How many muscles is your workout activating? If you don’t need to bust out a second hand for counting, it’s got nothing on this core, back, and arms workout led by Session trainer Kat Atienza. That’s because these 10 minutes are chock full of moves that are actually more like combos of moves—AKA “compound movements”—so you’re challenging multiple muscle groups in the space of one rep.
Compound movements are highly beneficial for working both your strength and cardiovascular system.
“Compound movements improve how all the muscles in the body work together to produce and control force and stability,” Andrea Somer, a former trainer at Equinox in West Hollywood, previously told Well+Good. “You’ll get your heart rate up since these exercises require the heart to pump more blood to keep the muscles fueled and active.”
Building a more harmonized body, a powerful heart, and strong muscles? Compound movements sound good to us! And they make up the majority of this 10-minute workout.
For example, the fourth move in a series of five, 30-second exercises (that you’ll do twice over), works your whole body. You’ll start in a high plank position, then lower yourself into a forearm plank, then twist open to a side plank. Reverse back up to the high plank, and do it all again on the other side. Shoulders? Back? Abs? Check, check, and check. Plus you’ll also be squeezing your glutes and legs to keep your body stable.
Even in one exercise that seems like it’s a single move—kneeling tricep raises—Atienza stresses how the entire body is working together.
“Your core is strong and working with you here, trying not to flare open in the rib cage every time we lower, push, and extend the arms,” Atienza says. At the same time, she emphasizes the importance of keeping the glutes involved. “I know we’re working our core, our back, our arms, but we’ve really gotta make sure our glutes are really engaged here to support us in this position so we can isolate in our triceps.”
So much for it just being an arm workout! Grab some dumbbells and give that body the all-for-one and one-for-all treatment it deserves.