Andrea Metcalf demonstrates the partner pass.
People who work out in a group are more likely to stick to their exercise programs. The exercises in this Friend-ilates partner training will build muscle, burn calories and strengthen your friendship bond. Exercise brings any relationship to a different intensity due to the hormonal changes that happen when you exercise. Talk, work together and see results in just a few weeks of training.

Here are five of my favorite friend exercises and the best stretch after a walk with your partner.

Step 1—Pass to Your Partner

Start standing back to back with a weighted medicine ball, hand weight or large phone book (anything that weighs about 6 to 8 pounds). Keep your knees slightly bent and reach around in a clockwise position for 8 to 10 reps and switch directions. This will strengthen your core muscles, shoulders and biceps.

Andrea Metcalf demonstrates the sit, reach and pass.
Step 2—Sit, Reach and Pass

Start seated side by side with a weighted medicine ball, hand weight or large phone book (anything that weighs about 6-8 pounds).Lean slightly back off your "sits bones" onto the soft part of your backside and pass the weighted object to your partner. Lift your arms over head and lift one leg (keep both feet on the ground if you need to). Pass the weight back to your partner. Try for 8 to 10 reps with your partner on your left, then switch sides. This move borrows Pilates core moves with weight-training waist rotations, which results in a tight midsection and great shoulders.

Andrea Metcalf demonstrates the hookup exercise.
Step 3—The Hookup

Start seated side by side with both knees bent to the outside. Hook elbows to help balance each other and practice posture lifting chest and spine. Lift the back leg and lower. Try for 12 to 15 repetitions on each side, then turn around and repeat on the other leg. This exercise builds a better bottom side and strengthens the core and spinal muscles. Use your partner for stability and balance, and keep those elbows lifted to work the shoulders.

Andrea Metcalf demonstrates the partner push.
Step 3—Partner Push

This one may look easy, but it's really effective. Start standing facing one another and extend your arms out in front of you. Keeping your arms extended, one partner pushes into the other partner's hands. Both of you are providing resistance and pressing into the other. You will feel this in the backs of your arms but also your abs and midsection. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides, still facing each other. Alternate direction of push for a set of 10.

Andrea Metcalf demonstrates the partner squat.
Step 5—Partner Squats

Lean on your friend in this squat exercise to build trust, toned legs and butt. Start back to back and slowly lower to a sitting position. Lift crossed arms to practice posture and strengthen your shoulders. Try to hold at the bottom for five counts and return to standing position. Try for 12 to 15 repetitions. This exercise really works the legs and balance too.

Andrea Metcalf's ballet cross reach exercise.
Step 6—Ballet Cross Reach

This stretch and balance move feels amazing. Start with elbows hooked standing about 12 to 18 inches apart, side by side. Step your outside foot behind and grab hands over head. Pull your arms upward and press hips out to the side. This opens the IT band, obliques and lats, which become tight after most cardio. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. This is a great exercise after your walk or jog with a friend.

Enjoy your time with friends and tone your body too.

Andrea Metcalf is a healthy lifestyle and fitness expert. She believes in making small changes for big results and aligning the body for better movement and a healthier mindset, Be healthy, be moved.


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