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Workouts

Full-Body Workout at Home

Nowadays, more than ever it’s important to work in at least some activity into the daily schedule. Having a training program that requires little to no equipment and just 20 minutes to complete can help tremendously.

To follow this workout routine, you don’t need any special equipment, except for a backpack and some books. Some exercises shown in this workout are fairly advanced, so some base level strength is required. However, if you are completely new to training then it’s better if you start with a beginner at-home workout without equipment.

This article consists of a full-body workout at home PDF template, the exercise progressions. Moreover, some of the best ways of including progressive overload in such a workout routine are discussed.

Full-Body Home Workout Overview

When following this workout you can do all sets of exercises as straight sets. However, if you are more experienced with bodyweight workouts you would benefit more by doing all movements with minimal rest time in a circuit. Then after each circuit, you would take a longer rest time before going into the next one.

Such a workout strategy not only reduces the total time you spend in a workout but also increases the intensity of the workout. As a result higher workout intensity makes you burn more calories and provides a different kind of muscle stimulus.

The table you can see below is an overview of how your full-body workout at home could look like.

Feel free to DOWNLOAD a full-body workout at home workout PDF.

Muscle GroupExerciseReps
LegsBulgarian Split SquatClose to Max.
ChestDiamond Push-UpClose to Max.
ShouldersPike Push-UpClose to Max.
BackBack ExtensionClose to Max.
Abs/CoreElevated CrunchClose to Max.

Exercises

All the exercises you see above are the easier versions. In case you want to do more challenging exercises – check out a full-body home workout exercise progressions below. In that section, exercises are listed from the easiest to more difficult and have a representation of how to perform any given movement.

Sets/Circuits

As I mentioned before, each exercise can be done in a straight-set, yet, I think it would be more beneficial to perform movements in a circuit. In terms of the number of sets/circuits, simply start by doing 3 sets or circuits in a single workout and work your way up from there.

I don’t advise doing more than 5-6 circuits in a single workout. The reason being that it may be too challenging, time-consuming and the quality of the workout would probably also suffer.

Repetitions or “Reps”

In terms of the repetitions, it’s important that you perform an exercise until you reach or are close to reaching failure. Studies show that you want to push yourself as close to failure as possible, especially when performing mostly bodyweight movements. That way you will be able to maximize muscle and strength gains.

Based on that I cannot suggest a specific rep range you should do for any given exercise. Sufficient muscle stimulus can be achieved as long as you do every movement until close to failure.

Certainly, you should probably not be doing an exercise which you cannot perform for at least 5 repetitions. Nevertheless, if that is the case, then exercise may be too advanced, thus you should switch it for an easier version.

An opposite thing can be said if you can do more than 30 repetitions of a specific exercise in one set. This means that you would probably benefit more by switching to a more challenging movement that you could perform for fewer reps.

Rest Time

Rest time between straight-sets could be around 1-3 minutes. On the other hand, when doing exercises in a circuit, rest time between exercises should be minimal, 10 – 30 seconds. While between circuits you should rest for longer, somewhere between 2-5 minutes.

Before going into the next circuit you want to feel fully rested. That way you will have the best chance of performing it as well as the previous one, if not better. The same goes if you perform all exercises in straight-sets.

Training Frequency

Such a full-body workout routine at home can be done somewhere between 3-6 times per week. I would recommend starting with 3 workouts per week, and then gradually increasing training frequency as you get used to it to drive the progress even further.

Full-Body Home Workout Exercise Progressions

Leg Exercises

Bulgarian Split Squat Instructions

  1. Place a step, bench or chair that is approximately your knee height behind you and rest your foot on it.
  2. Position your other leg about half a meter in front of the platform, keep your torso upright with your eyes forward and your core tight, this will be your starting position.
  3. Start bending your knees and lowering the hips until the tight of your leading leg is parallel to the floor.
  4. Push through the heel of your leading leg and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set, switch sides and repeat the exercise to work the other leg.
Bulgarian Split Squat Exercise Demonstration
Bulgarian Split Squat Exercise Demonstration

Assisted Pistol Squat Instructions

  1. Start by placing the right hand on a chair or something you can hold on to.
  2. Stand upright with your eyes forward and your core tight, lift your left leg in front of you while keeping it straight, this will be your starting position.
  3. Start bending your right knee and lower your hips until the right tight is slightly below the parallel to the floor.
  4. Pause for a moment at the bottom and push through the heels and return to the starting position while keeping the left leg extended throughout the movement.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set, switch sides and repeat the exercise to work the other leg.
Assisted Pistol Squat Exercise Demonstration
Assisted Pistol Squat Exercise Demonstration

Pistol Squat Instructions

  1. Stand upright with your eyes forward, feet hip-width apart and your core tight, lift your right leg in front of you while keeping it extended, this will be your starting position.
  2. Start bending your left knee and lower your hips until the left tight is slightly below the parallel to the floor.
  3. Pause for a moment at the bottom and push through the heels and return to the starting position while keeping the right leg extended throughout the movement.
  4. Repeat until you complete the set, switch sides and repeat the exercise to work the other leg.
Pistol Squat Exercise Demonstration
Pistol Squat Exercise Demonstration

Chest Exercises

Diamond Push-Up Instructions

  1. Place your hands close together so that your thumbs and index fingers form a diamond shape, straighten your arm and legs.
  2. Keep your back straight, core tight, this will be your starting position.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  4. Pause for a moment, then push yourself back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set.
Diamond Push-Up Exercise Demonstration
Diamond Push-Up Exercise Demonstration

Decline Diamond Push-Up Instructions

  1. Place your hands close together so that your thumbs and index fingers form a diamond shape, straighten your arm and legs.
  2. Place your toes on a bench or chair, keep your back straight, core tight, this will be your starting position.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  4. Pause for a moment, then push yourself back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set.
Decline Diamond Push-Up Exercise Demonstration
Decline Diamond Push-Up Exercise Demonstration

Weighted Diamond Push-Up Instructions

  1. Start by wearing a backpack filled with books or other heavy objects that could add resistance while performing an exercise.
  2. Place your hands close together so that your thumbs and index fingers form a diamond shape, straighten your arm and legs.
  3. Keep your back straight, core tight, this will be your starting position.
  4. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  5. Pause for a moment, then push yourself back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat until you complete the set.
Weighted Diamond Push-Up Exercise Demonstration
Weighted Diamond Push-Up Exercise Demonstration

Shoulders

Pike Push-Up Instructions

  1. Place your arms slightly wider than your shoulders, straighten your arm and legs.
  2. Keep your hips up, back straight and your core tight, this will be your starting position.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms form a 90-degree angle.
  4. Pause for a moment, then push yourself back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set.
Pike Push-Up Exercise Demonstration
Pike Push-Up Exercise Demonstration

Decline Pike Push-Up Instructions

  1. Position your arms slightly wider than your shoulders, straighten your arm and legs.
  2. Place your toes on a bench or chair, keep your back straight, core tight, this will be your starting position.
  3. Keep your hips up, back straight and your core tight, this will be your starting position.
  4. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms form a 90-degree angle.
  5. Pause for a moment, then push yourself back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat until you complete the set.
Decline Pike Push-Up Exercise Demonstration
Decline Pike Push-Up Exercise Demonstration

Back Exercises

Back Extension Instructions

  1. Lie on the floor with your face down, legs extended and hands by your head, this will be your starting position.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift your torso up, by using your back muscles.
  3. Hold this position for a second, while keeping your back straight and core tight.
  4. Then return to the starting position in a controlled way.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set.
Back Extension Exercise Demonstration
Back Extension Exercise Demonstration

Superman Back Extension Instructions

  1. Lie on the floor with your face down, your legs and arms extended, this will be your starting position.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, lift your whole torso and both legs up, by using your back and glute muscles.
  3. Hold this position for a second, while keeping your limbs straight.
  4. Then return to the starting position in a controlled way.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set.
Superman Back Extension Exercise Demonstration
Superman Back Extension Exercise Demonstration

Superman Back Extension Variation Instructions

  1. Lie on the floor with your face down, your legs extended and arms by your sides, this will be your starting position.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, lift your torso by using your back muscles while rotating your shoulders back.
  3. Hold this position for a second.
  4. Then return to the starting position in a controlled way.
  5. Repeat until you complete the set.
Superman Back Extension Variation Exercise Demonstration
Superman Back Extension Variation Exercise Demonstration

Single-Arm Row Instructions

  1. Start by holding a backpack filled with heavy objects in your left hand and letting the arm hang while resting your other arm on a chair or something you can hold on to.
  2. Step backwards with your left leg and bend forward at the waist, this will be your starting position.
  3. Pull the backpack towards your hip, using back muscles until your elbow is pointed to the ceiling and rotate your torso slightly in the direction that you are pulling.
  4. Repeat until you complete the set, switch sides and repeat the exercise to work the other side.
Single-Arm Row Exercise Demonstration
Single-Arm Row Exercise Demonstration

Core/Ab Exercises

Elevated Crunch Instructions

  1. Lie down on your back, keep your arms by your ears, elevate your feet with a 90-degree angle at your hips and your knees, this is your starting position.
  2. Contract your core muscles to lift your upper spine up off the floor.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat until you complete the set.
Elevated Crunch Exercise Demonstration
Elevated Crunch Exercise Demonstration

Leg Raise Instructions

  1. Lie down on your back, with your legs extended and your arms by your sides, this is your starting position.
  2. Keep your core muscles tight and raise your legs until your body forms an L shape, and try to keep your legs extended throughout the whole motion.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat until you complete the set.
Leg Raise Exercise Demonstration
Leg Raise Exercise Demonstration

Weighted Plank Instructions

  1. Start by wearing a backpack filled with books or other heavy objects that could add resistance.
  2. Get in the regular push-up position but instead of putting your hands on the floor, place your forearms on the floor.
  3. Keep back straight, core tight, this will be your starting position.
  4. Then hold that position until you complete the set.
Weighted Plank Exercise Demonstration
Weighted Plank Exercise Demonstration

How to Apply Progressively Overload

Doing the same full-body workout at home over a very long period won’t give you the best results possible. That is because some sort of progressive overload has to be built into the routine. The following strategies can make your training routine progressively harder.

Doing More Repetitions

The simplest way of making your workouts harder is to simply do more repetitions of the same exercise. Knowing that you want to do every set of exercise close to failure, aim to increase the number of reps it takes you to reach the point of failure. Therefore, it is wise to track your progress to make sure that your reps are increasing and you are progressing.

Slowing Down the Repetitions Tempo

You can also do every repetition with a slower tempo. For instance, instead of doing every exercise as you normally would try to make both the negative and the positive part of the movement longer. Each part of the motion could be 4 seconds long.

Performing More Challenging Exercises

Another easy way of applying progressive overload is by doing more advanced exercises. The section of exercise progressions above includes some more challenging exercises which you should try out once the current ones get too easy.

Increasing the Number of Sets or Circuits

As recommended above, you want to start with 3 sets or circuits at the beginning. After following such a routine for some time you want to gradually increase that number, making the workouts more challenging. Once again, you don’t want to do more than 5-6 sets or circuits of exercises in a single workout.

Adding More Resistance

Some of the exercises in this workout program require a backpack and some heavy objects. Therefore, you could easily increase resistance for those exercises by putting more books or other heavier objects into your backpack.

Working out More Frequently

An increase in training frequency is another great way of progressive overload. As mentioned before, you would want to do such a workout 3 times a week. Later on, you can increase the frequency to up to 6 times per week.

On a final note, you should know that as you progress further, the harder it will be to see better results. Therefore, to achieve continuous progress at an optimal rate, eventually, you would have to get back into working out in a gym or have some equipment.

Incorporation of equipment like a resistance band into your routine would expose you to a new kind of muscle stimulus. Even better would be to get a pull-up bar or some free weight. Ideally, you would want to get access to proper gym equipment by getting a gym membership.

Key Takeaways of a Full-Body Workout At-Home

A full-body at-home workout program is good to follow whenever you don’t have time, desire or access to the gym.

You can DOWNLOAD a full-body workout at home workout PDF.

As you may know, for most of the calisthenics exercises, the learning curve is pretty long. Additionally, it’s not an easy task to incorporate progressive overload into routines consisting of bodyweight exercises. Especially when comparing such movements to exercises with free weights and machines.

Yet, strategies like the ones listed below can be used to incorporate some progressive overload into such workouts:

  • Doing More Repetitions
  • Slowing Down the Repetitions Tempo
  • Performing More Challenging Exercises
  • Increasing the Number of Sets or Circuits
  • Adding More Resistance
  • Working out More Frequently

Note that in order to make the most optimal progress in terms of muscle size and strength, you will have to get access to some equipment. Therefore, a full-body at-home workout should be followed up to the point, if you want to maximize your progress. Or, at times when the time is limited or you don’t have access to any training gear.

I hope this article helped learn what is important to get the most out of your full-body workouts at home.

Contact me if you have questions about full-body workouts at home or any other fitness topic!

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