2-in-1 Exercises To Blast Fat In Your Legs And Abdomen

Woman doing lunges on a yoga mat
Woman doing lunges on a yoga mat

We get it—you’re busy! You probably don’t have the time to separately work your legs, including your glutes, thighs, and quads, and your abs multiple times a week. And really, who does? That’s where 2-in-1 or combination exercises come in. The right 2-in-1 exercises can tone your abs and legs at the same time.

To learn more about the best 2-in-1 exercises to reduce ab and leg fat, we spoke with Mary Sabat, a registered nutritionist and personal trainer. She recommends the mountain climber and the burpee exercises to tone your legs and abs at the same time. Sabat says, “These exercises are two-in-one because they not only target the abdominal muscles but [they] also engage multiple other muscle groups,” like the muscles in the legs. Burpees and mountain climbers can also help “improve cardiovascular endurance and burn calories, leading to overall fat loss,” she adds. Read on to learn more!

1. The Mountain Climber

This workout is like climbing a mountain—on the floor. Basically, mountain climbers are when you pretend like you're climbing a mountain. In a plank position, you run on the floor and alternate bringing a knee to your chest, then back out. While this move may sound simple, if a little silly, it workouts out multiple muscle groups (including your leg and abdominal muscles) at once. Unlike other leg exercises that aren't worth your time, mountain climbers are not only great for engaging your core and lower-body muscles, but they also help build cardio endurance and agility.

"The Mountain Climber is a core exercise that also engages the upper and lower body," Sabat, who founded BodyDesigns by Mary, explains. "Start in a plank position with your hands on the ground and your body in a straight line. Bring one knee towards your chest, keeping your body in a straight line, and then switch legs. Continue alternating legs as quickly as possible for several reps." As you perform the exercise, your shoulders, arms, and chest stabilize your upper body while your core stabilizes the rest of your body. Before and after mountain climbers, be sure to stretch to reduce injury and fatigue.

2. The Burpee

Another 2-in-1 exercise that Sabat recommends to tone your leg and ab muscles is the burpee. This ultimate full-body exercise tests your strength and cardio skills. "The burpee is a full-body exercise that combines a squat, [a] push-up, and [a] jump," Sabat notes. "To perform a Burpee, start in a standing position, squat down and place your hands on the ground, kick your feet back to a plank position, do a push-up, jump your feet back to your hands, and finally jump up explosively with your arms raised overhead. Repeat for several reps." The burpee not only works your legs and core, but it can also help tone your chest and arms.

Plus, if you can't do a full burpee, you can make an adjustment to this exercise to fit your requirements. You can do a half-burpee (or an up-down or no-push-up burpee). That way you're simply cutting out the push-up phase of this exercise while still getting the cardiovascular benefits and build-up strength to do a full push-up.

However, it's important to remember with burpees to not simply flop onto the floor when you lower into the push-up part of the move. Although it can be tempting to just drop down at the end of this exercise, you should try your best to avoid doing this. Sabat says that it won't help to actually work your abdominal and leg muscles. And, it could actually cause an injury. Nobody wants that!

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, toning your glutes and ab muscles requires a combination of combined, targeted exercises. Just remember that proper form and technique are crucial for maximizing the benefits of each exercise and preventing injury. And, be sure to drink lots of water to not only increase your endurance but also prevent excessive elevations in your heart rate and body temperature.

READ MORE: 3 Easy At-Home Exercises To Burn Fat All Over