Simple One-Bench Total-Body Workout

Get your resistance training and total-body conditioning done with only one piece of equipment.
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Let’s be real. Some days, the gym is crazy busy, and moving from one piece of equipment to the next is a lesson in extreme patience. That’s why it’s important to have a workout readily available that will target the entire body with only one bench so you can find a corner in the gym and get to work without wasting time.

Why It Works: The combination of resistance training and plyometrics is guaranteed to ramp up your heart rate, leading to superior calorie burn, muscle stimulation and fitness adaptations. The following exercises target major muscle groups, which leads to more calories burned during, and after, your gym session.

Equipment: Bench or box

How-To: Perform each exercise in the first circuit 15 to 20 times, resting 10 to 15 seconds in between exercises and 90 to 120 seconds in between sets. After completing the first circuit, move on to the second. Aim to complete three rounds of each circuit.

Warm-Up: Always warm up for at least five minutes before beginning this workout.

Circuit #1

Alternating In and Out Jump Squat
Alternating In and Out Jump Squat

Alternating In and Out Jump Squat

  • Start with your feet together and your hands in front of you.
  • Bend your knees, jump up and separate your feet in midair.
  • Land with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, lowering into a squat position.
  • Jump up out of the squat and land back in the starting position, bringing your feet together on the floor.

Tips:

  • Be sure to jump as high as possible.
  • Land softly. By using the balls of your feet as a cushion, you can reduce the impact on your knees.
  • Make sure to keep your knees in line with your second toes and avoid letting them cave inward when you come down into a squat position.
Plank Jump With Donkey Kick
Plank Jump With Donkey Kick

Plank Jump With Donkey Kick

  • Begin in a push-up position with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Jump your feet toward your hands until they are under your hips.
  • Kick your feet to your glutes while transferring your bodyweight to your hands.
  • Land softly with your feet close together and hop them back to the starting position.

Tips:

  • Your hands should remain flat on the floor with your fingers pointing forward and your palms directly in line with your shoulders.
  • Keep your core engaged and your hips slightly lifted throughout the movement.
Alternating Jump Lunge
Alternating Jump Lunge

Alternating Jump Lunge

  • Begin in a split-stance position with your torso upright and your knees bent at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Lower your rear knee toward the ground in a lunge while keeping your front shin as vertical as possible.
  • Push explosively off the ground, jumping and bringing your legs together while in midair.
  • Land softly on the balls of both feet and then quickly hop back into the lunge position with the opposite leg forward this time.

Tips:

  • Maintain a neutral spine and level hips throughout the movement.
Leg Burpee (No Push-Up)
Leg Burpee (No Push-Up)

Leg Burpee (No Push-Up)

  • Stand on one leg and squat down to place your hands on the floor on either side of your foot.
  • Hop your foot back until you are in a single-leg push-up position and pause for a second.
  • Hop your foot back up in between your hands and explode straight up, landing on the same foot.

Tips:

  • Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
  • If your wrists are sore, use “fists for wrists” or “fingers for wrists.”

Circuit #2

Bench Switch-Foot Jump
Bench Switch-Foot Jump

Bench Switch-Foot Jump

  • Stand with your right foot on the bench and your left foot on the floor.
  • Bend your left knee slightly and jump straight up while switching the position of your feet in the air.
  • Land softly on your right foot with your left foot on the bench.

Tips:

  • Make sure you are balanced before jumping.
  • Keep your knees tracking over your second toes to reduce stress on your knees.
Lateral Mountain Climber

Lateral Mountain Climber

  • Start with your hands and feet on the ground in a push-up position.
  • Step your feet forward until they are under your hips and extend your right leg straight out to the side.
  • Push off your left leg and switch the position of your legs so that your right leg is under your hips and your left leg is extended out straight to the left of your body.

Tips:

  • Your hands should remain flat on the floor with your fingers pointing forward and palms directly in line with your shoulders.
  • Keep your core engaged and your hips slightly lifted throughout the movement.
Bench Side-to-Side Hop-Over
Bench Side-to-Side Hop-Over

Bench Side-to-Side Hop-Over

  • Start with your hands on either side of the bench and your feet placed on one side.
  • Bend both knees and explode up, hopping your feet over the bench to the other side.

Tips:

  • Make sure to land softly on the balls of your feet to reduce stress on your knees.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and strong core throughout the movement.
Alternating Bench Lateral Step-Up, Hop and Switch
Alternating Bench Lateral Step-Up, Hop and Switch

Alternating Bench Lateral Step-Up, Hop and Switch

  • Stand parallel to a bench with your left foot on top of it and your right foot on the floor.
  • Push off your left foot and jump your right foot onto the top of the bench and your left foot onto the floor on the other side of the bench.

Tips:

  • Push from your heels to engage your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Use a stool or the ground if you’re a beginner.

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