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Weekend Workout: Strength exercises to do with a partner


Young couple at the gym

Even though triathlon is an individual sport, it’s no secret that training with a team makes it even better. Most triathletes have a a go-to pal when solo training just seems impossible. We do our long rides together, we pressure each other into early morning swim workouts and we cheer each other on in races. When it comes to strength work, relying on that friend to add a twist to the exercises just makes the session all the more fun. Arrange some gym or studio time with your workout partner and include all or some of these exercises:

Arm linked squats. This exercise is a jazzed up version of your basic wall squat. Most triathletes know that move well. The back is to be pressed against the wall while you squat with the thighs perpendicular to the floor and a right angle at the knee. The partnered version of this is to stand back to back, link the arms and lower into the squat position using the friend’s back for support instead of a wall.

Leg lifts. The basic leg lift goes like this: lie on a yoga mat legs together stretched out on the floor. Raise the legs up until your body forms a right angle. Then, slowly lower back to the floor, contracting the abs as you do so. With the partner twist, your partner stands at your head while you grab their ankles. When you bring the legs up to the right angle position, have them push your feet either forward, left or right. Whichever direction they push, lower the legs to touch to the floor in that direction before raising them back up toward our partner. Repeat.


Crunches with med ball. Get into standard crunch position while facing each other. You feet you should just about touching. One partner starts off with the med ball. As you come up into the crunch, the ball gets passed to the other partner as you meet in the middle. Go back down, come up and pass again. You should have the ball on every other crunch.

Lateral rotations with med ball. Stand back to back with your partner. One starts with the med ball held in the center of the body. Laterally twist together at the same time. One partner will twist left, while the other goes right so that you can meet and pass the ball. Continue passing the ball between the two of you. This exercise can be done as fast or slow as you like.

Partnered lunges. This is your basic lunge edited so that a partner can help with balance and stability. Face each other. Stretch the arms out in front and hold onto each other’s upper arms. Lower yourself into a squat staggering your legs so as not to get in each other’s way. As with all lunges, careful not to let the knees extend over the foot. Keep it at a right ankle.