If we could bust just one myth about exercise, it’s this: It takes hours a day to get stronger and more sculpted. In actuality, you can find success by cranking up the intensity on your workouts and choosing moves that work twice as hard for you. Take combination strength exercises, for instance, which don’t just work your arms or your legs, but a few major muscle groups at once. The result: You can cut your workout time in half, while still toning your entire body.
Jen Ator, fitness director of Women’s Health magazine, is all about using this technique to make your routine more efficient. As a recent guest on Daily Burn 365, she gave us a sneak peek of the Women’s Health 15-Minute Belly, Butt & Thighs Workouts program, and showed us how to fuse a few moves together so you can streamline your next gym session.
Here, regular jumping jacks get the medicine ball treatment, renegade rows turn core scorcher and plain old tricep extensions now work your lower half. Say goodbye to the “I have no time to exercise” excuse. Say hello to a stronger you!
3 Strength Exercises That Get More Done in Less Time
Perform these three combo moves for one minute each. Try to eliminate rest time in between to keep your heart pumping. Take a 60 second breather after the last move, then repeat the circuit as many times as you can.
1. Medicine Ball Jacks
Targets: Arms, shoulders, glutes and legs
The best way to ramp up your heart rate? Add a jump to make your exercise plyometric. Then pick up some weights. This move requires both, making your cardio and strength skills soar.
How to: Grab a medicine ball. Start with your feet together and arms straight overhead, holding the ball (a). Bring the ball to chest level, then push it straight out in front of you, as your jump your legs wider than hip-width apart (b). Return to start and repeat.
2. Rotating Renegade Row
Targets: Back, chest, core and arms
What do you get when you mix a push-up with renegade rows and a T raise? The ultimate way to sculpt your upper body and chisel your core.
How to: Grab a set of dumbbells and start in a push-up position, dumbbells directly beneath shoulders (a). Lower your chest as close to the ground as possible and press back up (b). With the right elbow tucked close to the body, row the right dumbbell up to chest level, then lower it back down (c). Row your right hand to chest level again. This time rotate your shoulders slightly left, bringing the dumbbell underneath your body, as you reach it just beyond your left hand (d). Bring your right arm back beneath you and rotate all the way to the right, as you straighten your elbow and form a T with your arms (e). Bring the dumbbell back to chest level, then return it to the floor (f). Repeat from the top.
3. Tricep Extension Squat
Targets: Triceps, legs, glutes and core
Tone every trouble zone with this move — from your arms to your thighs, plus everything in between.
How to: Grab a set of dumbbells in each hand, feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides (a). Push your hips back and squat down as low as you can go, as you swing your arms slightly behind your hips (b). Stand up straight, extending your arms overhead. Bring your hands together and bend your elbows, moving the dumbbells behind your head for a tricep extension (c). Bring your arms back overhead. Move them down by your sides as you squat back down. Repeat.
Want more time-saving moves that target your entire body? Try Daily Burn’s new Women’s Health 15-Minute Belly, Butt & Thighs Workouts program.
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