Top 5 Multitasking Toning Moves

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Let's be real. Whether you're a working mom or busy managing a career, time is in short supply. If you have a lot of free time, let me know your secret. A couple of months ago, I decided to make working out a priority in my life again. My schedule was already cramped, so to make it work, I need to be as efficient as possible with my time in the gym. I don't have time to do a solely leg day or a back day. I need to work out my entire body every time. Enter multitasking exercises. 


As the name suggests, multitasking exercises engage multiple parts of the body at once, which ultimately reduces the amount of time spent in the gym. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of exercises out there that do just that. Here are my top five favorite multitasking moves. 

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1. The Double Lunge

Equipment: Bosu Ball, Free Weights

Pick up desired free weights, one in each hand. Holding your arms down at your sides, do a lunge with your front foot on a Bosu ball. Hold for several seconds. This engages leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, hip flexors), glutes, core, and upper arms (trapezoids, deltoids). 

Push off the Bosu ball with the front foot and pull it up to the chest. Simultaneously, lift the arms away from the body and position the upper arms perpendicular to the body at the shoulder with forearms parallel to the body. Then press the arms upward until the full arm is parallel to the body. Hold for a few seconds. The initial push off the ball works the iliopsoas and core, while the arm raises work shoulder muscles (trapezois, deltoids), biceps, and triceps. 

Lower the arms back down to the sides and step into a lunge backwards (what was the back leg is now the front leg). Repeat from the beginning. 


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2. Elevated Climbing Planks

Equipment: Bosu Ball

Oh planks, how I love thee. Planks are my favorite exercise and I love trying out new variations. Planks engage abdominal muscles, the lower back, glutes, pectoral muscles, shoulder muscles, and the biceps. My favorite basic method is to do a plank using an inverted Bosu ball. Using the ball makes the exercise challenge the core more than without one. Hold the planking position for thirty seconds to a minute. To add more fun, bend one leg towards the chest at a time like a mountain climber. Alternate legs quickly, but we sure to check the Bosu ball level. 


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3. Rock It Off

Equipment: Bosu BallFree Weights

Stand on top of an inverted Bosu ball with feet shoulder width apart and one free weight in each hand down at your sides. Press your body weight onto one foot and rock the Bosu ball to one side. Simultaneously bend the opposite leg and lift one forearm up to your shoulder. Rock your weight to the opposite side and repeat the action. This works hip adductors and abductors, abdominal muscles, the lower back, as well as the rhomboids, biceps, and triceps. 



4. Elevated Squat

Equipment: Bosu BallFree Weights

Squats are one of the best all in one exercises. Make them more challenging by doing them on an inverted Bosu ball and adding a weight (free weight, medicine ball, or weight plate). Stand on an inverted Bosu ball with feet shoulder width apart and the desired weight held with both hands at the center of your chest. Keeping the Bosu ball centered, slowly lower your bottom as if you were about to sit on a chair. Keep the back as straight as possible. Hold the position as long as possible. These squats activate the quadriceps, glutes, hip abductors, pectorals, and the core to name a few. 


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5. Side Planks

Equipment: Bosu Ball

I was serious when I said I love planks. Side planks are also made more challenging with the addition of a Bosu ball. Hold the side plank in position for as long as possible and then slowly lower the hip towards the ground. Without touching the ground, use the obliques (side abdominal muscles) to push the body back into plank position. Repeat the dip and push motion as many times as possible. Then repeat the exercise on the opposite side. This exercise engages most of the muscles a standard plank does, but it gives extra special attention to the obliques. 

What are your favorite multitasking exercises?


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