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Add These Combo Exercises To Your Program

We've talked about combination movements in the past, but I think it’s about time we bring in a fresh shipment for you to add to your routine. Combo exercises have a few awesome advantages: they’re typically more difficult, they allow for full body training, and they can create brutal, time-friendly sessions. You can perform each of the two workouts below as fast, no mercy, fat burning circuits or as strength building sessions with 60-90 seconds of rest between sets. They may seem short at first glance, but remember that with each exercise you’re actually performing two.


Workout A

1) Conventional Deadlift + Bent Row

Sets and Reps: 3 sets and 8 reps

This combination is a staple in many barbell circuits thanks to the smooth transition between movements and its ability to build strength in multiple planes at the same time. Set up in front of a barbell with feet shoulder-width apart, just like you would for a conventional deadlift. You’ll probably need to moderate the weight – you shouldn’t be able to row more than you can deadlift. Get nice and low, drive your heels into the floor, and pull the weight up to lockout. From here, give your knees a little bend, lean your torso forward while holding it tight, and row the barbell to your chest. After you return the weight to the floor, that’s one rep.


2) Pushup + Mountain Climber

Sets and Reps: 3 sets and 30 second periods

I know, I know – just bodyweight? Bodyweight movements don’t get much love these days, but there’s always a place for them in a good program. Start in pushup position, drop to the floor, then press back up. Now, crank out 10 mountain climbers (5 per side). That’s one rep. Too easy? Switch to a more difficult variation: add a clap to the pushup and pull one leg off the floor for the mountain climbers. Still not enough? Start with a burpee! A little creativity goes a long way.


3) TRX Angled Squat Jump + TYI

Sets and Reps: 3 sets and 8 reps

You’ve probably never tried to angle your squat jump, but it’s helpful for creating combinations with easy transitions. Set the straps to mid-length, face the anchor point, and grab the handles with both hands. Position yourself at a mild angle, squat down, and jump. It’ll probably feel odd at first, but you’ll quickly adapt to the new position. After the squat, pull yourself towards the TRX with a T (fly-like motion), Y (arms angled overhead), and I (arms straight overhead). That’s one rep. Continue to alternate between the two movements and adjust the difficulty as needed.


4) Cable Twist + Pallof Press

Sets and Reps 4 sets x 5 reps /side

Completely cover your body’s rotational strength needs by pairing a rotational exercise with an anti-rotational exercise. Attach a rope or D-handle to a cable and set it to chest height. Grab the handle with both hands, turn perpendicular to the machine, and settle into an athletic stance. Allow your torso to twist towards the machine – this is the starting position. From here, use your core and twist your torso to pull the handle across your body. Remember to keep your arms fully extended to keep your upper body from doing the work. Slowly reverse the motion, but stop with the handle directly in front of your chest. Pull your hands in a straight line to your chest then press them back out. Finally, finish the twist. It’s a long rep – consider starting with a modest weight.


Workout B

1) Bulgarian Split Squat + One Arm DB Press

Sets and Reps: 3 sets and 12 reps /side

This is probably one of the harder combinations of the bunch, but I’m sure you can handle it. It’s a nice mixture of lower, upper, and core strength. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand next to your shoulder – the “rack” position in kettlebell land. Facing away from a bench, place your right leg on top of it. Hop out until you’re in a nice lunge position. Keeping the dumbbell in place, drop your knee towards the floor. Return to the start, maintaining a straight torso, and finish by pressing the weight towards the ceiling. That’s one rep. You need to worry about two things: lateral movement due to the offset load, and forward torso movement due to the demands of the lunge.


2) Pullup + Leg Raise

Sets and Reps: 3 sets x 30 seconds per period 

It doesn’t take a master to come up with this combo, but it does take a good deal of upper body and core strength and control to pull off. Grab onto a high bar and let your arms fully extend. Pull yourself up to the bar – get up to chin height, but don’t actually push your chin over the bar. From here, raise your legs up until you’re at a 90-degree angle. Pause for a second then return to the starting position. During the leg raise, make sure your torso stays straight – you’ll need to keep your core totally engaged to make this happen.

3) KB Suitcase Deadlift + Farmer’s Walk

Sets and Reps: 3 sets and 60 seconds/side

Both of these movements work well on their own, but they work even better when paired together. One exercise, double the work towards building solid anti-rotation and anti-lateral flexion strength. Place one dumbbell on at your side and set up in a soft, shoulder-width stance. Drop down to the traditional deadlift position, grab the dumbbell, and pull. It should feel just like any other deadlift, with the exception that you’ll want to bend and twist to the loaded side. From here, walk forward as you hold the dumbbell at your side. Focus on maintaining a straight torso with minimal bending. Finally, set the weight back down. That’s one rep.


4) TRX Pendulum + Body Saw

Sets and Reps: 3 sets and 30 seconds

If you’re thinking these are two of the worst TRX core exercises to combine, you’re probably right. But that’s what makes it such a difficult – and rewarding – movement. Set the straps to mid-calf length, face the floor, and place your feet in the cradles. Pop up onto your forearms and into a tight plank position. Now, use your hips to create rotation, allowing your legs to swing from side to side. Keep the movement below chest level and make sure to stay controlled. Here’s the tough part: slow down as quickly as possible to stop the pendulum motion, then slowly push your body forward and backward – the body saw. Alternate between these movements with the goal of creating seamless, controlled transitions.



The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Before starting any new exercises program we recommend consulting your doctor first.

The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Before starting any new exercises program we recommend consulting your doctor first.