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When it is time to do exercises and stretches to strengthen your back, you likely have several that you do on your own. But, you can give your routine more variety and work those muscles differently by buddying up.
Exercising with a partner has many benefits and might be just what you need for a terrific back-strengthening workout.
Benefits of Exercising With a Buddy
If you have never worked out with buddy, you might just be missing out. Whether it is your best friend, coworker, or family member, here are several advantages to exercising with a partner.
- Increases accountability.
- Helps with motivation.
- Adds to your workout variety.
- Fosters friendly competition.
- Lets you spend time together.
- Can be more fun than working out alone.
Redefining Strength mentions:
Working out can definitely be more fun with a friend. It can also hold you accountable and make you push harder.
Plus, a friend can be all the equipment you need to get in a great full-body workout.
If you and your spouse or significant other are considering a buddy workout, there are additional benefits.
- Encourages communication.
- Increases trust.
- Lets you share the same goals.
- Helps you enjoy each other’s achievements.
Greatist.com, a site dedicated to health and happiness, states:
Combining QT and a quality workout is more than just a quick fix for couples on the go. Research shows that a solid sweat session produces chemicals in the brain that boost happiness and reduce stress.
Now that you know the benefits of a buddy workout, here are several exercises specifically for strengthening your back muscles.
1. Partner Pulls
In addition to working your back, this exercise also helps your biceps and core.
- Face your partner and take their right hand with your right hand.
- Put your opposite foot forward and have your partner do the same.
- Start with your arm closer into your body while your partner’s arm is extended toward you.
- Then, as your partner begins to pull your arm, resist the pull, creating tension throughout the exercise with steady movement.
- When your arm becomes extended from the pull, then you simply pull back as your partner resists.
- Be sure to stand tall and use enough resistance to challenge each other, but not so much that the exercise is unbalanced.
Note that this video shows over 20 partner workouts. The Partner Pulls exercise is the second one you will see.
2. Wheelbarrow Push-Up
This exercise works your back, chest, arms, legs, and core, providing a great workout for several areas.
- Put yourself in a plank position on the floor on your hands and toes.
- Have your partner stand behind you with a hand on each ankle.
- As you bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the floor, your partner will bend down from their hips while keeping their arms straight.
- Then, as you straighten your arms moving your chest away from the floor, your partner stands while keeping their back straight.
- Do this several times and then switch positions.
3. Knee Tucks
Knee Tucks is intended to work both your back and abdominal muscles for an improved posture.
- First, you and your partner will sit on the floor facing each other, a few feet away, with your hands behind you to support your lower back.
- You will both have your legs up and extend one leg at a time to tap your partner’s toe. Then, continue switching legs, sort of like you are pedaling a bicycle.
- Keep your balance and your backs straight for several repetitions.
If you experience lower back pain, you can keep both feet on the floor and extend one leg at a time.
4. Spinal Extension
This exercise, as with the previous one, strengthens both your back and abdominal muscles.
- Lay on the floor in a prone position with your partner holding your legs down at about the calf area.
- Inhale and lift your upper torso off the floor.
- Exhale and lower your torso toward the floor.
- Repeat the exercise while tucking in your chin to avoid neck compression.
- Then, switch with your partner for them to do the same.
This video shows both the Knee Tucks and Spinal Extension exercises as well as a few others.
5. Hamstring Stretch
While called the Hamstring Stretch, this move also stretches your lower back muscles.
- Sit on the floor with your partner back-to-back with your legs extended in front of you.
- Lean back, slightly pressing your weight, while your partner reaches for their toes.
- Hold for 6–10 seconds and then reverse so that your partner leans back while you reach for your toes.
When you work the hamstrings and back muscles together, it can be quite effective, as Briallyn Smith explains in this article on how to fix that nagging back pain.
6. Russian Twist With Passes
For this final exercise with your partner, you will need a medicine ball. This one works your lower back as well as your obliques.
- Sit on the floor back-to-back with your partner approximately one foot apart.
- Lean back slightly, rotate only at the torso, and hand the ball off to your partner as they twist to accept it.
- Continue left and right passing the ball to each other for 10 counts.
- Then, switch to pass the medicine ball in the opposite direction for another 10 counts.
Note that this video shows other partner exercises for a full workout. The Russian Twist is the last one in the clip.
7. Buddy Back Stretch
Along with your lower back and back extensors, this exercise works your upper and lower abdominal muscles.
- Stand back-to-back with your partner and interlock your arms.
- Bend your knees while taking your partner’s weight onto your back as you bend forward.
- Hold for 6–12 counts once your partner is lifted off the floor.
- Then, switch with your partner for them to do the same.
Grab a Partner and Get to It
You may not have fancy workout equipment, a cool gym membership, or even a regular exercise program. But, if you have a friend, partner, or family member, you have all the equipment you need to help stretch and strengthen your back muscles.
If you suffer from severe back pain or have a chronic condition, remember that it is best to consult with your physician before starting a new exercise routine.
If you have other exercises that are buddy-friendly and aimed at the back muscles, feel free to share them in the comments below!
Image Credits: fizkes/Shutterstock