Full Body Workout for Muscles & Fitness

Full Body Workout for Muscles & Fitness

Balance, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular training are the foundations of a fitness routine. Each component is equally important, although the time you should spend on each varies. You should engage in cardiovascular endurance to work your heart most days of the week for at least 30 minutes. Try to fit in at least 15 minutes per day for stretching and flexibility, while strength training should be done a minimum of two to three non-consecutive days each week.

Muscles are meant to work in harmony, as a system. Treat all body parts equally when exercising so your body works efficiently during your workouts and an while doing various daily activities too.

Stabilizing Core Muscles
Balancing consists of strengthening and stabilizing the core. These are the muscles in the abdominal region, mid and lower back, and hips. As they support the spine and pelvis, strengthening these muscles leads to efficiency in everyday movements and improved posture. Planks, side planks and floor bridges are three examples of effective core strengtheners. Hold planks for 30 to 60 seconds at a time, increasing your time as you get stronger. Floor bridges can be performed with three to four sets of 15 repetitions. Other ways to strengthen your core are balancing on one leg during your standing resistance training or performing lying or seated resistance exercises on a stability ball.

A Healthy Amount of Resistance
Strength -- or resistance training -- uses cables, dumbbells, weight machines, body weight exercises or anything else that provides an opposing force. You should work all major muscles -- the chest, back, abdominals, legs, the entire arms and the shoulders. Gaining muscle keeps your metabolism elevated by requiring more energy to maintain than fat does, which in turn burns more calories during your daily activities, even resting. Resistance training also makes everyday activities much easier, as you're growing muscles aid in carrying objects or pushing items, such as a full grocery cart.

Alleviate Tension
Flexibility training involves lengthening the muscles, which is typically done by stretching. Stretch all major muscle groups most days, or at least six days per week, to reduce tension and remove knots in muscles that can cause pain and injury. Dynamic stretches -- where active movement occurs to elongate the muscle -- should be completed in one set of ten repetitions before your workout. Examples of dynamic stretches include a side lunge with a heel touch, arm circles and butt kicks. Static stretches where you maintain a position that elongates the muscle should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds each and performed following your workout. An example of this type of stretch is bending over and reaching toward your toes. To remove knots, use a foam roll or stretching. With a foam roll, find the tender spot on a specific part of your body. Press and hold that spot firmly on the foam roll for 30 seconds.

Turning Oxygen into Energy
The cardiovascular endurance portion of a workout exercises your heart and blood vessels while the heart and lungs supply oxygen-rich blood to muscle tissue, and the muscles, in turn, use oxygen as energy for the movement. There are various ways to keep the heart rate elevated for an extended period of time, including running, brisk walking, stair climbing, biking or swimming. If you can't fit in at least 30 minutes straight, you can still benefit from at least three sets of at a minimum of 10 minutes at a time.