Emily Skye doing a one-armed kettlebell swing with an orange kettlebell.
Emily Skye

Get lean with my top 5 full-body moves

Emily Skye

Planning your workout week can be a little overwhelming. You may not know where to start, which days to work which muscles, or what type of exercises to do. You can follow a schedule that incorporates different muscle groups on different days, but you can also add in a few full-body exercises!

Like the label says, full-body exercises allow you to target your whole body rather than focusing on just one muscle group, like your arms for instance. A full-body workout will not only strengthen and condition your body, but delivers a smarter and more efficient way to work out. This means less time in the gym, and more gains for you!

If you don’t know which exercises will work your whole body, check out my 5 favourite full-body exercises:

1. Burpees

Beginning in a standing position with feet hip-width apart, lower your body to a crouch position and place hands on the floor in front of you. Jump back so your feet land together behind you to form a push-up position. Perform a pushup, and then hop back so your feet come under you so you’re in a crouch position again, and jump back up to the starting position. This move has a cardio element to it, getting your heart rate up and your muscles working explosively, including your legs, glutes, upper body, core and back.

2. Deadlift

Stand hip-width apart with your preferred weight at your feet in front of you (this can be a barbell, dumbells, kettlebells) bend down by bending your knees, and grip the weight with hands placed shoulder-width apart. With arms hanging straight in front of you gripping the weight, stand up keeping your back straight. Hold for a few seconds and then lower with control to starting position and repeat. This is such an effective exercise for strengthening the legs, butt, torso, shoulders and arms.

3. Kettlebell swing

Start with feet at least hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands in an overhand grip. As you bend your knees, lower the kettlebell down and in between your legs and start a swing from there by explosively pushing from your hips and squeezing your glutes as you straighten your legs up. Let the kettlebell swing up to eye-level in front of you by using only the momentum of the movement from your legs/hips thrusting, don’t rely on your arms. Allow the kettlebell to drop back down through your legs as you bend down to start over again. Repeat the movement. When performed explosively, this exercise acts as high-intensity cardio as well as a strength-building move, working the back, core, glutes and legs.

4. Medicine ball slams

Holding a medicine ball in both hands above your head, and standing with your feet hip-width apart and slightly bent, forcefully push the ball down in front of you to the ground, using your whole body (and your stress, frustration or anger) to slam it as hard as you can. As you slam it downwards, squat down with the motion of the ball and be ready to catch it if it bounces back up. Grab the ball and stand back up to start position and repeat. Not only is this great for stress relief, but it will also work your upper body, core, glutes, legs.

5. Mountain climbers

Start in a pushup position on your hands and feet, alternate lifting your legs towards your chest one at a time by drawing your knee up and tucking under you, then lowering back down to start position. This exercise works your arms, back, core, hips, glutes, and legs.

Emily Skye
Personal trainer • Founder

Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.

Emily Skye
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