“When it comes to training, I have always been big on quality over quantity,” says PT and Fitness Expert, Sam Wood. “This means making every workout count rather than counting every workout—and knowing the right exercises to achieve this and hit maximum intensity.”

Sam stresses that sometimes, it’s the simplest moves that can give you the biggest results. And because we’re not huge fans of slogging it out at the gym for hours on end knowing there’s a shortcut, we asked him to share some of his favourite, most effective exercises that pack a serious punch!

Keep on scrolling for the moves you’re not going to overlook again:

Push ups

An oldie but a goodie—the push up may seem totally simple but is oh-so effective if a full body tone up is what you’re after. With your hands shoulder width apart, lower your chest to the ground and push back up while maintaining a flat, straight back.

Side planks

Simple but deadly! The side plank will torch your tummy and burn your obliques. Place one hand on the ground and your other to the sky, dipping yourself up and down if you’re up for a challenge. Don’t forget to alternate sides.

Plank up downs

This one promises to strengthen three key areas: your arms, abs and overall core. Starting in a classic push up position, move down to your elbows in a plank positon then return back up into a push up position and repeat.

side plank

Image: iStock

Lunges

Think lunges only work wonders for your quads? Think again! Lunges are all about putting your lower body to the test, so expect to feel it in your glutes and hip flexors too. Place your hands on your hips, keep your back straight as you alternate each leg and really focus on maintaining a good rhythm.

Bicycle crunches

Brutal on your abs with a bit of leg work in the mix, this one is guaranteed to get that good burn going. Start by lying flat on your back, then lift your shoulders and twist your upper body from left to right while alternating legs. Make this exercise even more effective by leaning further back as you go to strengthen your core.

Chin ups

By far one of my favourite exercises, but by far one of most feared. I’m always telling my clients that even If you’re not quite the master of upper body strength, you can still get the most out of this killer exercise. If the classic chin up is slightly too challenging, try an assisted chin-up with a machine or resistance band, just make sure your palms are facing you to max out that bicep burn.

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