Don’t have time for full-on training? Want one last all-over body workout before the weekend or an event? Well, personal trainer Thom Wade tells us the top five exercises if you’ve only got a half hour to spare.

1. Bench Press

There’s a reason the bench press is the most common chest routine out there; it uses the pecs and arms for strength while the core and legs provide stability – meaning your hitting plenty more than just one muscle group effectively.

Form: Lay down on the bench, with knees at an 80 degree angle, and align eyes with the bar. Form a neutral tight grip (best for this quick workout), engage your core, flutes and quads. Use your lats to unrack the bar, and keep your elbows in as your lower the bar down to your chest. Before driving the bar up using your whole body in an explosive push. Repeat, keeping the tension while descending.

2. Deadlifts

Anybody that’s into their training will know deadlifts should be an integral part of your workouts; training almost all of the lower body, core and back.

Form: Grip the bar shoulder-width apart, bend knees when lifting (don’t strain your back), straighten your back, lift your chest and stand up keeping the bar close to your body.  Return bar to the floor, bending knees slightly two-thirds of the way down.

3. Squats

For those of you that think squat life is just a game for big booties, you’d be wrong. Squats are amazing all-over body workout, especially strengthening your core and back muscle as well as legs and bum. Training your legs helps you perform other exercises too, like deadlifts (above). And nobody looks good skipping leg day!

Form: Back up to the bar, using the same width grip as a bench press, breathe and pick up the bar before balancing it on your shoulders, avoiding the neck blade for comfort. Feet should be shoulder width (or slightly further) apart, with knees not surpassing your toes during the decline. Descend (not too quickly) until thighs are parallel to the floor, and then drive upwards with a more explosive technique.

4. Bent over rowing

The bent over row may not be any exercise you’d expect to fall into this article, but during this quick full body workout, it will target the lats and shoulders – two areas that are less worked with the other exercises.

Form: Holding the barbell with over grip – shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly and bend at the waist until your torso is parallel with the floor. Pull the bar up towards your body, keeping your elbows in close to your torso. Contract your back muscles at the top of the rep before slowly lowering back to the start position.

5. Standing press

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While it may appear that standing press is a workout for the arms and chest, although these are the primary target areas, it actually works every muscle group from top to toe. The legs, core and lower back are used to stabilise the body while the chest, arms, upper back and shoulders carry the weight directly.

Form: You can either take the bar from Power Rack, or Power Clean it from the floor to your shoulders. Once the bar is on your shoulders, with a narrow grip, keep your legs and wrists straight. Raising your chest, arching back, drive your arms towards the ceiling. As you form the press, allow your torso to fall forward slightly so as the bar is over your head and lock elbows. Slowly return to start position.


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