- A full body workout will target all your muscles.
- You don’t need any specialized equipment, you can do a full body workout at home.
- A full body workout can be as versatile and varied as you want to make it.
In today’s busy lifestyle it’s sometimes hard to try and fit in time for exercise. You get home from work and the last thing you feel like doing is heading off to the gym. However, you know if you want that beach-ready body then a workout is essential.
It may be that a full body workout is the way to go. It may mean you need to head to the gym less, or you could even do it at home.
Let’s take a look at some of the options.
What Is a Full Body Workout?
A full body workout is one that targets every muscle group in your body. Forget days where you target just your legs, arms or core. Take care of the whole lot at once.
Full body workouts generally include compound exercises. These type of exercises engage more than one group of muscles at a time. Think of movements like, squats, pullups, and crunches mixed with jumping jacks and lunges.
Compound exercises take a lot of energy and effort to perform. They can help build power and strength.
Benefits of a Full Body Workout for Women
There are many benefits to doing a full body workout, they include:
They’re Good for Your Health
Full body workouts, just like any exercise, can help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis.
Increasing Calorie Burn In a Shorter Time
We all try to make the most of our time, so why not apply that to our exercise regime? Doing short, intense workouts will burn a lot of calories in one session as opposed to concentrating on individual muscle groups.
It’s advised that when you do a full body workout you do it on alternate days allowing your muscles to have a chance to rest. General recommendations are to do a full body workout two to three times a week. A full body workout program may take less time to complete as opposed to going to the gym every day and focusing on individual muscle groups.
Less Chance of Injury
Whenever we exercise we may risk pulling a muscle if we overwork them or don’t warm up properly. As you’re not concentrating on exercising one particular group of muscles you may be less likely to overtrain. This may also prevent repetitive stress injuries that can happen when you only work one group of muscles over and over.
More Toned Body
Whether its a booty like Beyonce’s you’re after, or abs like J Lo, a full body workout will help tone your body. As you’re targeting all the muscles at once that beach body you crave may be within your reach.
Full body workouts are designed to work your muscles intensely in short bursts. As a result you’ll gain strength over time.
From time to time we all want to drop a few pounds, especially after a holiday period when we’ve overindulged. When you do a full body workout you’ll be increasing your calorie burn by working every muscle group in your body. Doing this at least two to three times a week will help drop those pounds. Studies have shown that a full body workout is ideal for weight loss.
Boredom Less Likely
Doing the same exercises day in day out can get pretty monotonous. It may often be one of the reasons that we don’t continue with an exercise programme. A full body workout can take on so many variations of exercises that by mixing it up we’re more likely to keep exercising.
Varieties of Full Body Workouts for Women
There are many exercise routines that can give you a full body workout. You can pick and choose any exercise or type of exercise you want. This can include:
Circuit training is generally a fast-paced exercise regime where you do one exercise for 30 seconds to five minutes and then move on to another. It can alternate an aerobic activity (such as stepping or stationary cycling) with a muscle-strengthening activity (such as using weight machines). Some classes can concentrate purely on muscle toning or aerobic exercise. This type of exercise increases your strength and aerobic fitness and burns lots of calories. Circuit classes apparently tend to be popular with people with a busy lifestyle who want to combine a strength and aerobic routine in one workout.
This is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) pioneered by Dr Izumi Tabata who conducted a study into this type of training and its efficiency. It was proved beneficial to cardiovascular function and weight loss. It’s basically a way of working out that relies on maximum results in minimum time. You complete 20 seconds of exercise as fast and hard as you can followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this eight times for a total of four minutes for each exercise. The exercises you perform are basically up to you, you can mix it up as much as you like. Try things like squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push ups, or crunches to name a few.
This is one that we’ve more than likely all heard off. It includes any form of exercise that increases your heart rate and use of oxygen and there have been many studies on its efficacy. The beauty of aerobics is you don’t have to go to the gym to do it. While undoubtedly there are many classes on offer, there are now numerous videos available you can follow, or make up your own routine to your favorite music.
This combines martial arts techniques with cardio routines and can give you a HIIT workout. It consists of combinations of punches and kicks that will raise your heart rate and work your muscles.
These use your own bodyweight as resistance to gravity. There are so many exercises you can do using your own body weight. No need for the gym or any extra equipment. It can be as simple as grabbing a couple of cans of beans out of the cupboard and walking up and down the stairs while doing bicep curls. These exercises can be suitable for anyone, no matter what your level of fitness is.
Your preference may be to go to the gym and use the facilities they have on offer for your workout. It’s still possible to do a full body workout there. Consider combining squats, lunges or deadlifts with pushing or pulling exercises. This way you’ll be working your whole body rather concentrating on a specific area.
This is more than likely one form of exercise that people don’t consider when they think of a full body workout. Swimming is a low-impact aerobic workout that allows you to increase your heart rate without putting pressure on your joints. It’s a good way to workout if you’re overweight or if you’re unable to carry out weight-bearing exercises. Swimming targets the muscles in your legs, abdomen, shoulders and arms, allowing you to build up muscle strength and tone. Swimming laps can be a little tedious so maybe invest in some waterproof headphones and play your favorite tunes as you work out.
With any exercise regime it’s important that you remember to warm up first and stretch it out after to avoid injury.
Exercises That Can Be Included in a Full Body Workout for Women
As we’ve already mentioned, there a so many exercises that you can include in a full body workout. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders.
- Keep your feet close together.
- Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor and then push yourself back to the starting position.
Keep your hips lifted and your core engaged the whole time.
- Stand in front of a bench or step and place your left foot firmly on the step. (You can use the bottom of your stairs for this one if you want.)
- Press your left foot into the step and push your body up until your left leg is straight.
- Lower your body back down until your right foot touches the floor.
- Repeat starting with your right foot.
- Keep your head up and core engaged the whole time.
- Remember to keep your weight balanced evenly, don’t lean too far forward or too far back.
Take this one further by doing some bicep curls with a weight in each hand while walking up and down your stairs.
- Lie face down on the floor
- Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Put your rear weight onto your toes.
- Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
- Keep your back straight and pull in your abs.
- Hold this position for up to 60 seconds, or as long as you can.
- Make sure to keep breathing deeply.
You can vary this exercise by raising alternate arms straight in front of you and holding for five to 10 seconds. Or you can do a sideways plank by resting your body weight on one foot and elbow. Make sure your hips are lifted and your core is engaged, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Stand with arms stretched out straight to the sides level with your shoulders (think about a letter T).
- Slowly start to make circles of about 1-foot in diameter with each outstretched arm.
- Remember to breathe normally as you perform the movement.
- Continue the circular motion of the outstretched arms for about 10 seconds.
- Reverse the movement, going the opposite direction.
You could make this exercise a little more difficult by holding some weights.
- Stand with your torso tall and your shoulders, back and chest out.
- Look straight ahead.
- Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (Think about sitting on an imaginary chair.)
- Be aware of the position of your knees; don’t let them extend past your toes or collapse inwards.
- Raise back to standing.
Again this is another exercise you can vary. You could do a side squat by extending one leg straight out to the side and and bending your other knee to lower into the squat. Or you could do a jumping squat where you explode from the squat position and jump into the air.
- Stand with your feet together.
- Keep your core tight and back upright.
- Take a step forward with your right foot.
- Lower yourself until your left knee gently touches or almost touches the ground.
- Push back up to standing.
- Repeat with your left leg forward.
Another versatile exercise that you can modify by adding a jump. This time bend your elbows at 90 degrees in front of you at the start of the lunge. Lunge forward with one foot, then jump straight up as you thrust your arms forward keeping your elbows bent. Switch legs in midair, in a scissor motion and land in a lunge with your other leg forward.
Time to Get Started
A full body workout can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. There are so many versatile and varied exercises that you can do, whether your preference is to head to the gym or grab a spare 15 or 20 minutes at home.
With a full body workout, your bikini-ready body may not be as out of reach as you think!