With busy work schedules, working out every muscle group several times per week can be a difficult feat. You may target shoulders one day and legs another day, but what about your back, chest, and abdominals, though? No muscle group should get left behind, and that’s what full-body workouts are for.
For people who are short on time, the number one worry in the gym is, “Am I making the most of my time here?” It’s logical to think that if you spend half of your workout on your phone and the rest of the time targeting one muscle group. You may be thinking that the idea of full-body workouts goes against leg days, chest days, and back days. While those types of workouts have their place and are effective, many exercise physiologists agree that a full-body routine is a better bang for your fitness buck.
What Is A Full-Body Workout?
It’s very self-explanatory, but a full-body workout targets the upper body, core, and lower body. Because the exercises activate most of the major muscle groups, they help to elevate your heart rate, which improves cardiovascular strength. One single move is not the entirety of the full-body workout; rather, pairing different moves between short periods of rest is the goal.
There’s no need for special equipment, which is a plus for people who do not go to the gym. Most full-body exercises utilize body weight as resistance, but you can always incorporate the use of dumbbells or kettlebells, depending on your fitness level. Full-body workouts truly benefit complete beginners or advanced fitness gurus. Continue reading to see why you should start doing full-body workouts.
Maximize Workout Efficiency
If you only have 30 minutes to spare, it’s beneficial to focus on multi-joint movements that exercise the entire body. Back squats, for example, stimulate the same muscles as if you were to use six or seven different exercise machines. Supporting a bar during squats engages the core because you have to stabilize the body under weight. If you are limited on time, and want to maintain a tone physique, try to make at least 20% of your workout full-body exercises. That’ll help you maximize your workout time.
Improved Muscular Recovery Rates
In order to see progress from your workouts, your muscles need time to properly recover between them. Some people can’t handle back-to-back workouts, even if they work out different muscle groups. For these people, full-body workouts are extremely beneficial, as they allow for at least one day off between each workout. This allows for maximum recovery time.
Reduce Risk Of Injury
Focusing on one or two muscle groups can lead to muscle imbalances, overuse, and injury. When you engage in full-body workouts, you exercise the entire body and reduce the risk of disproportionally stressing a specific joint or muscle group. A baseball pitcher, for example, overuses his shoulder and experiences a higher risk of injury as a result. Strengthening all of your major muscle groups can help protect against common injuries like stress fractures or ligament tears. Injuries can still happen, but an overall stronger body reduces common workout injuries.
Burn More Calories In Less Time
Time-efficiency is something that many people seek, so take that approach to your workouts. Engaging in full-body workouts is a more efficient way to burn more calories in a shorter time period. Shoulder day or back day won’t burn the same amount of calories as working out muscles in compound exercises. Squats, lunges, burpees, and other similar movements require more energy and coordination to move, as opposed to single-joint exercises.
Decreased CNS Fatigue
The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord, both of which exist in the body’s midline. Comprised of billions of neurons, the CNS is one of the most complex systems in the body, along with the peripheral nervous system. Working out the entire body instead of one muscle group helps to reduce CNS stress from week to week. Lifting weights puts stress on the CNS, no matter if you do a tricep extension of deadlift. Stimulating the CNS day after day can cause fatigue, which ultimately inhibits your ability to lift well. Because full-body workouts exercise the entire body, you get to take a day off between workouts. This recovery period is essential to rebuild muscle and reduce CNS fatigue.