Try this circuit-style full body workout with your partner

Work up a sweat and raise your heart rate with this full body circuit workout. This session combines a mix of cardio and strength exercises to help improve your muscular endurance, heart health and support weight loss.

About the workout

This workout is designed to be completed in a duo, so grab your workout buddy, set your timer and get moving together!

You can complete the exercises with your bodyweight or additional weights, depending on you and your partner's abilities. 

What you'll need: ball weights (optional), a bottle of water, and plenty of space around you to perform the exercises.

Duration and reps: 40-second work / 20-second rest for each exercise, 3–4 rounds with 1-minute rest between rounds:

How to perform the exercises

How to do a partner squat

Begin by facing each other, extend your arms and hold onto one another, then simultaneously go into a squat and back to standing, so you support each other throughout.

  • Beginner – use both arms
  • Intermediate – hold one arm with the other arm extended
  • Advanced – hold onto your partner with one arm and hold a weight in the other hand.

holding onto your partner will help keep your form upright and enable you to sit down in the squat position.

How to do a press-up to a high five

Start by facing one another in a press-up position and attempt one press-up. As you both come up, mirror each other and, together using the same hand, high five each other, swapping hands for every rep.

  • Beginner – high five with one hand
  • Intermediate – high five with one hand, then the other straight after
  • Advanced – press up on weights and instead of high fives, pass the weights to your partner and back.

Tip: you can perform the press-up on your knees or toes. When on your knees, try to get your chest as close to the floor as possible.

How to do a forward lunge twist

Stand side by side and as one of you holds the ball, simultaneously lunge forward and twist in towards one another, passing the ball while doing so. Then on the second lunge, both twist the other way, then on the next lunge back to the middle.

  • Beginner – standing close to one another pass the ball back and forth
  • Intermediate – widen the distance between the both of you and throw the ball back and forth to one another
  • Advanced – do jump lunge twists to work up a sweat – this will take some coordination.

Tip: alternate twists with each rep so you can target both sides of the core. Also, feel free to alternate legs.

How to do a sit-up to medicine ball throw

Lay on the floor opposite one another, with one of you holding the ball, simultaneously sit up and the person with the ball throws it to the other. Then you both lower back down to the floor, and repeat back and forth.

  • Beginner – do this with just bodyweight to start, so at the top of the movement, high five instead and then go back down
  • Intermediate – add a ball to the move or use a slightly heavier ball
  • Advanced – use a heavier ball and slightly widen the distance from one another, as this will force you to have more control.

Tip: aim to keep your feet on the floor while performing the sit-up. Make this move harder by taking the ball back behind your head and keeping your arms straight as you sit up.

How to do a lying leg raise

Lay on the floor and have your partner stand over you, facing down your torso. Hold onto your partner's ankles for support and raise your legs into the air, then back down.

  • Beginner – get your partner to push your legs back down each time, to give you a little momentum in the movement
  • Intermediate – allow your partner to push your legs slightly to one side and then the other for each rep to target the whole core
  • Advanced – once you push your partner's legs down, squat, then as you come back up to standing, catch their ankles and push their legs away again – repeat for the duration of the exercise.

Tip: control the speed of the legs when coming down towards the floor to maintain good core control.

How to do a ball pass and shuffle

Stand and face one another as you both shuffle to the side for the count of three, then throw the ball to your partner and shuffle back in the opposite direction – repeat this for the duration of the exercise.

  • Beginner – start with your bodyweight without a ball and shuffle from side to side
  • Intermediate – add the ball throw to the move at the end of the shuffle
  • Advanced – as you shuffle, continuously throw the ball back and forth between each other.

Tip: to make this more competitive and fun, get you or your partner to be the leader. The leader can shuffle side to side, and the other partner needs to keep up with their speed and be ready to catch the ball whenever they throw it. Swap over each round. 

Want to know more about circuit training? Nuffield Health Senior Personal Trainer, Phil Golding, explains what circuit training is and when it's best used.

HIIT with Tan

If you're struggling to find a partner to workout with – join Tan in this HIIT class. HIIT is a form of circuit training, but more cardio based. 

Last updated Monday 13 February 2023

First published on Monday 13 February 2023