5 Full-Body Exercises That Save You Time

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When you work out smarter, you don't necessarily have to exercise longer or harder in order to get results. "Lack of time" is the most common reason why people don't exercise, but is that really a good excuse? Truth is: You don't really need a lot of time to get a great workout. Short bouts of exercise—when done right—can give just as much benefit as longer workouts. Don't believe me? Try these 5 moves for just one minute each for a 5-minute workout that has full-body benefits!
Smart and time-efficient training is the premise behind my new DVD "SparkPeople: Total Body Sculpting." In it, I show you multitasking moves that work two, three, four or more muscles in every move. That gets more toning done in less time—and also helps elevate your heart rate so that your strength workout doubles as a fat-burning cardio session, too.
Here I'm sharing five of my favorite compound exercises from the DVD that you can try at home. Scroll below the infographic pictured here for detailed exercise instructions—and a video clip of me demonstrating one of these moves (and sharing more time-saving workout tips) during my recent appearance on Cincinnati's FOX 19 morning show.
Be sure to "pin" this page so you can access this workout later!

Workout Instructions
Perform a light warm-up (such as walking) for 3-5 minutes before exercising. Perform one set of each exercise as listed for a quick 5-minute routine. Repeat the routine for 1-2 additional sets for a longer and more challenging workout, based on time available.

Exercise 1: Squat + Press + Twist
Stand with feet hip-width apart, back straight, holding the ends of one dumbbell in each hand, arms down in front of the thighs. Bend the knees and hips to squat and, while keeping both arms straight, "swing" your arms straight up overhead. Straighten legs and lower straight arms back down, lifting right knee up and twisting waist and arms toward the right side of the body. Squat again, lifting arms, then rotating to the opposite side (lifting left leg) to complete one rep. Continue alternating sides for one full minute.
Exercise 2: Curtsey + Row + Extension
Stand with feet hip-width apart, hips/toes turned slightly outward (externally rotated), holding one weight in each hand with arms at sides. Step left leg behind right leg, bending both knees into curtsey squat and hinging forward from the hip while bending the elbows to lift the weights toward your chest, palms facing body. (Be sure to keep back straight and flat with abs engaged.) Straighten elbows, lifting weights behind you. Bend elbows again, then return to start position. Alternate sides (step right foot behind) and return to start position to complete one rep. Continue alternating sides for one full minute. (Watch the demonstration of this exercise in the video at the bottom of this post.)
Exercise 3: Lunge + Balance + Figure 8 Arms
Stand with feet hip-with apart, back straight and arms extended straight out in line with the shoulders, palms facing each other. Step left leg behind and lower into a reverse lunge, bending both knees approximately 90 degrees and keeping front knee in line with ankle. Hold lunge position and make a sweeping figure 8 motion with your arms, keeping your gaze centered between the hands as the arms move. (The larger and wider your "8" is, the more you'll challenge your balance and engage the core.) Return hands to center then press up to standing, lifting left knee up to balance. Repeat figure 8 motion with arms. Continue for 30 seconds on this side, then switch to right leg and repeat for 30 seconds.
Exercise 4: Plié + Press + Pulldown + Side Crunch
Begin in a wide-stance plié squat with feet turned out, legs wider than hips, knees bent, back straight, right hand on a chair or wall for balance, and one weight in your left hand, elbow bent toward waist and palm facing up in line with the shoulder (not pictured). Say in squat position and press the weight in an arc motion overhead while bending the spine laterally to "crunch" the right side of the waist. Stay in squat and pull the weight down, bringing elbow toward your hip and "crunching" on the opposite side to complete one rep. Try to stay in low plié squat position the whole time. Repeat for one full minute.
Exercise 5: Leaning Abs + Chest Fly
Grab one light to medium-weight dumbbell and sit at the very edge of a chair, lifting heels off the floor and squeezing legs tightly together (not pictured). Keep spine straight and abs engaged and slowly hinge from the hips to lean your upper back into the chair back (without rounding the spine). Hold weight in front of chest with both hands, elbows soft and arms slightly rounded. Take the weight in the right hand and "fly" the arms out to the sides, keeping elbows slightly bent and arms at chest level. Return both arms to center and pass weight to left arm to repeat on opposite side. Brace with abdominals to avoid leaning to either side as you hold the weight out. Continue alternating sides for one full minute.
Watch this short video clip of me sharing more time-saving exercise tips that will cut your gym time in half. If the video player below doesn't work, click here to watch on FOX-19's website.

I hope you enjoy these exercises from my Total Body Sculpting DVD! Let me know what you think of them in the comments below!

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


NASFKAB 4/18/2021
Great Report
WANT2BTRIM 2/10/2021
Thank you Report
DIVAGLOW 1/22/2021
Thanks Report
CKEYES1 11/23/2020
Going to keep a copy of this one Report
CD25744989 11/10/2020
Coach Nicole Nichols Twitter account is closed for rules violation Report
CECELW 9/2/2020
I love this workout Report
CECTARR 9/2/2020
Thanks Report
RO2BENT 9/2/2020
Work it Report
Some great suggestions Report
Great Article! Thanks! Report
even sitting down to exercise brings on a big sweat Report
Thank you for sharing. Love it. Report
I feel like the lone wolf. When I say something I get an edit and others say the very same thing and guess what NO EDIT! Report
Great Excercises! Thanks! Report
Great exercises, thanks. Report
Great! Report
These are amazing! Just the thing for a busy mom who doesn't have a lot of room in her house. These were so challenging and yet so fun. Thank you! Report
These difficult for me but I've promised myself to get better at them day by day. Report
I can do this one! Report
Good article. Report
Great article Report
Thank you! Report
I will give this a try. They might need some modifications but that is the name of the game! Report
Thanks Report
My multitask workout is doing upper body fitness while on the stationary bike. Report
I like the way these look and they don't seem very hard. Report
I do like these workous,,,,,I have the dvd and it's fun to do, Report
Look like some great moves, glad the instructions on how to do are included because the links to video to see how to do are not available. If you are going to include links, then you ought to make frequent checks to make sure they are still available. So frustrating and waste of time attempting to see videos. Report
I love Coach Nicole's workouts, and have done the 5-minute version, or run through 2 more times, varying weights. Too bad I can't get the video to play. Report
I took this to the gym yesterday and loved it - just what I'd been needing. Some new moves. Thanks! Report
These moves are great! Some are easier than others but all of them make me feel good. Report
Caution: I tried the sitting test above from Mother Nature Network, and in my zeal to get up without help of my hands I lifted with my foot exactly like the photo, and bruised the side. I can barely walk without pain today! If you can't get your right foot flat to lift up, don't continue if you want to walk normally the next day ! Report
Great exercises. I cannot do any type of lunge though! Report
I don't like the exercises you have to get on the floor to do so this looks great. Will try it. Report
was looking for something on those crazy days when my time is so limited but I know I need to move-thank you Report
Thanks Nicole, you did a great job of making these photos look so fun, I want to join in immediately! Report
Like exercises that I don't have to get down on the floor to do & there is other ways to break down some of these exercises even for those in wheelchairs or have a disability. I pinned it. Report
I just found this today and loved the work out ,
fits right in with my cardio. Report
Yea for compound exercises. Report
Excellent, love this, but how can I attach it to my fitness tracker? Report
To LOSEBABYFAT5 or anyone else: where did you find a printable copy?? Thanks! Report
I am definitely going to try these exercises. They can easily be done while my son is watching tv. Thanks for posting! Report
I ordered the video, hoping it will pay off...... Report
I think I am going 2 try these out during commercials!
They look easy enough for me to try them. I can appreciate the chair since I have a bit of trouble with my balance. Report