The 7 Best Exercises for a Full-Body Workout

Pike Roll-Out

A 2010 study by the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy found, that of the 10 exercises it tested, the pike roll-out combination was the most effective for core muscles.

To do it, grab a Swiss ball (also known as an exercise ball or stability ball). Get into a push-up position with your feet on top of the ball. Begin by using your core muscles to lift your butt into the air, over your torso. This is the pike portion of the exercise. As you bring your body back down, allow your body to move along the ball until it's under your knees and your arms are now out in front of you. This is the roll-out.

Together, the pike roll-out combination is a challenging exercise that benefits nearly every muscle in your core.

Clean and Jerk

The clean and jerk is an explosive lift that targets a lot of useful muscles and can test your endurance. No wonder it's considered the ultimate test of strength in the Olympic Games.

Olympic lifters do the clean and the jerk as one complex lift. Amateur lifters can do them separately.

Begin by snapping the weight to the torso until your arms are under the bar. In an explosive movement, push the bar over your head.

The hang clean is another version, where the lift starts with the bar already hanging in the individual's hands, not on the ground.

There's a reason this single exercise has been labeled the total-body workout. The list is long—hamstrings, biceps, triceps, the back, core, quadriceps and calves are all engaged during this straightforward exercise. No matter what you're hoping to build, the clean and jerk will probably be a great addition to your training.

Burpees

It's complicated—and maybe even a little silly—but burpees are one of the best exercises for a reason: They work.

Start in a standing position, squat down and put your hands on the ground, kick your feet out and do a push-up. Tuck your feet back under you, and spring up out of your crouch with a leap. That's a burpee. If you're really feeling wild, put a dumbbell in each hand.

Burpees bring in two other exercises on this list (push-ups and squats) while adding some leg work and a leap for good measure.

PREV
  • 2
  • of
  • 3
NEXT

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood is a former editor for ACTIVE.com. He enjoys a good ride and loves participating in endurance events throughout the year. Follow him on Google+.

Ryan Wood is a former editor for ACTIVE.com. He enjoys a good ride and loves participating in endurance events throughout the year. Follow him on Google+.

Discuss This Article