What is a total body workout?

Research shows that building muscle mass requires muscle regeneration and repair after the damaging exercises using bodyweight or lifting weights (1).

There are many types of workout structures; one of them is called total-body workouts, which is very common among athletes, especially Olympic weightlifters.

Total-body workouts consist of performing exercises that work for all major muscle groups.

It can be done by one to two exercises for each major muscle group or several exercises that stress most major muscle groups.

Full body workout benefits

Time efficiency

Using full-body workout programs will guarantee that you spend less time, especially if you are time-crunched.

Increased Muscular Recovery

The second benefit of full-body workouts is that the muscular recovery rate will increase from session to session.

Allowance for Additional Leisure Activities

Third, since full-body workouts only require two to three times a week, then you will have much more time for other leisure activities instead of being stacked to training.

Ideal for Home Workouts

Full-body workouts are a really good option if you are only limited to do home workouts.

How to do a full-body workout?

It is better to do about a sum of 15 to 40 sets per workout session, which means 3–6 sets per exercise or 1–2 exercises per muscle group for about 3 sessions per week.

Of course, you should have a recovery session between every two training sessions.

For those who are time-pressed, a study (2) showed that marked increases in strength could be attained with just three sessions per week 13 minutes each allowing the ability to get stronger in an efficient manner.

Another study (3) investigated the effects of full-body resistance training programs suggesting that even 1 day week− 1 may be as effective as 3 days week.

The order of exercises within a workout significantly affects acute lifting performance and subsequent changes in strength during resistance training. For that reason, you should prioritize exercises, that best address individual needs and do those training objectives first (4)

Some guidelines:

1. Start with large muscle exercises before smaller muscle exercises.

2. Multiple-joint exercise before single-joint exercises.

3. During power, sessions start from the most to least complex should be performed before simple strength exercises, for example, start with the snatch and related lifts cleans, and presses.

4. Train with agonist-antagonist relationship exercises can be employed. This strategy allows muscles to rest while you train the opposing muscles, and it is beneficial for maintaining high training intensities.

Full body workout with two people training outside

Best full-body workout

1. BB Bench Presses

1. Lie on a flat bench and start by holding a barbell above your chest with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.

2. Slowly lower the barbell to the middle of your chest and then press the barbell back up to the

same start position until your arms are straight.

2. Cable Cross

1. Stand upright holding the handles with your arms straight and extended out to the side at shoulder height, palms facing away from the body.

2. Pull the handles together, hands crossover in the middle, in front of your chest. Try to keep your arms straight throughout or use a slight bend at the elbows.

3. Extend arms returning to starting position.

3. Dumbbell concentration curls

1. Sit on the end of a flat bench with your legs spread apart in a V-shape.

2. Rest your elbow on the inside of your thigh, letting the dumbbell hang, while your other hand rests on the upper thigh of the other leg.

3. Slowly curl the weight up towards your shoulder using just your bicep.

4. Scott curl

1. Kneel on the floor with your chest supported by a preacher bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing up, and arms resting on the pad.

2. Raise one dumbbell to shoulder level, while leaving the other to starting position.

3. Alternate. Both dumbbells should be moving at the same time but in opposite directions

5. Lat pulldown

1. Grasp the bar using a shoulder-width grip with your arms extended straight overhead.

2. Pull the bar down in front to the top of your chest, bending at the elbows.

3. Straighten your arms fully, returning the bar to the top position.

6. Hack squats, lying on the machine, 50° knee angle

1. Place the back of your torso against the back pad of the machine. Position your legs on the platform.

5. Begin to slowly lower the unit by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up (back on the pad at all times). Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 50-degrees and inhale as you perform.

6. Begin to raise the unit as you exhale by pushing the floor and go back to the starting position.

7. DB Kickbacks

1) Place your left knee on a flat bench with your left hand resting at the edge of the bench for balance.

2) Start with the dumbbell hanging in your right hand, with your elbow lined up at shoulder height close to the side of your body.

3) Press the weight back until your arm is straight and parallel to the ground.

8. EZ-bar triceps extensions

1) Start by pressing up the barbell with your grip less than 12 inches apart.

2) Slowly lower the barbell towards your head, pause, and raise the barbell again.

9. BB Military Press

1. Start by holding a barbell near your upper chest, in a slightly wider than shoulder-width overhand grip.

2. Press the bar overhead until your arms are extended, pause, return to start position and repeat.

10. DB Lateral raise

1) Stand and bend forward slightly with your knees bent too.

2) With dumbbells in both hands and elbows bent, raise upper arms to sides until elbows are at shoulder height.

11. Reverse fly

1. Sit at a reverse position in a machine, chest against the backrest. Both hands holding the handles, elbows slightly bent.

2. Move your arms outward and backward in a reverse fly motion until your elbows go just past your back. Pause.

3. Slowly return to starting position.

12. Seated calf raise

1. Lift the lever slightly by pushing your heels up and release the safety bar. This will be your starting position.

2. Slowly lower your heels by bending at the ankles until the calves are fully stretched. Inhale as you perform this movement.

3. Raise the heels by extending the ankles as high as possible as you contract the calves and breathe out. Hold the top contraction for a second.

Full body workout you can do at the comfort of you home

13. Body Weight Squat

1. Keep your chest up and back held in a neutral position or with a slight arch.

2. Prevent yourself collapsing forward as you perform a squat.

3. Make sure your toes, knees, and hips are all in line as you squat back.

14. Diamond Push Up

1. Support your body on your toes and hands. Feet together and hands in a diamond-shaped placed under your chest.

2. Push up to a straight arm position, keeping your back flat and the diamond position of your hands.

15. Bench Dip

1. When performing dip on the bench, keep your elbows pointing straight behind you.

2. Keep your body as close to the bench as possible as you dip down.

16. T Push Up

1. Lie on the floor face down and your feet shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

2. Lower yourself downward until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale.

3. As you push your body up, raise one arm while rotating your body to the side and your feet to roll over to the side.

17. Body Weight Turkish Get Up

1. Lie on the floor with your arm straight up over your chest, and one leg bent at the hip and knee.

2. Thrust the bent leg forward, raising your upper body off the floor, and coming up into a seated position, then come up onto one knee with your arm straight.

3. Stand upright with your arm fully extended overhead.

4. Reverse the steps to lower back down to the start position.

18. Is Ys and Ts

1. The “I” position is the most challenging, as you lift your arms straight up overhead.

2. The “Y” is out at 45 degrees, again put your shoulder blades down.

3. “T” is at 90 degrees shoulder blades down.

4. Lie down forward and set your shoulder blades and lift your arms above the ground.

5. Pick the one that is suited for you and your capacity to hold your shoulder blades in place.

19. Glute Bridge

1. For this exercise, lie on your back.

2. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips. Keep your tummy tight throughout.

20 Inchworm Walk

1. Get into a plank position on your hands and toes, with arms straight and core engaged.

2. With very small steps from your ankles and hips, while keeping your knees straight, move your lower body forward. Try to keep your tailbone tipped up to the ceiling as best you can.

3. Once you have gone as far as you can without bending your knees, set your feet in place.

Then start walking your hands out in little steps until you have returned to a plank position.

Working out together with a personal trainer

21. Ab Crunch

1. When performing this exercise, shorten the distance between the top of the pelvis and the bottom of your rib cage while rolling your rib cage up off the mat.

2. Be sure not to strain your neck by moving your head forward.

22. Elbow Plank

1. Lie face down on a mat with elbows resting on the floor next to your chest, palms facing forward or in a fist position, feet together.

2. Push your body off the floor in a pushup position with your body resting on elbows or hands.

3. Contract the abs and keep the body in a straight line from head to toes. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then lower body returning to starting position.

23. Donkey calf raise

1. Bend at the waist and do calf raises.

2. Hold the bottom stretched position for two seconds and hold the top position for at least one second, contracting hard.

BONUS 24. Respiratory Muscle Training

While the above workout has covered all the major muscle groups, a commonly overlooked area in athletic training is the respiratory muscles. The primary muscles of breathing are the diaphragm, the intercostal muscles of the ribs, and various supporting muscles in the trunk and neck.

These muscles are like any other in that they can be trained to increase their strength and endurance. The best way to achieve this is with a resistive device like the Airofit. Think of this as a ‘dumbbell for your lungs’!

This training can improve the ability of these muscles to contract, providing your working muscles with the oxygen needed to perform at your best.


1. MacNeil, LG, Melov, S, Hubbard, AE, Baker, SK, and Tarnopolsky, MA. Eccentric exercise activates novel transcriptional regulation of hypertrophic signaling pathways not affected by hormone changes. PLoS One 5: e10695, 2010.

2. Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Krieger, J., Grgic, J., Delcastillo, K., Belliard, R., & Alto, A.(2019). Resistance training volume enhances muscle hypertrophy but not strength in trained men. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 51 (1), 94.

3. McLester JR, Bishop E, Guilliams ME. Comparison of 1 day and 3 days per week of equal-volume resistance training inexperienced subjects. J Strength Cond Res. 2000;14(3):273–381.

4. Simao, R., De Salles, B. F., Figueiredo, T., Dias, I., & Willardson, J. M. (2012). Exercise order in resistance training. Sports medicine, 42(3), 251-265.