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The Anatomy of a Complete Full Body Workout

When doing resistance training, the most common type of workout that people will do is a full body workout. A full body workout is great for people of all fitness levels as well as for people who may only be able to resistance train 2-3 times per week. What can be intimidating though is picking the right exercises to make sure you work all of the major muscle groups of the body. To make it easy, here are the major muscle groups that should be worked in each full body workout:

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Deltoids
  • Legs (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes)
  • Arms (Biceps, Triceps)
  • Abdominals

Now that we have what muscle groups need to be worked, how many exercises should be done? Full Body Circuits should comprise of 8-12 exercises done consecutively to ensure that you are working each muscle group sufficiently. You will also want to aim to do 12-15 reps per exercise and 3 sets with a 1-2 minute rest after the completion of each set. Here is what a Full Body Circuit could look like:

Barbell Bench Press (Chest)
Bent Over Barbell Rows (Back)
Barbell Back Squats (Legs)
Deadlifts (Legs/Lower Back)
Dumbbell Lunges (Legs)
Dumbbell Overhead Press (Deltoids)
Dips (Triceps)
Dumbbell Bicep Curls (Biceps)
Swiss Ball Crunches (Abs)
Swiss Ball Planks (Abs)
Rest 1-2 minutes
Repeat

You may notice that there are multiple exercises for legs but that is on purpose. Since your leg muscles (Quads, Hamstrings and Glutes) are you largest muscle group that burns the most calories, it is best to work them the most. Also, having strong legs and abdominals is a great way to fend off future back problems!

The example above is just one of many different possibilities for a full body workout but I encourage you to explore different exercises to keep your body guessing!