5 Total-Body Blasters


Even though we’re at home, this is not a vacation. Keeping ourselves healthy includes staying strong and moving even while we’re hunkering down or social distancing. Some of us are even shorter on time now than when things were normal. Making sure kids are learning, getting regular chores done and keeping up with work-at-home deadlines doesn’t leave much wiggle room for a workout. 

I’ve put together my Top 5 total-body blasters for you. These exercises work every muscle in your body in a short amount of time. You can do each on for one minute intervals throughout the day or put them all together for a 25-minute cardio/strength combination. 

Taking advantage of technology, I show you how to do each of these with a short video clip that covers safety, form and modifications. 

1. Sumo squat with forward bend, row and forward raise

Here’s what you do:

  • Stand with feet wide apart from each other and toes pointed out at 45 degrees. 
  • Bend knees and go as deep into the squat as you comfortably can.
  • Hinge forward at the hips (while staying in the squat position), back is flat and parallel to the ground.
  • Reach hands towards the ground, then bend elbows and squeeze shoulder together, pulling elbows in towards the body.
  • Unhinge at the hips and stand out of the squat (straighten knees) while raising straight arms in front of your body. 

2. Lunge with a bicep curl and lateral raise

  • Stand with right foot forward, left foot behind you. Stand on the toe of the left foot. Both knees should be straight, arms at your sides.
  • Bend knees, moving into a lunch position, while bending your elbows to complete a bicep curl. 
  • Straighten knees to come out of the lunge position while straightening the elbows and raising arms out to the side.
  • Make sure you change sides (begin with left foot forward and repeat). 

3. Squat with overhead press and lat pull-down

  • Stand with feet hip distance apart and hands extended overhead towards the sky.
  • Bend knees, sending your bottom back and shifting your weight onto your heels, keep your hands extended. 
  • Go as deeply into your squat as you’re comfortable. 
  • Stand out of the squat by pressing on your heels and pulling your elbows down while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Elbows will be parallel to the ground at shoulder height when you complete the move. 

4. Good old-fashioned burpee

The feared and dreaded burpee is actually one of the best total body exercises we have. Fortunately, there are many ways to complete it. Start with the version that works best for you and increase the intensity as you get stronger and more mobile.

    • Stand with feet together, hands at your sides. 
    • Bend your knees and place your hands on the ground at least shoulder distance apart, maybe wider.
    • Walk or jump feet back into a plank position. 
    • Complete a push-up with your elbows moving towards your hips. You can complete your push-up on your toes, on your knees or you can skip the push-up altogether. It’s up to you. 
    • If you’ve been on your knees, come back to your toes.
    • Walk or jump your feet forward to your hands.
    • Stand up or jump up.

5. Wood chopper with extension

    • Stand with feet separated…right foot is planted, you’re on the toe on the left foot. Hips are facing forward. 
    • Reach hands overhead. 
    • With some power (as if you’re chopping wood), move hands from overhead down towards your left hip. 
    • You’ll be twisting through your middle slightly. When you repeat the move, your hands will lean a bit towards the right, creating a diagonal motion as hands move from overhead towards your hip. 


  1. HI Ginny. Thanks for your posts on the full-body workouts. I have been doing a variety of home exercises and I will try out your five exercises as well. I’ve mostly been outside running on single track trails around here where I live (the APU area) and also at Far North Bicentennial Park which has loads of trails. I have to be careful so I don’t get lost. I do miss attending classes at Run Wild and also going to the YMCA. These are some very unusual times we are experiencing and it affects everybody. We all have to hang in there and keep ourselves and others safe. I wish you well in all that you do. Thanks for being such an inspiration and for your dedication to what you do to keep us all healthy.


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