If you are like me you know that most machines and free weights at the gym function differently and serve different purposes. There are a few pieces of equipment are flexible enough to provide an overall workout mostly, or even entirely, by themselves. Using one piece of equipment can save you time at the gym and keep your entire body in shape.

Rowing Machine

Treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes all get your heart rate up while working muscles mostly in your lower body. Used properly, the rowing machine provides a cardio workout while hitting every major muscle group. Because it uses so many muscles, the rower is a significant calorie burner– 210 in 30 minutes at a moderate pace for a 124-pound person, according to Harvard Health Publications.

Medicine Ball Versatility

For toss-ups, start in a squat position with the ball between your legs, then bring your extended arms up as you thrust to a jump, working your entire body with an emphasis on your thighs and butt. Starting with the ball held overhead and arcing your extended arms down to the outside of one foot works your core– particularly your obliques. Doing pushups with both hands on the ball will emphasize your triceps while requiring core work to balance.

Pulleys and cables

While many cable machine exercises target specific muscles, you can work your body head-to-toe in just one place. On the low setting, use the rope for hammer curls or exchange it for a bar attachment to work your biceps. Use the ankle strap attachment to work your outer and inner thighs or face the pulley and curl your leg back to work your hamstrings.

Stability Balls

Stability balls add an element of balance– and consequently core work– to just about any exercise. Stability ball supermans work your back muscles. Elevating your feet on the ball adds challenge to pushups, while resting your forearms on the ball makes for a tougher plank.

For toss-ups, start in a squat position with the ball between your legs, then bring your extended arms up as you thrust to a jump, working your entire body with an emphasis on your thighs and butt. Starting with the ball held overhead and arcing your extended arms down to the outside of one foot works your core– particularly your obliques. Use the ankle strap attachment to work your outer and inner thighs or face the pulley and curl your leg back to work your hamstrings. Stability balls add an element of balance– and consequently core work– to just about any exercise. Stability ball supermans work your back muscles.