Sometimes, the best way to work out is to perform exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. Full body toning exercises shave time off your workout; since you’re working more muscles at a time, you can do fewer exercises and still get the same results. You’re also using your muscles in much the same way you would in everyday life, since you’re working muscle groups together.
Lower and Twist
Hold a medicine ball or hand weight in both hands. Start with a weight lighter than what you think you can handle, such 2 or 3 lbs. You can strain yourself if you use a heavier weight and repeat the movement over and over. Lift the weight over your head. Place your feet a bit wider than shoulder distance apart and keep your knees soft and slightly bent. Bend forward from the waist, lowering your arms between your legs. Your back should stay flat. Stand back up, extending your arms and the weight out to the right side. Twist back towards center and bend forward, lowering the weight between your legs. Stand and twist to the left, then turn back towards center. Repeat 10 times. This exercise works your lower back muscles, hamstrings, obliques and your butt.
Plank and Lift
Place two hand weights on the floor and lie on your stomach. Push yourself up into the plank pose, holding a weight in each hand and supporting yourself on your toes. Engage your abdominal muscles by inhaling and carefully lift one arm and weight off of the floor, extending it out. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your arm. Repeat with the other arm. Do 10 repetitions. This exercise works your core muscles and your shoulders.
Kneel and Crunch
Hold a 5-lb hand weight in each hand. Kneel on the floor or a mat and place your elbows at your ribcage, holding your forearms up and out. Inhale, engaging your abdominal muscles. As you exhale, curl your body forward, as you would doing a regular crunch. Lower the weights towards the floor, but do not rest them on the floor. Slowly uncurl your body and sit up again. Repeat 10 times.
This exercise works your chest, shoulder and arm muscles. Lie on your back on the floor or on an exercise bench. Hold one 2- or 3-lb weight in each hand and lift your arms straight up into the air above your chest. The weights should be parallel to the ceiling. Lower your arms until your upper arms touch the floor. If you are on a bench, your upper arms should be parallel to the floor. Your forearms should stick up into the air. Extend your arms into the air again. Repeat 10 times.