Leg day, arm day, core day. Push, pull, squat, press. We keep it all straight in the way we organize our workouts, right? But getting a full-body workout doesn’t have to involve a color-coded Google calendar. While a strength-training regimen usually requires planning and organization to build muscle, if you’re short on time, you can hit all of your major muscle groups with efficient compound movements.
This new standing Pilates workout from East River Pilates instructor Brian Spencer will get your whole body shaking in just 11 minutes. You’ll use two light weights (Spencer chooses a two-pound toning ball), and to activate and engage your brain power.
“When it comes to strength training, this is my number one skill hack: use your brain!” Barry’s CEO Joey Gonzalez previously told Well+Good. “If you focus on targeted muscle groups when you exercise, you can activate and challenge those muscles more.”
That brain power is key to getting the most out of this exercise. There are just four base moves, including arm exercise variations you’ll do during hinging, lunging, squatting, and squat-lunging. Making sure your glutes are engaged and your core is tight will not only ensure good form, it’ll feel arm-centric challenging throughout your body.
For example, during the first step—a steady hip hinge with arms—Spencer advises that you “feel your shoulders, hamstrings, glutes, and abs a lot.” When the hamstrings are “working like crazy, we’re finding length in the postural muscles, we’re engaging those abs and we’re strengthening the lower back.”
Chest opening, back pressing, and arm movements that work the shoulders are done in a lunge (front leg glute with all power) following the hinge. Next comes the arm reach and twist while in the squat, and Spencer finally combines it by adding a lunge to the squat while maintaining the arm reach and twist.
If this sounds challenging, that’s because it is. But it’s four moves, and 11 minutes, and then you’re done. Talk about efficient.