The Full Body Workout Broken Down
The question I get asked most often is "what should I be doing when training alone?".
A totally understandable question and one I'll try to sum up here.
Everyone has different goals but there are some principles that everyone should follow to not only achieve said goals but also to ensure that no muscle imbalances occur and the body remains healthy and injury free.
1) Always warm up! A good warm up should feel like a mini workout. Pick several exercises that are relatively easy and pump out multiple reps (between 10-20).It’s vital to slowly up your heart rate and slowly lossening the joints before going 'beast mode' to prevent any potential injuries occurring.
2) A full body workout should consist of:
A pushing exercise (for the chest, triceps and shoulders)
A pulling exercise (for the back and biceps)
A squat (for the lower body and hips).
We can go further and split the first two into:
A horizontal pushing exercise
A vertical pushing exercise
A horizontal pulling exercise
A vertical pulling exercise.
Below are some of the most common options that will give you most bang for your buck:
Handstand press ups
Hindu press ups
Barbell/ kettlebell overhead presses (or cleans and presses)
Lat Pull Down machine
Kettlebell/ barbell Snatches
Isometric static holds
3) If you're planning on doing a very high intensity workout then for God's sake, make sure you cool down before leaving! For example, if sprinting, make sure you jog slowly for a min or two when finished. Do not let your heart rate come down too fast! That's how the broadcaster Andrew Marr gave himself a stroke- 45mins of interval training on the Rowing machine without taking time to recover. (Prob wasn't the only reason but not worth the risk).
Lastly, notice that I haven't mentioned working your arms specifically (more for the guys this):
By working your chest, shoulders and back, you are working you biceps and triceps as secondary muscles.
If you've any energy and the inclination to work arms at the end of your workout, then by all means chuck in a couple of sets of curls and triceps extensions but it really isn't necessary. Nobody that's really good at press ups, overhead presses and rows has small, weedy arms!