There is the famous quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupèry, “Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.” Well, fitness trainers Whitney George and Dartangan Johnson, co-owners of Better YOU Health and Fitness, understand this theory more than most.
Whitney and Dartangan have been a couple for more than four years, and decided to join forces to bring their shared passion for fitness to clients. Each brings different skills to the table, from Whitney’s Pilates and nutrition background to Dartangan’s specialty in athletic speed and agility training—together, they’re now the one-stop shop for ultimate body change. Of course, being around the pair, their chemistry is obvious. But when I asked how they keep their spark alive, Whitney stressed that they value one another, and one another’s opinions, above all else. Really, it all comes down to communication and respect. “We support each other in all we do,” Whitney explains, “and challenge each other to be better physically and mentally.”
Whitney also says they love to laugh, a lot—and Dartangan had one more, very important thing to add: “We make sure to work out together,” he says. As the old cliché goes, a couple that works out together, stays together. This couldn’t be more true for these two, but it works for everyone—not just fitness industry folks! So grab a partner (it can be a friend!) and try this routine out designed by Whitney and Dartangan.
Works the abs, butt, hips, and thighs.
1: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Face your partner and hold hands.
2: Both partners at same time: without letting go, lean back as though you’re sitting down into a chair.
3: Keep weight in the heels as you squat down, and try to sit so that the thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
4: Stay low for 5 seconds, then push back up to starting position.
Repeat 10 to 15x times.
Works the glutes, hamstrings, core, balance, and inner thigh stabilizing muscles.
1: Start facing each other, and hold hands.
2: One partner at a time: start by lifting your right leg off the floor.
3: Then bend your left leg into a lunge position and extend your right leg back, never letting it touch the floor.
4: Get as low as you can with your left leg, attempting to bring the thigh parallel to the floor.
5: Keep all energy in your left heel, keep your core engaged, and then push back up to starting position. Repeat, keeping right foot off floor.
Perform move 10 to 15x, then switch legs and repeat; then switch partners and repeat.
Works the lower rectus abdominis, psoas, upper rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis.
1: Start with one person standing. The other lies down on their back, so that his or her head falls between the standing partner’s ankles, and grips hands around the ankles.
2: The partner on the floor: Bring your legs up to the sky and parallel to your partner’s body. Try to keep the legs together and as straight as possible.
3: The standing partner then pushes your feet down toward the floor, as you keep your back connected to the floor and push legs back up toward the sky.
4: Repeat. To work the obliques, have partner push legs down toward the sides at an angle.
Perform move 1 full minute, then switch partners and repeat.
Works the upper and lower back, biceps, rhomboids, and hamstrings; it also gives you a dynamic stretch in the lower back and hamstrings.
1: Both partners sit down facing each other, with legs slightly bent and hip-width apart, and soles of feet touching. Sit up straight, pull abs in as you keep the chest up and shoulders down.
2: One partner holds both edges of a towel creating a “U” shape, while the other grips the middle of the towel with both hands.
3: The partner holding the edges begins to pull towel toward his or her chest as the other provides moderate resistance, so that the movement lasts about 3 to 4 seconds. The goal is to pull the elbows behind the body while squeezing the shoulder blades together.
Perform move 10 to 15x, then switch partners and repeat.
This exercise works abs, arms legs, and “six-pack.”
1: One partner comes into a plank on the forearms. Elbows should be directly underneath shoulders, and shoulder-width apart. Keep the legs straight and strong, and the core pulled in tight. The body should look like a table.
2: Once in position, the other partner gently sits some of his or her weight on your back and keeps it there.
3: Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Repeat the entire routine two more times, for a total of three sets.