Full Body Exercises – The 7 Best Additions To Your Routine!

Holly Smith

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

full body exercises
As a busy dad, it’s not always easy to figure out the best workout programs to help you obtain your highest level of fitness in a reasonable amount of time.

full body exercisesBut if you are looking for the top exercises that will help you build strength and also help you lose weight without spending hours in the gym, full-body exercises are going to be one of your best options.

You have so many responsibilities between your family, work, and home life, that finding ways to stay in shape may sometimes end up at the bottom of your to-do list.

However, it is so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to live your highest quality of life.

Full-body exercises allow you to achieve this, without spending hours and hours at the gym.

Top 7 Full Body Exercises For Men

These are the best full-body exercises that will target your upper and lower body simultaneously while also engaging your core.

#1 – Deadlift:

The deadlift is a great exercise that works a number of muscles at once, making it ideal to include in a full-body workout.

The deadlift will target the hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, upper back, and deltoids.

  1. Focus on form, not weight, when you first start doing this movement to avoid injury.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and mid-foot under the barbell.
  3. Hinge forward at your hips and grasp the bar with your hands just outside of your knees.
  4. Take the slack out of the bar by slightly pulling up on the bar until it makes contact with the weights on the ends.
  5. Then drive your heels into the floor and pull the bar up along your shins by using your legs until you’re standing with your hips fully extended.
  6. Return the bar to the floor by moving your hips back while bending your legs and lowering the bar. Aim for three sets of 8-10 reps.

#2 – KettleBell Swings:

This exercise is great for your glutes, hamstrings, upper, mid, and lower back muscles, as well as your core.

Not only will it work these large muscle groups, but it will also get your heart pumping and increase your cardiovascular fitness.

  1. Start at a low weight and work your way up to avoid injury.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the kettlebell handle.
  3. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips, bringing the kettlebell between your legs.
  4. Drive up through your hips bringing the kettlebell parallel to the floor at about chest level.
  5. Repeat 10-12 times for a total of three sets.

#3 – Renegade Rows:

This movement forces you to engage your core and lower body, while also working the muscles in your back and shoulders during the rowing motion.

  1. Start in a push-up position while grasping two light dumbbells underneath you.
  2. Engage your core and pull up your left arm into a row while balancing on the right arm.
  3. Return the left arm back to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Aim for three sets of 8-10 reps on each side.

#4 – Squat to Shoulder Press:

Another great full-body exercise, the squat to shoulder press will work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads during the squat.

Then, as you press up you will be targeting the shoulders while also working the core.

  1. Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height.
  2. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend your legs back up to a standing position.
  4. Then press the dumbbells overhead by extending the elbows.
  5. Return the weights to the shoulders, then repeat.
  6. Aim for three sets of 8-10 reps.


*This video tutorial comes courtesy of our friends over at NXT Level Physique. (Thanks guys!)

#5 – Burpees:

This is a great full-body exercise that will also add cardio to your workout session.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat down and place your hands on the floor.
  3. Kick back into a push-up position. Do one push-up.
  4. Jump your legs back to a squat and jump up, throwing your hands above your head.
  5. Land and repeat.
  6. Continue for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat two more times.

#6 – Farmer’s Walk:

If you want a simple exercise that hits pretty much every major muscle group, then you have to incorporate farmer’s walks into your workout routine.

This move targets the muscles in your shoulders, upper back, biceps, triceps and forearms. It also strengthens your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles.

All of this, plus you are engaging your core throughout the entire movement.

This is one of the most straightforward full-body exercises out there.

  1. All you need to do is grab two dumbbells, kettlebells, or farmer’s bars and walk as far as you can.
  2. Make sure that you brace your core with the weights by your side.
  3. Draw your shoulders down and back and stand tall throughout the exercise.
  4. How far you can walk will typically depend on how much space you have available.
  5. Start by trying to walk as far as you can across the gym.
  6. Rest for thirty seconds, then repeat two more times.

#7 – Tricep Dip to Toe Touch:

This full-body exercise will target your triceps, shoulders, core, and glutes.

In addition, the alternating motion will increase your heart rate and add some cardio to your workout.

  1. Sit on a bench with your hands placed behind you and knees bent in front of you.
  2. Lift your butt up into the position to do a tricep dip. Bend your elbows to dip down.
  3. As you push back up, kick your left foot into the air and simultaneously bring your right hand up to your left foot.
  4. Come back down to your original starting position and repeat on the other side, reaching your left hand to your right foot.
  5. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.
  6. Rest for thirty seconds then repeat for a total of three sets.


*This video tutorial comes courtesy of our friends over at Sculpted Training.

Benefits of Full Body Exercises

Target Major Muscles Groups More Frequently With Full Body Exercise

Full-body exercises are great for a number of reasons. For one, these exercises enable you to have killer workouts that target all of your major muscle groups.

full body exercises

When you are utilizing these types of exercises, you can achieve a high level of results in under an hour a day and as little as three days per week.

This is because you're hitting each muscle group in a single workout instead of isolating your muscle groups to one day each week.

Research has shown that increasing the frequency of exercising each muscle group can lead to bigger strength and hypertrophy gains as compared to isolating muscle groups and only targeting them once per week (1).

Increase Fitness With Full Body Workouts

In the past, you may have tried workout programs that had you target specific body parts on each day of the week.

For example, one day may have been “leg day”, and another day “back and bicep day.”

But studies have shown that full-body workouts can be more beneficial for improving fitness and building muscle (2).

Full Body Exercises Help Decrease Muscle Soreness

Not only will these full-body workouts build muscle, but they will also allow you to go into your next workout without being extremely sore from your previous exercise day.

Since you aren’t doing countless reps on one muscle group, this will allow for better recovery and an ability to give your best effort for your next workout.

Maximize Muscle Building Potential

muscle building potential of full body exercises

Full-body workouts are excellent because you are able to make the most out of muscle synthesis after each workout.

For one, you are giving your body enough time to recover before the next full-body workout.

In addition, by not allowing too much time before targeting each muscle group, you are able to hit the best window for when muscle growth is at its highest potential (3).

This, in turn, will increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage.

Full Body Exercises Help Avoid Overtraining

By splitting up your workouts into full-body exercises you can avoid overtraining specific muscle groups.

For example, if you specifically focus on legs one day, there is a higher risk of overtraining as you try to cram all of your leg work into one day.

In contrast, if you are able to do three workouts a week that incorporates full-body exercises, you can focus on all muscle groups simultaneously during these workouts.

By repeating this three times weekly, you will still get in the desired weekly sets and reps without causing excessive muscle damage.

This will allow you to lose weight and be able to build a great looking physique.

Full Body Exercises Improve Health and Quality of Life

Not only will full-body exercises help you lose weight and build muscle, but they will also improve your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic disease.

family portrait

This will keep you living a high quality of life to spend with your family and loved ones.

Exercise has been shown to decrease your risk for the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes (4).

Exercise also aids in fat loss and overall weight loss as well (5).

By just decreasing your potential for obesity you can avoid the development of numerous chronic diseases, ranging from cardiovascular disease to even certain cancers.

Full body strength training will reduce your risk for injury as well, not just while you’re working out, but also in day to day activities.

This will allow you to live independently as you age.

The Fit Father Project

The Fit Father Project offers a number of fitness programs that utilize full-body exercises to enhance muscle strength and aid in weight loss.

ff30x cover

For beginners looking to start working out for the first time or getting back into a new routine, our free 24 minute workout program is the perfect place to start.

If you have already been working out for some time, our FF30X program may be more your pace.

This 30-day fitness program is designed for busy dads and offers exercise plans and dietary advice to get you into the best shape of your life.

FF30X offers a variety of full-body exercises along with other fitness and nutrition advice.

This comprehensive program is a great way to get in great shape and improve your health as you age.

Both of these programs give you a wide variety of workouts, including full-body exercises.

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Here’s How Busy Guys 40+ Are Finally Losing Weight…

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If you’re in your 40s, 50s, & 60s, you need to eat and exercise differently to lose weight & actually keep it off…

Always Use Good Form With Full Body Exercises

When doing any workouts, especially those that involve weights, it is essential to focus on proper form and body alignment to reduce the risk of injury.

Always be sure to choose an appropriate weight for your level of fitness. Also, these exercises should be about quality, rather than quantity of repetitions.

This allows you to get the most benefit out of your workouts.

Full Body Exercises are Great For Any Level of Fitness

Whether you are just starting or have been working out for years, full-body exercises are perfect for all levels of fitness.

Plus, you can change around the weight or number of reps to match your current level of fitness. You can even drop down to a lower weight mid-set if needed.

Or grab a heavier one to challenge yourself. These workouts are extremely versatile!

Build Full Body Exercises Into Your Workout Routine

All of these full-body exercises can be incorporated into your weekly routine.

full body circuit training men's weight loss program

These exercises are great if you want to do a circuit workout and jump between full-body exercises.

Or you can pick and choose certain exercises to incorporate into virtually any workout.

The Fit Father Project offers additional workout routines that use full-body exercises to work your muscles and challenge your body.

And they are already put together in great workout programs so you don't have to worry about coming up with your own routines!

The 24-minute workout offers a top of the line introduction to resistance training to boost your metabolism and increase your strength.

This program utilizes full-body exercises as well to get you an efficient, yet extremely effective, workout that hits all of your muscles.

And if you are looking for a more long term challenge, FF30X will push you and continue to motivate you to get in the best shape of your life.

The full-body exercises incorporated in FF30X will make sure that your workouts never become boring and that you are continually targeting all of the major muscle groups.

Start Your Fitness Journey Today

If you are ready to get in the best shape of your life, you have to try these full-body exercises.

Then, you can try the other high-level workouts offered by the Fit Father Project.

Visit their site now to read the number of testimonials from thousands of men that they have already helped achieve their fitness goals.

And then add your name to that list as you begin on your own fitness journey.

Your new friend & Coach,

Holly Smith

Holly Smith M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on full-body exercises.

References:

1)Schoenfeld, B. J., Ratamess, N. A., Peterson, M. D., Contreras, B., & Tiryaki-Sonmez, G. (2015). Influence of resistance training frequency on muscular adaptations in well-trained men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29(7), 1821-1829.

2) Zaroni, R. S., Brigatto, F. A., Schoenfeld, B. J., Braz, T. V., Benvenutti, J. C., Germano, M. D., … & Lopes, C. R. (2019). High resistance-training frequency enhances muscle thickness in resistance-trained men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 33, S140-S151.

3) Dankel, S. J., Mattocks, K. T., Jessee, M. B., Buckner, S. L., Mouser, J. G., Counts, B. R., … & Loenneke, J. P. (2017). Frequency: the overlooked resistance training variable for inducing muscle hypertrophy?. Sports Medicine, 47(5), 799-805.

4) Grøntved, A., Rimm, E. B., Willett, W. C., Andersen, L. B., & Hu, F. B. (2012). A prospective study of weight training and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in men. Archives of internal medicine, 172(17), 1306-1312.

5) Ross, R., Dagnone, D., Jones, P. J., Smith, H., Paddags, A., Hudson, R., & Janssen, I. (2000). Reduction in obesity and related comorbid conditions after diet-induced weight loss or exercise-induced weight loss in men: a randomized, controlled trial. Annals of internal medicine, 133(2), 92-103.

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