Blast Fat with These 5 Total-Body Combo Moves
A great workout doesn’t need to take hours (in fact, it really shouldn’t, unless you’re training for an endurance event). With the right moves, you can hit all the major muscle groups in limited time—effectively killing that excuse once and for all. This dumbbell-and-bodyweight circuit, with the exercises performed back-to-back, should take about five minutes from start to finish; aim for a minimum three sets (with a one-minute rest between); do up to five for an aerobically challenging, calorie-torching strength routine.
MOVE 1 Split squat with overhead press
Grab a pair of 8- or 10-pound dumbbells. Stagger your stance into a wide step, one foot forward and one back with hips squared, and hold the weights just above your shoulders, elbows close into your sides (A). Leaning forward ever so slightly, bend both your knees to come down into a lunge position (B). Press up through your front leg while simultaneously lifting the weights straight up into the air, keeping your elbows pointing forward and your arms in line with your ears (C). As you lower back into the lunge for the next rep, lower the weights back to your shoulders. Do 8 reps on each side then switch your split for 8 more.
MOVE 2 Lateral lunges with side chop
Pick up one dumbbell in both hands, and hold it lengthwise close to your chest (A). Step out with one foot to the side, bending that knee and sitting way back. You want your stance to be wide enough that your hip, knee, and foot are in the same line. Move the weight so it’s adjacent to your working hip (B). Return the weight to center before pressing out of the bent leg to push yourself back to stand. Do 7 more to one side, then 8 on the other.
MOVE 3 Pushup with rows
Place your dumbbells on the ground parallel to each other and a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Set up in a plank position with your hands grasping the dumbbells (A). Perform a slow pushup, bending your elbows back, lowering your chest, and allowing your shoulder blades to pinch together (B). Push back up. Once you’re back to the top, shift your weight into one arm, and lift the weight in the other hand up so your elbow rises above your side (C). Control the return down, then do a row on the other side (D). Engage your core to keep your body from twisting or your hips from hiking throughout the rows. Do 8 full reps. (If the long plank proves too challenging, the sequence can be performed with your knees down, just be sure to align your shoulders, hips, and knees in the same plane.)
MOVE 4 Curtsy with bicep curls
Stand up and hold your weights by your sides (A). Pick up one foot and step it back, across, and behind the other, bending both knees to lower down into a curtsy squat. Hold the position while you perform a bicep curl with both arms (B). Step back to the start position. Step to the other side and repeat the sequence. That’s one rep; do 7 more.
MOVE 5 Plank with single-leg kickbacks
Come down onto your hands and toes into a high plank position (A). Pick up one flexed foot off the ground then bend the knee and bring it in toward your belly button, taking care to keep your hips and shoulders at the same level (B). Extend the bent leg back out and up, as high as you can without arching your back (C). Do 8 reps with one leg, then 8 with the other—keep everything level as you switch your feet. (If holding the plank is too intense, you can do the exercise from hands and knees, keeping the knee of the working leg hovering off the ground. The same no-back-arching rule applies.)