I do a lot of physical training including martial arts, running, outdoor activities, etc. I like to include some strength training as part of my general training regimen, but I like to be efficient with it. Rather than doing resistance training that only isolates one muscle or one muscle group, I like to try and do multiple muscle groups at once. I have a number of go-to exercises that I use for this purpose.
Here are 6 of my favourites:
1. Burpees. There are a lot of variations on the burpee as shown in the video below, but they all have one thing in common. I tend to prefer the “flat-belly” burpee, because trains your sprawling technique too, which is good for my martial arts training. You get a killer full-body workout in one simple exercise. They also really get your cardio going, making it a great workout finisher to extend the fat-burning benefits of a resistance training workout.
2. Reverse Lunge Bicep Curl. This exercise combines upper and lower body strength training while engaging the core for stabilization, so it’s great all around! I sometimes do variations on this exercise. Instead of bicep curls, I’ll sometimes do it with lateral raises or tricep extensions. You can also do your reverse lunge with a cross-over, which exercises the same muscle groups as the standard reverse lunge, but also calls on your hip abductors and adductors as shown in the second video below.
3. Cross-Body Mountain Climbers. This exercise is great for your abs and obliques, but it also draws upon your shoulders, triceps, chest, back, quadriceps, glutes, and calves. The video below shows a few useful variations on the exercise.
4. Medicine Ball Squat Shoulder Press. The squat works out all the muscles in the legs, while the use of a medicine ball helps you target upper body muscle groups, all the while engaging your core muscles for stabilization, making it a great all round workout. I usually use the medicine ball to do a shoulder press, as shown in the first video below, but there are other varations, like the medicine ball push squat (also shown below) or an overhead tricep curl.
5. Medicine Ball Forward Lunge Twist. This exercise is a great for combining leg, ab, and oblique strength training, while engaging the stabilizing muscles in your back. It’s good to do both forward and reverse lunges in your workouts because even though they work the same muscle groups it engages them in different ways. When you do this it creates muscle confusion, which can cause you to work the muscles out harder. The addition of the medicine ball twist really isolates those abs, which are very important in the martial arts.
6. Kettle Bell Squat Swing. The kettle bell is a great addition to any person’s home workout tools. My favourite exercise is the squat swing, as demonstrated below. If you do get a kettle bell, make sure you follow the guide and get the right size one for you. Here is a uide tog buying kettle bells. Rather than using two hands, I like to switch back and forth passing the kettle bell from one hand to the other as I come out of my squat, allowing me to train my coordination and put more resistance into one arm. This exercise works out your legs, glutes, back and shoulders, while adding an element of fun and variety to your workouts. These are also great for combining cardio and strength training making it a good choice for fat-burning.
Do you have any favourite full-body strength training exercises that I haven’t included here? Please share them in the comments.