Best Total-Body Toning Moves: No Gym Membership Required

| 3 min read

Young caucasian woman in sportswear doing plyometric exercises on pier. Fitness workout outdoors
Sure you could do a strength training move that just works your biceps or your hamstrings, but why would you when instead you can do a move that strengthens multiple muscles from your head to your toes? Dynamic moves increase your overall burn and are shown to be more effective than a singular exercise. Each of these five exercises will help you maximize your results in less time. And the best part is that you don’t even need a gym membership–just a weight (a dumbbell or kettlebell will work) and some space in your home.
  • Burpees: This exercise hits every muscle in the body (arms, shoulders, chest, abs, legs) while also getting your heart rate up, which helps you burn calories. Start in a standing position, then squat down, put your hands on the ground near your feet, jump your feet back into a plank position and perform a push-up. To finish, reverse the movements jumping your feet up to your hands and then stand upright. Check out this blog for full instructions or watch this video:
  • Thrusters: A combination of a front squat and an overhead press, this exercise is a great total body toner. You can do this with a heavier weight if you want to go slower and do fewer reps, or you can use a lighter load for higher reps done a little faster. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight with both hands against your chest. Squat down and, as you are standing back up, simultaneously push the weight overhead. You’ll finish standing with the weight above you, arms straight. Lower the weight and repeat, keeping the motion smooth the entire time.
  • Turkish Get-Ups: You’d think that it would be easy to lie down on the ground and get back up, but this move shows you how tough that action can be. The movement is simple: Lie on the ground and place a weight overhead in one arm. Then go through a specific series of actions to reach a standing position, never letting the weight drop. Reverse the movements until you’re lying back down and that’s one repetition. You’ll use your upper body strength to keep the weight above you and your core, glutes and legs to raise your body off the floor. This exercise has a very specific series of steps, so learn exactly how to perform it by reading here or watching this video:
  • Mountain Climbers: Start out in plank position (hands under your chest, core engaged, body a straight line from shoulders to feet). From here, pick up your right foot and bring your right knee as close to your chest as you can. Place your right foot back down, then repeat with the left side. Keep going back and forth as fast as you can (this gets tough really quickly) as though you are running up a mountain. You’ll work your back, chest, arms, core and legs at the same time for a full body, heart-pumping exercise. Perform for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Planks: This stationary move (you hold yourself in the top of a push-up position for as long as you can) may not require you to do any crazy actions, but it strengthens your core, upper body and lower body. It also helps improve flexibility by stretching muscles and can improve posture if performed regularly. Check out these five updated plank exercises to add variety to your workout.
Want to learn more full-body workouts? Check out these blogs:
Photo credit: Getty

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