Love n’ Sweat this Valentine’s Day

Side Plank

Photos by Lucie Wicker

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and whether you embrace the holiday with all of its chocolate, flowers, and teddy bears, or you despise the commercialized hype, let me suggest another way to celebrate—sweating it out in a high intensity workout with your significant other.

I recently sat down with certified personal trainer, Barry’s Bootcamp and Turnstyle Cycle‘s Derek Durkin to answer some questions and have him demonstrate his favorite workout moves best done with a partner. So whomever you are spending this V-day with, why not try an burn off those extra cupcacke calories by trying one or more of these out?

Side Plank

No Equipment Exercises

Squat Hold: Face each other, lower into a squat position, reach arms straight out and lock hands together.  This will burn your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and also work your core as long as you keep your chest upright. Do for 30 – 60 seconds.

Sit-up with Mountain Climbers: One person is doing sit-ups while the other person has their hands on the feet of the person doing sit-ups, and simultaneously doing mountain climbers.  You can also substitute the mountain climbers with a plank hold or gorilla stomps. Do for 30 seconds.

Plank Taps: While both in a high plank (on palms), head to head (about 6-12″ part), reach out and touch your hand to your partner’s shoulder, the shoulder directly across from yours.  So when you’re using your right hand you’re touching your partner’s left shoulder.  Do each side for 30 seconds.

Medicine Ball Exercises

Reverse Lunge Chest Press: Facing your partner, 3 – 6′ apart (the further apart the more difficult the chest press), partner 1 begins with the medicine ball.  Partner 1 does a reverse lunge, holding the med ball against their chest.  As partner 1 stands up they pass the med ball to their partner.  The partner receives the med ball and does the same.  Do 20 total reps, with 10 reverse lunges per leg.

Bicep Curl

Q: What benefits are there when you workout in pairs?
Durkin: Accountability: when someone is else there with you they can help you push through it. This will make you go harder, longer, and push you to go past your limits. It will also make the workout more fun. Plus you can have someone there to help you achieve your personal goals.

Q: Help, I only have 30 minutes in between classes! What are exercises would you recommend get in lot of burn in a short amount of time?
Involve the legs because they are the largest muscle group, therefore you will maximize the calorie burn and you will continue to burn calories in the following 24-48 hours. Your best bet is with lunges or burpees. I would also include some push-ups and walking planks.

Q: How did you get your start in business? Explain your fitness business.
Durkin: I got my personal training license and then I fortunately was lucky enough to known Dustin Martin, co-partner of Barry’s Bootcamp Boston. Once I started teaching at Barry’s, which was my first time ever teaching fitness, I realized I could dedicate time into my own business. The hardest part was figuring out what I wanted my business to do. I found a lot of the clients from Barry’s were asking me how to “take the workouts on the go” so I decided to develop custom made workouts. The RISE program I launched is based on workouts I used for myself and saw great results from.

Q: Alternative date ideas that do not include dinner and drinks?
Durkin: I would recommend rock climbing, take a workout class together, or go skiing. If you have a long weekend take a trip up to New Hampshire go hit the slopes and go hiking—no better workout then that.

For more workouts like this, visit Derek Durkin Fitness or follow Derek on Twitter @WolfofBoston and Instagram @RISEworkouts.

Libby Leyden-Sussler, journalist, world traveler, and fitness fanatic. Follow my adventures in Boston and abroad on Instagram and Twitter.