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Training

6 Strength Training Moves You Can Do With A Buddy

Get fit in a flash with help from a buddy! This two-part, full-body circuit is the perfect partner workout for days you need motivation.

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A support system is the best way to stick to your workout plan. Plus it’s always fun to have a sweat-session partner in crime.

How many times have you gone to the gym and talked yourself out of doing that last exercise, or just lacked the discipline to get there in the first place? This is when peer pressure can be a good thing. A recent study from the University of Pittsburgh found that people who tried to lose weight with a friend had better results after four months than those who went it alone.

Whether your goal is to drop pounds, to increase your strength or to become a faster runner, there’s nothing like a buddy to keep you accountable and motivated.

Take this full-body circuit to the gym with a friend and get it done. The workout starts off with two partner exercises. Once you have finished these you’ll each perform a complex metabolic circuit of four exercises, switching between which person is working and which person is resting. Remember to keep it positive and help your buddy count her reps!

What You Need

Exercise Mats
Medicine Ball  (4–8 pounds)
Dumbbells (5–15 pounds)

Part #1: Perform these partner exercises together, resting together between sets.

Friendly Planks

10 reps each side; 2 sets

(a) Get into a plank position facing your partner with your heads about a foot apart. (b) At the same time, reach your right arms out to high five each other, then return to the start position. That’s one rep. Now reach your left arms out to high five again. Keep your bodies as still as possible as your arms move.

No buddy? Perform the same plank position reaching one arm and then the other toward the front wall.

Ball Toss

10 reps each side; 2 sets

(a) Hold a medicine ball in both hands, standing next to your partner with enough space between you to toss the ball. (b) Rotate your hips (and the ball) away from your partner, then turn sharply toward her as you throw the ball into her hands. She will catch it and throw it back to you. That’s one rep. After you complete 10 reps on one side, flip around to throw the ball from the other direction.

No buddy? Bounce the ball against a hard wall, catching it as it rebounds.

Part #2: Perform this circuit in the “you go, I go” method. One person performs an exercise, while the other person rests (and cheers!). Then the person resting does the exercise. Continue alternating who is working and who is resting until you finish the circuit. Rest at the end together for one minute and then start again from the first exercise (reverse lunge). Complete two to four circuits total. Grab one pair of dumb-bells—start light and move up each time you do the workout.

Reverse Lunge

10 reps each side

(a) Holding the dumbbells at your sides, stand up tall with your chest up, shoulders back. (b) Keeping your upper body upright, step backward with one foot and lower into a lunge position. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps on one side, then switch legs.

Romanian Deadlift

12 reps total

(a) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent with the dumbbells resting on your thighs. (b) Push your hips back to lower the dumbbells down your legs to about halfway down your shins or until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Return to the start position. That’s one rep.

Squat to Press

12 reps total

(a) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells resting lightly on your shoulders. (b) Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (c) Straighten your legs by engaging your glutes as you press the dumbbells overhead. Lower the dumbbells to start position. That’s one rep.

Bent-Over Row

12 reps total

(a) Bend over with a flat back so that your torso is parallel to the floor and the dumbbells are hanging straight down from your shoulders. (b) Using your back muscles, pull your shoulder blades toward each other, bending your elbow to lift the weights to your rib cage. Pause, then return to the start position. That’s one rep.