Everyone likes to get more bang for their buck, whether you’re ordering at combo at your favorite restaurant or scoring a two-for-one deal at your favorite store. Well, the same could be said for your exercise routine.
When it comes to strength training—which I’d forcefully argue that everyone should do no matter their age—some moves are better than others when it comes to recruiting the greatest amount of muscle. In fact, I’d argue that most people make the mistake of choosing exercises that don’t work multiple muscle groups and concentrate on a single area. If you’re doing moves such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, or leg extensions, you’re simply not getting as quality of a workout as you would if you replaced those with rows, presses, and squats—all of which are compound movements.
So if your goal is to build strength, burn fat, and get a complete workout, you want to use the right exercises that target your whole body. What’s more, these exercises are so great that they’re an entire workout in and of themselves.
Curious to know more? Read on for some of my favorite exercises that strengthen your whole body in one movement. Pick a few of these and incorporate them into your own routine. To maximize their effectiveness, I’d advise you to perform 3-4 sets during a single session at the prescribed reps. So read on, and for more great exercise advice, don’t miss the Secret Side Effects of Lifting Weights for the First Time, Says Science.
Start by holding a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders. Keeping your chest tall and core tight, squat down until your hips are parallel to the ground. Once you’ve hit parallel, drive through the heels and use the momentum of the squat to press the weights straight up. Flex your triceps at the top, then lower the weight under control back to your shoulders before performing another rep. And for more great exercises you can do, see these 5-Minute Exercises for a Flatter Stomach Fast.
Start by getting into a pushup position with a wide stance holding a pair of dumbbells. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, perform a pushup by lowering yourself under control and then coming back up. After you’ve completed a pushup, take one hand and row the weight by driving your elbow towards your hip, squeezing your lat. Return the dumbbell back to the ground, then perform a row with the other arm. Return to starting position before performing another pushup.
Begin by holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders. Keeping your chest tall and core tight, step back with one leg until your knee touches the ground. When you’re at the bottom of the movement, press the weights up, then lower them back down before stepping back to the starting position. Perform all reps on one leg before switching sides.
Begin the exercise by lying flat on the ground holding either a dumbbell or kettlebell above you with one hand and your knee bent and foot planted on the same side. With your opposite hand, plant it 45 degrees out to the side. Push through your planted foot and raise the weight to the ceiling.
As you come up, shift your body to opposite side and get up. Keeping your arm straight overhead, lift your hips off the ground until they are fully extended. Slowly begin bringing the opposite leg behind you so your knee is planted. You should be in a lunge position with the hand, knee and foot in a straight line. From the kneeling lunge position, stand up straight with the bell overhead. Once you’re standing up, simply reverse the process step by step back to the floor while keeping your eyes on the weight. For more great workouts, see here for the Incredible Treadmill Workouts for People Over 60, Says Top Trainer.