By Katy Duncan, Contributing Blogger
Raise a hand if you’re looking to get back in shape and achieve a healthier lifestyle in the new year? I know I sure am!
A full body workout could be the answer to your workout wish. With 2023 in full swing, now is the perfect time to fine tune your new year resolution and make it happen. The start of a new year is always a great time to focus on your health and fitness goals. Not to mention that regular physical activity is essential for both good health and overall well-being. If you haven't been as active as you'd like recently, this is a good time to start working out regularly again. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or just feel better in general, it is important to set a goal and take steps to reach it. Getting into shape is one of the most common resolutions people make, but sometimes it can be hard to follow through and stay consistent without a solid plan and routine.
To help you out, I've put together a full body workout that will help you get fully back in shape in no time! A full body workout is an excellent way to start getting back into shape. It focuses on all areas of your body to ensure that you are working out each muscle group, improving your strength and stamina, and giving your body the exercise it needs. By focusing on your health this new year, you can make sure that you stay fit and healthy for years to come.
Keep reading to find out more.
*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed trainer or hold any certification in fitness training. This is just what I would do if my intent was a full body workout. It’s important to know that everyone's body is going to be different and everyone will have different strength levels and abilities. Go at your own pace and consult with a licensed personal trainer if you’re unsure about an exercise.*
Don’t forget to limber up first!
Stretching is an important part of any workout routine, as it helps to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Before beginning any type of physical activity, you should always make sure to stretch your muscles in order to warm up your body and get ready for exercise. This will help you to achieve greater fitness results and avoid any unnecessary pain or discomfort during your workout.
When stretching before a workout, focus on dynamic stretching. This is a type of stretching that involves gentle, repetitive movements and momentum. This type of stretching helps to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for an activity. It is also important to remember to stretch after a workout as well. Stretching after exercising helps to decrease soreness by helping to flush out lactic acid buildup in your muscles and loosen any tightened areas that may have occurred during physical activity.
When performing a side stretch, start by standing with your feet roughly hip-width apart and feet firmly on the ground. Raise both arms up over your head, while keeping your palms facing each other. You can also interlock your fingers and turn them to the sky. This will open up the shoulders as well. Then, lean over to one side, keeping your torso straight and bending at your waist. You should feel a stretch along the side of your body. Hold this position for 10 seconds, or one long exhale, before returning to a standing position and repeating on the other side.
A forward fold stretch begins by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale deeply and bring your arms up over your head. As you exhale, fold forward from the hips and reach towards the floor. Be mindful to keep your legs as straight as you can and your back as flat as possible. Allow your body to hang loosely and gently sway from side to side for 10-20 seconds before releasing and returning to a standing position.
The lunge stretch is a great way to open up the hips and stretch the calves. Begin by stepping one foot forward into a lunge position, with your front knee bent at 90 degrees and your back leg stretched out behind you. Keep your torso straight and push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your leg. You can also rock back slightly to get a deeper stretch in your calf and toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds before pushing off your front foot and stepping back into a standing position.
Downward dog is a classic yoga pose that can help you stretch out all of the major muscle groups of the body. To perform this pose, begin by getting onto all fours with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders. Push back into an inverted V shape, with your tailbone pointing upwards and heels pressing towards the ground. You can also move into this pose easily from a forward fold or a plank. Press into your hands and relax your neck as you stay in this pose for 30 seconds or longer. Take small stationary steps with your feet for a bonus stretch in the toes and calves.
Cardio is an important part of any full body workout.
There are many types of cardio that you can do. One great option is to jump rope. Jumping rope is an effective and affordable way to get in a good cardio workout. You can do it in the gym or at home! Another popular form of cardio is walking, jogging, or running on a treadmill. A treadmill allows you to choose the intensity of your workout and track your progress. Working out on a stair stepper machine is also a great way to get in shape. This type of machine helps to tone the legs and glutes while getting your heart rate up. Finally, using an elliptical machine is another great way to get in a good cardio workout. This type of machine works both your arms and legs at the same time and can help you burn even more calories. Don’t have access to a gym? Get outside to walk or jog-run up a hill if you’re craving something more intense.
Including cardio in your full body workout is a great way to get in shape and stay healthy. With these different types of cardio exercises, you can find one that works for you and start seeing results quickly!
Building upper body strength is essential for overall body health and function and will make everyday things, like carrying groceries, easier. When you build up your arm muscles, you can be more flexible in everyday activities.
A great way to work out your arms is with dumbbell curls. To do a curl, stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart, feet flat on the ground, and hold the weight at your side. Then, with your palms facing forward, curl the weight up to your shoulders, and then back down. Do this several times, depending on your level of fitness and desired results.
Dumbbell presses are another great exercise for your arms. To do this exercise, start by laying down with your knees bent or reclining back on a bench at the gym. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bring them up in the air at chest level with your palms facing forward. Then lower the weights back down to your chest, and repeat.
Lateral raises are a great exercise to help strengthen your arms and shoulder muscles. Start by kneeling with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing in. Lift the weights up to shoulder height, and then squeeze them together as hard as you can for a second or two. Slowly release, lower, and repeat. You can also do these standing or sitting on a bench.
Having strong legs is the foundation of a full body workout. Not only does it give you the ability to do more physical activities, but it also helps maintain your balance and stability.
When it comes to strengthening your lower body, leg lifts with a band or machine can be incredibly helpful. The resistance provided by the bands or machines will help you build strength and muscle in the leg area.
To do leg lifts with a band, start by laying on the floor on your side and looping the band around your legs, just above the knee. Then, slowly raise your leg as high as you can while keeping your core engaged. You can also keep the band around your ankles if that’s more comfortable or challenging. Hold the position for a few seconds before slowly returning your leg to the starting position.
Donkey kicks are also great for strengthening your lower body. And they help build the booty! To do a donkey kick, start by getting into an all-fours position on the floor and lift your leg, with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle, back into the air behind you. Your thigh should be parallel to the floor and your heel will be facing the ceiling. Hold the position for a few seconds before lowering your knee back down to the starting position.
Squats are another excellent exercise for building lower body strength. This classic exercise is fairly simple to do. To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Then, bend your knees and sit back as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep your chest up and push through your heels as you return to the starting position. Be mindful that your knees do not extend past your toes. As you get stronger, try adding weights to make the exercise more challenging.
Having a strong core is important for overall health and stability, as it helps to support your spine and keep your body in balance. Doing exercises that target the core muscles, like crunches, planks, and sit ups, can help you achieve a toned, strong midsection.
Crunches are one of the most popular exercises for strengthening the core. To do a crunch, lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, or hold a weight above your head at chest level, and raise your torso off the ground until your shoulder blades are off the ground. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.
Frog Crunch Variation
Frog crunches are a variation on traditional crunches, in which you place your legs together while reclining back in a seated position. Extend your legs forward and straight and then crunch them into your torso as you squeeze your abs and bend forward to meet your knees. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Planks are another great exercise to target the core. To do a plank, start in a pushup position with your arms straight and feet hip-width apart. You can also do this down on your forearms. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position for as long as you can without letting your hips sag or rise up.Be sure to tuck your pelvis and tighten your core for stability.
T-Cross Sit Up
T-cross sit ups are a good way to engage the core while also stretching the hamstrings and lower back. Lie on your back with legs extended and arms raised over your head. Reach up and try to touch your toes with your hands while simultaneously lifting your chest off the ground. Hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Just be sure to alternate arms to toes on opposite sides of the body.
It's a brand new year, and with it comes a chance to set a new goal. For many of us, that goal is to get fully back in shape. If that's your goal for 2023, a full body workout is a great way to achieve it.
I hope you found value in this routine, can adapt it to your abilities and strengths, and may you get fully back in shape this year!