- Exercise & Fitness
Quick Full Body Workout Routines
Full Body Workouts Work, and Fast!
Short, intense workouts can build strength, muscle and even endurance. The key word is intense. Push yourself as hard as you can without sacrificing good form for best results.
There are thousands of ways to twist these workouts to your personal preferences. So if you prefer the barbell squat over the dumbbell squat or kettlebells to dumbbells, substitute at will!
Let's get started!
Every workout starts with the same initial warm-up. Joint rotations. Starting from the neck down, and working through the shoulders, arms, pelvis, hips, legs and ankles, this is a gentle way to “lubricate” the joints and get them ready for action.
What is your Fitness Goal?
Choose one of these short gym workout routines and home workout routines to:
- Burn fat
- Build muscle
- Increase muscular endurance
- Increase power
- Improve cardiovascular endurance.
These workouts are just a guideline, so be sure to adjust them to your personal fitness level. Learn where “good” pain is though, and push past it.
Feel free to mix these workouts up or substitute your favorite exercises when it makes sense.
After the joint rotations, start into your chosen workout, performing the first set (or two if necessary,) at a slow, methodical cadence.
This means moving at about half the speed you normally would, not in slow motion
Quick Muscle Building Workout
with Free Weights (Dumbbells or Barbells:)
*Beginners perform two rounds of each exercise cluster.
No rest between exercises, 30-45 seconds between clusters.
For intermediate level, 3 rounds are suggested.
Advanced: 4 or more as needed,
**Note** Each cluster (including the warm-up,) counts as one quick full body workout.
- Stiff Legged Deadlift: 10-12 repetitions +
- Dumbbells Squats: 12-15 repetitions +
- Standing Dumbbell Press: 8-10 repetitions
- (w/dumbbells) Renegade Rows: 8-12 repetitions *Optional: Do crawling renegade rows, setting dumbbell ahead of you with each rep.)
- (w/barbell) Bent-Over Rows: 8-12 repetitions
- Overhead Lunges (*optional: walking lunges): 10-15 repetitions. Arms are locked straight overhead during exercise, requiring attentive core stabilization.
- Piston Press (*Optional: Perform while holding bridge): 10-12 repetitions. This exercise can be performed on a bench or the floor. To execute, perform like a dumbbell bench press, but alternating arms; right-left, right-left, etc.
*Keep the weight moving, stopping just before locking out the joints. Not too fast, about 2 seconds up and 2 down.
Quick Muscle Building Bodyweight Workout
Basic Pushup: 12-25 repetitions (*Optional: If this is too easy, hold your body in the bottom position for 5 seconds on each repetition.)
Basic Pullup (*Optional: If you cannot do a pull-up, do stutter/partial reps as high as you can, or do active dead hangs by engaging the shoulders.) 6-12 repetitions.
*A full repetiion is with the chin over the bar and then extending the arms completely in the hanging position.
If you can do 12-15 easily, extend the eccentric (downward) motion over 3-5 seconds or pause in mid-rep for 3-5 seconds.(Or add weight.)
Swing Bounce w/ Bodyweight Squats: 15-20 repetitions. To execute this movement, swing the arms forward while squatting half way down, then bouncing up and repeating as the arms swing backwards.
This is a quick movment. On the 5th swing, perform a full squat.
Repeat 15-20 times.
Lateral Squats: Lunge to one side until the thigh is parallel to the floor, press back to center and repeat on the other side. This is one repetition. Do 10-15 repetitions.
Divebomber Pushups: 10-15 repetitions
Scorpion Pushups: 5-15 repetitions
Hip Bridge Hold (*Optional: Do a neck bridge hold:) 20-30 seconds
Slow Motion Lunge: (*Execute this move by lowering into the lunge position over 5 seconds and pressing back up at regular cadence.) 12-15 repetitions.
Elephant Walk (*Optional: Move arms out to sides and hold "Iron Cross Plank" for 3-5 seconds before coming back up.) 5-10 repetitions.
Quick Muscular Endurance/Cardio Workout
With Free Weights: (Dumbbells or a barbell)
Choose a cluster and repeat as many times as possible in 10 minutes.
- Clean: x6 Clean the weights from the floor to the chest.
- Alternating Standing Press or Military Standing Press: x6
- Back or Front Squat: x8
• **Beginners may stop here, repeating the cluster until time elapses. Intermediate and Advanced continue with:
- Bent Over Rows: x12
- Hang Snatch: x6
Record your results so you can compare with your next workout!
Quad Hop Demonstration
After JR warm up, do 4-5 rounds (not including warm-up round) of the following.
*Rest no more than 10 seconds between exercises and no more than 30 seconds between rounds.
- Quad Hops/Extended Quad Hops: 30 seconds
- Bodyweight Squats (arms in front/behind head or staight overhead): 20 reps or 30 seconds
- Shoulder Pike Press: 10 reps or 30 seconds
- Assisted Side Elbow Plank w/ Leg Lift: 10-20 reps each side: Assisted means the bottom leg is bent and supporting the body on the floor. It is not resting though, and must remain rigid.
(*Advanced do full side elbow plank with both legs extended. Then lift top leg)
- Front Elbow Plank: 10-30 seconds
*If this is too easy, keep walking your hands out in front of you until the resistance is enough to limit you to 30 seconds.
- Mountain Climbers: 30-60 seconds.
Pay Attention to Exercise Form
As any coach will tell you, “form is king!” Proper and consistent exercise form is vital to getting the most out of your workout and preventing injury.
This is even more true when doing short workouts, where people have a tendency to try to rush through things. Remember, “form over speed!”
In most cases, you can check you form by doing a gut check. If the exercise is a pushup, for example, is your stomach tight, are the glutes activated?
If you are doing a squat or lunge, make sure the transverse abdominis is engaged by tightening from below your belly button. At the same time, these lower body exercises demand an erect posture, not a rounded back or hunched shoulders.
Get started today and keep pushing yourself to improve!
*Disclaimer: The author is not a medical professional or certified personal trainer! Use these programs at your own risk, because they will be strenuous!