Juggling work, family, summer and keeping our loved ones safe is making life feel really busy. Not to mention getting ready for back-to-school during a Covid-era and it’s no wonder people are struggling to find the time to workout. 

One thing we’ve learned over the last year and a half is the importance of our health, so skipping exercise really shouldn’t be an option. In fact, when you’re healthy and strong, you’ll have more energy to get things done so the busier you are, the more critical it is that you commit to an exercise plan

The key to exercise adherence when you’re strapped for time is efficiency. Think of it like multi-tasking for workouts. Incorporating exercises that combine lower body, upper body, core, balance training and mobility all into one exercise accomplishes so much more training in the same amount of time.  

Full Body training is an effective form of training both from a time efficiency and a functional perspective.

This type of approach to exercise teaches our bodies to function as we do during sports, recreation or activities of daily living. Very rarely do we move using just our lower body or just our upper body so by combining movements during exercise, we train our muscles in a more natural fashion. 

Some examples of full body exercises would be to combine lunges with an overhead press, squats with rows or bench step-ups with bicep curls. Try balancing on one leg when performing any upper body movement or lying over a stability ball when performing chest presses.

When designing your program, analyze how you can take any exercise skill to the next level by combining two or three movements into one complex, compound movement. 

Not only will you be more efficient with your time but also you will be training your body in a way that mimics real-life movements.

Here Are Two Sample Full Body Multitasking Movements. 

One leg Airplane + Reverse Fly + Curl + Overhead Press

Start by standing tall holding two lighter hand weights balancing on one leg.

Slowly tip the upper body forward as one leg extends behind…transitioning into airplane pose while keeping the spine elongated.

Keep your core active as you hold airplane pose and slowly raise the hand weights laterally into a reverse fly.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower the arms.

Now, slowly return to an upright, balanced position on one leg with the other knee lifting while you perform a bicep curl.

Continue holding the balanced position as you press your arms overhead.

Return to the starting position and continue for 8-15 reps each side. 

Squat & Row

Start in a wide-stance squat position holding hand-weights.

Start by squatting low towards the ground and reach one weight towards the opposite foot.

Slowly squat upwards while pulling the weight across the body in a row-like action.

Keep your core active and squeeze your shoulder blade towards the midline of the body.

Continue for 8-15 reps each side. 

Koin News “Move it Monday” series did a segment on Multi-tasking workouts with us. You can view it here

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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