Sometimes the week can be hectic. Work, kids, traffic, emergency room visits, unexpected guests; the list is endless to what can happen at any given time in any given week. It would be nice to be able to dedicated two hours a day five to six days a week to getting or staying in shape, but this can be unreasonable for most of us. For this, and many other reasons, quick but effective full body workouts can be utilized in order to stay on track with ANY fitness routine.
Here are some of the benefits of a full body routine:
Burn More Calories in Less Time: Full body workouts are usually done on a time crunch. This allows for little rest time in order to maximize the workout time. Big muscles groups are usually emphasized in full body routines which means big compound exercises. This requires more energy in order to perform the exercise which will help burn more calories during and after a workout.
Build Muscle: Full body routines can be done multiple times in a week. As with all workout regimes, consistency is key. Isolation workouts are great (leg day, chest day, etc) but can take time and as stated earlier, life can throw us a curve ball and we can miss a day. By hitting the muscle multiple times in a week, it stimulates growth. Like anything, growth happens with resistance and by applying resistance multiple time a week with proper recovery in between sessions, the muscle grows!
Body Synergy: Full body workouts mimic life. Let me explain. Most movements in life are not single joint exercises (think bicep curl). Walking, grabbing a glass form the top shelf, getting out of bed; all these activities involve multiple muscle group through a dynamic range of motion. Full body workout routines utilize a “bang for your buck” mentality by getting as much work as done in as little time as possible. In order to make that happen multi-joint dynamic exercises come into play, similar to everyday life. By using multi-joint dynamic exercise, the body learns how to work more efficiently and effectively which can translate into everyday activities.
Anytime, Anywhere: Full body workouts can be done anywhere. No need to have a gym that is full of top of line equipment. Full body routine can just involve body weight and can even bee done at home. This allows a wide range of flexibility in both location and time. A full body workout can be done at home in just a few spare minutes!
When developing a Tabata workout, the key is to keep it simple. Isolated, single joint or unilateral exercise are not going to work. They take too much time and too much thought. Choose exercises that are easy to explain to someone who has never exercised before. The three basic motions are push, pull, and squat. I am a firm believer that rotation is a basic motion but that is another topic. When designing a Tabata, stay within these three planes of motion. Choose one from each (push-up, pull-up, squats). These exercises can be body weight or carry a load with either dumbbells or barbells. For example, let’s choose barbell bench press, pull-ups, and deadlift. Do just those three exercises for a determined amount of time will create a great workout but to turn up the heat, throw in a cardio blast (kettlebell swings, airdyne bike, rower) and an ab exercise!
After the exercises have been chosen, select a time frame. The most common Tabata is 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds. This has been a tired and true method that has been used for years in most communities but this is not the only time method that is available. The time selection can be anything really. A 1:1 work to rest ratio; 2:1; 1:2, the combinations are endless. My personal favorite is 30 seconds on 30 seconds off (1:1 work to rest ratio) for 5 exercises with a one-minute break between sets for 5 sets. This gets the muscle burn that I am looking for as well as increase my cardiovascular abilities.
Here is a great full body Tabata routine that can be done anywhere for a great time saving workout!
· Push-ups: 20 Seconds
· Rest: 10 Seconds
· Body Weight Squats: 20 Seconds
· Rest: 10 Seconds
· Crunch: 20 Seconds
· Burpees: 10 Seconds
· Rest: 1 Minute
Do this routine for a total of 4 to 5 rounds to help build muscle and torch fat!