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4 Exercises to Do When You Haven’t Worked Out in Forever

If you and your gym have been on a break for an immeasurable about of time, you don’t have to beeline for the elliptical and subsequently die of boredom to redeem yourself.
Just practice these four moves, designed by NYC-based fitness trainer Chris Sams for Cosmopolitan.com’s real-live assistant fashion and beauty editor Brooke Shunatona (who hadn’t worked out in forever when she modeled the moves below). The workout is comprised of compound movements that strengthen every major muscle group while revving up your heart rate — so you can check the boxes on cardio and weight training in the least amount of time.

So here’s the plan: When you get to the gym, jump on any cardio machine just until you start to break a sweat, then find some floor space and a pair of dumbbells (3 to 5 pounds is plenty to start) and perform the workout below, which should take you about 15 minutes. Then cool down on any cardio machine until your heart rate returns to normal (you’ll stop sweating at that point) and stretch anything that feels tight.
Perform 10 to 15 reps of each move on each side (when relevant). You got this.
1. Squat With Bicep Curl to Overhead Press With Calf Raise

How to do it: Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet about shoulders-width apart. Keeping your chest high and knees behind your toes, bend your knees and sit back into a squat, letting your arms hang along your sides. Next, extend your legs and come back up to stand as you bend your elbows to bring the weights to your shoulders, palms facing in. From this position, extend your arms straight overhead, pressing the weights straight up toward the ceiling. Come up to your tippy toes and squeeze your butt at full extension to complete one rep.
Where you’ll feel it: Your entire lower body (Hey, legs and butt!), your biceps, shoulders, and calves. It also helps improve your balance.

2. Modified Push-Up With Dumbbell Roll
How to do it: Grab a dumbbell and place it in front of you on a mat as you get into a modified plank position with your knees on the ground and shoulders stacked over your wrists. Your body should form a straight line between your knees and the top of your head. From this position, use your left hand to roll the dumbbell to your right hand. Take your right palm off the floor and hold the dumbbell (without lifting it off the ground) as you bend both elbows and lower your chest toward the ground until it’s just a few inches away. Extend your arms to come up and use your right hand to roll the dumbbell to your left side. Place your palm on the dumbbell on the ground and perform another push-up to complete one rep. Continue to alternate sides.
Where you’ll feel it: Your core, shoulders, triceps, and chest.

3. Forearm Plank With Leg Circles
How to do it: Get into a forearm plank position with your elbows beneath your shoulders, palms pressed against the ground, and body in a straight line between the top of your head and your heels. Keeping your hips square to the ground, engage your core and lift your left leg straight up behind you. From this position, circle the heel clockwise once to complete one rep, switching to counterclockwise halfway through the set. Then repeat on the opposite side.
Where you’ll feel it: Your butt, core, and hips.

4. Single-Leg Romanian Dead Lift With Curl
How to do it: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand on your right foot with the right knee slightly bent. Extend the left leg behind you as you bend forward from the waist and let the weights hang down toward the floor, keeping your spine neutral and shoulders away from your ears the entire time. Next, engage your butt and hamstrings to come back up to upright position, bending your elbows to lift the weights up to chest height and using your momentum to fuel a hop on your standing foot. That’s one rep. Complete all your reps and then repeat on the opposite side. (And don’t worry if you lose your balance — this one is a toughie.)
Where you’ll feel it: Throughout your whole leg, particularly the hamstrings and butt. You’ll also work your biceps and core (which is activated any time you challenge your balance and stability).