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How to Maximize Your Strength Workout with Full-Body Movements

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9 minutes read

Spice up your workout routine by adding some full-body moves and reap entire rewards from your strength training program. Realize significant progress every week from your strength workout with these full-body movements.

Prepare your muscles

Having a solid foundation is key in breaking through your plateaus and diving into strength workouts. Thus, if you’re a novice or it’s been long since you lifted weights it’s essential to ease into a regular weight-lifting program. You can kick-start your program using machine-based weight lifting to help you build your confidence. The use of machines will not only allow you to focus on form but also add weight gradually, as well as accustom yourself to moving not just your body weight. After some time, you can then take your training program to the next level by including free weight type workouts. To increase the effectiveness of training you can also consider supplements.

How to incorporate full-body movements into your workout routine

Once you’ve established the routine, you can then incorporate full-body movements to your exercises. If you are aiming to build strength, the perfect place to begin is by determining what our bodies do best. Typically, we are designed to uniquely perform some movements and lifts easily, employing numerous muscles simultaneously and maximum leverage. This leads to a challenging strength workout that will work you full-body! The 7 primary natural strength movements and lifts that the human body performs well are:

Types of Full-body Movement workouts

1. Upper Body Pulling Movements

Maximize your strength training sessions with upper body movements. These type of movements fall into two main categories the vertical and horizontal.  Vertical pulling workouts usually involve moving a weight down straight up relative to your torso. Great examples of such exercises include pull-ups, lat pull-downs and chin-ups.

Horizontal pulling exercises are workouts that entail moving a weight in towards your torso horizontally from straight out in front of you. Some of the most common examples of horizontal pulling movements include dumbbell row, bent over rows, T-Bar Rows, and seated cable rows.


Chin-ups allow you to build gigantic muscles in the upper back and the biceps muscles in the arms. Here’s how you can get the most out of your chin-up exercises:

  • Locate a chin-up bar
  • Tightly hold on the bar with your palms facing your body.
  • Raise your body until your chin is above the bar.
  • Slowly lower yourself back down.

Bent over rows

  • Maintain a standing position with the bar tightly held using a double overhand grip.
  • Lean forward until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground.
  • Then start the movement by moving the elbows behind your body whereas pulling back the shoulder blades.
  • Pull the bar towards your stomach till it comes into contact with your body
  • Then slowly lower the bar to the initial position.
  • Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.

2. Upper Body Pushing Movements

Your upper body can push both vertically and horizontally. Overhead pressing exercises are some of the best examples of vertical pushing movements that you can do at home or in the gym. Horizontal pushing consist exercises such as push-ups (check this 10 level guide to push-up mastery) and bench pressing.

You can effectively do a pushing exercise by pushing some weight away from your torso or pushing your body weight away from the ground, similar to a push-up.

Exercise Examples:

Push Ups

  • Begin by putting your hands directly below your shoulders and positioning your body horizontally, resting on your hand and toes.
  • You then need to move downwards by squeezing your upper back until your chest touches the ground.
  • Once in the down position, move back up by pushing through your hands, keeping your chest out and going up.
  • At the peak of the movement, your shoulder blades can protract or separate.
  • Make sure that your elbows and upper arms are at a 45-degree angle to your body during the entire movement.
  • Repeat the same until you complete the set reps.

Barbell Shoulder Press

  • Rest on a bench with back support in a squat rack. Place a barbell at an accessible point above your head. Tightly hold onto the barbell with your palms facing forward.
  • Once you have the right grip, slowly lift the bar up by locking your arms.
  • Maintain at near shoulder level and a little in front of your head. Now this will be your starting position.
  • Bring the bar down to the shoulders carefully and slowly as you inhale.
  • Take it up once more to the starting position while you exhale.
  • Continue doing this for the set amount of reps.

3. Hip Dominant Lower Body Movements

You perform this workout by moving the hip joint while you’re maintaining minimal movement around the knee joint. Doing hip dominant leg exercises will make your hamstrings and gluteus stronger and more powerful. The most common and effective exercises in this category include:

Exercises Examples:

  • Bridges;
  • Deadlifts;
  • Kettlebell swings;


This is usually a one leg exercise movement that you do by stepping one leg forward and bent whereas the other leg remains in a fixed position. It’s a unique and dynamic exercise since you can lunge in all directions with both legs. It also demands balance, strength, and flexibility to maintain hip alignment.  You can add resistance by holding dumbbells, barbells, or even a sandbag on your shoulder to ensure your core is engaged to a greater level. To perfectly lunge, follow the following steps:

  • Maintain your upper body upright, with your shoulders backward and relaxed and chin up.
  • Concentrate on a point in front of you to keep you from looking down.
  • Step forward using one leg while slowly lowering your hips until you reach an angle of 90 degrees both knees bent.
  • Ensure your front knee is right over your ankle, and also your other knee doesn’t come into contact with the floor.
  • Maintain the weight in your heels while you push back up to the initial position.


These are the exercise that will build enormous muscle while helping you become as strongest possible. Deadlifting is considered one of the most effective exercises as it involves every single muscle in your body. Here’s how to do it properly:

  • Use your arms, forearms, and hands to tightly hold the barbell and ensure the bar stays in the right position throughout the lift;
  • Your traps and shoulders should make sure the weight is held properly and in a stable position;
  • Your back and core should help maintain your whole body tight and stable to ensure your spine is secure;
  • Lift the weight slowly using your posterior chain and legs.

4. Knee Dominant Lower Body Movements

These types of workouts demand movement around the knee joint. Doing these exercises usually strengthens the anterior of the upper leg, the quadriceps muscle group. Squats and step-ups are some of the exercises considered knee dominant.


A squat is a movement exercise where you establish both feet on the ground, then slowly bend your legs to bring your body down whereas maintaining your chest up and lower back straight.

You can use a barbell to get resistance to a squat from the front of your body, on your back with a barbell. You can also create resistance from the sides using dumbbells, or even on the whole upper body by putting on a weighted vest.

Each of these resistance methods requires the lower back and abs to contract to maintain your body upright as you are moving down. The main challenge to proper squatting is usually due to tight hip flexors or tight calves.


  • Step up on a chair or bench using your right foot;
  • Press through your right heel while stepping onto the bench;
  • Bring your left foot to meet your left, so you are standing on the bench;
  • Return to the starting position by stepping down with the right foot, then the left;
  • Complete ten steps starting with the left foot, then another ten steps with your right foot;
  • Perform the recommended number of reps.

The Bottom Line

When looking to maximize the benefits of a strength workout, consider incorporating full-body movements into your routine. You should combine lower and upper body movements if you’re looking to burn huge numbers of calories and cut down the amount of time you’re strength training. You should always remember to maintain proper coordination of these types of exercises to reap maximum benefits. Seek the assistance of a fitness professional whenever you feel anxious, so that you may be guided and make sure you stay safe while performing these movements.

Full-body workouts can all work for building muscle and strength. If you’re a novice, full-body exercises can work for you mainly because they are pretty easy to understand, don’t demand much of your time.

Author Bio: I’m Tina Howell, chief editor at XBodyNow. I have an in-depth knowledge about gym, fitness, bodybuilding… which are shared with you through my site. My mission is to make you aware about the right exercises, workout plans and nutrition.

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