We all know that interval training cuts cardio time pretty much in half but what about a straight up lifting workout? How do you fit in more moves in less time at the gym? The secret is in “combinations.” Combinations are movements that combine two exercises or more into one — rather than doing a squat followed by a military press, now you’ll do the two together, which targets more muscle groups in the same amount of time. This gives your body a huge stimulus for growth and fires up your metabolism for a lot of fat loss; with so many moving parts, you’ll also get a lot of great cardio and conditioning benefits too.
Try these eight combination exercises to get strong and lean in a pinch.
 

Dumbbell Squat and Press

Hold two dumbbells by your shoulders with a neutral grip. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backwards and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels and keep your knees apart. Drive up and push overhead at the same time. 

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Split Squat and Cable Row

Set a D-handle on a cable machine to chest height and grab the handle with one hand. Get in a split squat stance. (Whatever side that holds the handle should have that leg behind.) Perform a row with your spine straight. Then, drop straight down to perform a split squat and drive with your front heel. Don’t let your front knee drift past your toe.

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Dumbbell Step Up and Press

Hold two dumbbells in your hands and place one foot on a box or bench. Pull all your weight on that foot and drive yourself up by pushing through your heel. Avoid pushing off with your bottom leg. At the top of the box, perform an overhead press with both dumbbells. When coming down, don’t jump. Step down one foot at a time.

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Squat and Cable Row

Set a cable handle to chest height and grab the handle with one hand. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backwards and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. As you lower yourself, row the cable handle towards you. At the bottom, drive through your heels and keep your knees apart. As you come up, extend your arm straight ahead.

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Romanian Deadlift and Bent-Over Row

Start from a stand while holding a barbell or dumbbells. Push your hips backward, keep your back neutral, and descend until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Your knees should be slightly bent. At the bottom of the RDL, hold the bent-over position and perform a row. Then, return to the start position.

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Renegade Row

Set two kettlebells or hexagon-shaped dumbbells about shoulder-width apart. Get into a pushup position with your hands grabbing the handles and your feet very wide. Perform a pushup. At the top, row one kettlebell, set it down, then do the other side. That’s one rep.

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TRX Atomic Pushups

Start with your feet in a TRX suspension trainer or on a sliding surface. Do a pushup and then pull your knees to your chest and push them back. 

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Side Plank and Cable Row

Lie on your side and place your forearm on the ground, perpendicular to your body. Keep your body straight, your glutes squeezed, and your shoulders pulled back. Don’t let your hips sag. With the arm on top, grab the cable handle and row while keeping your body rigid.

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