Shaping Up

Fun Workouts for Couples

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Levi Harrison shares fun workouts for couples in honor of Valentine's Day.
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Couples working out together is a great bonding experience and a good time to get fit. As an orthopedic surgeon, I always encourage my patients to workout with their partners or spouses. This develops a sense of true accountability and friendly competition. Here are three exercises couples can do that will help them on their fitness journey:

1. Back-up Squats
The couple should stand with their backs together and their feet shoulder width apart. They should do the squat in a synchronized manner. I recommend 3 sets of 15. To increase the difficulty, keep one leg on the opposite side straight. For example, one person has the right leg straight out with heel on the ground, while the other person has the left leg out. This is a more challenging squat on one leg.

2. Plank Palm Tap
This exercise should be done with the couple facing each other in the standard plank position. Be sure to keep your back straight and neck relaxed. After holding the plank for 30 seconds, each person should reach out to tap the other person’s palm. For example the right palm will tap the left palm of the other person for a total of 15 times. Hold each plank for a total of 1 minute with 30 seconds of palm taps. Try to increase the number of taps with each set. Do 3 minutes of “Plank Palm Taps” with each plank position held for 1 minute with a 30 second break between sets.

3. Wheel Barrel Push-ups and Squats
These are very challenging even for the most fit couple. One person should be in the standard push-up position on the floor. The other person will squat down and lift up the legs of the other person. While in the elevated position, a push-up should be done. When the push-up is being performed, the person standing should do a synchronized squat. I recommend 2 sets of 10. To increase the difficulty, the person in the push-up position can walk on their hands with a step forward on each hand. After making their steps, the push-up is done and the other person does a squat. This is a high level intensity exercise. Each person should keep their backs straight.

These exercises will definitely increase your strength and overall fitness. Be sure to stretch your legs, lower back, calves and wrists before and after these exercises.

Keep on exercising! Exercise is life!

About Dr. Levi Harrison

Dr. Levi Harrison

Dr. Levi Harrison is an orthopedic surgeon in the Los Angeles area. He is the first American physician to write and demonstrate all exercises in a comprehensive fitness book, The Art of Fitness – A Journey to Self Enhancement and DVD The Art of Fitness – Cardio Core Workout. Dr. Harrison is also an active motivational and fitness lecturer. He has been featured on multiple local and national broadcasts. Find more information about Dr. Harrison at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter at @DrLeviHarrison.