6 Seriously Difficult Combination Exercises to Try

Anyone who takes their weight-lifting routine seriously knows it can take a significant amount of time. Even if you’re just focusing on a few body parts for the day, completing enough sets with an adequate amount of rest in between can easily add up to a few hours. For most of us, this time investment isn’t practical, particularly during the week. If only there were a way to get out of the gym faster without letting your workout sacrifice. There is, actually. Welcome to the world of combination exercises. Instead of focusing on one lift at a time, you’ll combine two or more exercises into one mega-move.

1. Single-arm reverse lunge and press

man grabbing a dumbbell from the weight rack

Combine lunges and presses for a full-body move. | iStock.com

To perform this exercise, stand with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart and grasp a dumbbell in your left hand. Bend your left elbow and position the weight so it hovers just above your left shoulder. From this position, step your right foot back, then lower yourself into a lunge. At the bottom of the move, press the dumbbell straight toward the ceiling, carefully lower it back toward your shoulder, and step your right foot back into position. After completing your desired number of repetitions, switch sides.

2. Deadlift into bicep curl

deadlift, weight lifting

Deadlifts are even tougher with bicep curls added. | iStock.com

Get into position by placing a barbell on the ground just in front of you. With your feet spaced shoulder-width apart, bend your knees until you’re able to grasp the bar with an underhand grip. Keeping your back straight, stand all the way up. The barbell should hang just below your hips. Next, keeping your elbows steady, curl the bar toward your chest by bending your elbows. Slowly extend your arms until the bar lowers back to just below your hips, then lower it to the ground to return to the starting position. Muscle & Fitness has a video that demonstrates the best form.

3. Squat into calf raise

lifting weights

Squats and calf raises will work the entirety of your legs. | iStock.com

Get setup for squats by resting a barbell across the back of your shoulders. With your feet shoulder-width apart and your back flat or slightly arched, lower yourself into a squat until your knees are bent at about 90-degree angles. Press back up to the starting position, then push through the balls of your feet and rise up as high as you can. Carefully lower your heels back to the ground and repeat. Form is everything with this move, so Muscle & Performance says you should only squat down as far as you can while maintaining the proper posture.

4. Dumbbell bridge to press to pullover

man lying on an exercise mat lifting a dumbbell with one hand

Your whole body will feel this one. | iStock.com

Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet firmly planted on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your arms close to your sides, bend your elbows so the weights are raised toward the ceiling. Raise your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees, then push your arms straight toward the ceiling, keeping your balance across the back of your shoulders. Raise your arms overhead so the weights point toward the back of the room, pull them back toward the ceiling, then lower your elbows and hips back to the floor.

5. Push-up to row

dumbbell push-ups

Get ready to work your core, chest, and shoulders. | iStock.com

Grasping a dumbbell in each hand get into a plank position with your arms fully extended. The dumbbells should be running parallel to your body. Lower yourself until your chest is just above the ground, push straight back up, then pull the left weight toward your chest, resisting the urge to let your torso rotate. Lower the weight back to the ground and repeat the move, this time rowing the right weight toward your chest. You can see Reggie Bush performing this exercise by heading to STACK.

6. Step up to reverse lunge

Woman performing a lunge on the beach

Get stronger legs with this combination. | iStock.com

This combo is a must for killer glutes and strong hamstrings. Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand and standing behind a bench. Step your left foot onto the bench and stand up. Then, step your right foot back down to the ground and take that left leg back into a reverse lunge. This completes one rep, so keep going on this side for a total of 10 reps total before switching. To get a better idea of the move, check out this video from Performance U.