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Best Full Body Workout: Seven Exercises You Don’t Want to Miss

We get it-you’re busy and don’t have a ton of time to devote to exercise, but you want to get fit and build strength. Instead of spending a whole day’s workout focusing on a specific muscle group, you can sweat your way into shape with moves that target your entire body. You’ll need basic equipment, like a stability/exercise ball, Bosu, dumbbells, bench press, a barbell, and weights to do some of these movements, so make sure to check your home gym or head to your local workout spot to get started. You can even use your own body weight such as pull-ups. Each of the following exercises works the major muscle groups of the body and requires little if any, equipment to complete. Don’t miss these seven exercises for the best full-body workout!

What is full body workout?

  1. Side Plank with Leg Lift: Your whole body including upper and lower body will feel the burn when you work the side plank with leg lift. Planks are even a great warm-up exercise. To start, get into a plank position with your hands on the floor, directly underneath your shoulders, and your feet extended behind you, body lifted. Lift one arm and rotate toward that side, lifting your arm up so that it is perpendicular to the floor and your feet are stacked on top of one another. You can bring your bottom knee down to help stabilize yourself or work with both legs lifted. Lift your top leg up until you feel a squeeze in your outer hip, then slowly lower it back down. Keep your core pulled in and engaged. Your core, lats, arms, and hips will be on fire with this sneaky-hard move! The best part? You don’t need any equipment to do it.
  2. Squat with Overhead Press: The squat with overhead press targets your legs, core, shoulders, and arms, pretty much checking every box. You’ll want to start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and one dumbbell in each hand. Lift the dumbbells up so they’re in front of each shoulder and your palms are facing each other; this is your starting position. From here, sink down low into your squat, then press back up to a standing position. Next, lift your arms overhead with the palms facing each other to perform the overhead press. You’ll just need a set of dumbbells to add this move to your routine. 
  3. Pike Roll-Out: Looking for the most effective move for your core? A 2010 study says the pike roll-out is it! To get that killer burn, grab your stability/exercise ball and get into a pushup position with your feet on top of the ball. Use your core muscles to lift your hips into the air, over your torso. Lower your body back down and allow the ball to roll until it’s under your knees and your arms are extended. You’ll blast your core and arms quickly and feel the burn before you know it!
  4. Clean and Jerk: You don’t have to be an Olympian to master the clean and jerk, but adding this move to your routine will certainly make you feel like one! The clean and jerk incorporates every major muscle group in the body, including the hamstrings, shoulders, biceps, triceps, lower back, upper back, core, quadriceps, and calves, and it is technically two movements in one: the clean and the jerk. To perform the clean and jerk, you’ll need a weighted barbell. During the clean, you’ll pull the bar from the floor and snap the weight up to the torso until your arms are under the bar. Then, you’ll push the bar over your head in one smooth movement to complete the jerk. 
  5. Bosu Burpees: If you’ve got a Bosu or stability ball handy, you won’t regret making this fun twist on burpees part of your routine. To do a Bosu burpee, squat down and place your hands on the Bosu and jump back into a plank position. Lower down and press back up to do a pushup, then jump your feet forward into a squat position. Finish the burpee by jumping up into the air and raising the Bosu over your head. If you’d prefer to keep things low impact, just stand up forcefully and lift the Bosu overhead. No Bosu? No problem. You can do regular burpees and you’ll still work your legs, core, and upper body, plus get a powerful cardio burst in, too!
  6. Single-arm Kettlebell Snatch: To perform this powerful exercise, you’ll need a kettlebell (obviously) for best results, but in a pinch, a dumbbell will do. To perform a single-arm kettlebell snatch, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the kettlebell between your feet. Grab the kettlebell with one hand and raise your arm up to shoulder height, then swing it in between your legs, bending the knees slightly and bending over further as you reach the end of your range of motion. Next, press your hips forward to swing the kettlebell forward and up, coming over your head, stopping when you reach the weight overhead and contract your glutes. The kettlebell makes this exercise especially efficient because of the destabilizing element, but you can use dumbbells if you don’t have a kettlebell handy. You’ll develop core stability, strengthen your hips, low back, shoulders, and legs, and gain explosive power with this move.
  7. Deficit Deadlifts: Looking to target all the major muscle groups while moving through a full range of motion in your core? Try deficit deadlights. This powerful movement effectively targets the hamstrings, calves, quads, hips, glutes, core, lats, arms, shoulders, and traps – what more could you want? To perform a deficit deadlift, stand slightly elevated on a plate, box, or step. You don’t need to be high off the ground – just a few inches will do. With a weighted barbell in front of you, press your hips back and bend over while keeping a neutral spine, then grab the barbell. Lift the weight by grounding down through your feet and extending your legs and hips, keeping your arms extended. Lower the weight back to the ground, keeping your hips pressed back, and making sure the bar skims your body on the way to and from the ground.