Training

The Best Full-Body Workouts For Muscle And Strength

Full-body workouts are great ways of hitting every part of your body multiple times of the week, and at times are underused. They are especially good for those who don’t have time to work on a 4-5 day split in their training. Full-body workouts are great for beginners and even those who have been training a while they can be a great way to bring up weaker body parts because you can hit them multiple times a week.

They can also be a great way to shake things and challenge yourself, throwing in a full-body workout once a week can keep things interesting and your body guessing. 

Before You Start a Workout

Always remember to warm up before starting any workout to ensure all the correct muscles are warm and activated, this will help you ensure you lift safely and efficiently and reduce the risk of injury. Take 10-15 minutes to warm up your entire before hitting any of the exercises, and take your time to perfect the technique and correct form before each exercise too. 

 

Full Body Resistance Band Workout

With not everyone having access to gyms at the moment or even a lot of weights in their own homes it doesn’t mean you can’t train and push yourself – Resistance bands are a great way to challenge your full body and see strength gains without dumbbells or a barbell, but they can also be a great addition to any gym workout too. 

You can click the above title or here to go to a full workout page for more details around resistance bands or scroll down to see our selection of banded exercises to use. When performing any of the below exercises make sure to hit between 10-20 reps and always keep the band tight in both the eccentric and concentric phase of the movement.

 

1. Bent-Over Row

Make sure you are squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull your elbows back for a better contraction in the muscles surrounding your scapulae (shoulder blades). Add a 2-3 second hold at the top to increase the intensity and ensure there is always tension on the bands even at the bottom of the movement. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

2. Banded Glute Bridge

This exercise has a lot of varieties. It can perform with a hold like a plank, or reps based lowering your hips to the floor and pushing them back towards the ceiling. Make sure to squeeze your glutes throughout the exercise by pushing your knees outwards against the resistance band. You can also add some isometric hamstring work, by pulling your heels into the ground during the exercise. If you need to make the movement more difficult, try setting your feet slightly further apart, or try it one-legged.

3. Lateral Band Walks

To challenge yourself a little more move the band further down your legs, closer to your ankles and perform the exercise as described. You can also try sitting deeper into the squat as you move. 

4.Glute Kick Backs

To challenge yourself a little more use a thicker band to add resistance and hold the contraction for 2-3 secs at the top. Ensure you are squeezing your glute throughout and you focus on engaging the right muscles moving slowly but with purpose. 

5. Overhead Press

Make sure you are driving your arms directly up and you have tension in the band throughout the movement even at the start to get the most out of this move. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

6. Band-Loaded Squat

The band should always have a slight amount of tension on it when you are holding the band when at the bottom of the squat. Squat up against the resistance of the band and squeeze your glutes at the top for 2-3 secs. Keep your chest up and proud throughout the exercise, with your knees tracking over your toes.Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

7. Romanian Deadlift

The band should always have a slight amount of tension in the band even at the bottom position (with your arms fully extended). Make sure to really hinge from the hip so that you should feel the loading in your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Squeeze your glutes at the top position for 2-3 secs before returning to the starting position. 

8. Banded Front Squat

Make sure to Squat against the resistance of the band, keeping your back straight and chest proud. Make sure to keep tension on the band throughout the movement and that you sit deep into the squat. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

9. Banded Squat

This will develop hip and knee stability in the squat by developing the strength of the Gluteus Medius muscle at the hip. Keep each squat slow and controlled to retain tension on the muscles throughout the movement. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

10. Banded Knee Raises

There should always be tension on the band throughout this movement and position. To perform the exercise, raise your knee to your chest against the resistance of the band before lowering back to the start position. Hold at the top to make the movement harder and try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

11. Table-Top Hip Abduction

You should be working the side of your hip – ensure to squeeze at the end of the movement and maintain a neutral spine throughout, which will help to maintain your balance throughout the exercise.

12. Hamstring Curls

Ensure there is tension on the band throughout this movement. Ensure to really extend at the bottom of the movement to get full movement before returning to start.

13. Clam-Shells

This is a great exercise to perform with both legs or isolate one leg at a time. To make the exercise harder try holding the contraction at the end of the range of movement on each rep for a given amount of time like 3-5 seconds.

14. Single Arm Row

Make sure you are squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull your elbow back for a better contraction. Add a 2-3 second hold at the top to increase the intensity and ensure there is always tension on the bands even at the bottom of the movement. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

15. Banded Push-Up

Make sure to perform each rep in a controlled manner to retain tension on the working muscles throughout the exercise. Try slowing the eccentric (down) movement down to 3 seconds to make it harder.

16. Supine Lying Pull-Downs

Make sure you are squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull your elbows back for a better contraction. Add a 2-3 second hold at the top to increase the intensity and ensure there is always tension on the bands even at the bottom of the movement. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

17. Standing Hip Abduction

To make the exercise harder try holding the contraction at the end of the range of movement on each rep for a given amount of time like 3-5 seconds.

18. Standing Band Pull-Aparts

Try and keep your arms straight out in front of you throughout the movement, You can add in pauses at the end of the range of movement to create an additional challenge.

19. Banded Chest Press

Make sure you are squeezing your chest together and your arms are at a 45-degree angle. Add a 2-3 second hold at the top to increase the intensity and ensure there is always tension on the bands even at the bottom of the movement. Try slowing the eccentric (down) movement down to 3 seconds to make it harder or use heavier bands as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

20. Bicep Curl

To amend this movement you can perform the bicep curl with different degrees on shoulder flexion/extension if you move your point of the resistance band to your anchor and experiment with different positions. You can also slow the concentric and eccentric phases to make it harder.

21. Tricep Extension

Always keep your elbows stationary throughout the movement so that you can load the triceps/elbow extensor muscles through the full range of movement. Keep tension in the band throughout, you can also slow the concentric and eccentric phases to make it harder.

 

Full Body Dumbbell Workout

 

If you still have access to gyms or are lucky enough to have your own weight at homes – Dumbbells are a great way to challenge your body and build strength and endurance. 

You can click the above title or here to go to a full workout page for more details around dumbbells workouts or scroll down to see our selection of exercises to try. When performing any of the below exercises make sure to hit between 10-20 reps and always keep good form throughout.

 

1. Arnold Dumbbell Press

A classic movement that recruits all three sections of your deltoids and can help you build fuller, wider, more defined shoulders, as well as help improve your posture to boot. The best thing is you don’t have to go heavy to achieve results.

2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

The great things about this movement are that the inclined position increases the difficulty of the press. This movement will challenge the upper chest muscles and shoulders, helping to build and increase muscle size and strength.

3. Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

Rows are a foundation movement for building a strong back. Make sure to keep your core and back engaged when bending and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, you can hold at the top for 3-4 seconds or amend tempos of the concentric or eccentric phase to help increase resistance and make the movement harder.

4. Dumbbell Pullover

The pullover is a great movement that builds a bigger chest and back while helping to increase shoulder mobility. It can also be a great workout that helps with upper back stability and posture.

5. Dumbbell Squats

The dumbbell squat is another great lower-body exercise which targets the entire leg from the quadriceps, hamstrings, to glutes. It’s a great movement that has a whole variety of options from front racking to high reps, it can also be a great substitute for barbell squats or the trap-bar deadlifts.

6. Dumbbell Swing

Not everyone has access to kettlebells so the dumbbell swing is a great alternative. This movement is great for getting your heart rate up, building strength, endurance, and balance. 

 

No-Equipment Dumbbell Workout with Tristan

 

With so many of us now working from home Tristan Tross has shared his ultimate full-body home workout that requires no equipment. Unless you wanted to get creative and add some extra weight to keep it interesting.

You can click the above title or here to go to a full workout page for more details around  Tristan’s bodyweight workout or scroll down to see our selection of exercises to try. When performing any of the below exercises make sure to hit between 10-20 reps and always keep good form throughout.

 

1. Press Ups

A classic move that should be in everyone’s workouts regardless of having access to a gym or not. Press-ups strengthen your core, triceps, shoulders and chest.

2. Russian Twists

A great movement that helps strengthen your entire core and can be both progressed and regressed easily so that anyone can join in. 

3. Supermans

One of the most underrated exercises for strengthening the core and isolating the back muscles without the need of weights.

4. Squats

A staple movement that everyone should be performing, build up your quads working without equipment. Squats are easily adapted to make them harder, try adding pulses or holds at the bottom of the movement.

5. Static Reverse Lunges

Lunges are great movements for isolating your legs one at a time and working on building a strong lower body. These movements are also great for strengthening your core and improving coordination and balance.

6. Plank Push-Ups

A full-body movement which helps you build strength from head to toe. Ensure you control the movement. 

 

Full-Body Resistance Band Workout with KatieJFit

Katie takes us through her banded workout that will sculpt and tone your body from head to toe making sure you’re hitting more muscle groups in each session than a traditional workout split.

You can click the above title or here to go to a full workout page for more details around Katie’s banded workout or scroll down to see our selection of exercises to try. When performing any of the below exercises make sure to hit between 10-20 reps and always keep good form throughout.

 

1. Chest Flies

Make sure you are squeezing your chest together. Add a 2-3 second hold at the top to increase the intensity and ensure there is always tension on the bands even at the bottom of the movement. Try slowing the eccentric (down) movement down to 3 seconds to make it harder or use heavier bands as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

2. Bentover Row

Make sure you are squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull your elbows back for a better contraction in the muscles surrounding your scapulae (shoulder blades). Add a 2-3 second hold at the top to increase the intensity and ensure there is always tension on the bands even at the bottom of the movement. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

3. Sumo Deadlift

Ensure you keep tension on the band throughout the movement and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, you can try and hold at the top for 5 seconds to make it harder. 

4. Banded V Crunch

Keep the core and back engaged throughout and the band tense throughout. You can regress this movement by removing the band or try and high resistance to make it harder. 

5. Overhead Press

Make sure you are driving your arms directly up and you have tension in the band throughout the movement even at the start to get the most out of this move. Try a heavier band as you get stronger to increase the resistance.

6. Stationary Lunge

Ensure you keep tension on the band throughout the movement and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, you can try and hold at the top for 5 seconds to make it harder. 

7. Front Raises

Try and keep your arms straight out in front of you throughout the movement, You can add in pauses at the end of the range of movement to create an additional challenge.

 

Full Body Home Workout Without Equipment

Get in an intense workout and put your whole body through its paces. Without access to gyms, this is one of the best ways to make sure you’re still seeing gains and making progress.

You can click the above title or here to go to a full workout page for more details. When performing any of the below exercises make sure to hit between 10-20 reps and always keep good form throughout. 

 

1. Bodyweight Squat

A staple movement that everyone should be performing, build up your quads working without equipment. Squats are easily adapted to make them harder, try adding pulses or holds at the bottom of the movement.

2. Press up

A classic move that should be in everyone’s workouts regardless of having access to a gym or not. Press ups strengthen your core, triceps, shoulders and chest.

3. Walking Lunges

Lunges are great movements for isolating your legs one at a time and working on building a strong lower body. Progressing them to walking will help make your workout more intense and are great for strengthening your core and improving coordination and balance.

4. Y’s and W’s

Y’s and W’s are a great way to target all the major muscles of the shoulders, You can hold the movement at the top to help make it more intense.

5. Supermans

Superman’s are another overlooked exercise that is great for strengthening your lower and upper back, it also works your glutes and hamstrings, and increases your core strength.

6. Single leg glute bridge

Make sure to squeeze your glutes throughout the exercise. You can also add some isometric hamstring work, by pulling your heels into the ground during the exercise. If you need to make the movement more difficult, try adding a resistance band.

7. Decline Press-up

This great variation on a classic movement will target your upper chest and fronts of shoulders more aggressively than a regular push-up. If performed alongside the regular push-up it can build the most well-rounded chest.

8. Planks

Planks are great for targeting all the major core muscles, including those in the lower back. THey can be progressed or regressed to make sure everyone is able to do them. 

9. Heel taps

Add this exercise in for something a little different from the regular core movements, heel taps reach all the major core muscles with a specific emphasis on the serratus and obliques.    

Full-body workout finisher

Perform ten burpees then high knees on the spot for 15 seconds. Repeat with 9 burpees and another 15 seconds on the spot, then 8, 7, 6… etc until you reach 1. This is the perfect cardio blast to raise your pulse and train your workout capacity.

 

Take Home Message

So no matter where you are, remember that a full-body workout packs a bunch and give you maximum intensity even with no equipment. It is a great chance for you to try out different movements as well change the intensity and duration to get maximum gains. Why not try out one of the above workouts or mash a few together. 

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Amy Golby

Amy Golby

Personal Trainer & Exercise Nutritionist

Amy has been a sportswoman for over 18 years playing rugby and netball up to a national level, she has been a qualified personal trainer for 5 years and further her nutritional knowledge with a diploma in sports and exercise nutrition as well a psychology degree. She has been training in a gym and weightlifting for over 10 years and continues to learn and improve her training in order to reach her goals. She believes in both the physical and mental advantages of sport and fitness as well as a balanced diet and lifestyle. Amy has created programs around sport and fitness for Red Bull, Look magazine, Spartan UK, as well as Mental Movement UK around how fitness can help improve your mental health. In her spare time, Amy enjoys playing sport, socialising with friends, and fuelling her shopping addiction to gym wear. She can be found here - https://www.instagram.com/dreams_and_dumbbells/?hl=en


Up to 45% off | Use code: MORE Be quick, shop now!