Some exercises were made to work together. Have you ever noticed that the end position of a power clean is the same as the starting position of a front squat? Or that the bottom of a Romanian deadlift sets you up perfectly for a bentover row? We say, go with it: Combining two or more exercises that flow well—called a “hybrid” lift—is a convenient way to work more muscle, burn more fat, and get out of the gym more quickly.
Below are some classic hybrids you can use. Perform one rep of each exercise in the hybrid—try to make the movements flow. Make sure to choose a moderate load, one you’re sure you can handle for your weakest lift in the series. Aim for six reps per exercise.
1. Clean/Front Squat/Push Press
Stand with feet between hip- and shoulder-width, and grasp the bar just outside your knees. Keeping your lower back flat, push through your heels and extend your hips and knees explosively to lift the bar to shoulder level. Raise your elbows so that the weight is supported on your fingers, and squat down. Come up, dip your knees quickly, and press the bar overhead.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, and grasp the bar outside your knees. Keeping your lower back flat, push through your heels and extend your knees and hips till you’re standing tall. Shrug your shoulders.
3. RDL/Bentover Row/High Pull
Stand holding the bar in front of your thighs with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, and bend your knees until you feel you’re about to lose the arch in your lower back. From there, squeeze your shoulder blades together and row the bar to your belly. Lower the bar and extend your hips and knees explosively while pulling the bar up in front of your body till your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
Trainer Tip: set the habit
If you’re part of the crowd that resolved to start working out this year and you’re already missing days, promise yourself you’ll at least show up to the gym. That’s all you have to do—just grab your bag and clothes, and walk in the door. You can turn around and walk right back out if you want. The point, says Brian Grasso, a life coach and elite trainer in Montreal, is to establish the habit. Eventually, you’ll be more inclined to stay and work out, and before you know it you’ll be a regular exerciser. Says Grasso, “Making minor amendments to your daily routine will fly under the radar of your conscious thought and create positive habits.”