The Ultimate Couples Workout: Sweat Together, Stay Fit Together

Elevating your relationship with exercise.

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Every couple has a unique dynamic and finds different ways to enjoy spending time with one another.

Though a healthy relationship probably involves enjoying quite a few activities together, there’s perhaps no better way to bond and improve your health and connection than by exercising together.

A couples workout can absolutely be a date night activity that you look forward to during the busy work week, or it can even be an everyday occurrence if you have a common time when you can exercise as a couple.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a fun, two-is-better-than-one couples workout just for you and your partner.

A couple doing a couples workout.

What Is A Couples Workout?

A couple’s workout can take on any form. 

It might be both people in the relationship running side by side on two treadmills at the gym, each listening to their own music, barely interacting aside from giving one another periodic high-fives. 

Or, a couple’s workout could be two partners going to a yoga class together before a dinner date.

Although there’s no right or wrong way to do it, we think the best couples workouts are those that promote bonding and intimacy through some amount of teamwork and physical interaction.

One of the main concerns people in a relationship have about exercising as a couple is meeting the fitness levels of both of the individuals in the partnership.

For example, if you try to run together and one partner is much fitter than the other, it can cause frustration for the faster runner and feel stressful, pressure-laden, or irritating to the slower runner.

In most cases, a couple’s workout needs to be adjusted to the less fit partner; however, if you’re strategic in the partner exercises you choose, you can each get a good workout by working at your level in parallel.

A couple doing a couples workout, squats.

The Ultimate Couples Workout

We have designed this couples workout to work in a gym, park, or home, but you will need various pieces of exercise equipment, such as dumbbells, resistance bands, and medicine balls if you want to be able to increase the intensity of each exercise.

Complete 2-3 sets of each of the following couples exercises, depending on your fitness level and what else you have in store for date night!

#1: Jumping Jacks 

Face each other as you do 50 jumping jacks and count out loud together. Turn it into family therapy by getting the whole house involved!

#2: Back-to-Back Squat Holds With Medicine Ball Twist

Beginners can skip the medicine ball pass, but otherwise, it’s a great way to boost the intensity of the exercise and work your obliques.

  1. Line up back to back. If you’re using a medicine ball, one partner will start with the ball.
  2. Squat down simultaneously so that you are both in the lowered position, knees bent 90 degrees, backs straight and pressed together. Hold for 60 seconds.
  3. Increase the difficulty by rotating your torso to pass a medicine ball. Go 30 seconds in one direction and 30 seconds in the other.
A couple doing a couples workout, plank.

#3: Communication Exercises: Push-Up High Fives

This one combines physical touch and eye-contact, making push-ups a little more fun.

  1. Face one another in a push-up position such that your two heads are nearly touching and your feet are opposite from one another going in either direction. If one or both partners are not strong enough to do push-ups from the feet, you can drop down onto your knees, and it will not affect the other partner.
  2. Coordinate your pace by communicating, and perform a push-up simultaneously, bending your elbows to drop your chest towards the floor without touching it and then pressing back up through your palms to return to the starting position.
  3. As soon as your elbows are fully straight, lift your opposite arms (right hand for one partner and left hand for the other) and reach forward and across to your partner’s lifted hand to give each other a high five in the middle, balancing and supporting your weight on your feet (or knees) and other hand. This takes a lot of core strength.
  4. Return your hand to the starting position, and then perform another full push-up.
  5. When you get back to the upright position with your arms straight, reach across with your other hand and give a high five again.
  6. Continue alternating hands between reps and perform 16 to 20 reps total, depending on what works for the two of you.
A couple celebrating a good workout.

#4: Mountain Climbers

Get your heart rate back up with this cardio exercise.

  1. Line up side by side in a push-up position for mountain climbers.
  2. Set the timer for 60 seconds, moving at your individual paces. Alternate saying compliments or things you like about one another as you go.

#5: Medicine Ball Crunch Passes

This is a fun exercise for a couples workout because you get to practice effective communication and work as a team to find your flow.

The medicine ball also increases the difficulty of the core exercise because you are working against resistance and having to brace your core as you accept the weight.

  1. Each partner should lie on the floor in a crunch position (on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor). Your feet should be touching at the toes, and your heads should be at opposite ends of the room.
  2. One partner will start with a medicine ball (2-5 kg depending on your fitness level, but usually 8 pounds (3-4 kg) works well. Hold the medicine ball with your arms extended overhead so the ball is behind you as you lie on the floor.
  3. Communicate so that you both do a crunch at the same time. The person with the medicine ball will use the momentum from the upward motion of the crunch to toss the medicine ball to his or her partner, who will catch it in the “up” position of the crunch. Both partners will lower back to the ground, and the person with the medicine ball will fight gravity to slowly lower their body, bringing the extended arms holding the medicine ball overhead.
  4. Crunch up again, tossing and passing the ball.
  5. Complete 30 reps in total (15 times with the ball per person, but both partners will perform 30 crunches).
A couple doing a couples workout, lunges.

#6: Split Squat With Rotation and Medicine Ball Pass

Lunges with trunk rotations work your entire lower body and core, along with the shoulders. 

One partner will start with a medicine ball (3-6 kg).

  1. Perform a lunge or split squat side by side in parallel but with your opposite legs in front. The legs that are closest to one another should be in front. 
  2. Lunge up and down in unison, passing a medicine ball with outstretched arms, keeping your core tight and elbows fully extended. 
  3. After you accept the ball from your partner, continue rotating your trunk all the way to the other side of your body. Keep your elbows straight.
  4. Perform 16 lunges and then switch who is on the right and left, put your other leg in front (still the middle leg, but now you’re on opposite sides of one another), and do 16 more reps.
A couple doing a couples workout, plank.

#7: Plank With Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squats

In this couple’s exercise, one partner will hold a forearm plank for 60 seconds. The other will gently rest his or her rear foot on the back of the planker, between the shoulder blades, and perform 30 seconds of rear foot-elevated split squats holding an appropriate weight or just doing body weight.

#8: Burpee Bonding

Work on your coordination and communication as you try to perform 20 burpees in unison. Alternatively, flex your competitive muscles by setting the timer for 60 seconds and see who can do more burpees.

Give this couples’ workout a try the next time date night rolls around, and enjoy the laughs, bonding, and teamwork.

If you want to add some more couples exercises to this workout, check out our complete list of compound exercises to work some more in!

A couple doing a couples workout, Russian twists.

Benefits For Your Relationship

Working out together can act as an unconventional form of couples therapy, strengthening both the physical and emotional aspects of a relationship. Couples therapy exercises can include a dumbbell!

By sharing a workout together that requires active listening, such as coordinating movements or setting shared fitness goals, partners can improve their communication skills and deepen their connection.

Integrating principles from couples counseling, such as the Gottman Method’s1The Gottman Institute. (2015, September 22). The Gottman Institute. , focus on positive reinforcement and understanding each other’s love languages, into workout sessions enhances the experience.

For instance, knowing whether your partner appreciates verbal encouragement or physical signs of support can make the exercise more meaningful. Such activities not only contribute to physical well-being but also to mental health.

This approach to working out together encourages healthy communication, helps build trust, and offers a platform for conflict resolution by addressing any communication issues or differences in communication styles directly and constructively.

For example, at check-ins during a hard workout, if you ask how your partner feels, your partner may say, “Remember when we thought this was a good idea!”

It’s a powerful and less conventional way to work on relationship therapy goals while promoting individual and collective wellness.

Ultimately, exercising together can be a powerful way to foster a healthy relationship, marked by a deeper connection and emotional intimacy.2Schmidt, C. D., & Gelhert, N. C. (2016). Couples Therapy and Empathy. The Family Journal25(1), 23–30.

It’s an engaging way to tackle relationship issues, have better communication and reflective listening skills, and explore something new as a couple, all contributing to a stronger, more resilient partnership.

We hope you enjoyed our article. Remember, workouts can act as effective therapy sessions. However, we recommend a healthcare professional3Couples Therapy: Does It Really Work? (2017). Psychology Today., such as a family therapist, who offers marriage counseling.

They will be best suited to provoke positive change using therapy techniques.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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