Total body exercises are great if you can’t get to a gym, workout from home, or don’t have the time to dedicate what little workout time you have to a specific muscle group or a certain style of workout like cardio, weights, and so on. Having a consistent workout routine is also important to your health, so you want to make sure you’re giving attention to all muscle groups and also get your heart rate up by adding some cardio as well. So, let’s make the most of your workout with total body exercises. Here is a whole list of them to get yourself started.
Starting with a cardio exercise is great so you can get stretch our muscles, get your heart rate up, and get your mind into workout mode. For this exercise, start by standing up straight. Bring your right knee up across your body to your chest while you slightly twist your torso to the right to meet your knee. Set it back down a few inches behind you so your left foot is slightly more in front of your right. Repeat this motion as quickly as you can for about 20 seconds and then switch to your left leg. This works your thigh and glute muscles, gets your heart rate moving, and even strengthens your balance.
Criss-cross to squat
This is a great mix of cardio and lower body exercise. For this, start by standing up straight. Jump up, and criss-cross your legs so you land with one foot in front of the other. You can also do a horizontal criss-cross where you jump and land with your feet crossed directly in front of you and when you jump and uncross your legs and land with both legs hip-width distance apart.
After you do the criss-cross about four times when you jump up for the last time come down with your feet hip-width distance apart and do a squat. When you come up from the squat, begin the crisscrosses again. Do this for about 30 seconds.
Plank mountain climbers
Abs and cardio go together so well and one makes the other easier to do when done together. So, for this exercise start in a plank or push-up position. Start by bringing your knees to your chest, one at a time, and at a fast pace. Eventually, it should feel like you’re running in place. Do this for about 30 seconds.
This exercise achieves multiple workout goals like cardio, arm and shoulder strength, balance, glute strength, and, of course, lots of ab and core strength. You might even break a sweat with this one!
Lunges to leg lifts
It is easy to create exercises that work all the leg muscles at once as they are connected and constantly working together. For this exercise, start by standing up and stepping forward into a lung. When you come back up, take the same leg you stepped with and bring it back behind you for two leg lifts. You can either set it back down and switch legs or keep working the same leg for about 15-20 seconds and then switch to the other. Whichever is more comfortable for you. This exercise works out your glutes, hamstrings, and even your calf muscles.
Glute bridge with kicks
What about core and leg exercises together? We got you covered. If you haven’t heard of the yoga pose, “bridge,” it’s when you lie on your back and lift your hips up so you are balancing your torso with the heels of your feet and your shoulders and upper back. Once you’re in this position, start lifting one leg up, kicking upward, setting it back down, and alternating kicking with both legs. It is also easier if you raise your arms upward to help keep your balance.
Do this for about 30 seconds. You can really feel this in your core, back, and, obviously, glutes.
That’s right, you don’t need a pool for this total-body exercise. Simply start by laying on your stomach on the floor. Lift your arms and your legs to hover a few inches over the ground. Start to move your arms into a swimming/breaststroke motion by stretching them over your head and spreading them outward. Do this for about 30 seconds. You should feel this exercise in your core, back, legs, and even your arms, especially in your shoulders.
Forearm side plank twists
This one is a little challenging but it works your legs, core, abs, arms, and you might even find your heart rate going up. Start by coming to a side plank by propping yourself on your forearm. Bring your other hand to your head for the twist or crunch-like motion. Do this repeatedly for about 15-20 seconds and then switch to the other side. You’ll really feel the burn with this one.
High knee punches
Getting your cardio in is important, but it is even more effective when you involve your arms and legs as well. For this exercise, start by standing up and doing some high knees. It’s pretty much jogging in place but you want to focus on raising those knees up high to get more out of this workout. Next, add in some punches. Just ball up your fist and punch the air. The faster you do this exercise the better. Do this for about 30-40 seconds and watch yourself sweat.
If you don’t have weights handy, it’s all good. This exercise actually works better if you use your body weight. Start by sitting on your but with your arms and legs ready to prop you up. Make sure your hands are facing your feet (your fingers should be pointed to your feet). Once up, only use your arms (triceps) to slightly lower yourself down, but not touching the ground beneath you. You should feel this in your arms, obviously, your core, legs and you’ll definitely be getting your heart-rate up and breaking a sweat.