When time is tight, workouts are often the first thing to get dropped from the schedule. This can be true for even the most dedicated fitness professional, so it’s understandable that clients often struggle to squeeze in their workouts as well. One solution: combination exercises—compound moves that challenge multiple muscle groups all at the same time.

Make no mistake—combination exercises can be tough! Requiring movement in multiple planes and demanding a considerable amount of agility and balance, combo exercises also challenge cardiovascular fitness as well. Here are some additional benefits of combination exercises:

Movement-based Exercise Workshop

Ready to expand your knowledge of movement-based exercise? Based on recent understandings about the fascial system, exercise should be considered as a series of integrated movement patterns as opposed to isolated muscle actions. This live workshop will help you develop an understanding of integrated anatomy and learn coaching techniques for movement-based exercise that can help your clients reach their goals.  You’ll also review the science behind movement-based training and how to use the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACE IFT®) Model for exercise program design.

You will learn:

  • To describe how fascial structures function as integrated systems to accelerate, stabilize and decelerate movement 
  • Postural assessments to identify compensated posture in all three planes of motion
  • Relationship between mobility and stability along the kinetic chain
  • Proper progressions for teaching integrated movement patterns 
  • To teach clients exercises based on primary movements of the human body
  • Techniques to develop and implement movement-based exercise programs to promote movement efficiency

This valuable workshop, worth 0.8 CECs, is available on a variety of dates and locations throughout the United States. Click here to learn more and to reserve your spot today.


  1. Challenges both strength and agility
  2. Builds lean muscle mass
  3. Increases calorie burning, both during and after the workout, which helps with weight loss
  4. Lowers risk of injury during sports activities
  5. Engages the core
  6. Mimics real-world movements, which makes them a great choice for functional exercise
  7. Improves coordination, balance and reaction time


While isolation exercises (e.g., biceps curls, crunches) target single muscle groups, combination exercises can potentially work nearly the entire body. These exercises also reflect the shifting focus of fitness, from training muscles to training movement. After all, the human body is designed to move through the fundamental patterns of squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling and rotating. Exercise selection should help facilitate these movements. Doing so will not only improve things like coordination and skill, these exercises have the power to ultimately enhance overall quality of life as well.  

ACE Certified pro Pete McCall is a major proponent of movement-based exercise and training for movement variability. “Keep in mind that most of our clients want to use exercise as a way to lose weight or simply feel better,” he says. “Improving a client’s movement skill can address those needs while simultaneously making the training session more interesting by using dynamic movements as opposed to static machines.

The three-in-one exercises featured in this video—medicine ball combo, core challenge BOSU® combo and total-body no-equipment combo—not only challenge a variety of fitness measures, including strength, power and agility, they are also fun and can be done in very little time. Just be sure to include time before and after to warm up and cool down. The warm-up can include exercises done in the workout, but performed without weight, at a slower tempo and for more repetitions. The cool-down can consist of a few core exercises such as plank, side plank and reverse crunches.