We all want tank top-worthy shoulders and arms, a flat tummy, tight glutes and conditioned legs, but most of us don’t have hours to devote to the gym each day.
Total body workouts, including cardio and resistance training along with short bouts of high-intensity exercises, are proven to burn fat and build muscle! I am regularly asked for workouts that will target areas such as the arms, abs, glutes, and thighs.
While it is not possible to “spot reduce” fat, it is possible to build lean muscle that will increase your resting metabolism and burn the fat you don’t like. Including bouts of high-intensity exercises into your routine will also increase the number of calories your body burns even after you are finished with your workout.
This is why compound, multi-joint exercises should be an essential part of your training regimens. They are quick, can usually be done anywhere with limited equipment and are highly effective. The best part is that you won’t even have to step on a machine to get your heart rate up. Get your cardio, resistance training, and flexibility work done all at once in this short workout.
Always lift as heavy as possible while maintaining good form. When performing these exercises, make sure to keep your belly button pulled tight to your spine throughout. This will ensure it is protected and will also strengthen your core.
Whether you’ve hit a plateau, want to be more athletic, have goals of rocking that bikini you’ve seen, or just want to feel good, this is the workout for you.
Perform this time-efficient, total body workout 3-4 times a week, and you’ll wave goodbye to your trouble spots.
What to do
Sets and Rep: Complete this circuit 3 times. Perform 12-15 reps of each exercise. Rest for 15 seconds between exercises and 1 minute between circuits.
1. Split lunge with hammer curl to shoulder press
Muscles: quads, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, delts, core
A) Begin in a lunge position with your left foot forward and your knees bent. Keep your front knee in line with your second toe and back knee under your right hip.
B) Keeping your palms facing each other, curl both dumbbells toward your shoulders while you push through your front heel to a standing position. Hold this position, rotate your palms to the front, and press the dumbbells overhead. Lower the dumbbells back to your sides and then return to the starting position.
2. Single leg squat with single leg burpee
Muscles: quads, glutes, hamstrings, delts, pecs, biceps, triceps, rectus abdominis
A) Balance on your right leg with arms at your sides and left leg extended off the floor.
B) Squat to seated position keeping legs elevated off the floor. Keep back straight and ensure supporting leg’s knee is tracking over second toe. Raise to starting position. Squat down and place hands on floor. Kick foot back until in a plank position with leg extended. Jump foot back to hands and transfer weight to heel. Repeat all reps on one leg.
3. Lateral step-up with dumbbell lateral raise
Muscles: quads, hamstrings, glutes, delts, traps, core
A) Stand next to a bench holding dumbbells at your sides.
B) Step up to the side onto the bench slightly forward of your straight knee. Pushing through your heel, step up on to bench until hip is extended. Bend elbows, perform half bicep curl so thumbs are pointing upward. Once on step, raise elbows and dumbbells up and out to the side. Pause with elbows at shoulder height. Lower and step back down. Keep core engaged.
4. Stiff-legged deadlift with dumbbell row
Muscles: glutes, hamstrings, back, biceps, triceps, delts
A) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells at your sides.
B) Keep a small bend in your knees and hinge at the hips, lower dumbbells just below your knees until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Lift dumbbells to side, keeping elbows close to body. Contract back muscles and slowly lower until arms are extended. Squeeze glutes and push hips forward until you are back to your starting position.
5. Supine single leg raises
Muscles: rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis
A) Lie flat on floor with hands behind head for neck support.
B) Bend left leg so your knee is at your left hip creating a 90-degree angle. Cross left ankle over right leg, keep your foot at or above the height of your bent knee. Exhale, pulling belly button to your spine and come up into a crunch position. Keep abdominals engaged, slowly lift your right leg up to your right foot. Your right leg should remain straight with your toes pointed. Slowly lower back to starting position.