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7 Amazing Workouts That Pull Double Duty

When it comes to burning fat, boosting your metabolism, and building muscle, complex and multi-joint movements are far more effective than isolated movements. For example, a Bench Press hits your chest, triceps, and shoulders, while Triceps Presses only work your triceps. Multi-joint movements that recruit multiple muscle groups use more energy, meaning your body has to work harder and burn more fat to replenish what you're using. For serious results, 2-in-1 workouts can be the best way to go!

Here are a few exercises that will help you target multiple muscle groups — and, in some cases, even your cardiovascular system.


Burpees are everyone's least favorite exercise, but boy do they work! They engage the chest, shoulders, and triceps in the Push-Up portion of the movement, along with the legs for the Squat portion. They also work your core when you jump your legs forward and backward, and they add the final touch of a plyometric/high intensity element with the jump at the end. They may be exhausting but they can be highly effective for developing total body strength.


Rowing (on a machine or in a boat) is an amazing total body movement, one that combines resistance training (for your shoulders, biceps, upper and lower back, glutes, and hamstrings) with cardiovascular conditioning. It's one of the best 2-in-1 workouts to help you improve your overall fitness like a boss!

Squat Jumps

Squats are amazing for developing lower body strength, but adding the jump at the end of each squat will improve explosive power AND push your cardiovascular condition to its limits. A single set of 10 to 20 bodyweight squat jumps can be the perfect finisher to your Leg Day workout.

Push-Up Rows

This movement targets both the upper body pushing and pulling muscles, plus engaging the core, hips, and glutes. You focus on the "pushing" muscles while you're doing the Push-Up, as well as while you are holding yourself in Plank Position. The "pulling" muscles engage while bring the Dumbbells to your ribs in an alternating Dumbbell Row. An amazing and beautifully difficult movement, to say the least!

Lunge Presses

Lunge Presses combine a lower body movement (lunges) with an upper body movement (overhead dumbbell presses) for a wonderful double whammy. If you want, you can even add a dumbbell curl into the mix (between the Lunge and the Press) to increase the strain of the movement.

Curl Presses

Curl Presses are excellent for developing strength in your arms and shoulders. Your biceps engage for the Curl portion, while your shoulders and triceps do the work when pressing the dumbbell overhead. Pay extra attention on the eccentric (lowering) phase of the workout to hit your muscles from a new angle.

Single-Arm Overhead Press

Overhead dumbbell presses focus on your shoulders and triceps, but performing them one-handed (one weight only) forces your spinal erectors (lower back) and obliques (sides) to engage. You'll find this is an amazing addition to your workout to give your core some much-needed love.

These movements will use more energy, activating your metabolism and speeding up fat and calorie burn. Plus, they'll do double duty and help you blast through your workout more quickly. Definitely worth including in your training.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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