Workouts that target your entire body have always been popular. Regardless of your training experience, full body workouts are great for building muscle and increasing strength.
Full body workouts engage all of the muscles in your body, not just one muscle group. Though no single exercise can engage every muscle in your body, full body workouts are designed to target your upper body, lower body, and core.
Strength training exercises help you maintain muscle tissue, increase strength, improve bone health, and boost energy. However, it is recommended you also do aerobic activity for 20 to 30 minutes each day. By combining a few exercises that work various muscle groups, including muscle-strengthening exercises and aerobic activity, you can ensure that you are exercising every part of your body.
Get stronger and fitter with these five effective full body exercises:
Lunges will not only make your legs burn like crazy, but they’ll also raise your heart rate and put your balancing skills to the test. This exercise extensively works out your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. They’re a great full body workout for women who have started cycle syncing and have increased energy during their ovulation phase.
If you want to take it a notch higher, hold a dumbbell in each hand while completing the lunge. The traditional lunge is done in a stationary position, but if you want a change of scenery, choose a target that is at least 50 yards away and lunge your way toward it.
2. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are the ultimate exercise for building strength, burning calories and fat, increasing endurance, improving posture, and preventing low back pain. They engage your entire body, including your core, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and back.
To do kettlebell swings:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a kettlebell on the ground about a foot in front of you.
- Bend at the waist and hold the kettlebell handle with both hands.
- Lift the kettlebell off the ground and let it swing between your legs.
- During this exercise, slightly bend your knees but keep your back and neck straight.
- To propel the kettlebell into the air, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings, and press your hips forward.
- Swing the kettlebell back to the floor, allowing the weight to swing between your legs while keeping your neck and spine aligned.
- Continue swinging the kettlebell, remembering to keep your torso straight, using your hips and glutes to power the exercise.
Push-ups are one of the most effective full body workouts you can add to your fitness routine. They engage a wide range of muscles, including your triceps, shoulders, back, chest, core, glutes, and legs. When you do a push-up, you typically lift about 60% of your body weight. One of the best things about push-ups — you can do them anywhere.
To do wall push-ups (a safe modified exercise for seniors):
- Assume the starting position, about two feet from a wall, with your feet and legs together and your arms straight out in front of you.
- With your fingers pointing toward the sky, place your palms on the wall at about shoulder-level height and shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your elbows and press your body against the wall until your nose comes close to touching it. Make sure your spine is straight and your hips aren’t sagging.
- Return to the starting point and repeat.
By altering the distance between your feet and the wall, you can make this exercise easier or more difficult. The farther your feet are from the wall, the more of your body weight you’ll have to support.
Squats are a common lifting exercise that is particularly beneficial to your lower body. Performing squats targets your glutes, hamstrings, and hips.
When done with weights, squats also strengthen your core, back, and shoulders. Similar to push-ups, you can do squats anywhere — at the gym, outdoors, or in your own bedroom while you’re watching your favorite show.
Burpees combine the benefits of push-ups and squats, as well as some leg training, to create a fantastic full body workout. Burpees are a great total body strengthener and they require nothing more than your own body weight.
To do burpees:
- Stand straight, then drop down to a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Kick your feet to a push-up position and lower your body until your chest touches the ground.
- As quickly as possible, jump and return to a squat position.
- Rise from your crouch and jump as high as you can into the air.
- Repeat as many times as you can, rest, then do the set again.
Full body workouts, when done correctly, can help you achieve optimum muscle growth regardless of your present fitness level. Aside from helping you grow muscle, increase strength, and burn more calories in less time, full body workouts can also help you stay positive and motivated. These exercises are also ideal at-home workouts that you can easily fit in your busy schedule.