How to Create a Perfectly Balanced Full Body Bodyweight Workout

Most full body workouts lack balance. Lets examine what a traditional full body workout would like. Most individuals categorize body parts in the following way:

  • Back – Pullups
  • Chest – Pushups
  • Quads – Bodyweight Squats
  • Hamstrings – Boot Strappers
  • Shoulders – Incline Pushups
  • Biceps – Chinups
  • Triceps – Close Grip Pushups
  • Abs – Situps
  • Calves – Calf Raises

Lets assume a trainee uses a traditional 3 sets per exercise approach (we’ll ignore reps for now).

  • Entire workout consists of 27 sets
  • Back is hit with two exercises, or 6 sets (Pullups, Chinups)
  • Chest is hit with three exercises, or 9 sets (Pushups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups)
  • Quads are hit with one exercise, or 3 sets (Bodyweight Squats)
  • Hamstrings are hit with two exercises, or 6 sets (Bodyweight Squats, Boot Strappers)
  • Shoulders are hit with five exercises, or 15 sets (Pushups, Pullups, Chinups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups)
  • Biceps are hit with two exercises, or 6 sets (Pullups, Chinups)
  • Triceps are hit with three exercises, or 9 sets (Pushups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups)
  • Abs are hit with 8 exercises, or 24 sets (Pullups, Pushups, Chinups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups, Bodyweight Squats, Boot Strappers, Situps)
  • Calves are hit with two exercises, or 6 sets (Bodyweight Squats, Calf Raises)

I know what you’re thinking right now: “How are abs hit with 8 exercises?” Well, pushups certainly require a good amount of core strength to perform. The push up position, also known as the plank, is one of the best ab exercises around. Pullups and chinups work the abs as well, although you may not notice it right away. But I know this for a fact: I once performed a workout that involved 100 pullups, and for the next three days, both my chest and abs (along with my back and shoulders) were sore! That tells you one thing: the body is more interconnected than we think. Everything stabilizes everything else.

You may not feel your abs working during lower body exercises , but trust me, they’re working. In order to perform a proper bodyweight squat, your abs and core need to stay rock-hard in order to stabilize your body through the entire movement. A big mistake that newbies make when performing a full squat is that they bend too much forward. Newbies make this mistake because they do not keep their back upright and abs tight. Do this, and you’ll feel your core working.

Image by Gyminee

Image by Gyminee

Biceps, triceps, and calves work with back, chest, and lower body exercises. This should be obvious to you. So lets readjust the program to make the workout more balanced, focusing on hitting each muscle group with an even number of sets.

  • Pullups, 3 sets
  • Pushups, 2 sets
  • Bodyweight Squat, 6 sets
  • Boot Strappers, 1 sets
  • Incline Pushups, 2 sets
  • Chinups, 3 sets
  • Close Grip Pushups, 2 sets
  • Situps, 1 sets
  • Calf Raises, 1 sets

Image by eHose

Lets examine how the bodyparts balance out:

  • Entire workouts consists of 21 sets
  • Back is hit with two exercises, or 6 sets (Pullups, Chinups)
  • Chest is hit with three exercises, or 6 sets (Pushups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups)
  • Quads are hit with one exercise, or 6 sets (Bodyweight Squats)
  • Hamstrings are hit with two exercises, or 7 sets (Bodyweight Squats, Boot Strappers)
  • Shoulders are with five exercise, or 12 sets (Pullups, Pushups, Chinups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups)
  • Biceps are hit with two exercises, or 6 sets (Pullups, Chinups)
  • Triceps are hit with three exercises, or 6 sets (Pushups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups)
  • Abs are hit with 8 exercises, or 22 sets (Pullups, Pushups, Chinups, Incline Pushups, Close Grip Pushups, Bodyweight Squats, Boot Strappers, Situps)
  • Calves are hit with two exercises, or 7 sets (Bodyweight Squats, Calf Raises)

So now we have a more balanced program. I’m not 100% happy with this workout either, simply because I still feel the workout can be condensed to become more efficient. I won’t go into this now, but I will leave you with two tips:

  • You don’t need to work abs, calves, and hamstrings with their own exercise.
  • You don’t need to use multiple exercises to work one muscle group within the same workout.

I’ll go into these two points in more detail at a future time. For now, just work on developing more balanced workouts.

If you’re looking for a complete, done for you bodyweight program, then check out Bodyweight Burn by Adam Steer. Click here for more information. 

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3 unique veggies that FIGHT abdominal fat? (surprising fat-fighters)

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>> 3 Unique veggies that FIGHT Abdominal Fat (surprising fat-fighters that help to counteract “xenoestrogens”)

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