If you're short on time but still want to add some mood-boosting movement into your day then buckle up; we have just the routine for you.
It's the epitome of efficiency, strengthening your entire body in less than 30 minutes using six of the best strength training exercises for weight loss.
The secret, according to its creator, certified personal trainer Hannah White, is supersets. This training technique involves pairing two exercises together and performing them back to back with no rest in between.
Not only does this allow you to squeeze more exercises into less time, but it also increases the intensity of the workout. As a result, you'll raise your heart rate higher, leading to increased calorie burn with a side order of improved cardio fitness.
Not bad for 30 minutes' work, right?
How to do Hannah White's full-body superset workout
Before you jump into this workout, you'll need some basic equipment. White recommends a resistance band and a "pair of light-ish dumbbells" (5lb-11lb). However, if you don't have a band you can replace the resistance band seated rows with dumbbell bent-over rows.
"This workout is split into three supersets of two exercises, each consisting of one lower body and one upper body movement pattern," White tells Fit&Well. "Each superset is repeated three times, with a short rest between sets."
For the first superset of dumbbell front squats and push-ups (labeled 1A and 1B below) you'll perform 8-10 squats then launch straight into 10-12 push-ups. After you've finished both, rest for 90 seconds then repeat this superset until you've completed three rounds. For the second superset, take only 60 seconds of rest—and drop the rest period down to 45 seconds for your final set of exercises.
1A. Dumbbell front squats
Sets: 3 Reps: 8-10
- Stand upright with your feet about shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell on each shoulder. Keeping your back straight and your chest facing forward, bend your knees and hips to sit back and down into a squat position.
- Lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
Sets: 3 Reps: 10-12
- Start in a high plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Engage your core then bend your elbows to lower your chest slowly towards the floor. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides throughout.
- When your chest is about an inch from the floor, push back up through your hands to the starting position. If you struggle with full push-ups, try doing them with your knees on the floor or with your hands on a sturdy raised surface like a chair, bench or table.
Sets: 3 Reps: 10-12
- Stand upright with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Starting with your weakest leg (usually your left leg if you’re right handed), step forward and lower your back knee until it almost reaches the floor.
- Push back up through your front foot to return to the starting position. You can perform this exercise weighted, with a dumbbell in each hand, or if you're new to strength training then try it without any added weight.
2B. Resistance band seated rows
Sets: 3 Reps: 10-12
- Sit on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you. Place a long, thin resistance band around your feet and, with your arms extended, grasp the resistance band in both hands. Ensuring the resistance band is kept tight throughout, bring your elbows back towards your hips to pull the resistance band to your sternum.
- When the band reaches your body, pause for a second then slowly control it back to the starting position, keeping your chest proud and shoulder blades retracted throughout the movement. To reduce or increase the intensity of this exercise you can use bands of different thicknesses.
3A.Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts
Sets: 3 Reps: 12-15
- Stand with a narrow stance, holding a dumbbell in each hand so they're touching the front of your thighs. Keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent, push your hips back to hinge forward and lower the dumbbells down your legs slowly.
- Keep lowering the dumbbells until they reach just below your knees, pause for a second then lift them back to the starting position. While performing this movement you should feel a lengthening of your hamstring muscles (which are the muscles at the back of your thighs).
3B. Lateral raises
Sets: 3 Reps: 12-15
- Stand upright with your arms down by your sides holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise your arms out to your sides until they reach shoulder height.
- Hold this position for a split second, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Keep your chest proud and shoulder blades retracted throughout this movement. Use a lighter weight for this movement, as it's challenging for beginners.
Benefits of this workout
This is a strength training workout, so (as you may already have guessed) it's an excellent way to build strength and muscle across your whole body.
Exercises like the squats, lunges and Romanian deadlifts target your lower-body muscles, while the push-ups, lateral raises and seated resistance band rows will recruit your chest, back, shoulders and arms.
Though short, this routine can also help if you're looking to boost your cardio fitness and lose weight.
"In this workout I have used Peripheral Heart Action Training, which is a form of exercise programming that can be very effective and efficient for those who perform it," says White. "It involves alternating the muscle groups used from the upper body to the lower body, or vice versa."
In a standard strength training workout you'd perform a set of squats, rest for 60 seconds or more, then tackle a second set. Contrastingly, this session sees you follow up a round of leg-fatiguing squats with a set of chest-targeting push-ups.
This makes for a more efficient workout, while also raising your heart rate to increase calorie burn and test your lungs, as well as your muscles.
Need some guidance on which weights to choose? See our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells
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Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.
Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.
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