It’s bound to happen. I see it time and time again with my clients or the people who workout to stay in shape and healthy. After training every body part once or twice a week over the course of many months or many years, you’re going to get a little bored with your basic exercises and the same ole boring routine. Barbell and dumbbell presses, rows, squats and curls are great, by all means…keep doing them, but at some point, you need something different. New exercises and exercises that challenge your entire body will not only keep your brain stimulated but will also spark additional muscle growth. What you need from time to time is to change it up and challenge yourself. Since I imagine most of you have tried various exercises and probably got totally bored OR just found yourself not having enough time to commit to so many exercises to target the whole body, I decided to share my top 6 favorite full body exercises. Not only will they save you time so you can get on with your day, but they will challenge you in a whole new way! Get ready..Get set..Go!
1. Kettlebell swings:
Straddle kettlebell with feet slightly wider apart than shoulder width. Squat down with arm extended downward between legs and grasp kettlebell handle with overhand grip. Keep abs tight and engaged. Pull kettlebell up off floor, slightly forward, just above height of ankles. Immediately dip down slightly and swing kettlebell back under hips. Quickly swing kettlebell up by raising upper body upright and extending legs. Continue to swing kettlebell back down between legs and up higher on each swing until height just above head can be maintained.
2. Push-ups with knee tucks:
Start in “up” part of push-up, hands directly under shoulders, body straight. Engage core and bend elbows to lower body toward floor. Press back up. Bring left knee to outside of left elbow. Pause for 2 seconds and then return to starting position. Do another push-up, bring right knee to right elbow, and then return to start. That’s 1 repetition.
-To make it easier, just bring knees to the floor.
3. Planks with dumbbell rows:
Get in a plank position with your hands on the dumbbells and your feet about hip-width apart. Dumbbells should be aligned directly under the shoulders. Keep your abs engaged, neck and spine in neutral position and arms almost locked at the elbow.
Contract scapulae together in the upper back to stabilize shoulder girdle. Bend your right elbow and pull the dumbbell towards your rib cage until your elbow is just past your body line. Press the left dumbbell into the floor for balance. Engage core muscles and avoid shifting hips and lower back as much as possible. Lower your right arm and repeat movement on the left side. Performing one motion on each side counts as one repetition.
-Plank from the knees for those without the core or upper body strength to go into the fully extended plank position.
-If you still have trouble maintaining proper form, perform the exercise without dumbbells, using only your hands until you get stronger.
Stand upright with arms to sides. Bend over and squat down. Place hands on floor, slightly wider than shoulder width. While holding upper body in place, kick legs back. Land on forefeet with body in straight, plank position. Keeping upper body in place, pull legs forward under body returning feet in original position. Rise up to original standing posture.
5. Split squats with bicep curls:
Stand about two feet in front of a step or bench, holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing each other. Place the top of your left foot on the bench. Bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can, keeping your shoulders back, your chest up, and your knee behind your toe. Pause, then press through your right heel to return to start. As you return, perform a bicep curl. Return the bicep curl to start position when standing with leg extended. That’s one rep. Complete half of the prescribed reps in the set, then switch legs and finish the rest of the reps.
-Instead of putting foot on bench, keep foot on floor and perform a lunge with bicep curl instead.
-Don’t perform a bicep curl. Just hold weights by side while performing the split squat.
6. Turkish get-ups:
Raise kettlebell over head with right arm. Stand with right arm fully extended vertically supporting kettlebell throughout movement. Extend left arm out out to side. Follow these steps:
-Step back with left leg and kneel down as in downward phase of Overhead Rear Lunge.
-Lean to left side and place left hand on floor, well left of right foot.
-Shift weight onto left arm.
-Pull left leg forward between right leg and left arm.
-Sit with left leg extended outward onto floor and right leg bent upward.
-Extend right leg outward onto floor and gently lie down.
To return to start:
-Pull right shoulder toward hip slightly by contracting lats and obliques (decreases length of lever arm during situp).
-Sit up with assistance of left arm on floor to side.
-Bend right leg so right foot is placed on floor close to hip while leaning on extended left arm.
-Pull left leg back between right leg and left arm and position forefoot and knee on floor behind right foot and left hand.
-Position torso upright.
-Stand up in original position as in upward phase of Overhead Rear Lunge.
Repeat with opposite side.
-Dumbbell can also be used.
-Exercise can also be started lying on floor with kettlebell off to side. Kettlebell can be picked up from floor while lying down with both hands and pressed up with one arm.
-The kettlebell may also be returned to floor with both hands at finish of exercise to protect joints.
Here is your chance to strut your stuff and show everyone, including yourself, what you got! Add one of these exercises, or more, to your workout this upcoming week. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of each exercise. For the Turkish Get-up, perform 3-5 repetitions.
As always, I want to hear how they worked out for you! Comment below or send me an email. Now get out there and get working!