7 Best Total Body Workouts

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Last updated on September 5, 2022

Total body workouts can be done in the gym or at home, so you do not need fitness equipment to achieve your fitness goals. we have given you the 7 best total body workouts which can be done anywhere.

What is a total body workout ?

The 2 most popular workout routines and the full body workout and the split workout and they can be done at home or the gym. Let’s explain how they are different.


A total body workout includes exercises that trains all muscle groups in each workout session. Whereas split workouts only include exercises that train specific muscles groups each workout.


Is a full body workout good for beginners ?

A University study published compared strength training undertaken by beginners doing split workouts and full body workouts over a 8 week period. The research confirmed both achieved significant body fat loss and strength gains, and strength tests performed finding no significant difference between the two workout routines.


A full body workout is good for beginners as they can achieve significant fat loss and strength gains. Research has confirmed there is no significant difference from doing split workouts.


Are full body workouts good for weight loss ?


A study published in the US National Library of Medicine confirmed participants that did        total body workouts lost more body fat to those doing split workouts (training a specific muscle group) 3 times a week.


Full body workouts are good for weight loss as achieve more fat loss compared to split training. This can be achieved by doing full body workouts 3 times a week.


Are full body workouts effective for mass ?


A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning compared total body workouts and split workouts impact on strength and muscle growth in men over a 10 week period. The study confirmed that total body workouts are optimal for strength gains whereas split training is optimal for muscle growth.


Both full body workouts and split workouts can achieve muscle mass gains.  However, research has confirmed full body workouts are more effective for strength gains, whereas split training is more effective for muscle mass growth.   


Which exercise is best for full body ?

Full body exercises workout as many muscles groups as possible in a single workout session rather than target a specific muscle group. However, there is no individual exercise that will workout all muscle groups and therefore a number of exercises have to be completed for a whole body workout.

The following 7 exercises are best for a full body workout:

  1. Lunges
  2. Burpees
  3. Squats
  4. Push ups
  5. Jumping jack
  6. Plank
  7. High knees


7 Total Body Workouts

1. Lunges

Lunges are a great lower body exercise that works out multiple muscles. This exercise engages the glutes, calves, quads and hamstrings.


How to do it:

  1. In a standing position have your feet apart aligned with your hips.
  2. Using one leg step forward while keeping your other leg in the same position. Your knees should reach about 90 degrees.
  3. Your upper body should remain upright.
  4. Return to the starting posting by pushing off the front leg.

2. Burpee

The burpee is a another great exercise which works muscles in both the upper and lower body. It egages the muscles in the glutes, shoulders, abs, hips, legs, chest and arm.


How to do it:

  1. Start in a lowered position with arms in front of you.
  2. Placed your hands on the floor in front of you.
  3. With your hands supporting your weight push your feet back so that you are on your toes.
  4. You are in a push up pose and you need do one push up.
  5. Jump back to the starting position.
  6. Jump into the air with your arms over your head.
  7. As your come back down return back to the starting position. This is one round completed.

3. Squats

You can literally perform the body weight squat anytime and anywhere. Doing squats helps strengthen the muscles of the lower body including the important muscles of the quadriceps. Weight loss is also achieved with the heart rate elevation resulting in fat-burning.


How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with legs shoulder width apart
  2. Fix your eyes forward as you contract your lower abs
  3. Feet should be flat on the floor as you bend slowly at the knees and lower your hips
  4. Pause for a second and return strongly to the original position
  5. Repeat the exercise, this time doing it strongly as you lower down the hips

4. Push Ups

The push up another great exercise which engages a number of muscle groups. This includes the chest, shoulders, arms, bas and back.


How to do it:

  1. Get on the ground on all fours.
  2. Straighten arms, with a slight bend, to support your weight which should be shoulder width apart.
  3. Straighten your legs so that they are supported with your toes.
  4. Your body should be at a 90 degree angle for your starting position.
  5. Lower your body down using your arms until they are at a 90 degree angle and inhale as your do this.
  6. Push back up to the starting position and exhale as you do. This is one rep.

5. Jumping Jacks

The jumping jacks are a straightforward exercise that can be down anywhere and works a number of muscle groups including the quads, shoulders, glutei and calves.


How to do it:

  1. Begin in a standing position, legs together and arms on the side.
  2. As you jump spread your legs wide and you should land on your feet which should be wider than your hips. Simultaneously swing your arms overhead until they are straight
  3. Then jump again back to the starting position. this is one rep.

6. Plank

The plank is another exercise which works out a lot of muscles. The exercise engages your leg muscles, including your glutes, and upper body muscles including your shoulders, triceps.


How to do it:

  1. Start in push up position. Legs straight with weight support by the toes and back straight.
  2. Support your weight with your elbows. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle and shoulder width apart.
  3. Engage your core while keeping your other muscles relaxed.
  4. Hold the position for as long as you comfortably can while maintaining normal breathing.

7. High Knees

The high knees activates the glutes, hips, quads, calves and hamstrings making a great total body exercise. It also can be done anywhere making a great addition to a home workout routine.


How to do it:

  1. Standing with your feet aligned with your hips. Lift your right knee towards your chest.
  2. Repeat with your left knee and do as a running motion and speed.

The Important of Nutrition

Although you can do different exercises in order to lose weight, the truth is that you cannot eat what you want to achieve your goals. All that cardio and strength training is good and healthy, but if you want it to be effective to lose fat you have to watch your nutrition.

To lose weight you need to enter a caloric deficit diet. Exercising will burn calories, but if you eat junk food afterward you will negate all that or, even worst, intake even more calories. Therefore make sure you have your food under control.

Keep your protein intake high. This can be done through real foods such as eggs, tuna and chicken breasts or by supplementing with whey protein shakes, protein bars and other quality supplements. This will help you maintain or even grow lean muscle mass, which will burn even more fat. As for the carbs and fats, you can choose to reduce the amount of one of those two macros. As long as you see a gradual weight loss you are good. To summarise, even the best weight loss workout tips are useless if you don’t pair them with quality diet plans that you can follow in the long run.

You May Also Like: Fat Burning Treadmill Interval Workouts 


Full body workouts are great for weight loss and strength training. Do these workouts and you will see noticeable different in a short period of time.

Steve Theunissen has qualified from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. He has over 30 years experience in fitness and nutrition and currently working with famous fitness professionals. He is currently living in New Zealand with is wife and daughter.

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