You don’t need to spend hours working out to lose weight or get toned, but you do have to be smart about what you’re doing in the time you have in order to maximize results. Enter compound exercises: multijoint movements that hit large groups of muscle. When you add weights to these exercises, you’ll use even more energy, burning more calories while increasing muscle mass.
Get started with some beginner compound exercises and then challenge yourself to this circuit from Heidi Loiacono, an NASM-certified personal trainer and national manager of training and development at GymGuyz. To increase your metabolic output (one of the biggest perks of compound exercises), complete this circuit four times using a 5- to 10-lb. set of dumbbells. Do 10 reps of each exercise, then rest for 30 seconds at the end of the circuit before moving on to the next round.