Combination Lifting Exercises


Combination exercises combine two or more exercises into one continuous movement. You reap several benefits from incorporating these exercises into your workout routine, including a boost to your metabolism and a more time-efficient workout. With combination exercises, you train your body systemically, as one unit, instead of training a single muscle. The benefits from this style of training transfer more readily to everyday activities, sports and martial arts.

Clean and Press

  • The clean is an Olympic-style, explosive movement that involves pulling a weight off the floor and catching it in front of the upper chest, across the shoulders. You then finish the movement with an overhead press. Start with the barbell on the floor in front of your shins. Squat down and grab the barbell with a shoulder-width grip. Explosively extend your knees and hips. As you stand up, pull the weight up your body and then flip your forearms, driving your elbows toward the floor and catching the weight in front of your shoulders. Keep your knees slightly bent as you then press the weight overhead. You can also perform the movement with dumbbells.

Step-Up with Lat and Front Raise

  • This exercise combines the step-up and a shoulder raise. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms relaxed by your sides and your palms facing your thighs. Step up onto a bench and then lift the dumbbells out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Continue the movement by pulling your arms to the front of your body. Lower the dumbbells back to your sides and then step off the bench. Repeat with the other leg.

Double Lunge, Curl and Press

  • This exercise works the body through more than one plane of motion. You move side to side as well as forward and back. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms relaxed at your sides and your palms facing forward. Step into a forward lunge with the right foot. Push back into a standing position and then curl the weights from your thighs to your shoulders. Hold the weights at your shoulders and step to the right into a side lunge. Push back into a standing position and then press the weights overhead. Return the weights to the starting position and repeat with the left foot.

Dumbbell Thrusts

  • The dumbbell thrust involves a squat and a shoulder press. You perform the press as you stand up out of the squat, which provides momentum, allowing you to use more weight than you would for a standard shoulder press. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level, your palms facing forward. Drop down into a squat. As you stand up, press the dumbbells overhead. At the top of the movement, you should be in a standing position with your arms extended overhead. As you descend back into a squat, lower the dumbbells back to shoulder-level.

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