Full Body Workout ❚█══█❚ Experienced fitness athletes know that extensive muscle training is no guarantee for comprehensive and lasting muscle stimulation.
Almost every muscle in the body can be optimally addressed with just a few complex exercises. Such a full-body workout saves a lot of time. We have put together a training plan for you that hits every muscle!
Efficient Full Body Workout
With the “Top 5” you can train every stabilizing muscle relevant to everyday life in a very short time. These exercises are also known as basic exercises or basic exercises that every fitness athlete should have in this or a similar form in their training plan.
Additional exercises should be done towards the end of a workout, depending on individual needs, although they are not necessary for an efficient full-body workout.
The exercises presented require a proper technical introduction and the willingness to initially concentrate on the technique of an exercise in the first weeks of training.
From a practical point of view, it is advisable to find a professional trainer who will monitor the exercise execution at the beginning, so that the targeted progression of the weights can take place after a month at the earliest.
Top 5 Exercises For Total Body Training
A push-up (push-up) or press-up is one of the best-known free exercises in fitness sports or full-body training. The classic push-up movement, which is characterized by lowering and pushing the body up, involves about 200 of the 650 muscles in the human body. It is also often used in the acceptance and fitness tests of the German Armed Forces and the police.
Which muscles are primarily trained during the push-up?
- M. pectoralis major and minor (large and small pectoral muscle)
- M. triceps brachii (three-headed arm muscle)
- M. deltoideus pars clavicularis (anterior part of the deltoid muscle)
How is the push-up performed?
- Starting position: Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, with your fingers pointing forward. Put your feet or legs up behind you or stretch them out one after the other. Hands and chest are in one line, arms are vertical. Tighten your buttocks, back, and stomach during the exercise and keep your body stable in one line.
- Execution: Bend your arms so that your elbows point diagonally backward. Pull your shoulders back and lower your chest towards the floor in a controlled manner. Exhale as you push up. Your head stays in line with your spine.
- Variations: Knee Push Up (Beginner), Single Leg Push Up (Advanced), Clapping Push Up (Pro)
Free exercises have the advantage that they work many muscles. However, they are limited by the body weight of the person exercising, so muscle growth only happens up to a certain point, and strength endurance effects (e.g. fat burning) increasingly dominate. A good example is a burpee (combination of push-up, squat, jump), which is used in many professional workouts.
Only a few fitness athletes master pull-ups (chin-ups). Not without reason, since this exercise requires an advanced level of fitness and mainly requires the back and arms to move the entire body weight vertically. It takes a lot of practice to master the pull-up.
Which muscles are primarily trained during the pull-up?
- M. latissimus dorsi (broad back muscle)
- M. trapezius and Mm. Rhomboid (neck muscles)
- M. biceps brachii, M. brachialis, and M. brachioradialis (arm flexors)
How is a pull-up performed?
Basically, we distinguish pull-ups in the overhand grip (pull-ups), underhand grip (chin-ups), and hammer grip. The “real” pull-up with the overhand grip is presented, which is considered to be particularly demanding.
- Starting position: Hang from a pull-up bar with your arms straight and shoulder-width apart. However, the grip width should not be too wide in order to achieve a good training effect.
- Execution: Take a deep breath and pull your shoulder blades back (down) together. Tip: Wrap your thumbs around the bar. This gives you more grip and security. Pull yourself up as far as possible until your chin reaches over the bar. Then you lower your body in a controlled manner.
- Variations: Chin Ups (Beginner), Hammer Grip Pull-Ups (Advanced), Muscle Ups (Pro)
Military press, shoulder press, or overhead press – this demanding exercise has many names. It is considered an effective basic exercise for shoulders and triceps in a full-body workout. As an alternative to the barbell, dumbbells or kettlebells are often pressed overhead from a standing position.
Which muscles are primarily trained during the military press?
- Pars acromialis deltoid muscle (lateral deltoid)
- Pars clavicular deltoid muscle (anterior deltoid muscle)
- Pars acromial deltoid muscle (posterior deltoid muscle)
- M. triceps brachii (arm extensors)
- M. trapezius (hood muscle)
- M. serratus anterior (saw muscle)
How is the Military Press performed?
Traditionally, the shoulder press is done with a barbell. Therefore, in the description, we will go into the execution with a barbell.
- Starting position: The barbell should be positioned on a rack at shoulder height, to begin with. Grab the barbell with both hands, shoulder-width apart, with forearms pointing straight up and elbows pointing down. Step under the bar, lift it off the shelf, and position it at chest level. Then you go back one or two steps.
- Execution: Make sure you stand with your shoulders wide and your knees slightly bent, as the higher the number of repetitions, the less coordination you have. The feet are firmly anchored to the ground. While tensing your entire body, you now press the bar overhead while stretching your arms. Your body should form a straight line in this position. After briefly holding the body stretch, lower the bar in the opposite direction back to the starting position.
- Variations: One Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Beginner), Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Advanced), Military Press + Squat (Professional)
The squat is referred to as the “king of compound exercises” and actually belongs in every full-body workout. It forms the basic exercise for more complex variants (e.g. snatch, clean), which are characterized in weightlifting.
In principle, the squat trains the entire leg area plus the muscles of the back extensors.
Which muscles are primarily trained during the squat?
- M. quadriceps femoris (four-headed thigh muscle)
- M. gluteus maximus, medius, minimus (buttock muscles)
- Hamstring muscles (M. biceps femoris, M. semitendinosus, and M. semimembranosus)
How is a squat performed?
The squat is usually performed with a barbell. Therefore, in the description, we will go into the execution with a barbell.
- Starting Position: The barbell should begin at least at shoulder height on a squat rack. First, you dive under the barbell and lift it out of the rack while lying on the trapezius muscle (below the cervical spine). The bar should never lie on the cervical spine to avoid damage and injuries in this area. Take a step or two backward and position your feet parallel to slightly turned outwards at shoulder height.
- Execution: Now the hips are pushed back. The upper body or spine remains upright and the weight is lowered in a controlled manner. The knees should neither “collapse” inwards nor outwards during the downward and upward movement, ie no unstable rotational movements. The upward movement is initiated by the thighs, keeping the back upright. Inhale on the downward movement and slowly exhale on the upward movement.
- Variations: Squat Basic (Beginner), Squat Jumps (Advanced), Front Squat (Pro)
Deadlift or deadlift is considered an effective exercise for back width, density, and depth. Deadlifts are a great exercise for the entire back. In addition, deadlifts are increasingly used in the prevention of back problems.
Which muscles are primarily trained when deadlifting?
- M. erector spinal (back extensor)
- M. gluteus maximus (gluteus Maximus)
- M. quadriceps femoris (four-headed thigh muscle)
How is the deadlift performed?
Similar to the squat, deadlifts are traditionally performed with a barbell. In CrossFit and functional training, the deadlift is mastered with a kettlebell. Similar to the squat, the technical execution is elementary to prevent injuries and to achieve a holistic training effect.
- Starting position: Feets are placed slightly narrower than shoulder-width and stable on the floor so that the barbell is brought close to the lower legs and the barbell is in the air over half the instep.
- Execution: Now you grip the bar with an overhand grip shoulder-width apart (in the case of a very heavyweight in the cross grip) and tense your entire body. Now take a deep breath. On an exhale, raise the bar close to your body with a hip extension to a vertical position, keeping your back straight and your head forward in line with your spine. Your arms remain straight throughout. At the highest point, the shoulder blades are fixed backward and downwards. Finally, the bar is lowered to the floor in a controlled manner under body tension. A high level of mental concentration is required for each repetition because the deadlift puts a lot of strain on your body.
- Variations: Kettlebell Lift (Beginner), Sumo Deadlift (Advanced), Romanian Deadlift (Pro)
Conclusion On Full Body Training
Push up, pull up, military press, squat and deadlift are complex basic exercises that should not be missing from any training plan. With their extensive physical and muscular demands, they are almost predestined for an efficient full-body workout.