8 Exercises That Work Your Arms and Legs at the Same Time
Some people separate upper- and lower-body workouts to perform on different days of the week. This way, you can rest one set of muscles while you exercise another and without skipping a single day at the gym.
If you don't work out quite so regularly or want to feel the burneverywhere every time you strap on a sports bra, focus on compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups at once. The moves below fit the bill: They work your arms and legs at the same time. Choose a few (or go ~*cRaZy~* and try them all), and perform two to three sets of up to 15 reps.
1. Jumping Jacks With Overhead Dumbbell Press: Hold a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet together. Lift the dumbbells just above your shoulders with your palms facing forward. From this position, jump your feet apart as you simultaneously extend your arms straight up into a V shape. Jump back to start to complete one rep.
2. Alternating Curtsy Lunge With Bicep Curls:Grab a set of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells and hold them along your sides with your palms facing your body. Start with both feet together and your toes facing forward. From this position, lift your right foot and take a large step diagonally behind you. Keeping your front knee behind your front toes and your shoulders stacked over your hips, curl both weights up toward your shoulders as you simultaneously bend each knee to a 90-degree angle. Press into your front heel to come back up to stand with both feet together and facing forward, and release both weights along your sides. Complete a second bicep curl as you repeat the lunge on the opposite side, this time stepping backward with your left leg. Return to starting position to complete one rep.
3. Split Squat With Overhead Dumbbell Press:Grab a 1- to 3-pound dumbbell in each hand, and stand with your back to a rower with the rail to your right and your toes nearly in line with the back of the rower. The seat should be pushed all the way forward. Bring the weights just above your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Keeping your hips square and facing forward, reach your right foot behind you, and place your toes on the seat with your right heel in the air. Keeping your left knee behind your left toes, lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the ground. As you come down, extend both arms straight up to bring the weights over your head. With control, lower the weights back to starting position as you push up through your left heel and come back up to stand. That's one rep. Do all your reps, then step over the rail, and do the same number with your right foot on the ground and your left toes on the seat.
4. Overhead Triceps Pulses: Grab a set of 3- to 5-pound dumbbells. Start with your feet together and a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Lift your right foot off the ground and take a large step diagonally behind your left leg. Press the dumbbells together and bring them up over your head with your elbows bent about 90 degrees and stacked above your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders directly over your hips, bend both knees as you simultaneously lower your body and bring the weights down a few inches. Then, push up through your left heel and right toes to raise your body and the weights up a few inches. That's one rep. Perform all your reps, then switch legs and complete the same number on the opposite side.
5.Squat Press and Twist:Grab a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand, and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward. Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders with your palms facing your ears. Keeping your chest up and your knees behind your toes, sit back into the squat. In one fluid motion, lift up out of the squat and pivot on your right foot to twist toward the left as you raise both dumbbells into the air and turn your palms to face forward. Turn back toward the center as you sit back into the squat and lower your arms back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side, this time twisting to your right and pivoting on your left foot. Return to starting position to complete one rep.
6. Triceps Dips With Side Kick:Sit on a mat with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground near your butt. Place your palms on the ground behind you with your fingers facing your body and your elbows slightly bent. Extend your elbows and lift your hips up off the ground. Next, lift your right foot, point your toes, and extend the leg straight up toward the ceiling. From this position, keep your hips squared to the ground as you open your raised leg out to the side and simultaneously bend your elbows. To return to the starting position, extend the elbows as you bring your right leg back in with toes pointing toward the ceiling. That's one rep. Complete all your reps with your right leg, then switch legs and repeat the same number.
7. V Sit-Up With Squeeze:Hold a Swiss ball in both hands and lie on your back with your legs outstretched. Extend your arms and bring the ball overhead. Brace your core and squeeze the ball as you simultaneously raise your legs, the ball, and your shoulders a few inches off the ground. Exhale as you lift your legs and arms to meet in the air. Then, squeeze the ball between your ankles as you let go of the ball with your hands, and simultaneously lower your legs and arms until they both hover just above the floor. Your lower back should stay pressed against the ground the entire time. Pause, then lift your arms and legs again, this time passing the ball from your ankles to your hands. With control, extend your arms overhead and lower your legs back to starting position to complete one rep.
8. Superman to Shoulder Pullback:Grab a Swiss ball, and lie facedown on the floor with the ball grasped between your ankles. Your arms should be outstretched overhead with your palms facing down, and your shoulders away from your ears. Exhale and engage your butt as you simultaneously raise the ball up toward the ceiling and lift your chest and arms up off the ground. Keep your legs and the ball in the air as you squeeze your shoulder blades together and drive both elbows back toward your sides. Pause, then extend your arms back to starting position. With control, lower your upper and lower body to the ground. That's one rep.