Full Body Vs Targeted Workouts
Have you been working out with targeted exercises, and want to switch to full-body ones?
If you’re not sure of the difference, not to worry!
Targeted workouts, also known as split routines, are ones where you focus on a specific muscle group and stick to exercises that will isolate and strengthen those muscles in particular. An example of a workout plan involving targeted workouts would be focusing on back & chest exercises on a Monday, legs exercises on a Wednesday, and shoulders & arms on a Friday.
The benefits of doing targeted, focused workouts instead of full-body ones include a very manageable workout regimen, a more varied exercise schedule, and potentially also increased ease in body shaping and toning.
However, the downsides to targeted workouts include overall lower calorie burn than full-body workouts, potential imbalances in the strength and toning of different muscle groups (think a strong, bulky chest and arms and less toned legs), and less flexibility in your workout schedule as you might end up over/under-toning some muscle groups.
Full-body workouts will help you to achieve your overall fitness goals by building up your muscle groups evenly, giving you a balanced and healthy body.
Also, as you focus on your full body in any one workout, if you skip the next scheduled workout or need to re-arrange it, no problem! As you’re focusing on the whole body, you won’t be missing out any muscle groups and giving yourself an imbalanced workout. This flexibility with your exercise schedule is one of the many reasons full-body workouts are so popular.
Lastly, full-body workouts are the best way to maximise your time in the gym. They target more muscle groups in less time than targeted workouts, and this use of a combination of muscles increases the calories you burn during the exercise.
So, let’s have a look at five great full-body exercises you can do to make the most of your time in the gym. Add these into your workouts and you’re guaranteed to see results!
Exercise 1: Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a full-body workout, but they especially target your arms, shoulders, quads, and core.
Start off in a plank position with your back straight, your abs engaged, and your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can and then switch legs. Alternate your knees and keep your hips low, running your knees in as fast as you can.
Try this for 3 sets each lasting 30-45 seconds.
Exercise 2: Burpees
Start in a squat. Lower your hands to the floor just in line with your feet. Kick your feet back into a push-up position and do one push-up, keeping your back straight. Jump your feet back to the starting position, stand up, and jump, reaching your hands straight above your head. Land with your knees bent and repeat.
Try 3 sets of 10-15 burpees, depending on your abilities. If the jump affects any pre-existing knee injury or sensitivity, skip it and focus on the rest of the exercise.
Exercise 3: Dumbbell Lunge
For this exercise, stand up straight holding a dumbbell in each hand. Next, step forwards into a lunge on your left leg. Hold this pose for 3 seconds, then push off your left leg to return to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg.
Dumbbell lunges are especially good for your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Exercise 4: Kettlebell Swing
For this exercise, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the entire exercise, but do not bend them fully: you should not be in a squat position. Hold the kettlebell straight in front of you, and bend forward, keeping your back straight, swinging it through your legs and back up to your shoulder height. Keep your head up and straight when you bend down with the weight to avoid straining your neck.
Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Exercise 5: Romanian Deadlift
Start this exercise by holding a barbell in your hands. For your form, keep your knees slightly bent, your back straight and your core embraced. This will help to prevent any injury.
Be sure to choose a weight that is slightly challenging so that you’re working up a sweat. But be careful: don’t choose a weight that is too heavy for you, as this might cause you to have to strain your muscles to maintain your form, which could result in injury.
Hinge forwards at the hips, keeping your arms straight so the barbell is directly in front of your legs. Hold this pose for 3 seconds then return to the starting position.
Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Full-Body Workouts = Good Results in Less Time!
Now that you’ve seen some effective and easy to do full-body workouts, you’re ready to maximize your time in the gym.
The key thing to remember with the above exercises is to focus on your form, rather than on the number of reps. For example, if 10 reps are difficult and you find your form slipping to achieve them, do fewer reps. Maintaining the correct form is essential to getting the most out of your workout and preventing injury, so always prioritise this over the length or volume of your workout.
If you need any help with the above exercises or just want to check your form is correct, just ask one of our friendly PTs at Beckwith Health Club! They’ll always be around and happy to help. Or, learn more about booking a personal PT session here.