What exactly is a “full body workout?”

A lot of people want to start exercising but have no idea where to start. Like I said in earlier blog posts (here and here), Strength training is the best place to start. Here’s a beginner’s guide to basic strength training. No need to go to the gym just yet. You can do these exercises in the comfort of your own home, taking only 15-30 minutes.

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

A full body workout is a series of exercises where all major muscle groups are worked.

There are three major muscle groups that you should focus on:

  • Arms, Upper Back and Chest –  You work these by doing pushing (presses) and pulling (rows) motions.
  • Legs and Glutes – You work these by pushing with your legs.
  • Core and Lower Back – Core muscles are responsible for stabilizing our bodies. That’s why exercises like the plank are much more effective than crunches to develop and strengthen our abs and lower back.

Here are some familiar exercises that you can do to work these muscles:

Pushes

Pulls
  • pull-ups
  • chin-ups
  • Bent over rows (with barbells, dumbbells, milk cartons, cans)

Legs and Glutes

  • squats (with or without weights)
  • squat jumps
  • lunges (with or without weights)

Core and Lower Back

  • planks (front and side)

  • hanging leg lifts (a great description of variations of leg lifts are in the free e-book at absblueprint.com)
  • lying leg lifts
  • crunches

Creating your own personal full body workout at home

Do a light warm-up like stretching, jumping jacks or jump rope.

  1. Choose one or two exercises from each of the muscle groups.
  2. Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of each. If 8 is too much, try 5 sets of 5 reps. (try for 15-20 seconds for the planks)
  3. cool down stretching

You can make a circuit by doing a push exercise, then legs, then pull, then core, with only 0-30 seconds rest between exercises. Do 2-3 circuits. This way, you keep your heart rate up and you’ll be doing cardio at the same time. 🙂

Final notes:

Usually, you will feel the good effects on your body in 2 weeks. You will see it in 6 weeks.

For sure, as you get stronger, you will want to increase the intensity of your exercises. To do this you can add some weight or switch to a harder exercise.

If you don’t really like this kind of workout, like I said in my previous post: strength training is a good starting point for going into all the other kinds of exercises. Build some strength for a few weeks, then switch to something you will enjoy. If your motive is burning fat, by adding some muscle you will be able to burn fat a lot more efficiently.

For those who are afraid to get really big, don’t worry. Those monster bodybuilders you see all over the net worked for years (and probably took some steroids) to get that big. You won’t turn into a monster after only a few weeks of working out.

Question: I hope this info helps. Do you have any favorite exercise that I didn’t mention? Post it in the comments section.

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