning workout can be performed with a single medicine ball. Be aware that it should be performed in a room with a sturdy floor, since bouncing a medicine ball puts force on the floor.
Perform the following exercises with your partner, in order:
- 10 squat throws each back and forth
- 10 ball transfer push ups each
- 5 forward lunge w/ chest pass / leg
- 5 medicine ball slams into plank
- 5 squats w/ rotational toss / side
- 10 plank rolls back and forth
- 10 sit up + throws
Complete three rounds, resting as little as possible between reps and sets.
WATCH: Stryker + Her Friend Demo this Core-Burner
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Grab a friend and get to work 🔥 Tag someone who needs a #partnerworkout 🙌 Try it: Complete 3 rounds, resting as little as possible between reps and sets. Go through these exercises: 10 squat throws each back and forth 10 ball transfer push ups each 5 forward lunge w/ chest pass / leg 5 medicine ball slams into plank 5 squats w/ rotational toss / side 10 plank rolls back and forth 10 sit up + throws TRAIN HARD 🔥 Modify any exercises as needed to make them more or less difficult for you. Questions on how to modify a particular exercise? >>> Comment below 👇 Get more #quickworkouts: 12minuteathlete.com/app ⚡️ Thanks to the beautiful + strong @aimeeducharme for being my workout partner 🙌💪 . . . #Hiit #hiitworkout #hiitcardio #HIITtraining #hiitworkouts #fitness #calisthenics #bodyweighttraining #plyometrics #femalecalisthenics #fitnessmotivation #instafitness #fitnessjourney #igfitness #fitnesslifestyle #fitnessgirl #fitnesslife #fitnessgoals #fitnessinspiration #LAFitness #fitnesscoach #fitnessblogger #12minuteathlete
Don't Have a Med Ball? No Sweat. Here's How to Modify
If you don’t have a medicine ball, substitute bodyweight-only exercises, but double or triple the number of reps. 20 burpees, 10 lunges each side, a one-minute front or side plank, squats with rotation, a one-minute push up in plank position, and 20 off-center sit-ups is a solid starting point.
Cool Down with Your Partner
Don't forget to cool down and stretch out at the end. Try some recovery yoga poses, foam rolling and you can even give each other cross-fiber friction massages to rehab muscle tightness and tender areas.