Still vowing to stick to your New Year’s resolution of getting in shape, but don’t have the motivation to start? A workout buddy can help! Studies have shown that exercising with a partner can be more beneficial than exercising alone, as it promotes accountability and encouragement, while making things more fun. So, get cracking with these five partner-friendly flat ab exercises, demonstrated here by SAM BLAKEY of Ooberfit, and her son, Jack.
Partner-friendly core circuit workout
- Set a timer for 40-second intervals with 10-second rests.
- Complete three or four circuits with a water break of 45 to 60 seconds between them.
Exercise #1: Plank with Applause
Get into a full plank position facing each other. Ensure that your shoulders are over your hands, and concentrate on holding your butt low so that your back is straight. Reach out and “clap” your partner’s opposite hand while maintaining the plank position. Try to minimise any movement throughout the torso as you hand-clap your partner in order to ensure that you’re incorporating the obliques (those superficial side-ab muscles that help give you that six-pack look!).
To increase intensity, add a push-up before clapping hands – but only if you can already do an unmodified push-up comfortably!
Exercise #2: A Russian with a Twist
Get back-to-back with your partner, knees hip-width apart and slightly bent with heels on the ground. Using a water bottle or hand-weight, twist to one side at the torso (making sure your abs are “switched on”) and pass the bottle or weight to your partner. Follow all the way around in a 360-degree movement for 20 seconds before changing direction.
Exercise #3: “Excuse Me” Burpees
Face your partner over a mat. Take turns, one person completing a burpee while the other person rests – taking turns will help regulate your heart rate. If you still have lots of energy, be competitive – the quicker you are, the less rest your partner has!
Exercise #4: “V-Up” Footsies
Get into a “V” position on the mat by connecting your feet, which will help keep your legs high; slightly lean back onto your tailbone to help balance, and raise your arms up straight in front of you. In order to maintain this position, you’ll need to engage your whole core.
It’s important to keep your back as straight as you can! Also, don’t forget to use those deeper muscles – the pelvic floor and transverses – in addition to the more superficial muscles you can see working.
Exercise #5: Singapore Sling-Backs
Lie back on your mat with your partner standing over you. Grab your partner’s ankles and, keeping your lower back pressed on the mat, raise your legs up to a 90-degree angle so that your partner can push them back down towards the floor. You’ll need to exercise all of your ab strength to control this movement, stopping just short of the ground before lifting your legs back up to the starting position. Switch places with your partner after 40 seconds.
Photography: Ken Tan