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  • Dr. Norbert Martin, DPT

8 Full-Body Exercises You Need to Try Today

Updated: Apr 4, 2023



If you want to get the most out of your workouts, you should consider doing full-body and/or compound exercises. Full-body and compound exercises are movements that engage multiple muscle groups at once, challenging your strength, endurance, and coordination. They can help you burn more calories, build more muscle, and improve your overall fitness level. In this article, we will introduce you to eight full-body exercises that you need to try today. These exercises will work your upper body, lower body, and core, giving you a complete workout in less time. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced exerciser, you can modify these exercises to suit your needs and goals. Let's get started!





Exercise #1: Deadlifts

Deadlifts are one of the best full-body exercises you can do. They target your posterior chain, which includes your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and traps. They also work your quads, core, arms, and grip strength. To perform a deadlift, you will need a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. Here are the steps:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the weight in front of you.

  • Bend your knees and hinge at your hips to grab the weight with both hands. Your back should be straight and your chest up.

  • Brace your core and squeeze your glutes as you lift the weight off the floor by straightening your legs and extending your hips.

  • Keep the weight close to your body and avoid rounding your back or shrugging your shoulders.

  • Lower the weight back to the floor by reversing the movement. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

To incorporate deadlifts into your workout routine, you can do them as a standalone exercise or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the type of deadlift you do, such as sumo deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, or single-leg deadlifts.

Exercise #2: Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are another great full-body exercise that will get your heart rate up and work your muscles. They mainly target your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and core, but they also involve your shoulders, arms, and grip strength. To perform a kettlebell swing, you will need a kettlebell or a dumbbell. Here are the steps:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and the kettlebell between your legs.

  • Bend your knees and hinge at your hips to grab the kettlebell with both hands. Your back should be straight and your chest up.

  • Swing the kettlebell back between your legs by pushing your hips back and bending your knees slightly.

  • Explosively snap your hips forward and squeeze your glutes as you swing the kettlebell up to chest level or higher. Your arms should be straight and relaxed.

  • Let the kettlebell swing back down between your legs by hinging at your hips and bending your knees slightly. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


To incorporate kettlebell swings into your workout routine, you can do them as a standalone exercise or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the weight, speed, and height of the swing to challenge yourself.


Exercise #3: Thrusters

Thrusters are a combination of a front squat and an overhead press. They work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, core, shoulders, chest, triceps, and upper back. To perform a thruster, you will need a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. Here are the steps:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the weight at shoulder level with your elbows pointing forward.

  • Squat down by bending your knees and pushing your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. Keep your chest up and your core tight.

  • As you stand up from the squat, press the weight overhead by extending your arms fully. Keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back.

  • Lower the weight back to shoulder level as you squat down again. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


To incorporate thrusters into your workout routine, you can do them as a standalone exercise or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the weight and depth of the squat to challenge yourself.

Exercise #4: Burpees

Burpees are one of the most challenging full-body exercises you can do. They work almost every muscle in your body while also boosting your cardiovascular fitness. To perform a burpee, you don’t need any equipment. Here are the steps:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides.

  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you.

  • Kick your legs back into a plank position and lower your chest to the floor. You can modify this by dropping your knees to the floor if needed.

  • Push yourself back up to a plank position and jump your feet forward to your hands.

  • Stand up and jump into the air with your arms overhead. You can modify this by skipping the jump if needed.

  • Land softly and repeat for the desired number of reps.

To incorporate burpees into your workout routine, you can do them as a standalone exercise or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the intensity and speed of the burpee to challenge yourself.


Exercise #5: Pushups


Pushups are a classic full-body exercise that works your chest, shoulders, triceps, core, and back. To perform pushups, you don’t need any equipment. Here are the steps:

  • Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet together or slightly apart. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.

  • Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor until it is just above the floor or touches it lightly. Keep your core tight and your elbows close to your body.

  • Push yourself back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

To incorporate pushups into your workout routine, you can do them as standalone exercises or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the type of pushup you do, such as incline pushups, decline pushups, diamond pushups, or wide pushups.

Exercise #6: Squats


Squats are another essential full-body exercise that work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, core, and calves. To perform a squat, you don’t need any equipment. Here are the steps:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. You can hold your arms in front of you or by your sides for balance.

  • Bend your knees and push your hips back as if you were sitting on a chair. Keep your chest up and your core tight.

  • Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes.

  • Stand up by pushing through your heels and squeezing your glutes. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

To incorporate squats into your workout routine, you can do them as a standalone exercise or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the weight, depth, and stance of the squat to challenge yourself.


Exercise #7: Pull-ups



Pull-ups are one of the most effective compound exercises that work your lats, biceps, forearms, core, and upper back. To perform a pull-up, you will need a pull-up bar or something similar that you can hang from. Here are the steps:

  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be fully extended, and your body should be hanging from the bar.

  • Pull yourself up by bending your elbows and bringing your chin above the bar. Keep your core tight and avoid swinging or kipping.

  • Lower yourself back down to the starting position by extending your arms fully. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

To incorporate pull-ups into your workout routine, you can do them as standalone exercises or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the grip, width, and speed of the pull-up to challenge yourself.

Exercise #8: Lying Dumbbell Hamstring Curls


Lying dumbbell hamstring curls although not a full-body exercise per se, it mainly works your hamstrings, but it also involves some activation of the core, glutes, and lower back muscles. To perform lying dumbbell hamstring curls, you will need a pair of dumbbells and a bench or something similar that you can lie on. Here are the steps:

  • Lie on your stomach on the bench with your legs hanging off the edge. Place a dumbbell between each foot and squeeze it with your feet/ankles.

  • Curl your legs up by bending your knees and bringing the dumbbells toward your glutes. Keep your hips on the bench and your core tight.

  • Lower your legs back down to the starting position by extending your knees fully. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

  • To incorporate lying dumbbell hamstring curls into your workout routine, you can do them as a standalone exercise or as part of a circuit. You can also vary the weight and speed of the curl to challenge yourself.

Full-body and compound exercises are a great way to improve your strength, balance, and fitness in less time. They can help you burn more calories, build more muscle, and prevent injuries. In this article, we have shown you eight full-body exercises that you need to try today. These exercises will work your upper body, lower body, and core, giving you a complete workout in less time. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced exerciser, you can modify these exercises to suit your needs and goals. We encourage you to try these exercises for yourself and see the results. Remember to warm up before each workout and cool down after. Also, make sure to rest and recover between workouts and eat a balanced diet. If you have any questions or concerns, consult your physician or a physical therapist before starting any exercise program. Now go ahead and get moving! You got this!


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