Sometimes you just don’t have enough time for a full workout. You’ve got to rush off to an appointment, get back to work, or get home to spend time with your family. So what do you do when you just can’t fit in an entire workout? Sometimes, cutting corners is the smart play!
That doesn’t mean you do a crappy workout, but it does mean that you do exercises that combine multiple muscles in one movement. If you’re in a time crunch, here are some of the best “quick fix” exercises to add to your workout:
Squat and Press
Squatting is the lower body workout you can NEVER skip, as it hits your quads, hamstrings, and even your glutes effectively. But add some dumbbells into the mix and all of a sudden you’ve added a core and upper body element. The exercise is easy: Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level as you squat, and press them high overhead as you stand back up.
Step Up and Press
Step Ups are a great exercise to help you build solid legs. The “up” portion of the workout hits your hamstrings and glutes nicely, while the “down” bit really shreds those quads. The entire workout is even more effective when you add weight to it, and you can combine it into an upper body workout by throwing in a Military Press, Overhead Dumbbell Presses, or Arnold Presses as you step up on the platform.
Cable Row and Split Squat
Want to work out your back, biceps, legs, and glutes all at the same time? This is definitely the movement for you! You’ll need the cable row machine set to chest height, and the D-handle works best for the exercise. Assume the Split Squat position (think the Warrior I Yoga pose). Do a Row by pulling the cable to your chest (or abdomen for a new angle on the workout) then dip into the Split Squat. Great for combining upper and lower body movements into one exercise.
This is a slightly more complex movement that combines the lower and upper body workout in the same motion, and it may take some practice to get it right. Attach the Double D-handle to your cable machine and grip it firmly in both hands. Lean back with your feet spread shoulder width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. When you drop into the squat, perform the row (to your chest or abdomen). Release the tension on the row as you push back up from the squat.
This movement is a KILLER for your core, and it’s going to hit those glutes, shoulders, and triceps at the same time! Get into the plank/push-up position, resting your weight on two dumbbells rather than on the floor. Do a push-up, and at the top of the exercise, row one weight at a time. A “rep” counts when you’ve rowed both weights to your chest. By the time you hit 10 to 15 reps of these bad boys, your entire body will be quivering and you’ll have gotten a killer upper body and core workout!
RDL + Bent Over Row
The Romanian Deadlift is one of the best lower back exercises, and it hits those glutes and hamstrings nicely as well. A Bent Over Row is pretty tough on your lower and upper back, making this one of the best exercises you can do for the entire posterior hemisphere of your body. Simply lean forward into the Romanian Deadlift (knees straight), hold the position, row the weight to your chest or abdomen, then stand back up. Tough, but highly effective!