Full body workouts are probably the single most under-utilized workout routines in the gym. Regardless of your experience level or existing strength, working your entire body in a single session is not only challenging, but an extremely effective way to build muscle, strength and even burn fat in the process. Even experienced bodybuilders can reap the benefits of switching to a full body workout, especially if they’ve been on a split routine plan for an extended period of time.
The Benefits of Full Body Workouts
There are a number of benefits to performing full body workouts, including:
- Better core development
- Less overall time in the gym
- Improved recovery intervals
- Reduced risk of overtraining
- Greater training frequency per muscle group
- Increased energy expenditure during and after training
- Increases in beneficial growth hormones
- Highly customizable to different training goals, whether that is strength, muscle size (hypertrophy) , endurance or a combination of the three
- Better overall muscular development and symmetry
- Reduced risk of developing muscle imbalances, especially among smaller stabilizer muscles
- Secondary cardiovascular benefits
- Appropriate for all ages and levels of experience, from beginners to advanced trainees
The burpee is a body weight exercise that works the entire body. It is essentially three combined movements into one fluid exercise that will get your heart pumping and head spinning with enough repetitions. The burpee is essentially a simple exercise that one can do in a small space, requiring no special equipment. Doing about 20 of these things and you can feel it all over your body. If you’re pressed for time, this exercise is highly recommended to get in shape.
You’re squatting, jumping, and pushing up in a single burpee. You can do a burpee workout anywhere and everywhere.
Here’s a 4-step rundown to performing a burpee:
1) Squat all the way down until hamstrings are touching and pressed against the back of your calves. Keep your fingers on the floor. Your head and eyes should be looking straight forward. Back relaxed. This is the starting position.
2) Kick your legs back and get into a pushup position. Don’t over-arch the back.
3) Drop down and do a pushup. As you come up, kick your legs back into starting position (step 1).
4) From starting position, jump straight up in place as high as you can using your forefoot. While in the air, the arms can be either at your side or raised high for added difficulty. Land on the forefoot rather than the heel. Get into starting position again. This is one repetition. Now repeat until desired reps.
The easy alternative to a burpee is the burp. If you can’t perform a full burpee, then start with the burp (or thruster; squat thruster). The burp does not require any jumping or pushup motion. Just squat down, thrust legs back and then front to starting position, and stand up. That completes one rep.