The Complete List of Full-Body Exercises (2023)

The Complete List of Full-Body Exercises (1)

Full-Body Exercises | Full-Body Workouts | Full-Body Dumbbell Workouts | Full-Body Workouts At Home | Bowflex Home Gym | Best Functional Trainers

Traditional workout splits can be effective, but they're also time-consuming. And frankly, many of us don't have time to spend an hour or more in the gym 5-6 days per week to target isolated muscle groups. That's OK, because we're going to introduce you to the complete list of full-body exercises that can help you maximize the training time that you do have and set you on the path toward realizing your fitness goals.

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Start your fitness journey with FUTURE.The Complete List of Full-Body Exercises (2)

Benefits of Full-Body Exercises

Very few exercises can truly claim the title "full-body exercise." Plenty of exercises work multiple muscle groups, but when thinking through what to include in a full-body exercise list, movement planes should also be considered. To avoid getting lost in the weeds, let's keep it simple. Your body has three planes of movement, front to back, left to right, and top to bottom. The exercises on this list don't just engage multiple muscle groups, they also create movement across all three of those planes.

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Full-body exercises have several benefits, including:

  • Combining cardio and strength training into one movement. This is ideal for endurance athletes or athletes who want to see their performance improve.
  • These exercises can be of higher intensity and therefore help your body burn more calories and fat in a shorter period of time.
  • They can be incorporated into any training routine, whether you have the best training equipment, minimal equipment like a dumbbell set, or no equipment at all.
  • A full-body workout can be performed in roughly 30-45 minutes which will save you time in the gym or working out at home.
  • They are easily adjustable or customizable by lowering or raising the difficulty, which is also great for accommodating any injuries.

If you're ready to give full-body exercises a shot, the list below can help challenge your body and push your training to new levels.

The Complete List of Full-Body Exercises


  1. Start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat down and put your hands on the floor in a push-up position.
  3. Kick your legs back either by hopping or stepping until your body is in a straight line.
  4. Perform a push-up, then step your legs forward and lift your hands off the ground to return to a squat.
  5. Extend your legs, pushing off with your toes to jump straight up in the air with your arms overhead. Land back in the starting position with your knees slightly bent.

Benefits: Burpees are a fat burner, strength builder, and cardio exercise all wrapped into one. They are high intensity and will have you huffing and puffing after a set or two.


The Complete List of Full-Body Exercises (3)

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  1. Start in a push-up position. Your arms should be locked out and your body a straight line from head to toe.
  2. Lean forward slightly, moving your shoulders just in front of your hands. Hold this position for the allotted time, keeping your back straight and your core tight.

Benefits: Planks are one of the simplest full-body exercises, but simple does not mean easy. In a plank, you will engage almost every muscle in your body to stabilize and hold the pose. For a tougher challenge, lower yourself onto your elbows and forearms.

Hollow-Body Hold

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended over your head.
  2. Lift your legs, arms, head, and shoulders off the ground by pressing your lower back into the ground and tightening your core.
  3. Hold the pose for the allotted time, keeping your core engaged and your neck neutral.

Benefits: Hollow-body holds are primarily a core exercise, but much like the plank, you'll notice quickly that you have to tighten almost every muscle in your body to hold the pose. If you need to work up to the hollow-body hold, start with v-sits.

Hollow-Body Pull-up

  1. Start with a shoulder-width overhand grip on a pull-up bar.
  2. Pick up your feet and squeeze your legs together. Your legs should be fully extended in front of you like a hollow-body hold.
  3. Pull your chest toward the bar and pause at the top of the movement before returning to the starting position. Keep your legs extended in front of your body throughout the set.

Benefits: Pull-ups are the standard for upper-body strength since the movement requires every muscle in your upper body. However, when you add in the hollow-body hold, your core and leg muscles engage as well, making it a full-body exercise.


  1. Start in a squat position and lean forward until your hands are on the ground.
  2. Slowly lift your feet off the ground until your weight is resting on your hands.
  3. Maintaining your balance, slowly extend your legs until they're straight. Hold the pose.

Benefits: Like the pull-up, handstands are an upper-body dominant exercise. However, handstands also require a constantly engaged core and leg muscle chain to be performed properly. The result is a full-body exercise that will test your balance, strength, and endurance all in one movement.

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  1. Start by holding a weight at your shoulders in the front rack position. Squat down, keeping the weight stabilized.
  2. Press the weight overhead as you simultaneously extend your legs to rise from the squatting position.
  3. Lower the weight back to the front rack position.

Benefits: Thrusters are a very versatile exercise that can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, or any item you can hold in two hands and feel comfortable lifting over your head. Thrusters activate muscles in all major muscle groups while also challenging your cardiovascular system, which means this exercise is a fat incinerator.


The Complete List of Full-Body Exercises (4)

  1. Start in a standing position holding a dumbbell in each hand. Set the dumbbells on the ground and kick your feet back until you're in a push-up position with your hands on the dumbbells.
  2. Perform a push-up by lowering your chest to the ground and pushing back up until your arms are fully extended.
  3. Perform a single-arm row with the dumbbells, one with each arm.
  4. Step your feet back under your torso and lift the weights into the front rack position.
  5. Press the weights overhead as you stand up from the squat position.

Benefits: Simply reading the instructions for man-makers leaves you out of breath! This movement is a combination of a burpee, a renegade row, and a thruster. In some ways it is the ultimate full-body exercise because it engages almost every muscle in your body from your toes to your shoulders.

Turkish Get-Up

  1. Lie on your back with one leg bent. With the same-side hand, hold a weight over your chest with your arm straight.
  2. Keeping the weight up, lift your upper body up to balance on your elbow, then straighten your arm and lift your hips off the ground so you're balancing on your hand and the side of your foot.
  3. Step your other foot back and place your knee on the ground under your hips, lifting your hand off the floor so you're in a half-kneeling position.
  4. With the weight still held straight overhead, straighten both legs and step your back foot forward to end in a standing position with your feet together.
  5. Perform the movement in reverse to return to the starting position.

Benefits: The Turkish get-up is a difficult exercise to master, but the benefits are off the charts. You are training your legs, core, arms, shoulders, back, balance, and cardiovascular system with limited impact on your joints. Since this exercise is so complex, it's recommended that you perform it with just body weight until you get the movement down before trying it with a dumbbell or kettlebell.

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The Complete List of Full-Body Exercises (5)

  1. Start with the weight on the ground in front of you.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and hinge at the hips to pick up the weight.
  3. Engage your glutes as you straighten up, pulling the weight off the floor and up your shins as you return to standing. Keep your arms and back straight throughout the movement.
  4. With control, lower the weight back to the floor to reset for the next rep.

Benefits: Deadlifts work through your hips, abs, and lower back, but the rest of your muscles are engaged throughout the movement, too. When done properly, deadlifts will make you feel strong and help strengthen your stabilizing muscles to improve your performance in the rest of your exercises.

Clean and Press

  1. Start with the weight on the floor in front of your shins.
  2. With your knees slightly bent, grip and lift the weight up your body to the front rack position in one smooth motion.
  3. Press the weight overhead until your legs and arms are fully extended.

Benefits: The clean and press uses all of the major muscle groups from your feet to your shoulders to complete the movement. The first half—from floor to front rack position—targets your legs, core, and hips. The second half of the movement, the overhead press, targets your arms, chest, back, and core.


  1. Start with a barbell on the floor in front of your shins.
  2. Bend your knees and hinge your hips back into a squat and grip the bar with a wide grip, almost as far as the bar will allow.
  3. Keep your back flat and core tight as you stand, lifting the weight up your body in one motion from the floor to your hips.
  4. When the bar reaches your hips, shrug your shoulders and drop into a squat, simultaneously bringing the barbell to an overhead position with your arms fully extended.
  5. Keep the weight stabilized overhead as you straighten your legs into the standing position.

Benefits: The snatch is a dynamic exercise that requires your body's muscle groups to work together to control and balance a weight in motion. When incorporated correctly, the snatch will improve joint mobility, core stabilization, and overall strength. This is an advanced move, so try practicing it with a broom handle, PVC pipe, or empty barbell before you try it with weight. You can also try one of the snatch variations that use a dumbbell or kettlebell rather than a barbell.

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Final Takeaway

There are a lot of benefits to full-body training, from saving time to improving performance by allowing you to do strength training and cardio simultaneously. Not many exercises challenge your full body, so we hope you will give the exercises on our list a try. If full-body training interests you, we encourage you to check out our 6-Week Full-Body Workout Plan to really challenge yourself.

Full-Body Exercises | Full-Body Workouts | Full-Body Dumbbell Workouts | Full-Body Workouts At Home | Bowflex Home Gym | Best Functional Trainers


What should a full body workout include? ›

A full body workout is just what it sounds like: a workout that aims to hit all the major muscle groups in one single session. Popular programs would include exercises for back, legs, chest, shoulders, arms and core.

How many exercises is a full body workout? ›

How Many Exercises Per Workout? As mentioned above you should aim for 15-25 total sets per workout with each exercise being 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. This means you should do around 5 to 8 different exercises during that single workout if you're doing 3 sets of each exercise.

What is the most efficient full body exercise? ›

The most effective exercises to turn to are compound lifts. Squatting and deadlifting as heavy as you safely can will tax the body much more: you'll hit more than one muscle group, give your core a big workout, and burn more energy – the overall benefits of the bigger lifts far outweigh those of isolation exercises.

What are 20 upper body exercises? ›

The 20 Best Upper-Body Exercises of All-Time
  • Overhead Presses. Overhead presses aren't easy, and if you have shoulder mobility issues, this is a move you might want to sit out. ...
  • Trap Bar Deadlifts. ...
  • Pullups and Chinups. ...
  • Bent-Over Barbell Rows. ...
  • Seated Cable Rows. ...
  • Plank Walkouts. ...
  • Hanging Leg Raises. ...
  • Dumbbell Bench Presses.
29 Sept 2019

Does the order of full body workout matter? ›

Well, when you're working out in the gym, order matters too. Plain and simple, the order of your exercise movements is actually one of the defining factors in how effective your workout regimen is, according to strength and conditioning specialist Alena Luciani, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of Training2xl.

Is it OK to do full body workouts everyday? ›

While a full-body workout training split has its advantages, it's best not to do it every day. It's important that your muscles have adequate rest and recovery time to prevent overtraining. So, if you prefer a full-body workout training split, keep it to 2-3 workouts per week for the best results.

Is there 1 exercise that works the whole body? ›

The burpee is the ultimate strength-boosting full-body exercise. Burpees help you scorch fat, rev up your metabolism and get you conditioned like no other exercise.

How long should full body workouts be? ›

A typical full-body workout of 3 sets x 10 reps of 8-10 exercises with 45-60 seconds rest between sets, if performed correctly, should take approximately 45-60 minutes.

Is 8 exercises per workout too much? ›

The ideal number of exercises per workout session is 3-4 exercises. If you select your exercises appropriately and train them with sufficient volume and intensity, this will be more than enough to make great progress. This means: Focusing on an 80/20 split of compound to isolation exercises.

What is the best all round form of exercise? ›


You might call swimming the best workout. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. "Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it's less weight-bearing," explains Dr.

What is the most exhausting exercise? ›

Ironman Triathlon

What are the big 5 lifts? ›

Try these “Big Five” lifts today to kickstart your weightlifting journey:
  • Squats.
  • Deadlifts.
  • Bench press.
  • Barbell row.
  • Overhead barbell press.
27 Jul 2017

What are the 4 most important exercises? ›

Research has shown that it's important to get all four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Each one has different benefits. Doing one kind also can improve your ability to do the others, and variety helps reduce boredom and risk of injury.

What are 21s in exercise? ›

In short, bicep 21s, or just "21s" for short, are biceps curl broken up into three range of motions. You'll do seven partial reps at the bottom half, seven reps at the top half of the movement, then seven reps of the full biceps curl.

What are 7 upper body exercises? ›

7 upper body exercises to do at home
  • Alternating punches. What it's good for: Shoulders, chest and triceps strengthening. ...
  • Side and lateral arm raises. What it's good for: Shoulders, lateral and anterior deltoid. ...
  • Shoulder press. ...
  • Press ups. ...
  • Floor tricep dips. ...
  • Inchworms. ...
  • Plank raise.
29 Apr 2020

What is a good 7 day workout schedule? ›

The 7-Day Workout Schedule
  • Monday: Cardio.
  • Tuesday: Lower body.
  • Wednesday: Upper body and core.
  • Thursday: Active rest and recovery.
  • Friday: Lower body with a focus on glutes.
  • Saturday: Upper body.
  • Sunday: Rest and recovery.
7 Feb 2022

How should I structure my workout? ›

#1. Frequency of Training
  1. Three days: A 3-day full-body workout split is good if you want to be in the gym less frequently.
  2. Four days: An upper and lower body 4-day split is an excellent middle ground.
  3. Five days: If you plan to be in the gym at least five days per week, train each muscle group independently.
4 Mar 2022

Which exercise should be performed first? ›

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that large muscle group exercises generally be performed first in a training session. This is appropriate for most individuals as most goals prioritize large muscles to be worked.

What body parts to work on what days? ›

Working out different body parts on different days gives your muscles more rest between workouts and helps you prevent overtraining.
Example for advanced lifters
  • Day 1: chest, shoulders, triceps, forearms.
  • Day 2: calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes.
  • Day 3: biceps, back, abdominals, traps, lats.

Can you do abs everyday? ›

Your abs are a muscle group that requires rest (just like any other muscle group) and training abs every day won't allow them adequate recovery. If you want to maximize the results from your ab workouts, then you need to ensure that you're giving them at least one full day of rest in between.

What is the king of exercises? ›

The squat is frequently referred to as the king of all exercises. And for a good reason. It works some of the biggest muscles in the body, such as the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and core. Strengthening these muscles allows for easy movement and prevents injuries.

What is the best exercise if you could only do one? ›

The deadlift is what you should hypothetically do if you have only 15 minutes per week and can choose just one exercise.

Is there an exercise that works every muscle? ›

Swimming. According to the website Swim to Slim, swimming is a great, low-impact way to work out almost all of your major muscle groups. Your entire core, upper body, front trunk, back trunk, lower trunk and lower limbs are exercised during a swimming workout.

How long does it take to see results from full body workout? ›

Within three to six months, an individual can see a 25 to 100% improvement in their muscular fitness – providing a regular resistance program is followed. Most of the early gains in strength are the result of the neuromuscular connections learning how to produce movement.

Is it better to do a full body workout or split? ›

Depending on your goal, you may benefit from lower-frequency full-body workouts or more frequent body part split workouts. To capitalize on muscle growth, more frequent training sessions with higher volumes per week for isolated muscle groups is likely more beneficial than full-body workouts (2).

Is full body workout the same as cardio? ›

2. Full body exercises combine cardio and strength training. Full body workouts provide a way to work on both strength and cardiovascular conditioning. For those interested in building strength, this type of exercise can deliver in a measurable way!

At what age do people typically begin to lose muscle mass? ›

Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade.

What happens if you do too many exercises? ›

“Overtraining can lead to overuse injuries such as muscle strains, stress fractures or tendon injuries.” Plus, when you exercise too much, you may lose your motivation or simply no longer enjoy your sports or workouts,” said Amy Jo Overlin, MD, a sports medicine physician at Banner Health in Phoenix, AZ.

How many exercises a day is enough? ›

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Reducing sitting time is important, too.

What is the hardest workout to do in the world? ›

Don Wildman's Circuit: The Most Difficult Workout Ever Created
  • "The Circuit", as Don Wildman's exercise regimen is known, consists of sixteen groups of exercises done as supersets, with no breaks in between. ...
  • Note: The Circuit is designed to limit time between sets.
18 Sept 2008

What is the king of all lifts? ›

Deadlifts. By that fact alone, the deadlift is king. Of the three major compound lifts, the deadlift is the only movement that occurs within one motion, not two.

What are the golden 5 exercises? ›

The five basic exercises bench press, deadlift, squats, shoulder press and pull-up are generally known as the big 5 of strength training. Due to the adjustability of the resistance, the lat pull-down is often used instead of the pull-up.

What is the 5 3 1 training method? ›

5/3/1 works on a 3-week cycle. Each week, you lift a heavier weight for fewer reps in your main lifts. So in week 1, you use sets of 5 reps, in week 2 you lift sets of 3 reps, and in week 3 you use 5's and 3's to build towards a heavy single.

What are the 5 aspects of a full-body workout? ›

In developing a fitness program, it's important that your workout plan encompasses your total body.
Then, you will be on a plan for total fitness.
  • Upper Body: Upper body includes arms, shoulders and upper back. ...
  • Lower Body: ...
  • Core: ...
  • Cardio: ...
  • Flexibility:

How long should full-body workout be? ›

A typical full-body workout of 3 sets x 10 reps of 8-10 exercises with 45-60 seconds rest between sets, if performed correctly, should take approximately 45-60 minutes.

Do full-body workouts include ABS? ›

In a full-body routine, you train every major muscle in your body, like your chest, back, arms, hamstrings and abs, in each workout. They incorporate exercises that engage many of those muscle groups in one movement, like squats, deadlifts and overhead presses, all of which are also called compound movements.

What are the 7 pillars of fitness? ›

Exercise 7 Pillars of Performance
  • Strength. When it comes to performance, strength is first and foremost. ...
  • Power. Power is the ability to create force, and to do so requires a blend of strength, flexibility, and mobility. ...
  • Speed. ...
  • Agility. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Mobility. ...
  • Stability. ...
  • Conclusion.
9 Mar 2020

What are the 7 main components of fitness? ›

The components of health-related fitness includes: body composition, muscular endurance, muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility.
  • Body Composition.
  • Muscular Fitness.
  • Cardiorespiratory Endurance.
  • Flexibility.
  • Balance.
  • Coordination.
  • Power.
  • Agility.

What is the maximum exercise per day? ›

For moderate exercise, like walking, there is no upper limit, although doing it for more than 100 minutes a day doesn't seem to convey any extra cardiovascular benefit.

How many types of exercise should I do per workout? ›

The ideal number of exercises per workout session is 3-4 exercises. If you select your exercises appropriately and train them with sufficient volume and intensity, this will be more than enough to make great progress. This means: Focusing on an 80/20 split of compound to isolation exercises.

What workout should I do everyday? ›

Below is the common workout split example:
  • Monday: Chest and triceps.
  • Tuesday: Back and biceps.
  • Wednesday: Legs and shoulders.
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday: Chest and triceps.
  • Saturday: Back and biceps.
  • Sunday: Legs and shoulders.
5 Mar 2021

Is it OK to workout all body parts? ›

The benefits of a full body workout are huge. It's a great way to ensure you are training all muscles group — one workout, no muscles left behind. Full body workouts tend to incorporate compound strength exercises, which are a super efficient way of training for functional strength as well as cardiovascular health.

Is full body workout better than cardio? ›

A cardio workout burns more calories than a weight-training workout. However, your metabolism may stay elevated for longer after weights than cardio, and weight lifting is better for building muscle. Thus, the ideal exercise program for improving body composition and health includes cardio and weights.


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