7 Best Full Body Workouts for Maximum Results (Get Fit Fast)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: August 18, 2023
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Full-body workouts are an excellent method to train every major muscle group. You can build the foundation of your lean muscle mass by exercising three times a week.

As a certified fitness trainer, I've used these full-body exercises to help my clients obtain their fitness objectives.

In this article, I will explain the best full-body exercises and schedules and the benefits of exercising your entire body.

Quick Summary

  • The best full-body workout should contain compound exercises that involve multi-joint movements to attain a full range of motion.
  • Performing full-body exercises three times a week will help you to recover properly between training sessions.
  • The three-day full-body exercise contains key muscle-building principles. It becomes more difficult as you improve. Therefore, you must constantly increase your effort.

The Best Full Body Exercises

man doing bench press for his full body workout

1. Bench Press

The barbell bench press is a well-known exercise in the weightlifting community.

"The bench press is a full-body exercise despite focusing on certain muscles. The bench press may help you increase overall strength to prepare for other workouts while also making you feel like a super powerful badass."

- Antonia Henry, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

When you bench press, you train your pectoralis major (chest). The triceps and shoulders are other muscles that help move the weight during a bench press.

How to perform:

  1. Lie on a bench with your hands slightly outside, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Set your shoulder blades by squeezing and pressing them into the bench.
  3. Breathe deeply and let your spotter assist you with the lift-off to keep your upper back taut.
  4. Allow the weight to settle, and keep your upper back tight after lifting off.
  5. Inhale and slowly lower the bar by freeing the elbows.
  6. Straighten the bar to the base of your sternum (breastbone) and contact the chest.
  7. Press yourself to the bench, push your legs into the ground for leg drive, and extend your elbows to bring the bar up to the starting position in a straight line.
  8. Repeat for reps.

2. Overhead Press

Lifting barbell doing overhead press for a full body workout

The overhead press is a complex exercise that works the entire body. Your shoulders and arms lift the weight over your head while your lower body (feet, lower back) and abs keep you balanced.

The overhead press is among the greatest workouts for developing strong, muscular shoulders and larger arms.

Overhead press with a tight grip to avoid shoulder soreness and elbow flare [1]. Then, at the top, shrug your shoulders.

Lock the elbows and shrug the shoulders towards the roof as you press the bar above your head. This engages the traps and keeps your shoulders from impinging.

How to perform:

  1. Stand with the barbell on your front shoulders and both hands close to your shoulders.
  2. Press the barbell over your head until it is balanced over your upper body and midfoot.
  3. Lock your elbows at the peak and shrug your shoulders to the roof.
  4. Hold the barbell at the top for a second. Then return it to the front of your shoulders. Keep your legs straight, and do not use them.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

3. Back Squat

A barbell squat, or barbell back squat, is a complex exercise that works for muscular groups in your lower body, such as your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

How to perform: 

  1. Employ an overhand grip to hold a barbell over your upper back; avoid placing it on the neck.
  2. Hug the barbell into the traps to activate the upper back muscles.
  3. Squat down carefully with the bar's weight - head up, buns out, and back straight.
  4. Lower yourself until the knees and hips are aligned, with your legs at 90 degrees - a deeper squat will be beneficial, but work on your strength and flexibility first.
  5. Press your heels into the ground to thrust yourself back up explosively. Maintain your form until you can stand up straight.
  6. Repeat until you've completed the required amount of reps.

4. Bent-over Row

Doing bent-over row exercises

The bent-over row is a back-day fundamental exercise and is among the greatest muscle-developing back exercises available.

The bent-over row is a muscle-building exercise that targets the back, biceps, and core muscles.

The bent-over row is commonly used to train and strengthen the upper back muscles (rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius).

A bent-over row, however, requires the support of muscles in the arm, low back, and core to be performed correctly.

How to perform:

  1. Take an overhand hold on a barbell, hands slightly broader than shoulder-width apart.
  2. With the knees bent slightly, maintain your back straight and bend your upper body perpendicular to the floor.
  3. In this posture, row the barbell upwards into the lower part of the chest.
  4. Pause and return to the starting position under control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

5. Pull-up

The pull-up is a foundational exercise in many functional strength-training regimens because it is an efficient approach to increasing general pulling power, building your upper body, and enhancing your back muscles.

It's a closed-chain movement that works your trapezius, latissimus dorsi, core, deltoids, rhomboids, forearms, biceps, and triceps.

How to perform:

  1. Stand on a bench or a block immediately below the bar.
  2. Grab the bar with both hands shoulder-width apart and an overhand grip (wrists pronated, palms facing away from you).
  3. Allow your legs to come off the bench or block, and hang your body gently. Arms should be completely extended in this dead hang position.
  4. Squeeze your glutes and stretch your quadriceps to engage the core and create full-body tension.
  5. Depress your lats (bringing your shoulder blades downward) to begin the pull, and then start pulling upward to get the chin over the bar.
  6. Squeeze your lats together to finish the pull.
  7. Maintain full-body tension as you slowly stretch both arms to return to a complete hang posture.
  8. Repeat for reps.

Best Full Body Workout Schedule

Struggling to do barbell squats

You may raise the intensity of a workout by adding extra weights to your comfort level.

Here is an example 3-day full-body exercise routine:

  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout C
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Full Body Workout A

Incline bench press indoors
  • 3 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions of the bench press
  • 3 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of lat pulldown
  • 3 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions of squats
  • 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of the leg curl
  • 2 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions of dumbbell shoulder press
  • 2 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the incline curl
  • 2 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the triceps push down

Full Body Workout B

  • 3 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of incline dumbbell press
  • 3 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the seated cable row
  • 3 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the leg press
  • 3 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the Romanian deadlift
  • 2 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions of lateral raise
  • 2 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the dumbbell hammer curl
  • 2 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the overhead triceps extension

Full Body Workout C

Dumbbell bent over rows illustration
  • 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions of the cable crossover
  • 3 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions of dumbbell row
  • 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions of leg extension
  • 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions of the leg curl
  • 2 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of bent-over lateral raise
  • 2 sets of 10 to 14 repetitions of the preacher curl
  • 2 sets of 20 to 15 repetitions of lying triceps extension

Benefits of Full Body Workout

Lifting EZ curl bar for back workouts

1. More Calories Burned in Less Time

When you do a full-body workout session instead of just an arm or shoulder day, you burn many calories in a given session.

Compound exercises that include several major muscle groups, such as bodyweight squats and lunges, take more energy to coordinate motion, move heavier training loads, and give oxygen to active muscles than single-joint workouts that only use one or two small muscle groups [2].

2. Increase Muscle Mass

Although isolation training is beneficial to muscle hypertrophy, it is not for everybody.

"Overzealous isolation workout one day per week is insufficient for most people to observe muscle growth changes."

- Tony Gentilcore, Strength Coach & Co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance

With full-body training, you target any particular muscles 2-3 times per week for enhanced muscle growth (assuming proper loads and recovery) [3].

3. Increase Workout Efficiency

Man with great muscles doing chest exercises

By focusing on multi-joint exercises that train your complete body, you may stimulate the same muscles with a single activity (think: back squats) rather than numerous exercise machines (such as leg curls, hip extensions, and leg extensions).

Furthermore, unlike single-joint workouts, squats need your core to stabilize your body underweight by supporting a bar.

4. Have More Flexibility

Imagine working out whenever and wherever you want without disrupting your entire schedule.

That is precisely what full-body exercise enables.

Exercising the whole body as one integrated unit may activate the same muscles in one session that would otherwise need a couple of isolation-based workouts.

5. Increase Strength

Doing overhead press

To grow stronger, you must execute activities that allow you to employ the greatest weight [4].

Compound workouts, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, are full-body motions that need a high full-body effort.

Including these exercises in your full-body workout routine will challenge your body to consistently — and effectively — increase strength.


What Is the Big 5 Full Body Workout?

The big 5 full body workouts are bench presses, squats, overhead presses, deadlifts, and pull-ups.

Are Full Body Workouts More Effective?

Yes, full-body workouts are more effective as they yield a higher total energy consumption per session.

Can I Train Full Body every day?

No. You cannot train your full body every day. Because this is more difficult training than normal, the muscles need 2 to 3 days to recuperate from the tension.

Supplementing Your Full Body Workout

Full-body exercises at the gym may be an excellent method to increase strength, burn fat, and engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Although many full-body exercises are more challenging than standard weightlifting methods, starting slowly and with lighter weights is the best approach to perfect your form, enhance your technique, and prevent injury.

To optimize your full-body workout, you require significant energy, concentration, and a pump, which you can obtain from our best pre-workout supplements.

Upon testing the products, we found that they boost athletic performance, and we could complete our sets and repetitions without muscle fatigue.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9354811/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8390726_
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8372753/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950543/
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