A full body workout for women is a little bit different than it’s male equivalent. For instance, women usually focus less on building up lat muscles and more on strengthening glutes. So to get the results you’re looking for, you need a total body workout that has been designed for women.

The following full body workout routine was published by Women’s Health Magazine as an example of a comprehensive fitness routine for women. It can be accomplished in less than 30-minutes. The key to this ultra-efficient workout is that it uses compound exercises, or moves designed to work more than one muscle at a time. So instead of following a typical workout plan that focuses on upper body muscle groups one day, and then lower body muscles the next, you can work your entire body in one workout session.

1. Step Ups With Curl.
This exercise works the biceps, glutes, hamstrings and quads. Pick up a pair of 8-10 pound dumbbells and stand next to your exercise bench or stool that is 12″-14″ high, and hold the dumbbells with your palms facing forward. With the leg closest to the bench, step up on the bench using just the one leg. As you stand straight, the other leg will lift but don’t rest it on the bench. As you balance on one leg, curl the dumbbells to your shoulders. As you slowly lower the weights, step down. Repeat on the same leg for 12 reps, then switch sides and repeat for another 12 reps. Rest 45-60 seconds between sets. Complete 2-3 sets on each side.

Note: working your large muscle groups such as your quads and hamstrings early in your overall routine will maximize the rate at which you burn calories.

2. Bench Press With Crunch.
Using the same 8-10 dumbbells, lie on your back on your exercise bench with bent knees and soles of the feet flat on the bench. With elbows pointed out and your palms facing forward, hold the weights just above your chest, then press them straight up while contracting your abs and crunching your head and upper torso toward your knees. Slowly lower your weights and your upper body, and repeat for 3 sets of 10, resting 45-60 seconds between sets.

3. Pushups With One Leg Lifted.
Facing your exercise bench, kneel on the ground about 2 feet away. Place you palms flat on the bench shoulder-width apart, then straighten your body into a plank position with your back flat. Rise up onto your toes, now slowly perform one pushup while you lift one leg. Repeat with another pushup using the alternate leg. Keep alternating legs as you do pushups for about 1 minute.

4. Lateral Leg Lifts.
A 4-8 pound exercise ball works well for this move. Lay on your side, resting on one elbow with your torso lifted. You can place your opposite hand lightly on the floor in front of you for balance. Put the ball between your ankles and slowly lift your legs a few inches off the floor. Lower your legs, then repeat for 10-12 reps. Switch sides without rest and complete another 10-12 reps. Keep your abs contracted to work your core while you lift.

5. Squats With A Reach.
You might want to lighten up your weights a bit for this exercise. A 5-8 pound dumbbell is best. Stand straight, holding the weight in your right hand. Extend your right arm straight out while holding the weight with the back of your hand facing out to the side. While extending your arm, lower your torso and lift your right leg behind you, forming a T-shape with your body. Perform a ¼ squat with your standing leg, then return to your starting position and repeat for 12-15 reps. Rest for about 60 seconds, then switch sides and repeat one full set of 12-15 reps using the opposite leg and arm.

6. Stability Ball Ab Work.
Using a large exercise, lie back with your feet flat on the floor and your shoulders resting on the ball. Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees and your legs hip-width apart. Extend your arms and clasp your hands, fingers pointed like you’re holding a fake gun. Without moving your hips, contract your abs and rotate to one side until your weight is resting on one shoulder. Slowly return to your starting position and repeat on the other side to complete 1 rep. Repeat for 2 sets of 10-15 reps, resting 45-60- second between sets.

Congratulations, you have just competed a complete total body workout in less than 30 minutes. You should be feeling great, but remember, if you want those sexy new muscles to show, you’ll need to incorporate a high intensity cardio workout into your fitness routine. So pick your favorite cardio machine and give it 20 minutes of all you’ve got. Check out the article “Best Treadmill Workout” to learn a fat burning cardio routine that utilizes high intensity interval training for optimum weight loss results.

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