As time becomes ever more precious, we all seek the holy grail of a rapid but effective way to get our exercise. Solve this problem with compound exercises that work a whole raft of muscles.

To start with compound exercise, try this selection of four themed moves. They will work muscles that you didn’t even know that you had!

Begin with a warm up to get heart-rate up and avoid muscle strain. Don’t worry too much about counting reps – either set a time for the whole workout, or simply do each section until the body says ‘stop!’


The strangely-named but very efficient burpee is a combination that works many muscles and adds a dose of cardio. This is an explosive exercise so make sure you have good trainers on to cushion the landing.


Now move to the weight phase. The deficit deadlift keeps the weight low, but is highly effective. Stand on a small platform or step – you only need to be a few inches off the ground. Hold a barbell against your shins and bend over at the hips, keeping core engaged. Then lift the weights by straightening knees and hips. The bar should remain at the level of your extended arms.


Combine a standard squat with rotation with this kettlebell exercise. Stand with feet hip width apart and one kettlebell held high with a straight arm. Now squat and reach down with your free hand, aiming for the floor between your feet while the kettlebell is held directly above. Keeping correct squat form is more important than touching the floor. Straighten, change hands and repeat.


Finish with the unexpectedly challenging yoga pose known as the boat. Sit with legs crossed and core engaged. Pull your knees to your chest so your toes come off the ground. Extend arms and hold with head high and neck relaxed. Add some effort by gently pumping the arms.

All you need is 15 minutes and a corner of the gym and the job is done!



The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Brittany T.
26 February 2018

Brittany T.

I folllowed the link - those burpees are HARD, but at least I now know where they get their name. Who knew?

Mark J.
23 February 2018

Mark J.

I agree - the boat pose looks a doddle but is very far from being such. Good quick workout!

Thomas B.
20 February 2018

Thomas B.

The boat is insanely hard to hold for a long time. 4 good moves here. CHallenge is to do them enough times to feel the burn and therefore benefit

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