We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. We’re all just trying to fit fitness in. Because life is demanding and things can get hectic, not everybody has hours they can spend crafting the perfect workout and performing it in the gym.

Our workouts must be efficient and effective. That means they’re helping us develop well-rounded, full body strength and fitness in the simplest way and in the short window of time we have. Training smarter, not harder, as they say.

The world of fitness can be confusing. There’s so much information (and often misinformation) around, so it’s easy to end up misplacing our efforts with exercises that are a waste of time.

Of course, it all depends on our training goals. What’s helpful for one person might not be for another.

But, if you’re just looking to improve your fitness, condition the body, work on your well-rounded strength, and only had 6 exercises to help you do so, these should be the ones you pick.

The push-up

For some people, the push up is simple. For others, it feels impossible. Whichever way you feel, keep including a variation of it in your routine.

The push-up is an incredibly effective upper body compound exercise. It may be known for working the muscles in the chest, but it really does much more than that.

The push-up is also an effective way to engage the deltoids, triceps, and biceps. Importantly, it also engages the core all the way from the abdominals in the stomach right round to the erector spinae in the back. That means the push-up can deliver an intense upper body workout with just the one exercise.

Another plus of the push-up is how versatile it is. Easier variations can be used for beginners, and more difficult ones for more advanced exercisers. You can also modify the movement slightly to put more of a focus on particular muscle groups if that’s what you’re looking to do.

For beginners: Knee push ups; Hand elevated push ups; Eccentric only push ups

For experts: Elevated push ups; Single arm push ups; Weighted push ups

To target the triceps more: diamond push up

To target the shoulders more: Pike push up

To target the chest more: Wide grip push up

The squat

You probably knew this one was coming. There’s a reason the squat is so popular. It’s a versatile, functional, compound exercise that brings with it a whole host of benefits.

Targeting the muscles in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and the core, the squat can and should be done by almost anyone.

The most important this to remember about the squat is form. If your form isn’t right, it’s likely you won’t be targeting all the right muscle groups. You’ll be putting in the effort but not getting the right reward. Focus on engaging the muscles in the bum and legs on the way up and the way down. Make sure your knees aren’t taking the load and think about driving up from the heels instead.

There are loads of ways to change up a squat for different muscle groups and training aims. Sumo squats, single leg squats, squat jumps, pulsed squats, and barbell squats all offer something a little different to your routine and your results.

The burpee

Wait, don’t scroll past just yet. We know everyone hates a burpee, but there are huge benefits to them which make them worth doing.

The multiple movements involved in a burpee mean that many different muscle groups are being engaged. The explosiveness of them means you’re working in the anaerobic zone and developing your cardiovascular fitness at the same time.

Burpees involve a plank, a push up, a squat, and a jump, all in one hybrid motion. Meaning they take the benefits from all of these things and deliver them all in one go.

Burpees make a great finisher exercise, meaning after all your strength or endurance focused work is done, ending on a quick round of burpees is a brilliant way to round off a full body session.

Remember, there’s always the half burpee and other variations if you’re not keen on doing the full thing.

The clean and press

The clean and press is a double movement exercise that has two phases, helping it deliver on both upper and lower body conditioning.

The clean part involves lifting a dumbbell from the ground in a deadlift motion and engaging the muscles in your posterior chain like the glutes, hamstrings, and back. The press part involves you pushing the dumbbell overhead and working the muscles in the shoulder and arm. Your core is engaged the whole time, too, making it very compound in nature.

It can be hard to master, but once you’ve got the movement right, the clean and press is one to always add into your routine if you’re short on time.


What? Okay, this one needs some explaining. You probably weren’t expecting to see it on the list.

But, if you’re short on time and looking for a way to stay fit, active, and healthy, the single most important and accessible thing you can do is walk more.

Walking is incredibly underrated. Lots of people make time for an hour-long gym session in the morning, then don’t move for the rest of the day. Without the fundamentals of daily movement coming first, all that gym work you do in addition is much less effective.

Whilst weight training is great to condition the muscles, walking is a fundamental and functional bit of exercise everyone can do to improve their overall fitness.

The biggest way our body burns calories that’s in our control is through the walking we do each day. It’s far higher than the number burned through purposeful exercise and gym work. If you’re looking to improve overall fitness and maintain your weight, getting your 10,000 steps in is the best place to start.

When you walk more, you can expect to see a long list of benefits. These include increased cardiovascular fitness, endurance, heart health, improved posture, and skeletal health. And that’s not even mentioning all the mental health benefits of getting out and about too.

Hussle can help you fit all that fitness in. Whether it’s online classes, or access to a gym near you, our flexible passes can be used to make it all work out. All of that without a contract. Find one that fits you.