Thinking about Doing Pilates with a Partner?
By: Stephanie Ruopp
It’s tough to get through February without mentioning Valentine’s Day.
Some folks love this Hallmark holiday, while others would sooner bury their heads under their pillows until the day is over. Most of us are probably somewhere in between.
Regardless of your feelings about Valentine’s Day, there’s something nice about engaging in the spirit of togetherness in February.
One of the best ways to celebrate your loved one (romantic or otherwise) is doing Pilates with him or her.
Plus, studies show that you’re more likely to stick with any fitness routine when you involve a partner. It’s the magic of the buddy system.
The Benefits of Doing Pilates with a Partner
Relationships are one of the (if not THE) most important things in our lives. So why not use exercise as a platform to empower those relationships?
When you practice Pilates with another person, you’ll find it’ll open the lines of communication between the two of you. You’ll turn both inward and toward one another.
As you challenge each other to overcome obstacles, you’ll also start thinking about ways to be more productive and proactive.
And it doesn’t matter whom you choose as your partner. Perhaps it’s your spouse, significant other, best friend, family member, or long lost childhood friend.
When you come together to do Pilates with this person, you’ll plug back into him or her. It will recharge your relationship.
Not sure where to start? Don’t sweat it! We’ve laid out six great mat Pilates exercises for you to explore with your partner in the comfort of your own home.
Mat Pilates Exercises to Do Together
The only things you’ll need to perform these exercises at home are two mats, a light weight (2-3 pounds), enough space to move, and someone you love!
Lay back on your mat and have your partner stand in front of you.
Pull your knees into your chest while lifting your head and chest from the earth.
Then have your partner hold onto your ankles. Keeping your shoulder blades off the mat, reach your arms back toward your ears and lengthen your legs straight out to a challenging angle. Circle your arms around.
Meanwhile, try to pull your legs back into your chest while your partner provides resistance by pulling your legs back towards themselves. The resistance will fire up your lower abs. Continue to circle your arms.
Repeat the action 5-10 times, then switch positions.
2. Teaser Press
Lay down on your mats so that the soles of your feet are touching one another’s.
If you’re both able, stretch your arms out at the same angle. Otherwise, simply bring your hands onto your legs.
Then both of you begin slowly rolling yourselves up, one vertebra at a time, until you are sitting upright with the weight behind your sit bones.
Slowly curl back down to the tips of your shoulders blades. Repeat a minimum of five times.
3. Partner Side Plank
Though it may sound like you’re going into side plank and then having your partner sit on your side, fear not!
At the count of three, each of you will rise to a side plank while continuing to press your backs against one another for both support and resistance. If a full side plank is too intense on the wrists, you can also do this on your forearms. Additionally, the bottom knee can be lowered to the earth.
Grab the light weight and then pass it under your body and through to your partner as he or she twists toward the ground to retrieve it. Then your partner will hand it back to you.
Repeat this 5-10 times on each side until you each feel the impact of that twisting action.
Bend your arms and press your palms into each others’. While maintaining that pressure, simultaneously peel your heads and chests off the mat – curling toward the upper back. Be sure to draw your abs in to support your lower back.
Slowly lower back down. Repeat this up and down motion as many times as you wish.
Sit upright, facing one another.
Allow the soles of your feet to touch with your partner’s.
Ask your partner to lean forward and take a hold of your ankles. This will not only allow you to stay grounded, but will give your partner an amazing hamstring stretch.
Once you’re seated, stretch your hands forward and take your partner’s ankles. Then he or she will roll down and come back up while you get that juicy hamstring stretch.
Throughout the exercise, keep your feet pressing together to maintain a deep inner thigh/low ab connection on your mat.
Continue this see-sawing action until you’ve each completed a minimum of five rounds.
6. Shoulder Bridge
Lay down with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Your partner will do the same, with his or her knees facing yours.
Both of you will tuck your tailbone and curl your hips up into a bridge pose. Keep your back flat rather than arching it. Focus on the strength of your glutes and hamstrings.
In the lifted bridge, both you and your partner will each draw your right knees into your chests, then straighten your right legs toward the ceiling.
Do the same on the left side. Upon completing the left side, release hips to the mat. Once again, repeat as many times as you see fit.
Enjoy Your Pilates Practice Even More
The added pleasures that come with doing Pilates with a partner can’t be denied. We hope you’ll give some of the above exercises a try.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t still love your regular Pilates practice.
And bring your partner!