One of the best characteristics of the Total Gym is its versatility. With a few quick changes – height, handles, body position – you can target any part of your body, from your shoulders to your abs, to those tough-to-tone glutes. Plus, beginner and advanced exercisers alike can benefit from it – the higher you set the gym, the
harder each rep becomes. And because you are working with your own body weight, the likelihood of injuring yourself is reduced by a wide margin.
Want to see just how easy it is to get in an effective full-body workout on this one machine – in less than 30 minutes? Rosalie has created this all-in-one workout to shred fat and strengthen your body from head to toe. Do all of the exercises in a row, and that’s it – you’re done! Because you aren’t overtaxing the muscles, you can choose to do this workout every day – though we’d recommend giving yourself a one- or two-day break each week.
Set the Total Gym to a height that will challenge your legs and glutes. Place your back against the pad with your feet about shoulder-width apart at the edge of the platform. Grip the bottom edge of the pad and lift your chest [A]. Bend your knees to drop your glutes closer to the platform [B]. Pause momentarily, then extend your legs to return to the start. Repeat 50 times. Next, lift your right foot and perform 10 one-legged squats on your left leg; switch and repeat on your right leg. Do nine reps on each leg, then eight, moving all the way down until you reach one rep.
Set the Total Gym to a height that will challenge your back. Lie face down on the pad and grasp the handles above you with an overhand grip (palms facing down) [A].Pull your shoulder blades back and down, allowing your elbows to flare out to the sides, to bring your chin above the handles [B]. Hold, then straighten your arms to return to the start. Repeat 12 times. Next, rotate your wrists so that your palms face up (see inset). Row your body up toward the handle 11 times. Switch your hands back to the pull-up position and repeat 10 times. Continue, alternating your grip, until you get down to one.
Set the Total Gym to a height that will challenge your hamstrings and abs. Lie on the padding with your head closest to the platform and your feet locked under the handles. Place your hands lightly behind your head [A]. Bend your knees to pull your body up toward the handles [B]. Hold, then extend your legs and repeat 12 times. On your last rep, partially extend your legs, leaving a slight bend. Perform a sit-up by flexing only from the hips and lifting your shoulders from the padding [C]. Do 11 reps. Follow immediately with 10 reps of hamstring curls, then nine reps of the sit-ups. Keep going until you reach one rep.
SHOULDER PRESS/AB TUCK:
Begin with the Total Gym set to a height that will challenge your shoulders and abs. Position yourself face down on the padding with your head lower than your feet and holding the handles with an overhand grip [A].
Extend your arms until they are straight [B], then slowly return to the start. Repeat 10 times. After your last rep, slide your knees forward on the padding to come onto all fours [C]. Hold for one count, then extend your legs straight behind you [D]. Repeat 10 times. Alternate between the shoulder press and the tuck, dropping one rep with each set of the presses.
LAT SWEEP/TRICEPS KICKBACK:
Set the Total Gym to a level that challenges your back and triceps. Remove the pull-up bar and attach the cables. Get into a facedown position on the padding and hold the pulley handles with arms extended above your head [A].Keep your arms straight as you pull your hands down in an arcing motion until they are beside your hips [B]; reverse to return to the start. Repeat for 10 reps. After your last sweep, bend your arms until your elbows form 90-degree angles [C]. Extend forcefully from your elbows, flexing your triceps [D].
Reverse; repeat for nine reps. Continue, switching between sweeps and kickbacks, until you get to the bottom of your reps “ladder”.
CHEST PULL/ BICYCLE:
Set the Total Gym to a height that challenges your chest and abs and lie face-up on the padding, grasping the pulley handles above your head [A] Moving only from the shoulders, pull the handles forward and down until your hands are beside your glutes [B]. Reverse to return to the start, and repeat for 12 reps. Hold your last rep at the top and lift your shoulders and legs from the padding. Pull one knee in toward your chest, then the other [C] That’s one rep. Repeat until you reach 11 reps, then move right into a set of 10 chest pulls. Continue, reducing the number of reps in each set by one until you are through.
The Total Gym is as effective now as it was when it was invented in 1974 – no wonder Rosalie Brown counts on it to keep her body in its best shape ever.