6 Best Exercises for a Full Body Workout

The full-body workout is one of the best routines for strength and hypertrophy (muscle growth) regardless of your training experience. Full body workout is the most beginner-friendly workout plan you can start with.

Full body workout not only allows you to optimize your training frequency and healing throughout the week but is also time-efficient and in this case only needing three workouts per week.

However, to maximize the benefits of a beginners workout routine you need to adequately target all of your major muscle groups within each workout and you need to do so in an adequate amount such that your muscles grow and strengthen proportionately. Over time this not only leads to a more aesthetic physique but also reduces your risk of injury.

So in this article, I'll show you exactly how to do beginners workout based on current scientific literature and our anatomical understanding of the human body but first off just to clarify this full body workout routine consists of three workout days per week.

This full body workout will consist of mainly compound movements with a mix of various accessory exercises to minimize any potential muscle imbalances.

Make sure to stick around until the end of the article where I'll provide you with a completely free downloadable pdf of the workouts that next time you're in the gym you'll know exactly what to do.

So without further ado let's take a look at what the optimal full body workout might look like. And the first exercise of beginners workout is the barbell back squat.

Barbell Back Squats

Barbell back squat is the exercise of choice here. Since it's been repeatedly shown in multiple papers to elicit very high quadriceps activation while also heavily involving the gluts and various other lower body muscles.

With this compound movement, you want to utilize a full range of motion to maximize growth.

In fact, illustrating the importance of this a 2014 paper by McMullen and colleagues found that there was a two-fold increase in muscle size after only eight weeks four subjects using full range of motion squats compared to subjects using a partial range of motion and although what constitutes a full range of motion will vary based on your own anatomy at suggest sticking with what research recommends is optimal which is to come down to at least slightly below parallel or deeper if your mobility allows you to do so safely.


Pull-ups or lat pulldowns are going to be the next exercise and your main back movement for this workout.

The main muscle worked will be the lats but various shoulder and scapular stabilizers, as well as the biceps and forearms muscles, will be worked as well.

As you perform this movement you should feel these highlighted muscles working but most of the tensions should be felt in the lats.

Once you're able to complete around 10 to 12 bodyweight pull-ups straight you have to then start slowly loading it with weight using either a weight belt or holding a dumbbell between your feet.

On the other hand, if you're currently unable to do pull-ups then lat pulldown is the best exercise for beginners to strengthen your lats. As it is easy to learn and easy movement.

Otherwise, band-assisted pull-ups, machine pull-ups and/or sets of slow- pull-ups are decent alternatives to Start with and progress until you're able to complete bodyweight Pull-ups.

Barbell bench press

Barbell bench press and it's going to be your main chest movement for this Workout. It's going to be responsible for contributing to most of your chest's overall size and thickness.

Specifically, due to the flat angle of the bench, it's going to emphasize the sternal portion or middle part of your chest while also developing your shoulders and triceps so as you perform this exercise you want to really focus on feeling these muscles working with most of the tension being felt in your chest.

The bench press was chosen for various reasons first off it's great at activating the chest. Multiple studies like this 2000 EMG paper by barons of muskies have found the bench press to elicit the highest chest activation when compared to other common chest movements and this does seem to translate to better chest growth as well.

For instance two recent papers that tracked bench press strength and chest growth over time have found a strong positive correlation between them suggesting that in most cases a strong bench does indeed equate to a big chest and with regards to form you'll want to come all the way down to your chest to accomplish a full range of motion.

This is because multiple papers have found that for compound movements like the bench press a full range of motion is more effective for muscle growth even if heavier weights are used with a partial range of motion.

So unless you have past shoulder injuries preventing you from doing so or your main goal is to improve a specific sticking point then aiming for a full range of motion with this exercise would be your best bet for growth.

Standing barbell overhead press

The final important compound movement of this workout will be the standing barbell overhead press.

This is essential when it comes to upper body development and strength although the full body is involved. the main muscles that play here will be the anterior deltoids, triceps and the serratus anterior.

This exercises have been shown in studies like this one by berenson buskies to be the best exercise for the anterior deltoids in addition when compared to other similar shoulder pressing exercises it enables you to lift the most weight and from a practical standpoint it's also the easiest shoulder exercise to overload with more weight as you progress which is why I'd recommend incorporating it into your routine.

However, research does also indicate that the seated dumbbell press elicits similar activation so feel free to use that as an alternative if it's a more comfortable movement for you.

These are the most required exercises in a beginner's full-body workout. Along with these exercises, you can add accessory lifts such as dumbbell biceps curls, triceps pushdowns, supermans

Hope this article helped you. Here you will get a free beginners workout plan.

Summary of beginners workout:

I have summarized this whole beginners workout in two sections. Those are Main lifts and Accessory lifts.

Summary of beginners workout

Main lifts of full body workout:

  1. Barbell Back Squats
  2. Pull-ups or Lat pull-down
  3. Barbell bench press
  4. Standing barbell overhead press

Accessory lifts of full body workout:

  1. Lunges
  2. Dumbbell biceps curls
  3. Triceps pushdowns
  4. Supermans

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