Work Out Smarter


Doesn’t everyone want to work smarter not harder? Well I can help you accomplish that…though you’ll still have to work hard. Full body exercises give you a little more bang for your buck because they work more than one muscle group at a time. Though I know most exercises do this, full body exercises take it one step farther by basically combining two exercises and making them one tough set. You will tend to feel a quicker fatigue when performing these combinations but it will be very effective as long as proper form, breathing and focus are all working together.  With that said I would like to apologize for the lack of proper footwear in my photos. I always wear shoes when I work out but was taking full advantage of this beautiful day with a pair of flip flops and failed to bring shoes with me.


So here are the exercises I combined to make them into a full body, get your heart rate up and get you tired exercise. 


Kettlebell Sumo Squat High Pull

Kettlebell Sumo

Target muscle groups: Quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, traps, shoulders. (There are many other muscles all of these exercises work, I will keep it simple and just name the primary targets.)


Feet should be wider than your hips with your toes pointed out to the side as if you were going to do a plié. As you squat down, drive your knees towards your toes. Don’t let your knees dip towards the middle. One way to keep this form is to think about pushing through the outside of your shoe as you stand from your squat. The kettlebell will be in both hands to start with your arms straight. As you squat down and start to stand, lead with your elbows and pull the kettlebell towards your chin. Repeat this exercise.


Kettlebell Swing

Kettle Swing

Target muscle groups: hamstrings, quads, glutes, shoulders, heart. (When I say heart, I mean it will be a cardiovascular exercise as well as a strength exercise)

Start in just about the same position as the sumo squat but bring your feet in a little closer together and your toes can be facing forward. Think about your hips being a hinge throughout this exercise.  You should never try to control the kettlebell with your upper body but rather use the momentum of the swing to keep the exercise going. I always tell my clients to keep their chest up which will help them from putting more pressure on their lower back. Start with the KB hanging down and push your hips back with a slight bend in your knees. Keep your neck in line with your spine. As you swing the KB forward (swinging it only until it is parallel with the ground) throw your hips forward and squeeze your glutes together. As the KB swings back down keep your chest high and push your hips back to get ready for the next swing. Repeat this exercise.


Reverse Lunge with a Lateral Raise

Reverse Lunge

Target muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, deltoids.


I have taught both of these exercises in previous posts but I will review them for you. Start with dumbbells at your sides and take an oversized step backwards. Keeping good posture, drop your back knee towards the ground without allowing your knee of the front leg to pass the plane of your toe. Step your feet back to their starting positions and raise the dumbbells out to the sides until their are parallel with the ground. If you want an added challenge, instead of waiting to raise them when you are back to standing you can raise them when you are down in the lunge position. Repeat this exercise.


Sit Up with a Front Raise

Front Raise

Target muscle groups: core, shoulders.


Using just one dumbbell, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  As you begin to roll your body up to a seat position the dumbbell will be out in front of you. Once you are in your seated position raise the dumbbell overhead and then slowly and in a controlled manner, roll yourself back down until you’re laying on your back. Repeat this exercise.


Dumbbell Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press

dumbbell curl

Target muscle groups: biceps, shoulders


Start with the dumbbells at your sides and then curl them up to your shoulders. Your palms can face each other throughout the entire exercise. Press the dumbbells over head and bring them back down to your shoulders. Reverse curl them back to your starting position. Repeat this exercise.


When performing this exercises, try to get at least 12-15 repetitions in and two to three sets depending on how much time you have. Use a weight that gets progressively more challenging the last three to five reps. Like I said before, remember to keep proper form, always breath while lifting weights and last but not least have some fun burning those calories and getting stronger. 

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