The Double-Duty Workout

Use two-in-one moves to intensify exercise

Photo: Close-up of woman's hand holding a small dumbbell

Faster results in less time may sound like infomercial speak, but it’s achievable with the right techniques. Each of the five exercises in this circuit workout is designed to engage multiple muscle groups in one swift move—so you’ll feel twice the burn in five minutes.

Ready, set, move! Repeat each exercise for 60 seconds at a strenuous pace.

The Move: “Around the World” Planks
Works: Core; arms

Walk the plank? A variation of the classic plank, this move activates the abs and arms.

Get into a push-up position with your knees bent and body straight. Slowly “walk” with your hands from left to right crossing one hand over the other at 90 degrees from the center, keeping your back flat and arms extended. Hold a plank pose on each side for 5-10 seconds.

The Move: Overhead Press-Lunges
Works: Upper arms; legs

A medicine ball adds excitement to lunges and weight lifting. Be sure to use a ball of comfortable weight to avoid injury.

Stand tall and hold medicine ball firmly at your navel. Gradually raise the ball above your head while dipping into a kneeling position on one knee and lower the ball to your chest with elbows bent. Repeat on the other leg.

The Move: Squat Jacks
Works: Core, legs

Jumping Jack + Squat = Squat Jacks! Tone and strengthen with this total-body move.

Begin in a 90-degree squat (as if you’re sitting). Do a jumping Jack, leaping into an “X” shape. From the “X” position, jump back into a 90-degree squat and touch your knees. Repeat.

The Move: Curl-Squats
Works: Biceps; thighs

This ballerina-inspired move means business. A combination of plié squats and dumbbell curls, it works your core, thighs, and triceps in one.

Grip 3-5-pound dumbbells in each hand. Point toes out and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend into a 90-degree squat, curling dumbbells toward your shoulders. Repeat.

The Move: Downward Dog Leg Lifts
Works: Glutes; upper arms

Yoga can be mellow, yet a simple change in motion ignites muscles you never realized you had. Add leg lifts to downward-facing dog to stretch and strengthen.

Form an inverted “V” shape with your body, with palms and feet forward and as flat on the floor as possible. Press evenly into palms and feet, and “hug” your head with the inner elbows to maintain balance. Slowly lift one leg and point toward the ceiling. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat on the other leg.
Tip - If you find this pose challenging, lower forearms to the floor before lifting the leg.

Talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.