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The number one excuse I hear is “I don’t have time.”
And often friends and trainers will say back one or a combination of these things…
“Yes you do. You just have to make it a priority.”
“That’s just an excuse. All of these people have busy lives and fit it in.”
“You’ve got to make time and take care of yourself!”
“We often struggle to take time out for ourselves, but if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others properly?”
While all of those things can be true, I think one thing we often forget about when people say they “don’t have time,” is that they believe to get the results they want, they need to spend hours in the gym.
They believe that if they aren’t going to the gym 5-6 times a week for at least an hour, they won’t get the results they want. So then…if they can’t do that, what’s the point of even going a little!?!
Instead we’ve all got to realize that getting results can fit our busy lifestyle. That results don’t require hours in the gym. They require efficient workouts with movements that get us the most bang for our buck in the least amount of time.
That is why I LOVE Hybrid Exercises.
What are Hybrid Exercises?
Hybrid Exercises are moves that combine 2 or more other exercises to work as many large muscles groups at once and even often work us through multiple planes of motion in the same sequence.
These are efficient movements because the work a lot of muscles at once to help you build functional strength in less time.
Plus by combining two moves into one quick exercise, you can even really target a specific area and work it double in one movement. I find this very effective especially when it comes to working the legs and glutes. You can often have trouble really getting the glutes working by doing compound exercises alone.
But if you create a hybrid move that not only activates by isolating the glutes and then strengthens the glutes and legs with a compound move, you’ll feel EVERYTHING working in less time!
By doing Hybrid Exercises, you can even get in a killer workout in just 5 minutes.
Hybrid Exercises are sure to challenge even the most advanced lifter and not only help you build strength but also improve your conditioning.
Below are 10 of my Favorite Hybrid Moves.
10 Hybrid Exercises
The Jack Burpee is one of my favorite burpee variations because it is a hybrid of the plyo jack, burpee and plank jack. It is a great full-body, core-intensive move that will also really get your blood pumping! It will really work your core, glutes, legs and shoulders.
To do the Jack Burpee, start standing with your feet together. Squat down slightly as you bend over and place your hands on the ground. Jump your feet back into a high plank position with your feet together.
From that high plank position with your feet together, jump your feet out wide. Do not let your butt go up in the air as you jump your feet out. Jump your feet back together quickly then jump your feet into your hands and come up back up to standing.
As you lift your hands and come back to standing, perform either a basic Jumping Jack or a Plyo Jumping Jack. If you do the Plyo Jack, you will jump up off the ground as you spread your legs wide and swing your arms up to the side and overhead.
To regress the movement, step back into a plank position instead of jumping back. You can also step your feet out to the sides and back in when doing the Plank Jack instead of jumping. And at the top, perform a Basic Jumping Jack or even no Jack at all.
The quicker you do the movement and the bigger and higher your Plyo Jack is at the top, the harder the move will be.
Side Lunge to Leg Lift:
The Side Lunge to Leg Lift is one of my current favorites. It is a great frontal plane movement to work those glutes with a compound and isolation exercise back to back. Any time you can target those glutes in multiple ways and even isolate them, the more you are really going to get them working and pumped!
To do the Side Lunge with Leg Lift, start standing with your feet together. Then step out to the side and sink into a side lunge. Sit your butt back as you sink down and bend that outside knee. You may hinge at the hips, but do not simply lean forward. Make sure to sit your butt back and keep both heels down. Do not bend the other leg as you lunge out and keep both toes pointing straight ahead.
Then, driving off that foot you step out with, come back up to standing. Feel your glute working to help bring you but up to standing tall with your feet together. Lightly tap your foot down as you stand up to help you balance, if needed, then lift the leg you just lunged out with up and out to the side. You’ll do a straight leg lift to the side. Try not to let your leg really rotate up as you lift.
Do not worry about how high you lift, but focus on lifting it straight out to the side using your glute. You’ll feel this in the outside of your hip. Try not to lean away too much, just a little if needed for balance. Also, don’t throw your leg up and just swing with momentum. Really feel your glute working to lift.
Tap your foot back down then lunge back out to the same side and repeat until all reps are complete.
Renegade Row Push Up:
I love any time you can work on core stability while working both of the big muscles of your upper body – your chest AND your back. Plus, I’m thrilled when you can get in more back work to your workout routine as we still rounded over way too much during the day and need to strengthen our backs! That is why the Renegade Row Push Up may just be my favorite upper body Hybrid Exercise!
This move will work your arms, shoulders, chest, back and even your core and glutes. Your core will have to work hard to stabilize as you row and prevent rotation!
To do the Renegade Row to Push Up, you can use dumbbells or kettlebells. Place them on the ground about shoulder-width apart with them just outside your chest. Place your hand on each dumbbell or kettlebell with your palms facing in so the weights are parallel. While placing the weights closer together on the ground will make it more of a narrow grip push up and work your triceps even a bit more, it will also help make it easier to stabilize your core as you row.
Then set up at the top of a plank with your arms straight and legs out straight behind you. You can do this from your knees or your toes. The closer together your feet/knees are, the harder the move will be on your core because you won’t have as wide a base to fight rotation during the row.
From this plank position, perform a Push Up, dropping your chest to the weights. With your body moving as one unit, lower down and press back up. At the top of the Push Up, row one dumbbell up to your side, driving your elbow down and back toward the ceiling.
Lower the weight down and then perform another Push Up. After the Push Up, row the other dumbbell up. Make sure not to shrug your shoulders as you row. You want to feel your back working. Also, fight the urge to rotate open as you row. Keep your body in a nice straight line from your head to your heals. Really focus on squeezing your glutes.
Beginners may need to do a row on each side after each Push Up to eliminate some of the Push Ups. They can also use just bodyweight or even do this from their knees.
Advanced exercisers will want to do only one row after each Push Up and use heavy weights.
Side to Curtsy Lunge:
Lunge sequences are a great way to work your legs from numerous angles and even really get your blood pumping. You can also target different muscles in your legs based on the lunges you include. Plus, because we move in every direction in everyday life, you can really build functional strength by lunging in different directions!
One of my favorite lunge sequences is the Side to Curtsy Lunge because those two lunges can really work your glutes!
To do the Side to Curtsy Lunge, start with one side, say your left side. Lunging with your left foot, step the left foot out toward “9″ on the clock to perform a side lunge.
As you lunge out to the side, bend your left knee as you keep your right leg straight and sit your butt back. Don’t be afraid to hinge forward slightly, hinging at the hips, to really push your butt back and load your glute. Bend that left knee as you keep both toes pointing straight ahead. Keep your left heel down as you sink into the lunge. Keep your chest up even if you slightly lean forward to push your butt back. Do not round over.
Then drive back up to standing, pushing off your left foot to come back center. Do not bend your right leg to come back center or swing your body. Really push off that outside leg and drive off your heel.
If you need to, touch your foot down center as you stand tall to help you balance before moving into the curtsy lunge. If you don’t need to tap your foot down, move right into the curtsy.
Lunge back into a curtsy lunge with your left foot, stepping your left foot back behind your right leg. You will reach your left foot back to about “5″ on the clock as you bend your front and back knee almost as if you are going to half kneel on the ground. Make sure you step far enough back (do not keep your left foot too close to your right) so that you can bend both knees and sink down into a deep lunge. Keep your right heel down on the ground and your chest up. Make sure you feel the outside of the front glute (in this case the right) really loading as you sink down. Do not rotate open but keep your chest and upper body facing straight ahead. You really need to sit your butt back and load that right glute.
Then drive through your front heel to come back up to standing center. Squeeze your glutes at the top and move right back into a side lunge on the left side.
Complete all reps on one side before switching. Add weight to make the move more challenging. Beginners may not go as low and may use only bodyweight.
Pull Up with Knee Tuck:
Pull Ups are a must-do move. Whether you can do full or are still working with an assisted variation, pull ups are a great back and core exercises. And you can make them even more core intensive with a Knee Tuck! So if you want to take your Pull Ups to the next level and really work your core, try the Pull Up with Knee Tuck.
To do the Pull Up with Knee Tuck, hang from a pull up bar with your palms facing away. If you want to do a chin up variation, simply turn your palms toward you. Hang from the bar with your arms fully straight and legs hanging down.
Then leading with your chest, perform a pull up. Feel the sides of your back working to pull your chin above the bar. At the top, pause and then tuck your knees into your chest. Straighten your legs back out and lower back down.
Repeat pulling back up. As you do the pull up, think about leading with your chest and drive you elbows down. Even think about gripping the bar hard to help you activate everything.
To make this move more challenging and even work your obliques, you can do a knee tuck circle as you pull up.
Beginners may need to start with just a hanging knee tuck or even an assisted pull up. They can also do a Leg Lowers Plus to work their core and start activating their back!
For more Hanging Ab Exercises, try these!
Bird Dog Push Up:
If you want to build killer core strength and work on stability as you work your chest, shoulders and triceps, you will want to try the Bird Dog Push Up. From your toes, this move will be super challenging and advanced. To regress do it from your knees.
Whichever you do, do not let your butt go up in the air. Really use the bird dog as a chance to work on shoulder and core stability as you brace your abs and engage your glutes! Do not rotate in that bird dog and build anti-rotational strength!
To do the Bird Dog Push Up, set up in the high plank position from your hands and toes with your hands under your shoulders and your feet about hip-width apart. If you bring your feet closer together, it will make the move more challenging. Make sure your core is braced and your body is in a nice straight line from your head to your heels.
Then, with your body moving as one unit, perform a push up, dropping your chest to the ground. Do not let your elbows flare way up by your shoulders. You do not want your arms and body to create a “T” shape. Press back up to the high plank position. Make sure to keep your core engaged and drive back through your heels so your body stays in a nice straight line. Do not let your hips sag or your butt go up in the air.
At the top of the push up, lift your opposite leg and arm up, reaching your arm out straight toward the wall in front of you as you lift your foot back toward the wall behind you. Keep your core engaged and squeeze your glutes as you lift the leg and arm. Do not let your body rotate open or your hips sag toward the ground. Do not let your butt go up toward the ceiling as you lift and pause to hold.
You do not need to lift super high. It is more about lifting toward opposite walls and engaging your core and glutes to stay balanced. Hold for a second or two at the top and then lower back down and repeat the push up. Make sure your body moves as one unit. Do not tuck your chin or let your hips sag.
Then perform a Bird Dog on the other side, lifting the opposite arm and leg up. Keep performing a push up then a Bird Dog, alternating sides.
Beginners can do the move from their knees or even simply lift either their leg or their arm instead of lifting both. It is better to regress and perform the movement properly than to do the full Bird Dog Push Up with your butt up in the air.
Squat to Lunge:
Split Squat Jumps and Squat Jumps are two great cardio-leg exercises by themselves. But when you combine the two together into one jumping move, you’ll feel those legs burning even more! The Squat to Lunge is a great way to really work those legs as you get your blood pumping!
To do the Squat to Lunge, start with your feet about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Squat down, sitting your butt back. Do not round forward as you squat down. Keep your heels down and sink your butt so that your quads are about parallel to the ground.
Then jump up and switch into a lunge stance as you land. One foot will be forward and then other will lunge back as you drop your back knee down toward the ground. Sink low in the low and keep your chest up.
In the lunge, your front heel should be down and your weight should be fairly centered.
Jump back into the squat and then lunge on the other side. Move quickly, exploding up off the ground to switch.
Beginners can start with stepping between the two moves instead of jumping.
Tabletop Dip Toe Touch:
Work your triceps, shoulders, quads and core, especially your obliques, with the Tabletop Dip Toe Touch. This is a great move to build core stability and may even challenge your balance and your mobility.
Plus it is just so fun! We’ve even come to call it the Dancing Crab at the gym!
To do the Tabletop Dip Toe Touch, start with your butt on the ground and then place your hands behind you as you bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground.
Then lift your butt up off the ground. Perform a little dip, bending your elbows as you touch your butt back down to the ground.
Then lift up, bridging your hips up a bit, as you kick your leg up and reach your opposite hand to touch your toe. Place your hand and foot back down, then repeat the dip and then kick the other leg up and reach your other hand to touch your toe.
Move quickly without rushing so much that you don’t stay balanced. Also, make sure to perform a little dip after each toe touch, bending your elbows slightly to touch your butt down.
Single Arm Plank Jack:
If you want a move to challenge your coordination, shoulder stability, core strength and even your cardio, then you’ll love the Single Arm Plank Jack. It is a great combination of the plank with shoulder tap and the plank jack!
This is an advanced move. Beginners will want to start with the Basic Plank Jack. Really fight against rotating as you perform this move.
To do Single Arm Plank Jacks, set up in a high plank position with your hands a bit closer together under your shoulders and your feet together. Brace your abs and make sure your body is in a nice straight line.
Then jump your feet out wide, and as you do, lift one hand to touch your opposite shoulder. Resist the urge to really rotate as you lift the hand or let your butt go up in the air. Try to keep your hips down and your core as square to the ground as possible.
Jump your feet back together and place the hand back down. When you quickly jump your feet out again, this time lift the other hand to touch your opposite shoulder. Jump quickly back in and lower the hand back down. Keep repeating the jack with your feet, alternating which hand you lift to tap your shoulder.
Beginners can do a basic Plank Jack without the shoulder tap. For the Basic Plank Jack, click here.
Not only is this move super fun because you get to roll around on the ground, but it works both the anterior and posterior of your core. You’ll work both your abs and your back and butt!
And if you get to coach someone doing it…Even better as you get them rolling around on command!
To do the Superman Banana, lie face down on the ground and reach your hands overhead with your legs out straight behind you. Then, squeezing your glutes, lift your chest and legs up off the ground. Try to get your chest up as high as you can and your quads up off the ground if possible.
You should feel this in your back and glutes. This is the Basic Superman.
Keeping your arms and lower legs up off the ground, roll over onto your back. Try not to push off with your hands or feet as you roll. You may need to use your arms just a little especially if you are a beginner, but the goal is to roll without pushing off.
Once on your back, keep your belly button drawn in toward your spine and your legs and arms up off the ground. Your neck and head should be in a neutral position. This is “Banana.” Beginners may find they need to lift their legs up higher toward the ceiling or bend their knees to keep their low back against the ground and their abs engaged.
Then roll back over into Superman. Again do not push off with your arms or legs. Hold in each position (Superman and Banana) for a few seconds before rolling back over.
For even more Hybrid Exercises, check out these two videos below!