Carving out a lean and healthy physique is a great goal to move towards. That goal requires full body exercises. I remember my first few months of serious workouts, I thought I was doing things right. I did a lot of bench press and plenty of back exercises just about every session. It was all upper body exercises back then. And you know what? I saw some results. But not the results I wanted. It’s important to get all your muscles working — from your legs, all the way up to your shoulders, and everything in between. The exercises listed below will give you plenty of options to mix and match for a full body workout to keep you from getting bored in the gym and get you in peak shape.
What Exercises Build Strength and Muscle for a Full Body Workout?
1. Barbell Bench Press
Grab the bar while lying on the bench with your hand just a little over should-width. Make sure your elbows and upper arms are at a 90-degree angle as you lower the bar to your sternum area. Squeeze your chest as you push the bar back to its starting position. Repeat until your set is complete. Make sure to keep your back flat on the bench and feet flat on the floor to ensure proper form!
2. Incline Dumbbell Press
On an incline bench, pick up and hold the dumbbells in both hands with shoulders pinched out and chest back. As your elbows and dumbbells go down, make sure your upper arms are parallel to the floor before going back up.
3. Barbell Incline Bench Press
This is the same as a regular bench press exercise, just with your back on an incline bench. With your grip even from the center and slightly outside your shoulder width, push the barbell over the top of your chest. Bring the weights down as you inhale, then exhale on the way up. Just be careful to go up with the barbell rather than out in front of you, which is a mistake many people make when working on incline bench for the first time.
4. Dumbbell Flys
Dumbbell flys are an excellent exercise to increase your pectoral size and strength. With the dumbbells right above your chest, touching each other, and facing in as you’re lying on a flat bench, open your arms nice and slow to your sides until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Bring the weights back together and squeeze your chest at the top of your form , bringing the dumbbells together until they are about six inches apart.
— Wolfxblack Fitness (@WOLFXBLACKFIT) May 4, 2017
Position your hands shoulder-width apart or slightly wider on the ground. Come all the way from the top position until your chest touches the ground. This ensures the pecs are fully activated and front deltoid muscles. Make sure to keep your back straight or you’ll ruin your form, resulting in a less effective exercise.
6. Triceps Pushdown
Use an adjustable cable machine to attach a V-bar or a straight bar. Keep your feet together with a slight bend in your knees and back arched. Hold the bar and bring your elbows in front of your hips, then push straight down and breathe out. This is a simple but effective exercise to really strengthen your triceps!
7. Barbell Curl
Make sure your arms are nice and loose. Pick up a barbell using both hands, then bring that barbell up to your chest while keeping your elbows at your sides. Squeeze at the top of your form then come back down. See to it your elbows are not locked out to prevent damaging your joints.
— Xplosive Ape Gym (@XplosiveGym) May 29, 2017
8. Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl
This is a wildly popular dumbbell exercise for big biceps, and for a good reason — it works! Start with a neutral grip on your dumbbells in both hands. Bring the dumbbell up slowly until it’s now in front of your shoulder, turning your wrist all the way in, using one arm at a time. Then slowly lower your arm back to your starting position. Repeat with the other arm and continue alternating arms as needed. The beauty of this arm workout is it does a lot to your biceps by rotating your wrist as you go up with the dumbbells.
9. Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Start standing with the dumbbell behind your head. Keeping your elbow at a fixed point beside your body, stretch your muscle as you extend the dumbbell behind you. Slowly bring the dumbbell back to its starting point, and repeat as needed. You’ll do this exercise one arm at a time, and it’s good to do in a standing position because it works your core at the same time.
10. Concentration Curls
Seated with your elbow pushed on the inside of your thigh, bring the dumbbell up and get enough contraction with your biceps before going down. The bigger the contraction, the bigger your muscles will develop. That’s why you’ll want to go slowly and squeeze at the top and bottom of this exercise. This is another one you’ll do one arm at a time.
11. Bent Over Barbell Row
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure you’ve got your back straight as you’re holding the barbell hanging on both hands. Lower your back slightly, then bring your fists towards your hips to complete the row. The barbell should hover above the ground without touching it, then pick it back up by squeezing your back and pulling the barbell to your chest from a standing bent over position.
12. Seated Cable Rows
Another popular gym exercise, cable rows are a great option to develop a broad back! Sit down on the cable machine and place your feet on the front platform. Make sure your knees are slightly bent and not locked. Lean over while keeping the natural alignment of your back and grasp the handles. Pull the handles back toward your torso while keeping your arms close to your body. Squeeze your back at the top of your form and hold for a second before releasing.
13. V-Bar Pulldown
Attach a V-Bar to the top pulley of a pulldown machine and hold on to the bar with a neutral grip. Make sure to adjust the knee pads so that your legs are firmly locked in place. Pull the bar down to your upper chest while keeping your elbows tucked in and squeeze your back at the top of your form. Hold for a second before releasing to really develop strong delts.
14. Dumbbell Shrugs
Keep your arms nice and straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Squeeze your shoulders together as high as you can a little towards the back in one fluid motion. Pause at the top, get a good squeeze then control it on the way back down. You can do this exercise with hands by your side or slightly in front of you depending on what shoulder muscles you’re interested in affecting.
15. Pull Ups
Grab a bar over your head with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your palms facing away from you. Pull yourself up by keeping your chest up and pulling your shoulder blades downward. Pull until your chin is above the bar and squeeze your back at the top while holding your form. Slowly release down, and repeat as needed.
A crunch should be slow and controlled. Your back never really touches the floor so the isolated area you’ll be working on is your core. Laying down on the ground with both hands at the back of your head, pull your upper body slowly before going back down.
When doing floor crunches, stick your arms up in the air instead of behind the neck to minimize neck strain. pic.twitter.com/tt7nIu7q06
— MMA Fit Coach (@MMAFitCoach) May 21, 2017
17. Dumbbell Side Bend
Stand holding a dumbbell on one side of your body to work the opposite side. Slowly tilt your body to the side where the dumbbell is and make sure the hips don’t move. This exercise will develop your obliques and get them firm and shredded.
Dumbbell side bend exercise pic.twitter.com/Fw8LN6wjnD
— Janie Andreas (@1JanieAndreas) May 23, 2017
18. Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
Lie with your back flat on a bench and your legs extended stretched outside the bench. Raise your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor. Squeeze your core at the top of your form, then inhale slowly and lower your legs back down to the starting position.
Lie down on a mat with your back straight and your legs forming a 90-degree angle with your knees. Your hands behind your head, come up until your elbow is closed on top of your knees. Go back to starting position slowly until your torso is elongated.
20. Cable Crunch
On a pulldown machine, make sure your hands are in front of you with the cable machine itself behind you. Come down until your forearms are touching the ground, then slowly rise back up. Your back should be slightly arched in doing this exercise.
21. One-arm side laterals
With a dumbbell on one side of your body, raise your arms until it forms a 90-degree angle with your body. Your arm that is not going to be worked on should be held at the side of your hips.
Bài tập vai cho nam One Arm Side Laterals giúp vai săn chắc pic.twitter.com/Evt06ZW7nC
— KhoeDep.vn (@KhoeDepvn) May 5, 2017
22. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
On a bench with a completely vertical back, start with both feet firmly placed on the ground and a dumbbell in each hand. Raise both dumbbells up over your shoulders. Extend straight up and then go down until the dumbbells touch your shoulders.
23. Seated Bent-Over Delt Raise
Sitting down on a vertical bench, pick up the dumbbells and lean over at a 45-degree angle. Raise your arms to the side until they’re parallel to the ground, then slowly go back down to starting position. This exercise develops the back of the shoulders.
24. Front Dumbbell Raise
Standing or seated, hold the dumbbells on both hands positioned in front of your hips. Bring the dumbbells up until shoulder-width alternately. This exercise works your anterior deltoids.
25. Reverse Flys
Lie on an incline bench with your body facing towards the bench. With a dumbbell in each hand, starting in a hanging position, raise the weights away from each other while your elbows are slightly bent. Squeeze at the top of your form before returning to a starting position.
26. Barbell Squats
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Rest the bar on your shoulders then lower your body as if to sit on a small chair. Stop the movement when the hip joint is slightly lower than your knees. Keeping your back slightly arched, gradually come up to your starting position. When performing squats, you should always use a weight belt for back support to ensure you don’t hurt yourself.
— BGPT 🏋🏻 (@BenGallagherPT) May 16, 2017
27. Dumbbell Lunges
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step forward in a straight line, dropping your hips down to the ground with each step. Push back up and step back to where you came from with the same leg, and repeat using the other leg. Another variation is to simply pick a set distance and lunge your way to and from that point.
28. Leg Press
Lie down on the machine and face down with your knees slightly below the pad. Curl your legs until the lower legs are perpendicular to the ground, then push back up. This exercise is great for your hamstrings. Make sure to never lock your knees when doing this exercise, or you can risk serious harm!
29. Leg Extensions
When doing this exercise make sure your toes are pointed out. This form ensures you’re targeting the upper quads. Try as many reps as you can with each set. Simply sit at a leg extension machine and make sure you have a solid and secured placement of the machines bar across your leg. Then just extend and release your leg back to the starting position.
30. Barbell Lunges
Executing this exercise is basically how the dumbbell lunge is done, except you’re using a barbell placed in front of your body or on your shoulders. This exercise will work your glutes and quads.
Watch this video about the proper way to do pull-ups:
There’s no way you can complete all these exercises every day. But with careful planning and an organized workout regimen, you can regularly work your way through all of these exercises, bringing out the results you’re looking for. There are no shortcuts in achieving a lean and healthy shredded physique. No pain, no gain!
Do you agree with this list of body workouts to get you in shape? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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