It's total body day.
So put that isolation routine aside and get ready to sweat. Conditioning more than one muscle group at a time is a great way to burn tons of calories.
Working your chest, back, arms and core independently would take up the majority of your valuable gym time. Combining exercises is a good way to burn more energy during your workout.
Total body exercises also improve your conditioning and make your movements more functional for daily activities. They can be done with slow tempo to improve stability or a fast tempo to work on your explosive power.
The first exercise is a combination pushing and pulling exercise. One hand pushes while the other pulls. The core stabilizes and legs give you power. Even though the legs don't move in this exercise, they still provide a solid base. You'll feel them even more if you do the movement from a high lunge position instead of a typical staggered stance. Be sure to have the basic press and row mastered before progressing to this compound movement.
There are a few different types of cable machines at gyms. Most gyms will have a large multimachine contraption that has many different cable and pulley stations. There will more than likely be a rack close by with various hand-grip attachments. The cable push-pull requires two handles, one on ether side, that can be adjusted.
The other kind of machine is a stand-alone. The weight stack is contained and the cables and pulleys are hidden in adjustable arms.
For those with home gyms, the cable push-pull can be done with a few resistance bands and clever anchor point positions.
The second exercise is called the inchworm. Inchworms are one of those exercises that are so grueling that many people tend to block them from memory. They require total body awareness and control. They are called inchworms because you move like a worm, only inches at a time across the floor. This exercise works the arms, core and legs. You'll feel it the most in whichever muscles are weakest. Be sure to have the basic plank mastered before trying inchworms.
These two exercises are good for shortening a workout when you are pressed for time. They also fit well in circuits. Try doing these two exercises as a superset for three or four rounds.
Chris Huth is a Las Vegas trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.