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Workout Tips

This section of our health library is devoted to – you guessed it – workout tips! Learn about all things fitness in these articles that are designed to help you get up and get moving, regardless of your physical ability.

23 Exercises for Both Men and Women

Since fitness is not designated to just one gender, strengthen the entire body with these exercise and example full-body workout routine suitable for both men and women!

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Exercise is important for all throughout the entire lifespan. What’s more, fitness is not designated to just one gender…

So strengthen the entire body with these exercise and example full-body workout routine suitable for both men and women!

Full-Body Workout for Women and Men

These exercises targets all major muscle groups and are appropriate for both men and women.

1. Barbell Squats

Squats promote strength, mobility, and balance and are great for a toned torso and strong toned legs and thighs.

How to Do It:
1. Stand with your legs at shoulder width and add a barbell on your shoulders for added resistance.
2. Keeping your back straight, go down from your hips till your legs are parallel to the ground. Also do not let your knees extend further than your toes.
3. Squat down as low as you can without losing the arch in the lower back.
4. Press the legs into the ground and drive yourself back up for one rep.

2. Goblet Squats

Like barbell squats, goblet squats are excellent for targeting the lower body while being effective for exercisers at all experience levels.

How to Do It:
1. Grasp the top of a kettlebell or dumbbell and hold against the chest.
2. Place feet slightly over shoulder-width apart with toes slightly pointed outward.
3. Keep the core tight and chest forward and start siting back between the knees while keeping the feet flat on the ground. Continue squatting until the elbows touch the knees.
4. Drive the heels into the ground and stand pack up to the starting position.

3. Lunges

Like squats, lunges target the legs while also encouraging strengthened balance and coordination.

How to Do It:
1. Starting by stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
2. Take a big step forward with left leg and shift weight so the heel hits the floor first.
3. Lower the body so that the left thigh is parallel to the floor, aiming to keep the knee even to or behind the toe.
4. Press into the left heel to drive back to the starting position.
5. Repeat using the right leg.
6. Also complete the lunges in place and stationary or by walking, alternating between each leg. Feel free to hold an appropriate dumbbell weight as tolerated or preferred for added exertion.

4. Deadlifts

Deadlifts may seem intimidating, but they are one superior full-body exercise for both men and women to target the core, hamstrings, thighs, hips, sides and back.

How to Do It:
1. Stand with your legs shoulder distance.
2. Bend down and pick up the barbell without rounding your back.
3. Now bend down, pushing your hips slightly back and keeping your knees soft.
4. Now stand up straight while keeping your back arched. Do this once a week.

5. Hip Raises

Working out the hips is often missed, although strengthening them offers support to other surrounding muscles. And fortunately, hip raises can do just that!

How to Do It:
1. Lie on your back, on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Now brace your core, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
3. Pause for 3 to 5 seconds—squeezing your glutes tightly the entire time—then lower back to the start.

6. Wall Sits

Wall sits are a type of isometric exercise, in which the muscle does not change length or contract. In the case of wall sits, they target the core and lower body while being low-impact and not requiring full range of motion.

How to Do It:
1. Lean and slide the back down a cleared wall until the hips and knees reach a 90° angle.
2. Keep the shoulders, upper back, and back of the head flat against the wall while evenly distributing weight throughout both feet.
3. Hold for 20 seconds, or as long as you can.

7. Donkey Kicks

Incorporate donkey kicks to help strengthen and sculpt the glutes.

How to Do It:
1. With a mat or softer surface, get on all fours with the hands flat.
2. Keep the right knee at a 90° angle and lift into the air, keeping the toe pointed to the ceiling and shoulders and knees forming a straight line.
3. Return to the starting position for one rep.
4. Alternate between legs.

8. Squat Jumps

Squat jumps are a type of plyometric exercise, which is an excellent anaerobic activity to improve power, strength, and balance.

How to Do It:
1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Duck down into regular squat position, but engaging the core and jumping explosively.
3. When landing and as controlled as possible, lower the body back to the squat position for one rep.

9. Tuck Jumps

Like squat jumps, tuck jumps are a plyometric exercise sure to ignite power.

How to Do It:
1. Start in a standing position with the feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms extended out front at shoulder level.
2. Using the power of your legs, bend deep and jump straight up, lifting the knees until they hit the bottoms of the hands.
3. Land down softly with a slight bend in the knees for a rep.

10. Pushups

Pushups are an oldie but a goodie and should be put in the back pocket of both men and women for its capability to target the core, chest, shoulders, and triceps simultaneously. Besides, they can be virtually completed anywhere and come in numerous variations for all fitness levels.

How to Do It:
1. Start by getting down on all fours, with hands flat on the ground and slightly wider than shoulders.
2. Extend the feet behind you, straighten the legs, and slightly bend at the elbows.
3. While keeping the core tight and back straight, lower yourself to the ground.
4. Pause at the bottom then push yourself back up.
5. Repeat.

11. Planks

Though planks do not demand too much active movement, they are extremely effective in targeting core muscles.

How to Do It: 1. Get into plank form (similar to a push-up) with elbows bent, rather than stabilizing on your hands.
2. Activate your core by contracting the ab muscles. The entire body should form a stable, straight line.
3. Start with 30 second planks and increase time as their effort starts to reduce.

12. Plank Jacks

Plank jacks are essentially the combination of planks and jumping jacks, promoting both strength and cardiovascular training.

How to Do It:
1. Start a plank jack by getting into plank form, while keeping the upper body tight.
2. Jump the feet outward as if you were doing a normal jumping jack.

For a Modified Plank Jack:
1. Step one foot in and out at a time.
2. Return feet to the starting position, or the common plank, for one rep.

13. Plank Rows

Plank rows are an excellent full-body workout for men and women to not only target the core and glutes, but adding more attention to the arms and back. You will also need a pair of dumbbells.

How to Do It:
1. Start in a push-up position with your legs slightly wider than hip-width distance (the wider stance makes you more stable).
2. Hold onto the dumbbells, keeping your wrist locked to protect the joint and arms completely straight.
3. With the core tight and elbows close to the body, row a dumbbell off the floor while squeezing the shoulder blade back.
4. Return dumbbell back to the floor and repeat with the other arm.

14. Burpees

While burpees may be difficult, they are a plyometric movement that revs the heart rate while working virtually all muscles of the body.

How to Do It:
1. Begin in a standing position with the head looking straight forward.
2. Lower into the squatting position and place the hands on the floor in front of you, all while keeping the arms extended.
3. Kick the feet back into a push-up position and drop the chest to floor.
4. Return to the squat position then jump into the air as high as possible.

15. Skaters/Leaps

A cardiovascular and leg strengthening exercise, no skates required!

How to Do It:
1. Get into a semi-squat position and leap sideways to land on your right foot.
2. Immediately push off in the opposite direction and land on your left foot.
3. Make sure you perform these continuously and in a swift manner.

16. Bench Dips

All you need is a bench, step, or elevated area to truly target the triceps!

How to Do It:
1. Sit on sideways on the bench and place hands on the edge of it, just outside the width of the hips.
2. Position back and feet away from the bench while resting the heels on the floor and straightening the legs and arms.
3. Breathing in, lower the body to the floor by bending the elbows until the arms have reached an approximate 90° angle.
4. Breathing out, press back to the starting position and squeeze the triceps at the top of the movement.

17. Barbell Military Presses

Military presses are superior for targeting the shoulders, along with focus on the triceps.

How to Do It:
1. Begin by grabbing a barbell and resting it on the collarbone, or about shoulder height.
2. Position the feet about shoulder-width apart and slightly bend the knees.
3. In a slow and controlled fashion, lift the barbell straight up until the arms are almost fully extended.
4. Lower the weight back down to the starting position for one rep.

18. Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Dumbbell lateral raises are an isolation exercise to strengthen the shoulders, with special attention to deltoids.

How to Do It:
1. Grab an appropriate pair of dumbbells with palms facing the torso and hanging at the sides.
2. While standing in a shoulder-width position, slowly raise the aims until they have reached shoulder level.
3. Pause briefly then slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

19. Bicep Curls

Curls are also for the girls and, as the name suggests, are excellent for targeting the biceps.

How to Do It:
1. Stand straight with the feet positioned about shoulder-width apart.
2. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, slowly lift one hand toward the shoulder with it facing upward. Also keep the elbow close to the body.
3. Lower down slowly then curl the dumbbell with the other arm.

20. Barbell Rows

Barbell rows are essentially a full-body workout for men and women that targets the upper and lower and back, hips, and arms.

How to Do It:
1. Line your midfoot underneath the bar and bend over to grab with palms facing down.
2. While keeping the hips high, unlock the knees, lift the chest, and straighten the back.
3. Slowly pull the bar to the lower chest then return the bar back to the floor for one rep.

21. Barbell Bench Presses

While men tend to be more apt to complete the bench press, it is also an excellent exercise for women for building a strong upper body.

How to Do It:
1. Lie down on a flat bench and position the bar so that is slightly above the chest.
2. Grip the bar with a medium width grip and lift it from the rack.
3. Take a deep breath, keep the core tight, and start to lower the bar slowly until it touches the middle of the chest.
4. Pause at the bottom and then push the bar off your chest in a controlled manner.

22. Dumbbell Side Bends

Target the obliques are dumbbell side bends.

How to Do It:
1. Start by holding a dumbbell in one hand, palm facing inwards, and standing hip-width apart.
2. While keeping the back straight and core engaged, slowly bend over to side holding the dumbbell as far as possible at the wrist.
3. Hold for one second and return back to the starting position, alternating sides between sets.

23. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are excellent for tightening the core and elevating the heart rate.

How to Do It:
1. Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles.
2. Tighten your core and hold it that way for the duration of the exercise.
3. Lift one foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can without changing your lower-back posture.
4. Repeat with your other leg and alternate back and forth for 30 seconds. If too difficult, place your hands on the floor or on a bench.

Full-Body Workout Routine

Ready to give these exercises a shot? Give this full-body workout routine for men and women during your next trip to the gym or comfortably completed at home.

Also feel free to pick and choose exercises to shake up the routine. And if new to any fitness program, start slow and work up to extra sets and repetitions.

Warm-Up

Before jumping into a workout, it is important to participate in some sort of warm-up. Do so with a light jog, bike ride, jumping jacks, or any other preferred exercise to elevate heart rate. A warm-up should last at least three to five minutes.

Full-Body Workout for Women and Men

Though there are intended repetitions (reps) and set ranges, feel free to adjust based on experience level.

1. Push-Ups: 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps
2. Goblet Squats: 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps
3. Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
4. Deadlifts: 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps
5. Military Press: 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps
6. Bench Dips: 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
7. Planks: Hold as long as possible for 3 rounds

Cool-Down

An effective cool down regimen can reduce pain and stiffness following a workout. Reduce heart rate by a light walk and stretch out muscles. Breathe deeply throughout and hold stretches for 10 to 30 seconds.

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on June 18, 2013. Updated on January 22, 2019.

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