Between the time and monetary costs, it can be hard to get good full body workouts sometimes. Sure there are some more affordable gyms springing up here, and there, which are basically the same as the more expensive ones but without pools and steam rooms. Come on though, who has time to go to the gym every day? And while we’re at it, who has the money to buy all the necessary equipment to get decent full body workouts in at home? For those of you who ask this question, here are some ideas for workouts you can do at home with minimum equipment. Combo them for a full body workout that you can use whether you miss a gym day or just need something to live by at home because the gym is the bane of your existence (like myself).
Here’s the trouble with doing only bodyweight exercises: like with any other weight training, you get accustomed to your own body weight. That said, they’re good for early training, keeping warmed up, and supplementing your workout. What’s more, you can do numerous exercises no matter where you are. Here are a few exercises you can do using just your body weight. However, if you have a hardwood floor, I recommend using a yoga mat.
100 OG crunches, 60 sit-ups, 100 bicycle reps, 100 side crunches (50 on the left, 50 on the right, repeat) – these are a must for full body workouts. Unlike other workouts that use bodyweight, these ab exercises are something that you can and should stick to, even when you advance to strict weights – every day if you’ve got the guts (pun intended). Make sure your shoulder blades leave the ground completely. I like to do at least one of these per day, and 3-4 on leg day… when I’m feeling motivated.
You can add this part of the full body workouts to the previously mentioned ab exercises. Though I felt it should have its own category as it can be a bit more complicated than the others. Hold your body up with your elbows and toes. At first, just hold for 40 seconds, and add 10 seconds every time you do it.
Simple yet effective, and a great way to warm up before using weights, or preparing yourself before making the step.
Here’s another one that’s great for working up to weighted tricep exercises as well as supplementing your tricep workout. Just sit on a surface with your legs straightened out and slide down so that your body is off the surface but still being supported by your hands behind your back. Then, keeping your legs straight, lower your body until your arms are bending at a 90-degree angle. If you want to up the ante, you can get a weight belt, or perhaps a dip station, both of which are relatively reasonably priced.
I’ll assume you know the drill with this part of the full body workouts. Just make sure your feet are shoulder-distance apart, and for gods’ sake lift with your legs! If you’re just getting back into the swing of things, start slow – maybe 3 sets of 15 or so. Squats can really add up after a while, especially on fresh legs.
Doorway pull-up bar
A must for full body workouts at home; a pull-up bar that you can simply jam into a doorway is a great and inexpensive way to quickly get those upper-body sections of the full body workouts. If it’s in the door-jam style, as opposed to the version which is just installed on the door-frame, you can pop the bar out and use the bar for push-ups as well, which is perfect if you want to add a weight belt to your push-up regimen.
Definitely one of the best, and arguably one of the most difficult back and bicep workouts there is. You’re only going to be able to start with a few. Maybe 3 sets of 3-5 reps each. Increase one rep per week.
These are a lot easier than pull-ups, but don’t go thinking it’s the same workout. Pull-ups use more muscles and have a heavier focus on the back, whereas chin-ups put more resistance against your biceps. Try to get as close to twice as many pull-ups as you can do as possible.
When it comes to weight-training, you can’t get around using dumbbells whether you’re at home or the gym. They are so versatile, so affordable, and so compact. With some kind of elevated bench, or maybe just a couch ottoman or a yoga mat, you can pretty much do anything.
Bench press: the backbone of pectoral workouts. There’s a bit more freedom if you have some kind of elevated bench or ottoman or something, though if you do them on the floor or on a yoga mat you can decrease strain on your muscles.
An important part of full body workouts, this is where the “feet shoulder-length apart” is important, or you could throw yourself back on your ass. This technique isn’t quite as secure as a squat station, so you’ll want to take it slow. As such, start off with low weight and lower yourself slowly.
Basically works the same muscles as squats, however, it is invaluable to full body workouts because of its focus on glutes and hammies – whereas squats focus on quads.
A great way to work those back muscles out. For this part of the full body workouts, it helps to have an elevated surface, but it’s not necessary. If you dint have one, you can always hold a squat position with your back extended.
For this part of the full body exercises (tricep and shoulders to be exact) simply raise a pair of weights to shoulder height while keeping your arms as straight as possible. Heads up though, this one can be a little tricky. If you push yourself too hard you can really screw up your shoulders, so keep the weight super light. Don’t worry, after 3 sets of 10 or 12 you’ll feel the burn even with minuscule weights.
Here’s a killer exercise for the full body workouts (as the name suggests): skull crushers! There are few better ways to turn your triceps into noodles. Whilst lying down on your back, get a solid grip on your dumbbell with both hands and lower it behind your head. That said, they’re called skull crushers for a reason so be careful, start with low weight, get a strong grip, and don’t push yourself too hard on it.