Time is precious! And so is your health.

I love working out, but some days I just need to get in a quick workout and get on with my day. I’m sure you can relate.

These beginner combo moves maximize metabolic load, challenge multiple muscle groups, and cut a typical weight workout down to mere minutes. Plus, because you’re using multiple movement patterns you’ll constantly fire your core and re-shape your body in no time. Use an interval timer app to keep you on track!

Try this Beginner Series next time you’re in a pinch: you’ll need a timer, dumbbells and a mat.

2 x 45 sec on: 15 sec transition for a 10-minute workout

(Progress to 3 x thru = 15 min)

Squat & Alternating Reverse Lunge

Kneeling Pushups with Alternating Glute Press

Sumo Squat & Overhead Press

Mountain Climber Combo: 2 Middle, 2 Cross Body, 2 Lateral Repeat

Hip Lifts & Alternating Leg Extensions


Perfect Your Form!

Beginner Form Tips:

Squat & Alternating Reverse Lunge:

 Start with feet set hip width apart, toes parallel, and core lifted.

 If using weights, hold them by your thighs; draw shoulder blades back with chest lifted

 Push hips back and sit into a squat making sure to not allow knees to pass front of toes.

 Drive up to standing through the heels and squeeze glutes.

 Shift into a Reverse Lunge stepping one leg back; drop back knee down, but keep weight on front leg

 Drive up through the heel and glutes of the front leg.

 Return to a squat then perform a reverse lunge on the other leg.

 Repeat Squat & Alternating Reverse Lunge for the full timed interval.

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Kneeling Pushups with Alternating Glute Press:

 Begin on hands and knees.

 Shift chest and shoulders forward over hands to find a ½ plank position.

 Tighten core and perform a push up by bending elbows. Maintain good form through the crown of the head.

 At the top of the push up, hold ½ plank and press one leg back behind you; foot flexed and glutes engaged.

 Try to hold pelvis neutral as you extend leg back.

 Return to the Kneeling Pushup then do a Glute Press on the other leg.

 Repeat Kneeling Pushup & Alternating Glute Press for the full timed interval.


Sumo Squat & Overhead Press:

 Begin with feet set wide, toes angled out slightly, and core lifted.

 Hold weights in front of shoulders with palms facing each other.

 Push hips back and sit into the squat. Press up through heels and glutes.

 At top of squat, press dumbbells overhead until arms are straight, then lower back to shoulders.

 Return to the Sumo Squat.

 Repeat Sumo Squat & Overhead Press for the full timed interval. Mountain Climber Combo: 2 Middle, 2 Cross Body, 2 Lateral Repeat

 Begin in a High Plank Pose with shoulders over hands & chest drawing forward.

 Belly and thighs press up to keep you engaged and buoyant.

 Alternate legs driving one knee up toward the chest then the other; make sure the movement occurs by engaging the abs.

 Perform 2 knee drives toward the chest (middle), 2 knee drives toward the opposite elbow (cross body), and 2 knee drives toward the same side elbow (lateral)

 Repeat the series for the full timed interval.

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Hip Lifts & Alternating Leg Extensions:

 Begin on your back in a bridge position (feet under knees, arms by sides, and hips lifted with hamstrings engaged)

 Lower hips to mat lightly tapping then driving back up into bridge.

 Hold bridge pose as you extend one knee straight, engaging quadriceps (front of thighs)

 Return foot to floor to repeat the Hip Lift then Leg Extension on other side

 Make sure to keep hips level during the Leg Extension

Stay tuned for an Intermediate sequence tomorrow!


Written By Missi Holt

Missi Holt

Missi Holt is the fitness and nutrition editor for Early to Rise. She is a master nutrition therapist, certified yoga trainer, Certified Turbulence Trainer and an NSCA certified personal trainer (CPT). She also provides fitness and nutrition therapy through her own organization, Whole Life Health.