Crunched for time? Don’t skip your strength-training—downsize it. By doing exercises that simultaneously target the muscle groups in your abs, butt, legs, back, and chest, you can spend less time sweating and still get the firming benefits of a full-length workout.
Combination exercises that hit multiple body parts are great for all-over body shaping because your muscles are constantly working. Because you work your upper and lower body at the same time, you also raise your heart rate and burn more calories for a mini-cardio kick.
The result: You’re fitter and stronger, so you can power walk and play your favorite sports longer without getting tired. Here are our secrets for a speedy and powerful workout. Do 10 to 12 reps of each move. Then repeat the sequence. The entire workout should take 15 minutes. Aim to do it on 3 nonconsecutive days a week.
To squeeze in even more aerobic benefits, if you do this routine twice with a 2-minute burst of cardio between each set, you’ll get 20 minutes of cardio and a full strength-training routine in just over half an hour!
Curtsy with Front Raise:
Tones: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, abs, back, and shoulders.
- Stand with feet together, holding a dumbbell in the left hand.
- Take a giant step back and to the right with the left leg (the left foot ends up at the 5 o’clock position).
- Bend knees and lower until right thigh is almost parallel to the floor and raise left arm to shoulder height.
- Return to start.
- Do a full set on each side.
Plié Squat with Arm Curl:
Tones: glutes, hamstrings, quads, and biceps.
- Stand tall with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with arms down at sides and hands in front of legs with palms facing out.
- Bend knees and lower butt until thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
- Knees should not travel past toes.
- As you squat, bend elbows and curl dumbbells toward your shoulders.
- Pause and return to start position.
Ball Curl with Chest Press:
Tones: abs, chest, triceps, and shoulders.
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on an exercise ball, supported from the upper back to hips.
- Position weights at either side of the chest, the ends facing each other.
- Contract abs and curl head, shoulders, and upper back off the ball.
- As you come up, extend your arms and press weights over your chest.
- Pause and then reverse the movement back to start.
Tones: quads, hamstrings, glutes, back, and biceps.
- Holding a dumbbell in the right hand with the arm at the side, take a giant step forward with the left leg.
- Bend knees and lower until left thigh is parallel to the floor.
- At the same time, bend from the hips and lower the dumbbell down to the inside of the left foot.
- Bend elbow and pull the dumbbell back toward chest and then straighten legs and press back to standing, keeping the left foot in front of right.
- Complete a full set, then switch legs and arms.
Related article: Stability Ball Workout For A Strong Well Defined Core & Legs
Ball Push-Up with Hip Hike:
Tones: chest, triceps, shoulders, and abs.
- Lie facedown on the stability ball with both hands on the floor.
- Walk hands out, allowing the ball to roll beneath the body until under the thighs.
- Hands should be directly beneath shoulders.
- Tighten abs and lower chest toward the floor.
- Press back up and immediately bend your hips and lift them up toward the ceiling as if you were going into a handstand.
- Pause and then lower to start.