FULL BODY WORKOUTS
I spend a lot of time with my clients using exercises that work the whole body. Isolation
exercises (e.g. bicep curl) are all well and good but a combination of exercises that work a number of key muscle groups at once are the best for increasing strength, stamina and building lean muscle thereby reducing weight. A full body workout is when you utilise your core (which comprises of your back muscles, abs and sides), your arms, and/ or your legs, and mimic natural movements. In some cases you may utilise your core and your upper body more and in other cases you may utilise your lower body and core more than the upper body. They are called full body because they use multiple body parts hence enhancing balance by making different elements dependent on each other. Here are a few of the most popular exercises:
SQUATS: Stand with your legs at shoulder width apart. Keeping your back straight, go
down from your hips till your legs are parallel to the ground. Remember not to let your knees extend further than your toes. You can add a barbell on your shoulders or have dumbbells in your hands. Either do as many as you can quickly without weight or use weights and keep increasing till failure.
Squats are great for a toned torso and strong toned legs and thighs. This is also a great
exercise for using a gymstick (more about this piece of kit in a future blog)
DEADLIFTS: Deadlifts should be the backbone of most of your workouts, but because they are so taxing, should be restricted to once a week. Stand with your legs shoulder distance apart. Bend down and pick up a barbell without rounding your back and trying to keep your back as straight as possible (this is called a neutral spine). Now bend down pushing your hips slightly back, and keeping your knees soft. Now stand up straight all
the while keeping your back a straight as possible. Of all the exercises that we can do the
deadlift is probably the hardest to master. Ask for advice if unsure. If mastered though deadlifts engage the most muscles and produce the biggest hormonal response. They are great for core, glutes, legs, thighs, hips, sides, and the back.
PUSH UPS/PRESS UPS: Put your hands and toes on the floor at shoulder width with the rest of your body at the same level. Now go as low as you can go by bending your elbows keeping your body taut. Then push up. Repeat as many times as you can within a minute. Press ups are great for the core and the upper body including your chest, arms biceps, and triceps.
THE PLANK: Guaranteed to strike dread in my clients! They hate this but it’s the best exercise for the core. I would recommend this over doing countless sit-ups which after a while become easy. To do the plank assume a push up position. Your arms and toes at shoulder width and your body held up in a straight line with your legs and your arms. Now stay in this position for 45 seconds to a minute using your core by tightening it and not by
using your arms and legs. Alternatively you can do this on your elbows (this
makes it more difficult) and also on one side by keeping your feet stacked one
on top of each other and one forearm on the floor.
OVERHEAD PRESS: Stand with feet at shoulder width and lift dumbbells straight above your head starting with them resting next to each shoulder. Raise and bring back to starting position – this completes one rep. Feeling stronger? Try lifting heavier weights
LUNGES: Stand with your hands on your hips. Now take a big step forward till your leg goes parallel to the floor. Push back with the heel of your foot. You can add weights as you do this by holding a barbell on your shoulders or dumbbells in your hand.
BURPEES: Squat down and put your hands on the floor. Shift the weight onto your arms, and throw your legs back so that you are in push up position. Do a push up. Then jump in front with your legs and jump up. Again land straight into the squat and repeat. Do as many as you can in one minute. Just doing the burpee can be a great full body workout on
So these are a few of the most common multiple body part exercises. They form a large part of any workouts that I do with my clients and they do get results. If you would
like to know more about these exercises and their benefits then please contact
me by either using the form on my website, e-mailing at Eamonn@fitnessinstockport.co.uk or phoning on 07985 194957.
Personal Trainer, Stockport.