6 Total-Body Exercises That Build Muscle And Burn Fat

We’re all busy people. So sometimes working out for over an hour is just not in the cards.

Unfortunately, your physique doesn’t make exceptions for being busy – you simply have to make time to get in your workout. One way to do that? Incorporate more total-body movements into your regimen.

Why? Here are the only three reasons you need.

6 Total-Body Exercises That Build Muscle And Burn Fat


Time under tension is huge for seeing significant muscle gains. I’m basically talking about how long your muscle is forced to contract and hold a weight. The longer your muscles are forced to work, the more micro tears are happening inside your muscle fibers.

Why is that good? Well, the more we accumulate those micro tears, the more rebuilding there is for your muscles to do. Ipso facto, your muscles get huge!

Time yourself during a typical set of 10 reps. You will find that the average time you will spend will be 15-25 seconds. For ideal TUT purposes, we are going to step it up a notch and go for 40 seconds of time under tension with each of these exercises.


I don’t get impressed by people who tell me that they workout for an hour and half to two hours ever day – I get confused. What the hell are you doing for that long in the gym?

I have not had a workout in the weight room last more than an hour in literally 10 years. Even during my college wrestling days we always were in and out within 45 minutes. Why? Because we got our shit done.

Full body movements allow you to target a lot of muscle groups all at once. This cuts down on your time in the gym AND elicits hormone responses that build muscle and burn fat fast!


Getting bored with your exercises is a for sure way to hit a plateau. These full body moves prevent that to a T.

When you hit full body moves, you need a lot of focus with the different moving parts going on. These full body moves are fresh and the variation of style will shock your muscle fibers and give your brain a new stimulus preventing boredom. It’s a win-win!

Grab 2 dumbbells and get ready – that’s all you need for these sick moves. They are:

Rear Foot Elevated Squat To Hinge
Dumbbell Lateral Lunge To Overhead Reach
• Man Makers
• Gladiators
• Split Squat to Shoulder Raise
• Valslide Weighted Crawl

RFE Squat to Hinge

How to do it:
• Get a bench, box or anything comfy enough to rest your back foot on
• Place one foot behind you raised on the bench and stand with a DB in each hand
• Slowly lower your knee to a light touch on the ground keeping your chest up
• At the top, perform an RDL hinging at your hips maintaining your posture

What it works:
Glutes, quads, core, hip flexors, calves, posture
• This move is glute builder! If you thought lunges made you sore wait until you try these out!

DB Lateral Lunge to OH Reach

How to do it:
• Stand with 1 DB in each hand and perform a lateral lunge (toes pointing forward)
• At the bottom of the lateral lunge stay down and raise both hands over your head
• Bring your hands back down staying in that low position
• Drive your foot back and stand up

What it works:
• Gluteus medius, shoulders, abs, inner groin, hip & ankle mobility
• I love this one for the sake of flexibility and lateral hip drive. Do these 2-3x/week and watch your hips become stronger and more flexible


How to do it:
• Start standing with 2 DB’s
• Go right to the floor and hit a push up holding 1 DB in each hand
• At the top of the push up row each arm individually (don’t move your hips!)
• Bring your feet under you and stand up
• Perform a bicep curl and then press your hands over your head
• Bring the bells back down to your shoulders
• Perform a forward lunge on each leg
• Repeat

What it works:
• Every damn muscle fiber you have!
• Pretty self explanatory why I love this move. There is a lot of time under tension and you literally are hitting every muscle fiber you have with one sequence of movement.


How to do it:
(Think turkish get up to start)
• Start lying flat on the ground with 1 arm holding a DB pointed straight at the ceiling
• Slide your opposite elbow under you
• Push up to your hand (keeping your other arm pointed straight at ceiling)
• Elevate your hips off the ground
• Bring your feet together and go into the side plank pose on your hand
• Raise the top leg up then bring it back down
• Go back to the beginning position

What it works:
• Shoulder stability, core strength and mobility, obliques
• I love this one for body control. You really have to focus during this and your shoulder joint is under constant tension. Great move for athletes!

Split Squat to Shoulder Raise

How to do it:
• Start in a split squat stance with one DB in each hand
• Slowly lower your knee down keeping your chest up
• Simultaneously bring your arms down to your sides
• Pop back up and extend both legs and both arms
• Come back down and repeat

What it works:
• Glutes, quads, shoulders, core
• I like this because you have to transfer strength from the ground up. If you core is relaxed you are not going to be able to get those bells up. Stay strong and keep your core tight then you got it!

Valslide Weighted Crawl

How to do it:
• Get 2 Valsides or anything that will move smoothly over a surface (ie: towels on a gym floor)
• Put them on your feet and get two DB’s
• Keeping your core straight from head to toe start crawling with just your arms (keep them straight!)
• Go for 20-30 yards. Anything that keeps the time frame around :40 seconds

What it works:
• Core & Shoulders
• This move is brutal on your abs and shoulders. Just maintaining that position alone is tough to do but when you the weight it just crushes your muscle fibers

Boom! There you go. Simple and super effective full-body exercises that you need to be doing. Go through exercises 1-6 for :40 seconds at each exercise.
Try to get in 3 rounds and you will be in and out of the gym in under 30 minutes. Remember, you are aiming for TUT, efficiency and variation.
Chase It!

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Ben Boudro, MS, CSCS

Strength and Conditioning Specialist Ben Boudro is the owner of Xceleration Sports in Auburn Hills, MI, an 8500 sq. ft facility that offers sports-specific training for youth, high school, collegiate and professional athletes. . Prior to owning his own facility, Ben spent 2.5 years as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach at Michigan State University. A five-year member and team captain of the MSU Wrestling Team, Ben holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology specializing in Health Promotion, a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and holds Strength & Conditioning certifications with the NSCA and CSSCa.

Website: xcelspeed.com
Blog: benboudro.wordpress.com