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Exercise For Two: How To Get In Shape With Another Person

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EXERCISE WITH A PARTNER
Why working out with a buddy can be better for your health. | Shutterstock

The key to keeping up with a workout routine could just be about staying accountable to someone else.

"You are more likely to stick to a program if you have someone motivating you in the background and waiting for you to show up," says Cheryl Pattyn, personal trainer and owner of Positive Image Fitness, based in London, Ont.

Just like investing in a personal trainer or gym membership, finding an exercise partner is about finding someone who will support and share similar goals with you.

"Be sure you have similar levels of fitness and goals, such as weight loss, muscle gains, or endurance," Pattyn tells The Huffington Post Canada.

Research has shown people who work out together are more likely to stick to a fitness class. One study from Michigan State University found that after dividing women into three groups (exercising alone, with virtual partners and exercising together), women who had partners were more persuaded to keep up with the exercise, according to Mnn.com. And a recent University of South Carolina study found people who tweeted about their weight loss goals and intentions were more likely to be successful.

Other studies push even further, pointing to the advantages of finding someone who is, to put it bluntly, better than you. According to a 2012 study by Kansas State University, people who exercised with someone who was "athletically superior" to them were more likely to exercise harder and longer, according to Mensjournal.com.

Pattyn also adds working out with another person makes exercising fun and challenging, but if you're having difficulty finding someone who will stick, consider hiring a personal trainer.

And remember, even if your workout buddy hits the gym every day, always go at your own pace and comfort level. Over-training or working out with weights that are too heavy could lead to injuries. To start, Pattyn shares her top 10 exercises you can do with a partner, both at home or in the gym.

LOOK: 10 exercises that will benefit both of you:

10 Best Exercises To Do With A Partner
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Partner Squat And Row With Resistance Bands:
HOW TO: Stand about 10 to 15 feet apart and face each other. Take two resistance bands and loop them together in the middle, so each person has their own set of handles, says Cheryl Pattyn, personal trainer and owner of Positive Image Personal Training, based in London, Ont. Squat down and up together with your arms out in front (as seen in the photo) and do a back row at the top. If you need more tension, step farther apart. For the back row action, you can do either a wide row with the palms facing the floor and elbows up, or a narrow row with the palms facing in, keeping the elbows tight.
REPS: 15

Front Lunge With Ball Chest Pass:
HOW TO: Stand about 10 to 15 feet apart and face each other. Partner one should start with the medicine ball (or stability ball) in their hands and lunge forward. As you pass the ball, take a step back into a standing position.
REPS: 20

Team Burpees:
HOW TO: Facing each other with your arms over your heads, jump up in the air and land in a push-up position. As partner one does 10 burpees, partner two should rest. See if you can get to 100 burpees!
REPS: Set of 10 and switch

Medicine Ball Slams:
HOW TO: Standing about 10 to 12 feet apart, partner one should carry a medicine ball (with a weight of five to 10 lbs) overhead. Next, partner one should slam the ball against the floor for partner two to catch it. Here, you work your core, legs and arms.
REPS: Slam the ball 12 to 15 times

Rear Lunge And Twist With Resistance Bands:
HOW TO: Again, have each partner hold on to one end of a resistance band and stand side-by-side, about 10 feet apart (or however much the length of your band allows). Go into a rear lunge together, hold the position, twist away from each other, and come back to your starting position.
REPS: 15 and switch legs

Plank Hip Bridges:
HOW TO: Partner one should hold a plank position on their elbows from either the knees or toes, depending on comfort level. Next, partner two should place the calf of one leg onto the back of partner one, with the other leg up in the air (into a hip bridge position). This creates resistance for the person doing the plank, and a challenge for the person doing the bridge. Partner two should attempt 10 to 15 one-legged hip bridges on one leg, then switch.
REPS: 15

Single Leg Deadlift With Medicine Ball Pass:
HOW TO: Facing each other and standing about 10 to 15 feet apart, partner one starts with the medicine ball in their hands. Both partners do a one-legged deadlift, holding the bottom position as partner one rolls the ball to partner two. Switch legs.
REPS: 15

Partner Push-Ups:
HOW TO: What's an exercise session without push-ups? Facing your partner at about arm's-length apart or side-by-side, go into push-ups either on your knees or toes. To add a challenge, try clapping every time you come up.
REPS: 10 to 15

Partner Leg Press:
HOW TO: Partner one lies on their back on the floor with legs up in the air (as seen in this picture). Next, partner two should place their hands on the feet of partner one and lean against them at a 45 degree angle. Partner one presses against partner two, both adding resistance. Remember, partner one should have bent knees as they press their legs up.
REPS: 15 to 20

Plank Jump Over:
HOW TO: Partner one should get into a plank position from the elbows on either the knees or toes. Next, partner two should jump over partner one for about 30 seconds before switching places. For a great challenge, do a burpee before jumping over your partner.
REPS: 15

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