The 7 Best Single Full Body Exercises You Should Master

    The 7 Best Single Full Body Exercises You Should Master

    Unlike exercises that target a specific muscle group, a full-body workout uses different muscles all at once. What is the best single full body exercise for you? Find out here.

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    Benefits of a Single Full Body Exercise

    In simpler words, when we say “full body workout,” we are targeting the upper body, the core, and the lower body. Since it also increases our heart rate, full body exercises also heighten our aerobic capacities.

    Single full body exercises help in:

    • Building muscles and burning calories
    • Cardio and strength training at the same time
    • Preventing injuries by strengthening the muscles

    Moreover, many full-body workouts can be done anytime, anywhere – you just need adequate space and a few minutes.

    Which exercise is for you? Here are the 7 best single full body exercises you should master.

    Step Up

    If you’re looking for the best single full body exercise that requires little to no learning curve, then step up is probably for you. In step up, you just need an elevated platform, like a step on your stairs.

    How to properly do a step up

    1. Choose an elevated platform, like a box or a step on your stairs.
    2. The ideal platform is high enough so that when you step up, your knee forms a 90-degree angle.
    3. Stand with your chest open and your shoulders pulled.
    4. Step up on the platform using your right leg.
    5. Then, bring your left leg on top of the platform as well, in a tiptoe position.
    6. Bring your left leg down.
    7. Repeat the procedure, but this time, step up with your left leg first.
    8. Start with 15 reps for each leg and work your way up.

    A little reminder: You do not need to step up and down fast, especially if you have problems with your knees.

    best single full body exercise


    Squats have been around for a long time because they work well for your shoulders, back, core, and lower body. There’s no doubt that it could be the best single full body exercise for you. Like the other previously discussed exercises, you can do a squat anytime, even during a break at work.

    How to do a squat

    1. Stand with your feet, hip-width apart.
    2. Pull your shoulders back and tighten your core.
    3. Assume a sitting position, by pulling your butt and hip back.
    4. Slowly lower down in a way that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
    5. As you lower yourself down, put your arms in front of you.
    6. Do not forget to support your weight using your heels.
    7. Bring your hands down, get back to the starting position, and tighten your butt as you do so.
    8. Start with 12 reps and work your way up.


    Who does not love a good plank? Not only is it good for your core, but it also strengthens your arms. It is one of the best single full body exercises because you only need a few seconds to feel the “burn.”

    How to do a plank

    1. To start, get down on the floor and prop yourself up using your elbows and soles of your feet.
    2. Do not forget that your elbows should be directly below your shoulders.
    3. As part of the starting position, it is okay for your core and thighs to touch the floor initially.
    4. Now, lift yourself while engaging your core.
    5. Remember that your body should be straight at all times.
    6. Stay in that forearm plank position for a few seconds or for as long as it is tolerable.


    Lunges really target muscle sets in the lower body, while engaging the core. One interesting thing about lunge is that it is a natural functional position that we do almost every day.

    How to do lunges

    1. Start in a standing position with your hands on your hips.
    2. Put the right foot forward.
    3. Bring your left knee down until it is close to or touching the floor.
    4. Jump up explosively.
    5. Switch legs and then jump again.
    6. Start with 5 reps for each leg.

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    Like squats, push-ups have been around for a long time because it engages a lot of muscle groups including chest, core, leg, arms, and back. A lot of people will find that it is one of the best single full body exercises for them.

    How to do a push-up

    1. Start in an extended arm plank position. This is similar to the plank position, but instead of your forearm touching the floor, your arms are extended and your hands are directly below your shoulders.
    2. Lower down until your chest touches the floor.
    3. Your shoulders should still be close to your body.
    4. Push back up so you are in the starting position again.
    5. Start with 10 push-ups and work your way up.

    Box Jumps

    In this exercise, you need a platform like the one you used for the step up exercise. If you do not have a box, a step on your stairs will do as long as it is wide enough to accommodate your jump.

    How to do box jumps

    1. Stand in front of the platform, box, or step.
    2. Jump on top of the box; you should land with both feet.
    3. Stand straight on top of the platform.
    4. Jump back down.
    5. Start with 5 reps and work your way up.


    Burpee is one of the best full body exercises since you do not need anything other than your own body. There are many variations to a burpee, but the most common one combines at least 3 exercises, namely: squat, push-up or plank, and a jump.


    1. Start in a standing position.
    2. Drop on a squat, with your hands in front of you.
    3. Kick back, so you’ll assume a push-up position.
    4. Lower your body in a way that your chest touches the floor.
    5. Now, jump to get back on your squat position.
    6. From the squat immediately make an explosive jump with your arms raised over your head.
    7. Start with 10 repetitions and work your way up.

    best single full body exercise

    Key Takeaways

    Although we have a specified repetition count for each of the best single full body exercises, remember that there is no magic number. It ultimately depends on your personal goal and your comfort level. Do not forget to do some stretching before you work out and to hydrate yourself frequently.

    Learn more about Health Fitness here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 15, 2020