Full Body Workouts: Benefits, Exercise & Variations
Regular exercise can significantly improve your emotional and physical health. While the couch might be more comfortable than the gym, there’s a good chance it will sabotage you someday.
You don’t have to live a sedentary life, waiting for something to go wrong. You can feel better, look better – and all it takes is a little effort.
A full-body workout is a workout that focuses on the complete muscle groups of your body. It can be done by any age and fitness level, though advanced workouts are typically more intense and focus on larger muscles. Full-body workouts include cardiovascular exercises such as running, cross-country skiing, cycling, and strength training. They help strengthen bones, improve posture and balance, prevent injuries from everyday activities, and more.
Why Full-Body Workout?
Having all the major muscle groups in your routine ensures that you’re giving your body the best workout possible. A great full-body workout promotes overall health, prevents injuries, and boosts strength and endurance. It also makes you more active, especially if you do it over time.
For example, you may be prone to injury if you do cardio or strength training but neglect your core training. This is because your core muscles are responsible for stabilizing the rest of your body.
And, if you do focus on your core exercises but neglect other muscle groups, you could be putting too much stress on one particular muscle or group of muscles. Even if you are getting a great workout, you may be causing damage to the muscles and joints. Full-body workouts can prevent this by working for several different muscle groups simultaneously to ensure that they’re all equally strong and healthy.
Exercises for Full Body Workouts
Below are some full-body workout routines to help you increase your fitness level while simultaneously building muscle mass and shedding fat.
Beginner: StrongLifts 5×5 – This is one of the most popular beginner schedules for full-body workouts. It’s a routine that has helped thousands of people get started with strength training. You’ll do three sets of 5 exercises per workout and have 2-3 days of rest in between.
If you’re a beginner, this is the perfect routine for you. This workout primarily emphasizes your lower body; however, your arms and shoulders also get a good workout. Perform this workout two to three times per week for the best results.
Run for 10 minutes, then perform ten push-ups, 25 crunches, and a 30-second plank exercise.
Intermediate: Bodyweight Circuit – If you’re feeling a little more advanced, this could be the perfect next step. It helps you tone up, build strength and burn fat all at once! It uses bodyweight, weights, and make this complete full-body workout routine.
This workout helps you lose fat while building muscle.
Run for 20 minutes, then do ten squats and ten lunges.
Advanced: StrongLifts 5×5 Heavy – If you’re feeling the best of both worlds, try this routine. You’ll do all the exercises from StrongLifts and a few more, like pushups and pull-ups!
This workout is perfect for you if you want to build muscle mass and have less body fat. This workout is broken into five sections: upper body, lower body, abs, lower back, cardio, and stretching. Perform each section two to three times per week for the best results.
Upper body: Do 20 push-ups, 10 reverse push-ups (or regular push-ups), and 20 sit-ups for one minute each.
Lower body: Perform 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 calf raises, and 30 seconds of walking lunges for one minute each.
Abdominals and lower back: Do 60 crunches, 40 reverse crunches, and 40 Russian twists for one minute each.
Cardio: Run for 15 minutes at 8 mph or faster.
Do the following stretches for two minutes each.
Shoulder stretch: Stand up straight, raise both arms to shoulder height, touch your right hand to your left shoulder, then switch sides.
Chest stretch: Stand up straight, cross your arms in front of your chest and make a big circle outward with your arms for one minute.
Abdominal stretch: Lie down on the floor, raise your legs perpendicularly, and cross your arms over them for one minute.
Benefits of Full Body Workouts
There are many benefits of full-body workouts, and they are:
- Workouts supply a complete range of movement, sending messages to all the major muscle groups
- They allow for cardio training without any time limit
- The calorie burn is much higher than with isolated exercises
- Combining the two types of workouts produces better results in less time so that you can get back to your day sooner
- You can focus on movement and form during full-body exercises instead of getting fixated on a single muscle
- They are easier to push yourself during because your whole body is being worked at once
- Full-body exercises are much more functional than isolated movements, meaning they are used in everyday activities better
- They have the added benefit of giving you more energy throughout the day
Full Body Workouts Variations
There are so many different variations of full-body workouts that it’s hard to decide which one to do. Which is best for you depends on your goals and current level of fitness. Variations include:
- Full-body workouts with upper and lower body split
- Full-body workouts using compound or isolation exercises
- Full-body workouts with 3 or 4 days per week of training
Full body workout with 5 or 6 days per week of training. (This is known as the “5/3/1” workout.) This variation is also known as “3×5.” You do a set of 5 reps three times a week, adding weight every time you repeat the workout. After 5 sets, add more weight and repeat for number 4 sets.
Full-body workouts can be done as follows:
- 2 days per week (fresh bodybuilding approaches)
- 3 days per week (strength training approaches) or
- 4 days per week (muscle growth approaches)
Here are some tips on when it’s okay to incorporate variations in your plan:
* It is okay to incorporate variations into your routine as long as you do not incorporate more than 3-4 different exercises into one session. This is important because you need to give your body sufficient time to rest and recuperate to benefit from your routine fully.
* Make sure to pick variations that work out a different group of muscles. For example, if you are squatting one day, try doing some lunges or lunges with dumbbells another day. This way, you challenge different muscles and provide variety to your workout. It will also help your body learn new movements, which will prevent muscular imbalances.
* If you are a beginner, it is okay to use variations periodically within your routine. If you are starting a workout routine for the first time, it’s best to go with a more linear routine rather than one with variations.
* Make sure to include a range of motion exercises, push ups, and pull-ups into your full-body workouts. These exercises ensure that each muscle will fully work out and benefit from the variety.
* If you find that you are more interested in the strength aspect of your workout, it’s okay to incorporate variations and go with a full-body circuit. If you want to focus on your endurance, it’s best to stick with a full-body routine. Before incorporating an unfamiliar exercise into your unfamiliar routine, please take a few extra minutes to familiarize yourself with how it works. This way, you are more likely to successfully incorporate it into your full-body workouts.
More on Full Body Workouts
Our mission is to help people live their best lives outside of the gym by providing the best possible standards of personal training in London.
- Why You Should Focus on Full Body Workouts
- Home Workout – Press Ups and Body Weight Squats
- Home Body Weight Workout
- Bodyweight Flow Workout
- Fitness Training & Nutrition – A Match Made in the Gym