Friends attempt to complete a virtual couples’ workout

April 16, 2020 — by Neeti Badve and Shama Gupta

For the past three weeks, we’ve mourned over the school’s closure and transitioned to online school mode by baking brownies, lemon poppyseed cake and lounging in our couches. After realizing that we had probably eaten enough to last us a second quarantine and had bonded with our couches enough that there are now body-shaped crevices in their cushions, we decided to take action. 

While scrolling through our Instagram feeds, we noticed couples workout videos, and it made us feel bad about our current habits. Having done workouts together before, we decided it was time to do a couples workout virtually. 

We decided to go all out and chose one of the hardest-looking workouts possible. Whether it was the appeal of “Dancing with the Stars” choreographer Derek Hough and his girlfriend’s workout or our adamance to only take on exercises that are out of our athletic league, we soon found ourselves spending the next hour doing ab, leg and glute exercises we were not prepared for. 

Not committing enough energy to change out of our pajamas, we were left sweaty and regretful after our choppy interpretation of Hough’s brilliantly choreographed partner workout.

We looked back at the video that Hough posted and immediately made adjustments for our lack of an in-person partner. Considering all of the exercises included either leaning on each other or using one another as weights, our adjustments completely changed the workout — but honestly, it made it a lot more fun. 

We ended up doing planks, one-legged wall sits (yes, ouch), high knees, which made Neeti’s mom come check if she was OK, and finally, the pièce de résistance: 45 squat jumps in a row. 

Our second attempt at a legitimate workout included 45 second wall-sits. Let’s just say that after 20 of them, we looked like discombobulated, crippled former student “athletes” who were bending their locked knees and doubling over in pain rather than two healthy teenagers doing squat jumps. 

Our quivering abs from the minute-long planks and legs that could no longer stand on their own made us collapse and hug the ground. Instead of cooling down or stretching, we went on a stalking mission to find out the right pronunciation of “Hough,” ending the workout on its highest note.

If we learned anything from this trial run, it’s that Derek Hough looks the way he does for a reason and that couples workouts were not made to be completed virtually. Honestly, the experience only motivated us to further deepen those couch crevices and look for more New York Times cooking recipes.

 

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.

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