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The perfect-pair workout

Here are some workout moves that perfectly complement each other to produce the best results.

twoman working out

t Finding the perfect romantic pairing for your Valentine’s Day makes the difference between a great and a not-so-great date night, and the same concept applies to your workouts. The body responds best when exercise stress is placed on specifically targeted areas. Next time you’re in the gym, try working your body’s opposing muscle groups (i.e., biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings and pecs and back). You’ll accomplish a more effective workout in less time.

t So without further ado, here are some “perfectly paired” workouts designed to have you looking and feeling great for Valentine’s Day.

For perfect arms

t Everyone wants lean, muscular arms. One of the best tricks for getting arms of steel is simultaneously working your arms’ opposing muscle groups: your biceps and triceps. Here are a few pairs of exercises you can use to take a shortcut to great arms.

t Hammer curl (alternating)/Overhead triceps press

tRotating dumbbell curl/Triceps pull-down

tCurl-bar curl/Dip

t Try these exercises in sets of eight to 10 reps, doing a maximum of three sets per paired exercise.

For leg lovers

t For many exercise enthusiasts, leg day is the worst day of the week. It shouldn’t be. Strong legs are extremely important to your overall athleticism, but also, who doesn’t love a pair of nicely toned legs? Forget what you think you know about leg day and try some of these perfect pairings to take things to the next level.

tLeg extension/hamstring curl

t Try three sets of these, doing eight per set.

tFront squat/Back squat

t Try these in sets of five. Wait at least a minute in between sets, doing a maximum of five sets.

tWeighted lunge/Box jump

t These will work great in sets of 10. Do your lunges first and then your box jumps.

For a beautiful back and chest

t When it comes to getting a beautiful back and chest, the equation is simple. Alternate your “press” chest exercises with “pull” back exercises (and vice versa, since the pushing and pulling can go both ways). Not only will you be building muscle more effectively, but you’ll be able to rest less in between your sets! These pairings will really get things cooking the next time you’re in the gym.

tBench press/Close-grip cable row

t Try this in sets of 10, doing a maximum of three sets.

t Pec fly (bench)/Back fly (standing)

t Go light on these. Sets of 10-12 will work fine. Do a maximum of three sets per exercise.


t For this one, you can do as many as you want. Make sure you don’t rest too long in between the exercises.

t There you have it: three perfectly paired workouts primed and ready to take you to the next level. Instead of doing the same old thing the next time you’re in the gym, give one of these a try. You might just love it.

Photo credit: B2M Productions/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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