When it comes to fitting in a total-body workout, time can be an issue. But get ready to nix the excuses and hit the gym with NLA athlete, IFBB pro, and creator of the Jessie's Girls Training Programs, Jessie Hilgenberg. She's a huge proponent of women lifting weights, getting stronger, and fearlessly setting new goals.

Half-Hour of Power Workout Jessie Hilgenberg

Watch the video: 1:20

As she'll tell you, lifting is about more than looking good in the mirror. It can transform you from the inside out, and change your life for the better in ways you can't predict. Not only will you boost your confidence, but you'll burn more calories, sculpt all the right curves, and even strengthen your bones.

And you don't need to block out an hour or more to do it! This 30-minute workout will challenge your entire body. Find yourself with a bit more time after this workout's done? Get in some cardio with Jessie's power plyo workout. Not only will you develop explosive power, but you'll also take your leg training to the next level.

Jessie Hilgenberg's Half-Hour of Power Workout

You're going to kick off this workout with a Smith machine triset of squats, lunges, and rows. This trifecta will target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, while hitting your upper body in the back, biceps, and traps. Then, you'll do a few more total-body movements for good measure.

Half-Hour Of Power Workout
Smith machine back squat
3 sets, 12 reps (1.5 rep protocol)
+ 4 more exercises


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Smith Machine 1.5 Squats

This variation is only slightly different from the standard squat, but the difference is one you'll definitely feel. After you press out of the hole, pause for a moment halfway up. Then, squat all the way back down, maintaining a flat back and keeping the weight in your heels. Then, come all the way back up to your starting position. All of that equals one rep. This added time under tension means you might want to start out with a slightly lighter weight.

1 1/2 Squat

Smith Machine Inverted Row

Think of these as a horizontal barbell pull-up. Strengthen your middle back while improving your grip strength, and even getting in some arm training.

Use a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width, and keep your body straight, with your heels on the ground, throughout the movement. Retract your shoulder blades as you pull your chest toward the bar, and pause momentarily at the top of the movement before lowering yourself down.

Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

Hit your quads hard with this lower-body exercise and also target the calves, glutes, and hamstrings. Make sure to keep your body upright, hips tilted forward, and head up throughout the movement.

Make sure you're stepping back far enough that your knee doesn't surpass your toes on your leading leg, but instead forms a right angle. Perform all your reps for one leg before switching to the other.

Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Strengthen your middle back, posture, and your overall upper-body pulling strength with this classic bodybuilding movement.

The key here is control. Hinge at the waist, and keep your back straight at around a 45-degree angle throughout the set. Pause at the top, contract your back muscles, and slowly lower the weight under control.

Incline Lying Hip Raise

Time for some abs! You'll especially target your lower abs here, but make no mistake, your entire core will get worked with each rep. Looking to lighten the challenge? Make this exercise easier by decreasing the decline on the bench.

Cable Single-Arm Reverse Fly

This deceivingly simple move targets your posterior deltoids and middle and upper back, while improving posture and shoulder balance. Your core will get a surprising amount of work as well, even at a light weight. Use a neutral grip, squeeze at the top of the movement, and return in a slow and controlled manner. No stack-slamming here!

About the Author

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith is a New York native who caught the fitness bug while earning a master's in journalism at the University of Missouri.

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