Shaping up with a sweetie will give your body and sex life a boost. “Exercise gets your blood pumping and endorphins flowing, working as a natural aphrodisiac,” says Laura Berman, Ph.D., a sex therapist and the author of The Passion Prescription (Hyperion). “Sweating in tandem heightens arousal and intimacy.” What’s more, couples who joined a fitness program as a pair were more likely to stick with it (94 percent did!) than singles, a study from Indiana University at Bloomington notes. No wonder newlyweds Susie Castillo (Look familiar? She’s an MTV veejay and the new face of Neutrogena) and Matthew Leslie were eager to tone together. Your turn! Think of it this way: It’s healthier than going out to eat on every date.
How to do it
You’ll need An 8- to 15-pound medicine ball (or dumbbell) and two identical bands (of any resistance, with or without handles). Oh, and a partner: Fitness pro Michael Curry of Stronghold Fitness in West Los Angeles designed these total-body slimmers to try with your better half or a friend.
Perform two or three sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise on nonconsecutive days, adding reps as you get stronger. Hang in there for a month “and you’ll see major body changes—fat loss and head-to-toe toning,” Curry assures. You’ll like your new body so much, you’ll feel like sharing it!
Stand back-to-back with partner and lower into a squat with knees over ankles and weight on heels (maintain squat throughout). One person holds ball with both hands at chest level; the other person holds hands at chest, ready to receive ball. Twist right as partner twists left, passing or receiving ball (as shown). Switch directions and pass back or receive ball to complete one rep.
Stand facing each other about 2 feet apart, feet hip-width apart, knees soft. Both lower into squat, arms at chest level, elbows bent, palms out. One person holds squat while the other jumps up and raises arms overhead (as shown). As soon as the jumper lands, the other person jumps up. Continue alternating jumping and squatting until both partners have jumped 15 times.
Works: Legs, Butt
Stand back-to-back, about a foot apart. Hold one band in each hand; have partner take opposite ends. Extend arms out to sides at shoulder height, palms forward. Keeping arms raised, lunge forward on opposite legs (as shown). Maintaining lunge, bring hands together in front of chest and release. Return to standing and repeat on opposite leg for one rep.
Works: Chest, Arms, Back, Butt, Legs
Start side by side in push-up position. Lower chest toward ground. Push back to start. Then shift weight to outside arm, keeping it straight, as you turn chest to face partner, balancing on side of outside foot, legs stacked. Give partner a high five (as shown). Return to push-up position; repeat for one set. Switch places for second set.
Works: Shoulders, Chest, Back, Abs, Butt
Stand back-to-back, about a foot apart. One person holds ball overhead while the other raises hands, ready to receive ball. Pass ball (as shown). Both bend forward, pass ball through legs and return to start for one rep.
Works: Shoulders, Back, Abs, Butt, Legs
Hold one resistance band in each hand; have partner take opposite ends. Sit facing each other with bottoms of feet together, knees soft, back at a 45-degree angle with ground throughout. Turn palms up and, with elbows glued to sides, curl forearms toward chest (as shown). Return to start for one rep.
Works: Biceps, Abs
One person sits on chair or bench. The other turns away from partner and squats in front, placing hands on partner’s thighs, fingers forward. Standing partner walks feet away from body and lowers until triceps are parallel to ground (as shown). Return to start; repeat. Switch places after each set.
Works: Shoulders, Triceps
Stand 2 feet from partner, facing each other. Hold each other’s wrists. Lift and extend opposite legs. Support one another and lower into one-legged squat (as shown). Return to start and repeat. Complete all reps on one leg; switch legs. Up for a third set? Switch legs halfway through.
Works: Back, Abs, Butt, Legs
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