7 min read

Full body workout plan: Stay in shape without equipment

Three athletic people - two women and a man - showing their muscles. The women are in sports bras and the man is shirtless.

Not up for going to a crowded gym, but not sure you have the ideas for an effective, equipment-free workout? Then our full body workout plan is the perfect solution! No matter if you’re a beginner or a pro – an intensive training session that demands every muscle will take you to your limits. Let’s show you how this works with our exercise ideas!

Staying fit without equipment?

Staying fit is important for your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, we often forget to get our sweat on, or simply lack the time to do so. It’s best to develop a home workout plan that fits well into your everyday life. In addition to working out, this includes proper nutrition and a sufficient supply of all macro- and micronutrients.

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Regular exercise helps you to keep fit. But don’t worry if your schedule is already full or you prefer working out outside! We have created the best full body workout routine for pros, intermediate athletes, and beginners – all without any equipment. You can do our exercises at any time, any place. It’s also the perfect way to give yourself a break from the equipment and then come back later at full power.

All you need for our full body workout routine is your own self and the willingness to push yourself to your limits. But before we get started, how about we give you a few reasons why a full body workout is a good idea?

Who can benefit from full body workouts?

The answer is: Everyone! Even though full-body workouts are usually recommended for beginners, this does not mean that advanced or professional athletes can’t get their money’s worth. The best full body workouts hit all your major muscle groups to leave you feeling balanced. All that, while using only your body weight!

It’s best to start with the basic exercises in our workout plans: for example, a classic squat and progress step by step to a pistol squat. Or you can start with a push-up and then move on to the peak push-ups. This way, you can determine what level you’re at and choose the workout program at the right level for you.

A shirtless man with tanned skin does push-ups outdoors on a cement skating park
©Westend61

Looking for a new challenge? Then try our free workouts! Sorted based on your personal fitness level and training goals. With our creative exercise variations, both newbies and experienced fitness enthusiasts will find plenty of new training ideas. All without a gym!

Find your Workout

How often should you do a total body workout?

How often you work out per week depends on your personal fitness level. For beginners, two exercise sessions a week may be enough, while more experienced athletes might bump it up to three times a week. So take a few days off between your training sessions. Remember, your recovery is just as important as your training! That’s when your muscles actually grow. Moreover, not taking a break means overtraining, sore muscles, or even a high risk of injury. So give yourself the time to recover.

Why try a home workout plan?

If you’re not at the gym, you have to do without equipment such as barbells or the multifunctional cable pull station. But don’t worry, you don’t always need those! The first thing to do is to switch to the right workout routine. Changing it up positively affects your performance, as you can introduce new stimuli and focus on compound exercises.

Compound exercises are complex movements that activate several muscle groups at once. They have many advantages. One of them: your muscle groups learn to work together better. This means that you not only build muscle, but also provide more stability throughout your body. Don’t forget, your body is a unit! Even in everyday life, several muscles are involved in movements like running or lifting.

In addition, an efficient workout plan affects your hormone balance. The more muscles that are involved in a workout, the greater the hormone release. This also applies to the growth hormone testosterone. An increased testosterone level stimulates protein metabolism and supports muscle building.

A further advantage is, of course, the increased calorie burn. This workout will work all your muscles, meaning you use more energy. Not to forget: time is money! You can work your whole body in one session. That way, you’ll have plenty of time for the rest of your day.

How can you boost your performance with a full body workout at home?

You’re probably used to increasing your weights regularly to get ahead in your workout. How can you do that if you don’t have dumbbells at your disposal? It’s simple – really! There are many ways to take your resistance training workout to the next level without weights.

For example, you can play with the range of motion, choose a more demanding exercise variation, or use the Time Under Tension (TUT) method. TUT refers to how long you tense a muscle during a set. You can increase the duration of the exercise, for example, by adding an extra movement or by slowing down the exercise. Find out which intensity technique you enjoy most and make your muscles burn.

You can also use targeted muscle engagement or the so-called Mind Muscle Connection to stimulate your performance. Concentrate on the muscles that are involved in the movement. Activate them consciously! Body weight training has that advantage because you don’t have to hold any distracting dumbbells. It’s a good way to improve the neuronal connection of the muscle to the brain.

Mind Muscle Connection is important when working with or without equipment and helps you to achieve better results in the long run. Try it out! You’ll soon notice that the exercise feels more strenuous and you can do fewer reps than usual.

As promised, we have put together 4 effective exercises for you to train all of your muscles, including options to increase the intensity. As a beginner, choose the easier version. If you are more experienced, choose the more demanding variation.

4 exercises with variations for your equipment-free workout routines

Make sure you warm up for at least 10 minutes before beginning your total body workout. Ready? Let’s go. Complete a total of three rounds of each exercise. Take 60 seconds of rest between sets. There are between 10 and 15 reps, depending on the muscle group. The last exercise is a holding exercise you should hold for one minute. Important: Go to your limits, but not beyond! Focus on clean execution. If some variations seem too complicated at first, treat them as a new goal and approach them slowly. Have fun!

Pistols: 10 per side

Difficulty: Hard
What it targets: Front and back of thighs, glute and foot muscles, for stabilization of back and ab muscles
Look out: Keep your back straight, stretch your arms forward, and push your pelvis down and back.
For beginners: Grab a chair and sit down slowly on one leg. Then push yourself up again from the heel. Keep your other leg in the air the whole time and stretch it forward. If you have a hard time keeping it steady, try holding a weight in your hand to counterbalance..
For an intermediate challenge: Stand one-legged on a raised surface and slowly bend your standing leg. Alternatively, you can hold onto a rope and then go deep.
For pros: Normal pistols are great for real pros too. Just try them without any props.

Push-Ups: 10 reps

A white man does push-ups as part of his full body workout plan
©foodspring
Difficulty: Medium
What it targets: Chest, triceps, shoulders, and torso
Look out: Place your hands just below your shoulders. Engage the whole body and keep your body in a straight line.
For beginners: Start on your knees, bend your arms, and go down low. If that’s too easy for you, do it with your feet on the floor.
For an intermediate challenge: Diamond Push-Ups
Move your palms closer together under your chest and form a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs. Keeping your arms close, lower your body toward the floor.
For pros: Peak Push-Ups
Form a V with your body, keeping your arms and legs straight and your pelvis up. Bend your arms and lower your upper body until your forehead lightly touches the floor. Come back to the starting position.

 

Single Leg Deadlift: 15 reps per side

A woman does single leg deadlifts
©fizkes
Difficulty: Medium
What it targets: Legs, glutes, lower back, and abs
Look out: Keep your back straight and hips neutral. Avoid shifting your weight to the side.
For beginners: With a straight back, bend forward and lift your back leg. As you straighten up, lower your leg back down. Hold onto the wall if you feel too wobbly.
For an intermediate challenge: Keep your leg in the air and don’t put it down even when you straighten up. When upright, extend your arms forward and hold for a few seconds.
For pros: When standing and balancing, rotate your torso towards your standing leg. Keep your arms bent at your head, pointing your elbows out.

Plank: 60 sec.

a white man doing a plank as part of his full body workout
©foodspring
Difficulty: Medium
What it targets: Primarily the core
Look out: Tense your whole body and hold yourself with your hands under your shoulders. Keep your whole body in a flat line, not raising your pelvis.
For beginners: Rest on your palms and hold the position. If you have problems with your wrists, support yourself on your forearms.
For an intermediate challenge: Military Plank
Start in a plank on your forearms. Place one palm on the floor and extend your arm. Do the same with your other arm. From there, go low back onto your forearms. Repeat.
For pros: Superman Plank
Start in a plank position. Raise one leg and one arm diagonally upward. Hold for a few seconds and then switch sides.

Summary

  • Full-body exercises provide more stability and stimulate the production of testosterone.
  • You’ll burn more calories and save time.
  • Thanks to variations and targeted muscle control, you can challenge yourself even without a gym.
  • A nutrient-rich diet and sufficient protein intake support your immune system and promote muscle growth.
Article sources
We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • Jakob L. Vingren/ William J. Kraemer/ Nicholas A. Ratamess/ Jeffrey M. Anderson/ Jeff S. Volek und Carl M. Maresh (2010): Testosterone Physiology in Resistance Exercise and Training https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/11536910-000000000-00000

     

  • Bret Contreras (2014): Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

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