By Yadhira Maldonado of FitLivin
Do you want to exercise, but are just too pressed for time? Incorporating compound exercises into any fitness routine can help you achieve great results while maximizing your time. Combining movements that work more than one muscle group at a time while challenging your stability is also a great way to integrate cardio into a strength training routine.
Take your cardio to a new level with the dumbbell “Thruster”. This exercise combines a squat with a shoulder press and is a good full body workout. Hold 5-10 pound dumbbells at shoulder height, squat to 90 degrees, then use your hips and legs to ‘thrust’ or stand straight up as your arms reach for the ceiling. Return the arms to the start position for one full rep. This movement will surely get your heart rate up while strengthening legs, glutes, core, and upper body.
Bicep Curl to Lunge Combo
Maintain the burn and elevated heart rate with a bicep curl to lunge combo. This movement will surely take you out of your comfort zone. Stagger your legs into a lunge position, keeping legs hip-width apart for stabilization. As you lunge your back knee towards the floor, bring your forearms towards your shoulders to complete a bicep curl. Extend the back leg as you come up to a standing position with arms extended by your hips to complete one rep. Not only will your heart rate stay in the fat burning zone, but this is also a great way to strengthen your stabilizing muscles while creating sleeker, leaner arms.
The “Spiderman” plank is another favorite because it gives the heart an opportunity to slow down just enough to continue working through the rest of the circuit. Make your way into a plank position, and then reach your knee towards your elbow. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side to complete one rep. This variation of the plank targets the transverse abdominis, obliques, lower back, and shoulders, and is definitely one heck of a stability exercise.
Strengthening the core is just as important as building it. We spend too much time chasing six-pack abs with crunches and sit-ups, but working the transverse abdominis (the wall the “six-pack” sits on) will protrude the ‘abs’ forward, revealing that strong sleek trunk you’ve worked so hard to get. The “Flutter Kick” is a great way to accomplish just that. Lay face up with your hands tucked under your hips for lumbar support. Start with your legs at a 45 degrees angle and flutter kick your legs (like you kick your legs when swimming) about six inches apart until they reach the floor (but don’t let them touch the floor), then bring them back up again.
Suggested program routine for these exercises:
Do each exercise for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit four times, resting 30-60 seconds between each full set. Total time for the exercises should be around 16-20 minutes. If you feel unstoppable, then you can end this circuit with a killer Thunderbolt or Chair pose! This finisher will leave you feeling accomplished to say the least! Set a Tabata timer (4 minutes|8 rounds|20 seconds each round|10 seconds rest). Stand with legs hips-width apart, knees bent, hips are back without arching, chest is forward, and arms are above the head, in line with the ears. Hold this position for 20 seconds. The timer will beep to rest for 10 seconds and beep to continue the exercise for 20 seconds. Repeat eight times.
Total workout time: Under 30 minutes!
Carve a half an hour out of your day a few times a week and take this challenge to maintain a healthy heart and stay beautiful in your threads!
Written by Yadhira Maldonado of FitLivin
Find her on Instragram: @fitlivin_ym
Photography by Theresa Nesmith
Find her at https://theresanesmithphotography.com/