UAE, 30th JULY 2018: With World Friends Day (4th August) just around the corner, there’s no better time to buddy up and schedule in some overdue gym sessions.

Studies have shown that people exercise more often, push themselves harder and train for longer when they work out with friend. Training with a friend can not only be fun and motivational but it can also activate a competitive streak, pushing you to lift heavier, run faster or squeeze in an extra rep or two.

Scheduling a gym session with a friend also helps you stay focused and holds you accountable for getting your workout in. In fact, having the right workout buddy can often be the difference between failure and success.

Robert Richards, Fitness First National Fitness and Wellness managergives his top workouts to carry out with your fitness buddy.

Side shuffle with medicine ball toss

The medicine ball is a great piece of equipment that you can bothuse to help improve your power as well as your aerobic endurance. It is also a great way to get in a full-body, core intensive workout. The side shuffle with medicine ball toss is the perfect whole-body warm-up. Simply stand four to five feet apart from your partnerand shuffle laterally whilst tossing the medicine ball back and forth to each other at chest height

Stability ball sit-up and medicine ball pass

This exercise isn’t your average abdominal exercise. Catching and throwing a medicine ball while carrying out a sit-up on a stability ball requires core strength, balance and up-body power. To begin the exercise, partner Aneeds to stand holding the medicine ball while partner B sits on the stability ball with their feet shoulder-width apart. Then in one quick motion, partner Athrows the medicine ball to partner B, who is leant back on the stability ball ready to start the first sit up. Catching the medicine ball mid-air, partner B thenreturns to the bottom of the sit up and then using all their core strength, carries out another sit up pushing the medicine ball back towards partner A.Repeat this for one minute and then swap positions.

TIP: If the medicine ball is too heavy, partner A can also sit on a stability ball

Jump squats with clap

Squats maybe a standard movement in any individual’s workout routinebut squats along with a jump-and-clap movement can be a new and energising way to refresh the exercise. Simply stand side by side with your partner in opposite directionsand come into a low squat, then from the bottom of your squatsimultaneously push off, jump up and clap both hands together at the height of your jump. When you land back downdrop immediately into another low squat. Repeat 8-12 times before switching sides.

Synchronised Bicycle Crunches

Lay opposite your partner holding the base of your feet together and start with bicycle cruncheswith your feet still in contact. Push one leg ahead of the other whilst your partner carries out the same movement on the opposite foot. This can help maintain balance and the synchronised movements can be a great way to keep consistent form. Remember to support and motivate one another and help each other stay consistent.

Partner heel taps with a resistance band

Partner heel taps with a resistance band is a simple workout ideal for carrying out with a friend and strengthening the core. To start, partner A needs to be lying on the floor faceup, while partner B stands by partner A’s head. Partner A then brings their feet into a table-top position (shins parallel to the ground) while partner B holds both ends of the resistance band, carefully looping the band around partner A’s feet. Once secured and in position, partner A should engage their core and lower and raise both feet with the resistance band firmly in place, so it doesn’t snap back and hit their partner. Throughout the movement, partner B needs to stand with their core tight, knees slightly bent and arms holding the ends of the band.

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