The triathlete couple’s workout challenge: are you strong enough?

You may have seen the trend sweeping the internet of couples challenges, maybe the competitive triathlete inside of you thought 'pfft that looks easy'. Well, as the prospect of Valentine's Day in lockdown approaches, we have some fun workout challenges you can do with your partner to keep that serotonin flowing...

Image credit: unsplash @krakenimages

Couples Warm-up:

Checkout our three warm-up moves to get you pumped and ready for the session ahead. Warming up is key as you’ll be doing a full-body session here, with some challenging yoga stretch sequences towards the end. Let’s get into it…

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Bench bunny hops – let’s warm up those legs and core with this bunny hop move. Instead of a bench, your partner will be holding a high or low plank whilst you jump from side to side over their body. Swap around after a minute and repeat. Top tip: precision is key here, we don’t want a total wipeout situation!

Squat / high knees – one person will be holding or pulsing a squat with their arms out in front of them, the second person will be opposite doing high knees and must reach the outstretched palms of their squatting partner with each knee. A great move to get the heartbeat up and prime your body for the strength moves to come. Make sure you swap positions after a minute.

High-five walk-outs – last warm-up move here before we get into the main session. This is a great move to warm up the whole body. Stand opposite each other with enough space between you for you both to reach down with you hands to the ground and walk out the hands until you both reach a high plank. You should be close enough at this point in the move to give each other a quick high-five then scramble back up to standing, and repeat for a minute.

You’re warmed up and ready to go, so let’s get into the strength session…

Couples Strength Session Challenge

Here are some fun, bodyweight strength moves to have a go at with your partner. No weights needed as you’ll be squatting and lifting with each other’s body weight. Be sure to swap around each move so you both can try each exercise! Depending on your level, try each move for 30s-1min a time before taking a few seconds rest in between exercises, and repeat the whole set two or three times. Tag us in your attempts on Instagram @220triathlon

  1. Squats – starting off easy, squat down facing each other and grab onto each other’s hands in a cross-over format. Then on the next squat, use your other hand and alternate. You can use each other strength to push back up out of the squat, or to create further resistance and make it harder.
  2. Piggy-back Squat – Not much explanation needed for this one. One person is squatting with the weight of the other, who is either piggy-backing their back or bear-hugging their front. This is not an easy move and may feel too heavy for the squatter, rather than focussing on time for this one, just see how many squats you can manage!
  3. Crunch / reverse crunch – This exercise sees one person sat as if to do a crunch, with the other led down in front of them and holding onto their ankles, both facing the same direction. The front person will be doing reverse crunches, bringing their legs in pike from the floor up towards their partner, while their partner will be doing a classic crunch, coming up to seated at the same time as the legs of their parter reaches the top, at which point they can then push back down the legs of the person in front and reset themselves back to the floor. And repeat. This is a fun interactive move where you can really push each other and give the core a real work out.
  4. Wheelbarrow plank/squat – one person is in a high plank with the other holding their legs, the person in plank will be tapping their shoulders whilst keeping the core engaged to reduce swivel. Keep those obliques tight! The second person will be squatting whilst holding onto the ankles of their partner to add extra weight.
  5. Shoulder press / plank – similar to the previous exercise but the standing person needs to be kneeling and holding onto the other’s ankles. They will go from sitting on their heels to high kneeling and at the same time, push upwards the legs of the other person in a shoulder-press motion. The other person will be holding a high plank with core braced, focussing on keeping their lines straight.
  6. High-five planks – it’s in the name, get into plank position opposite each other and move from your forearms up to your hands, when you reach the top give each other a high-five then go back down to your forearms, repeat alternating hands. You’ll have to stay in rhythm with your partner for this one!

We hope we got your hearts racing in that main session, it certainly wasn’t easy but in the words of the great Aristotle, “a couple that sweats together, stays together”.  Or was that Snoop Dog?

Couples Yoga Poses Challenge

Triathletes are infamously inflexible (perhaps in more ways than one), so this challenge should really push you and your partner to the limits of your capabilities. We’ve picked our favourite six acro yoga poses for you to have a go at, some of these may need a spotter or a soft mat nearby!

  1. Partner Tree Pose – The archetypal yoga pose that even triathletes will have heard of, so we’re starting you out gently with this one. Grab your partner and stand side by side. Then, bend your outer leg so that your foot is on your inner thigh. Wrap you arm around your partner’s shoulder and do the ‘namaste’ prayer sign with your partner with your available outer hands.
  2. Boat Pose – a simple but symmetrically pleasing pose, a great one to ease you and your partner further into the challenge. Sit opposite each other on the floor and raise your straight legs in pike position, with your feet touching. See how high you can hold your pike and grab onto each other’s hands for support.
  3. Stacked Plank – one person is in a high plank and the second person does a high plank on top of them, but the other way around. Grab the base person’s ankles with your hands and plant your feet on their shoulders. Keep that core tight and those lines straight. Simple but effective, can you manage it?
  4. Inverted Chair Pose – relationships are all about balance, and this move is no different. Start with one person straddling the other whilst the lower person is in a squat position. Then both start leaning back away from each other, use gravity and each other’s weight to balance out the pose and stretch out as far as you can, the person on the top can even stretch out until they are horizontal if their core can hack it! Top tip, the top person can tuck their feet behind and around the other’s shoulders as an anchor.
  5. Square Pose – Stretch the hamstrings and lower back with this pose. The base person it on the ground in pike position then the second person faces away from them, plants their feet either side of their legs and grabs onto their ankles. The second person then needs to rest their feet on the base’s shoulders and raise their body to an upside-down pike position, effectively reflecting the seated person’s position. Focus on making a square outline with your two bodies. Both of you will need a strong core and posture for this position, it’s not as easy as it looks!
  6. Flying Superman – the classic pose when one person is led on their back with legs up, their feet will be holding the second person’s hips whilst they stretch out superman-style above them. Hold onto each to each other’s hands for extra stability with this pose, or go for it full Dirty Dancing style and see how long you last!
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Be sure to tag us @220triathlon if you decide to give these moves a go! But please be careful! No accidents, injuries .. or fallouts/arguments… Remember February is the month of love!