Exercising with a Partner

By Activity Bank on Oct 18, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

Staying healthy is a lifelong goal. To that end, it’s important to encourage students to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. This activity works on health and fitness while helping students to develop leisure skills. As an added benefit, they will practice working cooperatively with a partner. Lessons include Adapted Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure, and Social Skills.


None required, although a stopwatch can be used in some of the activities


Long jumpSet aside a specific time at least one or two days a week to be “exercise time.” Many exercises lend themselves extremely well to participation in small groups or with partners.

  • Have the students take turns counting repetitions for their partners’ exercises, such as toe touching, jumping jacks, push-ups, etc.
  • Have the students hold their partners’ ankles gently, but firmly, for sit-ups.
  • Take turns holding partners’ legs for wheelbarrows. This works best if one person has vision.
  • Time partners with a stopwatch while they run around the track, etc.
  • Run laps with partners. This works best if a student with some vision runs with a student who is totally blind.
  • Try races which require partners (e.g. three-legged races, relay races).


Students can be divided into teams to compete.

Hints: Check with the physical therapist to find out what restrictions each student may have, as well as to get suggestions for specific exercises that would be most beneficial to particular students.