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9 Total-Body Exercises that Tone Your Arms, Abs, and Butt

Total-Body Exercises

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Why waste hours toiling away on one little muscle at a time when you can target three in one fell swoop? Make these multi-tasking moves a mainstay of your workout: Each one simultaneously hits your arms, abs, and glutes, so you’ll get total-body results in a fraction of the workout time. All you need is a mat, a Swiss ball, and some dumbbells.

Photo: Getty Images

Glute Bridge with Dumbbell Fly

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A Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor about 12 inches away from hips. Holding a 10- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand, extend arms upward, keeping wrists aligned with shoulders and palms facing in. Push into heels and lift glutes and lower back off the mat, keeping core engaged and spine neutral.

B Slowly lower hips to hover just above the mat while opening arms out wide toward the floor in a dumbbell fly. Draw arms back together while lifting hips to return to starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Bulgarian Split Squat with Rear Lateral Raise

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A Stand on left foot approximately 3 feet in front of a bench with top of right foot on the bench. Hold a 10- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand by sides, palms facing in.

B Slowly bend left leg into a lunge, keeping left heel on the ground and left knee in line with the second toe of left foot. Leaning forward just slightly, raise right arm out to side until elbow is in line with right shoulder. Slowly lower arm and press leg back up to starting position, keeping core engaged. Do 12 to 15 reps; repeat on opposite side.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Turkish Getup

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A Lie faceup with left knee bent, right leg extended, right arm extended by side, palm facing down, holding a 10- to 15-pound dumbbell in left hand with arm extended overhead. Engage core and use right hand to sit up, first moving to right forearm then pressing up to right palm, while keeping left arm extended overhead.

B Push hips off the ground using the left leg and right arm.

C In a quick, controlled movement, swing right leg under body into a half-kneeling position with left foot forward and right knee on the ground.

D Still holding left arm overhead, stand up and step right foot next to left. Reverse the sequence to return to starting position. Do 6 to 8 reps; repeat on opposite side.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Reverse Lunge with Front Raise

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A Stand with feet together, holding a 10-pound dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Step back with right foot into a split-stance position.

B Slowly bend both knees into a lunge with right knee just a few inches above the ground. With core engaged, leaning forward just slightly, raise right arm in-line with shoulder while turning right thumb upward slightly (externally rotating the shoulder helps reduce potential strain in the shoulder joint). Slowly lower the arm and step right foot next to left to return to starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps; repeat on opposite side.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Donkey Kick with Single-Arm Row

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A Get on all fours with knees below hips and wrists below shoulders, holding a 10- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand. Keeping shoulders squared to mat, draw right elbow straight back until the dumbbell is next to chest.

B Lower right arm to starting position. Slowly lift left leg, keeping knee bent and pressing sole of foot upward. Keep hips squared to mat and core engaged to avoid sagging or arching back. Slowly lower knee to starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps; repeat on opposite side.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Dumbbell Thruster

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A Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes angled out slightly, holding a 15-pound dumbbell in each hand just above shoulders, palms facing in. Engage core and bend knees to lower into a squat, hinging at hips.

B Stand up while extending arms overhead, elbows pointed to 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock. Reverse the movement to return to starting position. Do 16 to 20 reps.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Curtsey Lunge with Hammer Curl

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A Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a 10- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in.

B Step left foot back behind right. Bend both knees and lower into a curtsey lunge while bending elbows and raising the ends of dumbbells toward shoulders. Reverse the movement to return to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Do 16 to 20 reps, alternating sides each rep.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Decline Pushup with Hip Extension

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A Get in plank position with hands shoulder-width apart and tops of feet resting on a bench. Keeping core engaged and spine aligned, bend elbows and lower chest to a few inches above the ground.

B Reverse the movement, pushing through palms to straighten elbows. Lift right leg off the bench, keeping hips squared and core engaged to avoid arching back. Lower leg to starting position. Repeat with opposite leg. Do 8 to 12 reps, alternating legs each rep.

Photo: Jay Petterson

Stability Ball Curl with Skull Crusher

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A Lie faceup with calves and heels resting on a Swiss ball. Holding a 10-pound dumbbell in each hand with palms facing in, extend arms upward, keeping wrists aligned with shoulders. Engage core and slowly lift hips without arching back, pressing lower legs and heels into the ball for added stability.

B In a controlled movement, bend knees and draw the ball toward hips until soles of feet rest on the ball while bending elbows to draw dumbbells beside ears. Reverse the movement to return to starting position. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Photo: Jay Petterson

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