Blog Fitness Workouts 16 Benefits Of Full-Body Workouts: What Can A Compound, Full-Body Workout Do For You?

16 Benefits Of Full-Body Workouts: What Can A Compound, Full-Body Workout Do For You?

The benefits of a full-body workout are just what you must hear if you love HIIT and boot camp-style workouts. Maybe you hit a plateau in your workout routine, or you’re not getting to the gym daily to meet those muscle-specific workouts. Either way, discovering the benefits of full-body workouts will put your mind to rest, sometimes literally. Let’s understand the facts of full-body vs. split workouts before diving into the benefits of choosing the right one for your needs.


What Are The Benefits Of A Full-Body Workout?

Here are some benefits of a full-body workout as a quick review. Total-body workouts may:

  • Improve total body strength (3),
  • Build more mass in higher frequencies (13),
  • Burn more calories and visceral fat (12, 9),
  • Lower your risk for heart disease and hypertension more than split workouts (6),
  • Produce more testosterone (18). 

What Counts As A Full-Body Workout?

Medical News Today describes full-body workouts as exercises that simultaneously target the core, upper, and lower body while raising your heart rate (19). You might only target some muscle each time, but full-body workouts must challenge the three main parts of your body.

Also, full-body workouts include compound exercises that include aerobic and resistance movements. Some popular full-body workouts include full-body HIIT, HIIT with weights, CrossFit, full-body circuits, bodyweight routines, Zumba, and boot camp. 

Is It Good To Do A Full-Body Workout Everyday?

No, this isn’t ideal if you only start your workout routines. The benefits of a full-body workout every day fall short when you understand muscle recovery times. For example, Australian researchers found the ideal resting periods for aerobic/resistance training (5).

You need 24-48 hours of rest after low to moderate-intensity workouts or 48 hours after high-intensity workouts. These are excellent guidelines because they focus on strength/cardio combos. Every second day’s training is suitable for those who take 48 hours to recover.

However, those who recover in 24 hours can exercise five days weekly to meet the CDC’s recommended times (11). Muscle injuries during high-intensity workouts may take 1-2 weeks to recover (16). Do split or avoid high-intensity exercises during injury recovery.

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12-Week Body Transformation Workout Plan - The Ultimate Guide To Toning And Sculpting Your Body

How Long Should A Full-Body Workout Be?

The benefits of full-body workout plans are incredible when you exercise long enough. The CDC recommends 150 hours of moderate-intensity or 75 hours of high-intensity with two multi-muscle strength training days weekly (11). You can use the following examples:

  • Moderate-intensity option 1: 30 minutes daily/5 days per week
  • Moderate intensity option 2: 50 minutes daily/3 days per week
  • High-intensity option 1: 15 minutes daily/5 days per week
  • High-intensity option 2: 25 minutes daily/3 days per week

Read More: The Best Beach Workout Equipment For Maximizing Your Seaside Sweat Sessions

benefits of full body workout

Full-Body Workout Advantages And Disadvantages

The benefits of full-body workout plans extend beyond combination training (19). However, some benefits align with the compound nature of full-body workouts. Let’s see what a full-body workout can do for you and what it might struggle to achieve.

11 Benefits Of Full-Body Workout Vs. Split

The benefits of a full-body workout stand out when you compare them to split conditioning. Both appeal to different fitness goals, but we’ll get to that soon. Let’s see how full-body workout benefits measure against split exercises. 

Full-Body Workouts May Save Time With Compound Movements

Full-body workouts simultaneously target multiple muscle groups instead of isolating one group for 30 minutes (19). It’s convenient for those who can’t spend every day in the gym. Full-body compound movements tackle multiple muscles in high-intensity sessions. 

Full-Body Workouts Don’t Always Require Equipment

Livestrong states that you can do full-body workouts anywhere, even without equipment (4). Some full-body exercises require gym machines, like circuit training. However, HIIT or bodyweight full-body workouts are manageable at home or without equipment. 

Compound Bodyweight Workouts Are Easy For Beginners To Learn

Beginners can use popular compound exercises anywhere, anytime, to achieve the coming benefits. For example, Livestrong says burpees work the quads, glutes, hamstrings, core, triceps, and calves (21). Popular compound exercises also include squats and bicycle twists.

See also
10 Oblique Workouts With Weights To Strengthen Your Core

Combined Workouts May Improve Balance And Coordination

Tunisian researchers studied combined balance and strength training in older women (8). It’s another form of compound workout to improve lower-body balance. It isn’t necessarily full-body exercise, but some workouts use similar movements, like Zumba. They saw significant flexion joint and muscle improvements, improving balance and coordination.

benefits of full body workout

Full-Body Workouts May Improve Total Body Strength

Italian researchers compared resistance and total body training to determine which builds muscle strength and thickness (3). Full-body workouts boosted total body strength and mass more effectively, while isolated exercises improved muscle-specific strength.

Higher Full-Body Frequency May Build More Mass

New York researchers studied mass development in the total body versus isolated workouts (13). The study differed from the last because the whole-body group had three weekly sessions, but the isolated group had one session. More muscle mass was developed in the thrice-weekly whole-body group than in the once-weekly isolated group. 

Full-Body Workouts May Burn More Calories

Livestrong suggests compound workouts activate multiple muscles to burn more calories (12). Muscles need more circulating blood than fat. Activating numerous muscles means challenging your body on a larger scale to burn calories, carbs, and fat for energy. 

Full-Body and HIIT Workouts May Burn Tougher Fat

Chinese researchers reviewed many studies to determine which exercise types best burn visceral fat (9). Visceral fat is the deepest kind that takes longer to burn. Aerobic and HIIT exercises were the most effective, but HIIT showed the best fat-burning results.

If you’ve mustered up the courage to crush your weight loss goal, let Betterme take the sting out of this demanding process. Our app will help you restructure your habits, remold your life and crank up your fitness results! 

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Full-Body Workouts May Improve Health More Than Split Routines

Chicago researchers compared resistance, aerobic, and combined workouts to see which ones lowered the risk for disease more (6). The best results came from workouts combining resistance and cardio. Participants had a lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension after eight weeks of combination training. 

Full-Body Workouts May Produce More Testosterone

Researchers in Texas found that full-body workouts may produce more testosterone in men (18). Testosterone levels rise more when multiple muscle groups activate in moderate to high-intensity exercises with short rest intervals.


2 Benefits Of Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

Adding dumbbells to a full-body workout is simple enough and includes advanced benefits. WebMD says dumbbells force your muscles to pump more blood and nutrients throughout your body (7). More oxygen even helps you sleep better when restoring muscles on rest days. 

Also, dumbbells enhance strength training during full-body workouts to build more lean mass and burn more fat than only using bodyweight resistance. Add dumbbells to enhance the total-body workout. For example, add dumbbells to your squats or explosive lunges. 

3 Benefits Of Full-Body Lifting

Understand which lifts are full-body workouts to see the benefits.  

Deadlifts Full-Body Benefits

Medical News Today says deadlifts work the core, glutes, hamstrings, hip, lats, and trapezius muscles (22). Deadlifts are automatically a full-body workout minus the high-intensity cardio. Deadlifts improve posture, muscle strength, endurance, and mass. 

Back Squat Full-Body Benefits

Only a few lifting workouts target all your muscles. However, back squats target the core, lower, and upper body muscles (14). You work the muscles in the entire body while burning fat, improving flexibility, and reducing lower back pain using the proper technique. 

Landmine Thruster Full-Body Benefits

Landmine thrusters combine overhead presses with squats as a CrossFit lift for impressive benefits. They work the abs, glutes, thighs, shoulders, and triceps (20). It’s a progressive load. You can continue adding higher loads, but be careful of injuries with improper technique.

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benefits of full body workout

Disadvantages Of Full-Body Workout

Full-body workouts may have disadvantages, depending on your trainer level or goals. 

Full-Body Workouts Might Not Work For Sustained Mass Gains

Polish scientists proved how maximizing hypertrophy requires you to overload the muscles progressively (15). Beginners and seasoned trainers cause hypertrophy in multiple muscles with full-body workouts. However, seasoned trainers continue building mass with progressive overloads in specific muscles they wish to thicken. 

Full-Body Workouts Don’t Work With Injuries

WebMD says you shouldn’t return to your workout routine until an injury heals (10). For example, you can’t use a full-body workout when you pull the external obliques because the muscles don’t rest when exercising your core.

Read More: Beach Workout No Equipment: 8 Bodyweight-Only Exercises To Try

What’s Better – Full-Body Or Split?

The answer to the full-body vs split debate depends on your fitness goals. Let’s help you determine which one suits you. 

Are Full-Body Workouts More Effective?

Full-body workouts are more effective for time convenience, a lack of equipment, and beginners (19, 4, 21). Also, they’re more effective at building total body strength and burning more calories and visceral fat (3, 12, 9).

On the other hand, split workouts are more effective when you want to bulk specific muscles or avoid further injury to an injured muscle (15, 10). Both workouts are more effective for different reasons. Choose one to suit your goals. 

Full-Body Workout Vs. Split For Skinny Guys: Which Is Better?

The Italian research revealed how full-body workouts are better for skinny guys who need total body strength (3). You must start with total body strength first. Meanwhile, isolated strength training helps seasoned trainers build more strength and mass in specific muscles. 

Full-Body Workout At Home

Here’s a quick full-body workout at home without weights or equipment. Complete two sets and 10-12 reps for each exercise before adding reps and sets to activate the muscles progressively (15).

  • Jump squats
  • Decline push-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Burpees
  • Bicycle twists
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benefits of full body workout

Full-Body Workout With Weights

Here’s another full-body workout to do with weights. Start with two sets of 10-12 reps each before progressively increasing your load (15).

  • Dumbbell pause squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Seated cable rows
  • Back squats
  • Landmine thrusters

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Is A Full-Body Workout Good For Beginners?

Yes, it’s excellent for beginners. You don’t need to invest much time, have equipment, or struggle to learn the compound exercises (19, 4, 21). However, please follow the recommended muscle resting periods of 24-48 hours (5). 

Should Beginners Do A Full-Body Workout Or Split?

Beginners should start with full-body workouts to develop total body and functional strength. Italian researchers found that full-body exercises build more total-body strength than split (3). These workouts target multiple muscles to help you build functional strength first. 

Does A Full-Body Workout Build Muscle?

The Italian research also showed that full-body workouts build muscle thickness (3). However, isolated exercises build more mass in the target muscles. Polish research explains how it works by confirming that progressive overload is necessary to continue bulking (15). 

What Is A Good Full-Body Workout?

The full-body calisthenics workout plan for beginners is an excellent choice to start (17). Alternatively, our 12-week whole-body workout plan suits most trainers (2). Otherwise, try our 4-day intense full-body workout plan to build muscle and gain mass (1). 


Full-body workout benefits are enough to encourage you to latch onto the many options available. Try HIIT, use the two workout plans, or opt for our best full-body workouts. Alternatively, create your own combination of compound movements or join a CrossFit class.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 4-Day Full Body Workout Plan For Increased Muscle Mass And Strength – Better Me (2022,
  2. 12-Week At-Home Whole-Body Workout Plan For The Fully Committed – Better Me (2022,
  3. A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men (2021,
  4. Burn More Calories and Build More Muscle With Full-Body Workouts (n.d., 
  5. Cardiac Parasympathetic Reactivation Following Exercise: Implications for Training Prescription (2013,
  6. Comparative Effectiveness of Aerobic, Resistance, and Combined Training on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2019,
  7. Dumbbells: What You Need to Know About Your Workout (2021,
  8. Effects of Combined Balance and Strength Training on Measures of Balance and Muscle Strength in Older Women With a History of Falls (2020,
  9. Effects of Different Exercise Types on Visceral Fat in Young Individuals With Obesity Aged 6–24 Years Old: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2022,
  10. Exercising After An Injury: How to Come Back Safely (2022,
  11. How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need? | CDC (n.d.,
  12. If You Want to Lose Belly Fat While Strength Training, This Is the Place to Start (2020,
  13. Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men (2015,
  14. Keep Your Back Squat Muscles Worked With The Right Technique – Better Me (2023,
  15. Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods (2019,
  16. Muscle Recovery Time: Here’s How Long You Should Rest Between Workouts – Better Me (2023,
  17. The Ultimate Full Body Calisthenics Workout For Beginners – Better Me (2023,
  18. Various Factors May Modulate the Effect of Exercise on Testosterone Levels in Men (2020,
  19. What Are the Best Full-Body Exercises? (2019,
  20. What Are The Thruster Muscles That Are Worked, And How Will This Exercise Benefit You? – Better Me (2022,
  21. What Muscles Do Burpees Work? (2022,
  22. What Muscles Does Deadlift Work?: How to – Variations – and More (2022,
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