Full-Body Metabolism-Boosting Exercises
When you’re short on time, you can make the most of the weight or resistance work that you do using metabolism-boosting exercises that work multiple muscles of your body.
Dumbbell front squat
These work your full body but can also be done without weights if you don’t have them for an anytime workout on-the-go for your legs. Targets: full body, back, butt/hips, thighs.
Starting position: Stand up tall with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Roll your shoulders up to your ears and pull them back. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing towards you.
Squat: Hinge at your hips, lower them back and down and bend your knees as if you’re sitting in a chair. Take a look down and make sure your knee doesn’t travel past your big toe (you should see your big toe when you look down). Your thighs should be parallel to the floor and your legs at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back flat.
Lift up: Keeping your abdominals engaged, lift up to starting position. Push through your heels and keep them flat on the floor.
Dumbbell front squat modified
Modification (easier): If these are too difficult or you need more security, use a chair as a guide or to sit in briefly at the bottom of the squat.
Modification (more difficult): You can also curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders and shift more weight into your heels to increase the intensity of the exercise and be able to squat more deeply.
You can either do these standing in one place or, for a bit of variety and to give yourself an end marker, while moving across a room. Targets: full body, abs, butt/hips, thighs.
Starting position: Stand up tall with your feet about hip width apart. Roll your shoulders up to your ears and down your back while engaging your abs (like always!).
Lunge forward: Keep your left foot planted firmly into the ground and lift your right foot off the floor. Take a big step forward with your right foot, heel first, and lower yourself down until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Push back with your left foot through your heel and keep your hips squared forward. Keep your chest up and look straight ahead.
Lift up: Push off through the heel of your right foot and lift back up to starting position. Keep working on one side or alternate between the two until you’ve completed 10 reps on each side.
With no equipment necessary and only a little bit of floor space, the spider walk uses your own body’s resistance to work your entire body. It may seem awkward at first, but once you get it down, you have an exercise you can do anytime, anywhere! Targets: arms (triceps), butt, abs, legs.
Starting position: Lie on your stomach with your hands below your shoulders. Point your fingers forward and keep your elbows close to the side of your body. Look straight ahead, keep your shoulders pulled back and your abdominals engaged.
Crawl: Bend and drive your right knee forward out to the right side so that it’s level with your right hip or touches your right elbow. Place your foot on the floor. Lift up your left hand and move it forward the same distance your right foot traveled. From here, move the opposing limbs in the same fashion (left leg, right arm). Repeat 10 times on each side.
Medicine ball squats
Using a medicine ball and a wall, you can get in a full body workout that’s fun and boosts your heart rate. Targets: glutes, hips, thighs, arms, and core.
Starting position: Start standing about 2 feet away from a wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a medicine ball between the palms of your hands, starting out with a weight of 5 or 10 pounds.
Squat and jump: Lower your legs into a squat position, keeping the ball at chin level. Quickly jump up, onto your toes, and toss the ball against the wall about 2 feet above the height of your head. Your body should be fully extended at the top with your arms pointing toward the ball target.
Catch and repeat: As the ball bounces off the wall, catch it close to your chin, land softly back on your heels, and transition right into the next repetition of squatting and jumping. The movement should be fluid and controlled. Aim for 10–12 reps, rest for a minute, and repeat 2 or 3 times.