If you find yourself too busy to make it to the gym 5-6 times per week or you feel that your body is over trained and you need a refreshing change, the total body workout may be just the thing you need.
At first you may wonder how you can ever work your whole body in one workout. After all, most people are so accustomed to performing 4-5 exercises per body part for around 12-20 sets that they cannot imagine properly training a body part with anything less.
The total body workout involves a focus on basic, multi-joint movements. These exercises stimulate the most response from the body in terms of not only the muscle fibers recruited, but also in the release of the necessary hormones to promote muscular growth. Also, working all major muscle groups in one session will have a synergistic effect on your body’s response to the training session. In short, your body should respond well to this type of training, especially if it is a drastic change from what you have been currently doing.
These exercises work because they stimulate muscle growth. These are what the old-time greats focused on. So do them.
Chest Flys (Db)
The chest fly is a way to work the major muscles of the chest with a focus on the outer part of the chest. You’ll most likely need to use a lighter weight for flies, and you should take care when lowering the arms down to avoid hurting the shoulders or losing control of the weights.
- Lie on the floor, bench or step. Hold weights over the chest with the palms facing each other.
- Keeping the elbows slightly bent, lower the arms out to the sides and down until they’re level with the chest.
- Keep the elbows in a fixed position and avoid lowering the weights too low.
- Squeeze chest to bring the arms back up as though you’re hugging a tree.
Repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 reps
Bent-over Rows (Db)
- Kneel over side of bench by placing knee and hand of supporting arm on bench. Position foot of opposite leg slightly back to side. Grasp dumbbell from floor.
- Pull dumbbell to up to side until it makes contact with ribs or until upper arm is just beyond horizontal. Return until arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward. Repeat and continue with opposite arm.
Tricep Extension (Bb)
- Lie down on a secure weights bench and have a training partner pass the barbell.
- Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, hands should be 2-8 inches apart.
- The arms should be locked out directly over the chest, with the bar straight ahead of your chin.
- While the upper arms remain stationary lower the bar by bending at the elbows until the bar reaches your forehead.
- Power the weight up by extending the arms.
- The elbows should still be pointing upwards during the whole movement. Exhale as the Barbell is pressed or the arms straightened, then inhale as the Barbell is lowered
Calf Raise & Bicep Curl (Db)
- Stand tall, hold weight in both hands
- Bend elbow and lift the weight towards your shoulder simultaneously lift your heals off the floor
- As you lower your heals lower the weight down. Breathe out you lift and breathe in as you lower.
Hip raise and pulse
- Lie on a mat with feet shoulder width apart.
- Contract your buttocks and slowly lift them off the floor.
- Gently lower your buttocks back onto the mat. To increase intensity, avoid resting buttocks completely back onto the mat. Breathe out as you lift, breathe in as you lower.
- Lift hips up and hold. Pulse for 14 counts then bring down gently.
Single leg raise and pulse
- Lie on back with right leg straight and left leg bent so foot is flat on the ground. Relax head and neck on mat or ground. Arms should be placed to your side.
- Lift right leg to the top of the left knee, keeping the right leg straight. Hold for 12 counts and return to starting position. Complete number of repetitions and alternate including pulsing.
- Perform in a slow and smooth motion.
Side raise and pulse
- Lying on your side on a mat, have one arm bent and resting underneath your head. Your other arm should be in front of your body palm facing down on the mat.
- Legs should both be straight, with your bottom leg touching the mat, and your top leg about 1 foot above the bottom leg. Pulse to 14 counts.
- Once in this position, bring your bottom leg off the mat up to meet your top leg.
- Hold for 2 seconds and return both legs together to the mat to complete one rep.
Inner thigh “V”
- Lie on your back, with knees bent, feet shoulder width apart and arms resting by your sides. Lift legs up , flex your feet, knees can be straight or slightly bent.
- Open thighs outwards, then bring them together, with controlled speed of movement. Wrap ankle weights around your ankles for added resistance.
- Breathe in as you open legs, breathe out as you close.
- Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest.
- Pull your belly button towards your spine, and flatten your lower back against the floor.
- Slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about one or two inches off the floor.
- Exhale as you come up and keep your neck straight, chin up.
- Hold at the top of the movement for a few seconds, breathing continuously.
- Slowly lower back down, but don’t relax all the way.
- Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions with perfect form for each rep.
- To make it more difficult, balance on an exercise ball.