10 Post-workout Partner Challenges

Pushup with Partner
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Sure, your workout session’s over. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have enough left in you to challenge your workout partner to a little friendly competition. Throwing a little pride into the mix is a great way to kick your motivation up into the next gear.

We talked to Ben Musholt, a physical therapist in Portland, OR, for more than 10 years and the founder of Strength Mob and BPM Rx Inc., about some easy ways to challenge your gym buddy and yourself. When you think you’re running on empty, test yourself and your friend, and you’ll be surprised how much strength you dig up.

1. The pushup game

The first person begins with 10 pushups. The second person matches the 10, and then does as many extra as he can. The next person does the difference between the two sets, and adds on another few reps. You must maintain a pushup position for the duration of the game, without letting your knees touch the ground. The game cycles continuously, and is won by whomever completes all of the pushups and doesn’t collapse.

2. Squat hold

Square off from your partner and get into a deep squat position, with hips and knees below 90° of flexion. However, don’t drop all the way to your heels. The guy who can maintain the squat for the longest time, without standing up or dropping backward, wins the challenge.

3. Single-leg bench getup

Sit side-by-side on a weight bench, and keep one leg elevated off the floor. Start standing up together, on one leg, keeping pace at an easy cadence. The last person to complete the get-up on one leg wins.

4. Pullup add-on

The challenge begins with someone doing a single pullup on a high bar. The next person completes a pullup, then adds a second pullup or another hanging movement. Mix it up with clapping pullups, circular pullups, or hanging legs raises. The game builds to a progressively longer series of hanging motions, and ends when someone can’t match the last movement.

5. Handstand hold

Kick up to a handstand against a wall, facing away from it. Lock out your arms, and settle in for the long haul. Whomever can stay up the longest wins the challenge.

6. Towel drag

Find some open floor space, like an indoor basketball court or long hallway. Get in a plank position, and place an old towel under your feet. Drag yourself in a plank position, pulling with your arms, as far as you can. The person that completes the most laps is the winner.

7. Side-plankers

Pick a side, and then get in position. Hold a side-plank with your top arm and leg elevated, for as long as you can. Longest duration wins.

8. Wall walks

Start in a plank position, with your feet on the floor, near a wall. Walk your hands toward the wall and feet upward, to finish with your chest against the wall in a handstand position. Crawl back to the starting position. Most reps wins.

9. V-sit

Sit on the ground and lift your legs up, so that you’re balanced in a V position, with arms elevated, too. Hold for as long as you can. Winner stays up the longest.

10. Wall sit with plate raise

Grab a 10-lb weight plate, then find some empty wall space. Settle into a wall sit with your hips and knees bent to 90°. Raise the weight plate above your head, with your arms straight. Sit in this position until you either have to stand or lower the weight. Last man in position is the champ.

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