The 4 “Best Bang for Your Buck” Exercises

We get it, life is crazy. Whether you’re working a 9 to 5, a full time student, or running your own business, time is a valuable thing. It doesn’t make things any easier by trying to fit a workout in your busy schedule. That’s why training protocols such as Tabata, HIIT, and even elements of crossfit programs have been created and modified to provide people with a quick and efficient workout.

This means means utilizing compound exercises (utilizing two or more muscles at the a time) rather than isolation exercises will provide the edge you need to maximize your workout and raise that metabolic rate. If you’re short on time, then these 5 “bang for your buck” exercises are perfect for you, and all you need are a couple of light or moderate weight dumbbells.

Push-up to row

Targeted Muscles: Chest and back

To perform: Begin with dumbbells in each hand in a neutral plank position. From this starting position, go down into a push up. Once returned to neutral plank position, pull one dumbbell toward your hip with elbow tightly tucked at your side. Repeat with opposite arm to complete a full rep.

Progression: Perform the exercise with one foot in the air to utilize your core and stabilizer muscles.

Regression: Perform the exercise on your knees.

Alternating Jump Lunge

Targeted Muscles: Legs

To Perform: With a strong upright posture and dumbbells in hand initiate a forward lunge. Instead of returning to starting position, jump upward and switch legs mid air and land in an opposite lunge to complete a full rep.

Progression: After landing a successful lunge, hold the lunge for 2 seconds for more tension.

Regression: Perform without using a jump and instead, alternating lunges from starting position.

Squat to Shoulder Press

Targeted Muscles: Legs and Shoulders

To Perform: Initiate in an upright position with dumbbells held up at each side. With elbows tucked near the torso, go down into a squat position. Come back up and complete the movement by pressing the dumbbells straight upward.

Progression: Perform squat with a 3-3 tempo to increase muscle tension and activate more muscle fibers.

Regression: Use sitting on a chair to initiate the exercise.

Burpees

To Perform: Start in while standing in a neutral position with dumbbells at each hand and jump straight upward. Upon landing go down into a semi squat by bringing the dumbbells to the ground. With feet together, kick your legs back out into a plank position. Complete the movement by kicking your feet back up towards your hands and stand up straight.

Targeted Muscles: Legs, Chest, and triceps

Progression: Add a push up after coming to plank position.

Regression:  Perform the movement without initiating a jump.

These 4 bang for your buck exercises are a sure fire way to get your heart rate up and metabolism firing. Just 5-10 reps of each movement for 3 rounds and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth!

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