Multi muscle movements use more than just one muscle group at the same time, but they often work lower and upper body at once. If you want an effective, time-efficient workout, these multi muscle movements are TOTALLY the way to go! Here are a few of the best:
Dumbbell Squat Presses
This movement combines the squat (great for your legs and glutes) with dumbbell presses (hitting your shoulders and triceps hard). The combination of these movements will be AMAZING for your core, and you’ll find that you can get a good upper and lower body workout at the same time.
Side Lunge Curls
Side lunges hit not only your quads, but also the outside of your thighs, your hips, and your glutes. Curls are great for your biceps, and doing curls with every lunge will be a great combination of lower and upper body movements. Just remember, you’re focusing on your legs, so use light weights that will allow you to do a lot of curls (training for endurance) between each side lunge.
Lunges are excellent for your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, but adding in the alternating shoulder presses makes them even better. The one-handed shoulder press not only hits your shoulders and triceps, but forces your core to engage and keep you steady as you simultaneously lunge and press. It’s a lot harder than you think!
Romanian Deadlift Lunges
The Romanian Deadlift is EPIC for your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, as the bending movement forces your core muscles to work. Lunges focus more on the quads, but your hamstrings and glutes get plenty of attention. Start off with the deadlift (feet spread shoulder width, knees slightly bent), then step forward into the lunge.
Plank and Reach Push-Ups
If you want to hit your core HARD, this is definitely a great workout for you. The Plank forces your butt, back, and abs to contract to keep you in position, and the Reach portion of the movement engages your obliques. By adding a push-up between each position, you’ll give your chest, triceps, and shoulders a great workout.
This is a movement that focuses ONLY on your lower body, but it’s supremely effective for those who want to improve their cardio! As you drop into the squat, your hamstrings and glutes are engaged to lower you at a moderate pace. When you push upward, your quads engage, and that engagement continues as you leap off the floor. Finally, when you land, your hamstrings, quads, and glutes are all needed to control your landing and descent back into the squat. The jump forces your muscles to work extra hard, which in turn increases your heart rate. All in all, a WICKED cardio/strength training movement!
Burpees are one of the best and most challenging of the multi muscle movements. First off, it works your quads, glutes, and hamstrings as you drop into the squat and jump back to the plank position. Your core is engaged when you hold the plank position, and it continues working–along with your chest, shoulders, and triceps–as you do a push-up. The lower ab muscles are shredded as you jump your feet forward to your hands, and your legs do the work of standing up once again. A multi-muscle movement that is guaranteed to improve your condition in no time.
These movements are EXCELLENT for those who want to get a complete workout in less time, so they’re worth adding to your gym routine! Not only are they excellent for muscle-building, but the fact that they engage so many muscles means that they’re going to improve your cardio conditioning as well.