Lower and Upper Body Mini Strength Complexes with Add-On Style Core Finisher

32 Min • Total Body
  • View on YouTube
    • Training Type Strength Training
    • Equipment Dumbbell, Mat


    You don’t need an expansive exercise library of complicated movement patterns to improve your fitness and reach personal performance goals. After all, the slightest of tweaks to formatting, sequencing, tempo, and/or unilateral versus bilateral focuses of a workout allow us to remix the same standard exercises in a multitude of ways to elicit major physical (and mental) gains. The straightforward exercises included in this workout are sequenced together in such a way to challenge your muscles in a short amount of time. Both the lower and upper body circuits are formatted as complexes, the goal of which is to maintain the same set of weights for each exercise with minimal rest between moves, challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular system to prevail beyond fatigue. You will complete three rounds of three exercises per complex. The best part? You will reverse the order of completion on the second round of each circuit. This reversal increases the difficulty of the workout, because you are pushed to work muscle groups that were just utilized during the previous round.

    As each working interval is only 30 seconds and the exercises in each complex have complementary weight selections, feel free to challenge yourself with heavy (to you) weight choices. Be mindful that the short break between intervals is more of a transition period for you to reset your grip and/or posture before the next exercise, but if you choose to use different weights for each move, do so with expediency and keep all your weight selections nearby. Whether you choose to maintain the same set of weights throughout the complex or not, form and quality of movement are of utmost importance. Take grip and postural breaks, readjust your weight selections, and reset your mental commitment to the workout whenever necessary.   

    During the add-on style core finisher, you will add an exercise to the lineup each round until you complete all four exercises. This means that you will complete the hand release push-ups variation all four rounds and the hollow-man variation once during the last round (I know you’re cheering about one round of hollow-man holds). The first round will feel the easiest of all – your 30 seconds of work are immediately followed by 30 seconds of recovery. Afterwards, your working interval increases and your recovery remains the same as you add an exercise each round. You might not feel entirely spent after the finisher, but that’s ok! The main purpose of the finisher in this workout is to challenge your core to increasing amounts of work after having just provided ongoing stability during the preceding strength complexes.  

    Note that this routine is a level 3 workout but could easily feel like a level 4 workout if you opt for heavy (for you) weight selections and choose the most advanced progression of all the core exercises in the finisher. If you want to further increase the difficulty of the workout, decrease the tempo of execution of each exercise in the complexes with halfway pulses. For example, when completing the front squat: lower to your end range of motion into a squat, rise halfway through your range of motion, return to your lower end range, and then finally stand all the way back up. Conversely, decrease the difficulty of the workout by decreasing your weight selections and range of motion while maintaining an even, moderate tempo of movement execution.  

    Enjoy this quick but efficient total body workout! Ultimately, you determine the intensity of all your workouts, but I hope you feel empowered to challenge yourself from time to time with this routine. 

    Warm Up: 30 sec per exercise, no rest between exercises (5:00) 
    -Bottom Pause Squats 
    -Hinge + Low Row 
    -Reverse Lunge + Overhead Press (alternating lunges)
    -Push-Up + Down-Dog 
    -Jump Rope Shuffle 
    -Lateral Squats 
    -Good Morning’s + Arm Extensions
    -Reverse Lunge + Torso Rotation (alternating lunges)
    -Push-Up + Runner’s Lunge (alternating lunges)  
    -Jumping Jacks

    My weight selections in the video (not a recommendation, just a reference):
    -20 lbs. (9.1 kg) = (Heavy) 
    -15 lbs. (6.8 kg) = (Medium)

    Lower Body Mini Complex: 30 sec on / 10 sec off / 3 rounds (reverse order on 2nd round) / 20 sec off between rounds (Heavy) 
    -Front Squat
    -Reverse Lunges (alternating lunges) 

    ***Water Break #1***

    Upper Body Mini Complex: 30 sec on / 10 sec off / 3 rounds (reverse order on 2nd round) / 20 sec off between rounds (Medium) 
    -Overhead Presses
    -Low Row
    -Biceps Curls

    ***Water Break #2*** 

    Core Add-On Style Finisher: 30 sec on / 30 sec off. Add one exercise with each subsequent round until all four exercises are completed. 
    -Hand Release Push-Ups + Superhuman Back Extensions 
    -Full Plank: Hip Taps (same side; alternating)
    -Starfish Crunch 
    -Hollow-Man Hold + Boat Pose 

    Cool Down: approx. 30 sec per stretch (approx. 4:00) 
    -Child’s Pose 
    -Runner’s Lunge – R
    -Runner’s Lunge – L 
    -Down-Dog + Feed Pedals 
    -Rollup to Standing + Arm Circles
    -Crossbody Shoulder Stretch – R
    -Crossbody Shoulder Stretch – L
    -Chest Opener Stretch + Tree Hug