A Fast and Effective Alternative to Your Regular Workout
Trying to get in a full body workout at the gym can be an absolute drag, especially if you get there during a rush. A crowd at the health club means that you’ll probably have to wait in line for a few machines and that it will take you substantially longer to complete your workout.
Fortunately, you can get an intense and effective full body workout right at home with very little equipment and in a very small space. What’s even better is that you can get your home workout in a fraction of the time that it would take for your gym workout – even when the gym isn’t overly crowded.
The big mistake that most guys make in the gym lies in their exercise selection. Using movements that only work a single muscle group – like concentration curls, leg extensions and side lateral raises, is a surefire way to be stuck in the gym for a heck of a lot longer than you have to be.
By structuring your workouts around movements that call multiple muscle groups into play, you need fewer exercises to produce the same, or possibly even greater, results. With as few as four or five movements, you can get a quick and killer full body workout that will rival the results produced by using even the fanciest and most expensive machines in a fully stocked commercial gym.
Perform the first four of these movements in succession with minimal rest between exercises. Complete the cycle three to four times with about a minute to ninety seconds between cycles.
Grasp one dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your side and your feet about shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight as you lower yourself down by bending at the knees until your thighs are about parallel to the floor, then push back up to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.
Start in the same upright position as the squat, with a dumbbell in each hand and feet shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and bend forward at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor. Bend your knees slightly and hold the weights in a straight line directly beneath your shoulders. Pull the dumbbells in a controlled manner (no jerking) up toward either side of your chest, then lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.
Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lay back on a stability ball. Press the dumbbells up just as you would in a dumbbell bench press. The difference maker with using the stability ball is that you’ll have to work to keep your body straight from your knees to your shoulders through the movement – this means that you’ve got to use additional muscles that you would performing a traditional dumbbell bench press, and as we already talked about earlier, the more muscles you use in a movement the better. Once again, 8-12 reps.
Rather than use a million words to describe a reasonably simple (but highly effective) movement – check out this video to see proper form for the dumbbell swing:
You can actually aim a little higher on the reps for the swings, maybe in the 12-15 range and perform the swing with both arms.
Once you’ve completed your 3-4 circuits of the exercises listed above, it’s time for the finisher. The Turkish-get-up is a fantastic full body blasting exercise that is an awesome way to close out and intense training session. If you’re unfamiliar with this movement, here’s a bit of education in video form:
Performed properly, TGU’s are brutally effective – as your finisher you only really need to complete one set per side to near failure to achieve the desired result.
When performed as described, this workout shouldn’t take more than about thirty minutes or so – and if you perform it on three non-consecutive days a week you should start to see some serious results in a reasonably short period of time.
About Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.