12-Minute Total-Body Workout To Strengthen Your Joints

Man performs side plank with dumbbell raise
(Image credit: Future)

Physical fitness isn't simply about lifting and lowering the heaviest weights possible – it's about teaching your body to be a more efficient machine. To do that you need to train it in multiple planes, using different muscle groups simultaneously, all while maintaining good posture and balance.
That's what this workout is all about. Keep the weights light because the main thing is to perform each move perfectly. The result will be stronger joints and stabilising muscles.

How To Do This Workout

  • Perform each exercise in order, taking no rest between exercises.
  • Take approximately 4 seconds per rep on each exercise.
  • Once you have completed one full circuit, rest for 30 seconds before starting all over again.
  • Each exercise is "one-sided". Choose either the left or right side for the first circuit, then swap to the other side for the following circuit.
  • Do four circuits in total.


  • Start on your weaker side first. You'll have more energy to perform the reps.
  • Go slow and focus on balance. If you wobble or stumble, take a moment to compose yourself and start again.
  • No egos! Use a light weight and get the form spot-on.

1 Lunge with rotation

Man performs lunge with rotation

(Image credit: Future)

Reps 10

  • Step into a lunge and hold your arms out in front of you at chest-height.
  • Keep your back upright and core braced, with feet pointing forward.
  • Your front thigh should be parallel to the floor at the lowest point of the lunge.
  • Rotate your body to one side.
  • Return to facing forward before pushing off your front foot to return to the start postiion.
  • On the next repetition, rotate to the other side.

2 Single-leg Romanian deadlift to row

Man performs single-leg deadlift to row

(Image credit: Future)

Reps 10

  • Hold dumbbells by your sides and keep your back straight with your core muscles engaged.
  • Lean forward slowly at the hips with a straight back and let the weights hang straight down.
  • Hold the position while you draw the weights into your sides. Reverse the movement back to the start.

3 One-leg curl to press

Reps 10

  • Stand on one leg with your body upright. 
  • Curl the dumbbells up to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides. 
  • Press the weights overhead, turning your wrists as you go. 
  • Reverse the move to return to the start.

4 Side plank with lateral raise

Reps 10 

  • Get into a side plank position with your elbow beneath your shoulder and body in a straight line. 
  • Hold a dumb-bell in your upper arm and raise and lower it slowly in front of your body without compromising your plank position.
Former Editor Of Men’s Fitness UK

Pete Muir worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Pete is now editor of Cyclist magazine.