Incorporating techniques into your full-body workout that combines fat-burning cardio with building strength and muscle across your whole body is a great way to stay fit while making your workouts more effective.
Full-body exercises engage a variety of muscle groups within the body instead of just one. While no exercise will target every muscle, these exercises will typically strengthen the upper body, the lower body, and the core.
When done correctly, this standard upper body exercise works on many of the muscles in the body. Targeting the triceps, shoulders, and pectoral muscles, push-ups can strengthen the arms and develop strength in the lower back and core through the engagement of the abdominal muscles.
Many variations on the classic push-up movement vary in difficulty, offering something to suit everyone’s fitness requirements. Push-ups have stood the test of time for a reason. This powerful exercise can be done anywhere, at any time, and without the need for equipment. They are a quick and effective exercise for gaining strength and muscle across the entire body.
The plank jack is a high-intensity exercise that has been gaining popularity over the last few years.
It combines two commonly known exercises: the plank and the jumping jack. Find out more in this Plank Jacks Guide. These two movements, when put together, create a dynamic and powerful variation to the static plank. The plank jack involves holding a plank position on all fours and then moving the feet in and out like a jumping jack while keeping the pelvis and spine aligned.
This is an excellent workout for the muscles and also offers a cardio workout by raising your heart rate. With these benefits, it’s no wonder plank jacks have seen their way into gyms across the globe.
Burpees are a great calorie-burning, strength-building exercise for the whole body. Originally known as “squat thrusts”, they were an integral part of physical fitness in the military, testing strength and agility. By 1946, soldiers were required to perform burpees for one full minute.
Burpees involve quick-flowing movements that combine the plank position with a jump squat, working out the arms, chest, legs, and abdominal muscles. Great for developing strength and endurance, burpees also raise the heart rate, helping to burn fat and speed up the metabolism.
Lunges can help to strengthen and tone your lower body, increase muscle mass, and develop core strength. The up and down movement of your hips when performing lunges engages your abdominal muscles and when done correctly, can also benefit your posture, balance, and stability.
To give your workouts a boost, consider taking supplements to help your performance. For instance, drinking a whey protein shake before working out can help with muscle gain, endurance, and fat loss. Just make sure it’s about an hour before.
Vitamin D is important in maintaining optimal health and fitness and has been shown to improve athletic performance in vitamin D-deficient athletes. Found in dairy products, vitamin D is also absorbed through sunlight, so levels can become low in the darker winter months.
If your diet is not giving you enough vitamin D and exposure to sunlight is limited, then vitamin D supplements are advisable.
Diet and Nutrition
Ensure you consume the right foods to give you the nutrition and energy you need to meet your fitness goals. Introducing certain foods into your meals could help you maximize your workout efforts.
Carbohydrates provide the energy needed to fuel your workout, while protein helps in rebuilding and repairing muscles. Eating the right foods will help you to gain the best results from your workouts.
Ready, set, go! Now you hopefully have the essentials needed to begin your full-body workout!
Image by Scott Webb