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Today we are bringing you one of our staple workouts. This full-body workout has become our go-to workout on days when we are crunched for time. We also use this workout as a warm-up to get us into other routines. This program relies only upon your body weight and will hit all major muscle groups in less than 20 minutes.
Not only is this workout quick, but if you make it part of your regular routine, you will get great results. There are no excuses for skipping this workout. It can literally be done anywhere. Versatility and convenience make it an easy addition to our Basement Series collection.
The EMH Full-Body Workout
Alright, let’s jump into it. Here is the workout:
- Air Squats – 50 reps
- Push-ups – 50 reps
- Crunches – 50 reps
- Burpees – 50 reps
- Pull-ups – 20 reps
I know….nothing fancy here. However, after you have tried all the expensive equipment in the gym, high-tech electronics, and Olympic workout regiments, you often realize that the most effective workout can be moving your own bodyweight.
The combination of these movements will generate true results because of the overlap in stress. For example, air squats are great for leg, hip, and core development. A few moments later you will tax those same muscles (in a slightly different way) with the crunches and burpees.
The push-ups tax your chest, arms, core, and shoulders. Well, you will hit the core again with the crunches. You will hit the chest, arms, and shoulders again with the burpees. And you will tax the shoulders and arms again with the pull-ups.
That is why this exercise routine is great. No fancy equipment. It doesn’t take hours. And, because it is bodyweight driven, it is very hard to hurt yourself.
Full-Body Workout – Movements
Figured it would be helpful to discuss the movements themselves, just so you are comfortable with them.
The air squat is one of the first movements we do as little children. It’s moving from a shoulder-width wide standing position into as deep a squat as we can achieve. For little children (who still have flexible hips and lower backs) you will see them touching their bottoms to the floor.
As we age and sit behind desks that hip flexibility decreases. So, for most of us, we just want to go as deep as we can for 50 reps.
The push-up is also one of the first movements we learn intuitively as small children. This is how babies begin to become mobile. You will see them place their hands directly under their shoulders. Their elbows will stay close to their side (slight flare of about 30 degrees). And they will push their chest up from the floor.
Babies don’t have the core strength and coordination to do the full push-up, but you can see the basics of the movement from any baby pressing themselves up from the floor. We take that movement and, with a strong core, we lift our entire body up and down from the floor in one solid movement.
The crunch movement is designed to be a compact and core-focused effort. The goal with the crunch is to place your feet flat on the ground, knees bent, and your shoulders flat on the floor. You then, engage your core to lift your shoulder blades off the ground and drive your hands through and past your knees.
Done properly you will feel significant core engagement. You are not trying to touch your chest to your knees. That is a sit-up and not a crunch. You are only working to get the shoulder blades off the ground.
We have some great articles on burpees that you can check out to refresh yourself on the form. Here is our January Burpee Challenge article. Here is one with 15 burpee variations you can try.
This is the movement where you have some flexibility. We are really comfortable with you using any of the following movements for this piece:
- Ring Rows
- Bodyweight Negatives
- Bodyweight Rows
- Banded Pull-Downs
- Dumbbell/Kettlebell Rows
We are really looking for any movement that targets your upper back, shoulders, and arms. Make sure you chose an exercise/movement that you can safely do for 20 reps (total, not at once). The list above is in descending order from hardest to easiest. So, start anywhere on the list that you are able to.
Also, if you are traveling and don’t have access to a pull-up bar, look to this list to see what you can substitute. Often it is easy to bring along one band to enable you to do banded pull-downs in place of your pull-ups.
Here is a link that you can use to check out some other non-bar pull-ups.
Full-Body Workout Rep Scheme
So, now we know how to do the movements and we know what our total rep target is for each movement. Well, how do we set up the rep scheme?
This is what is so cool about this workout. There are endless ways to set up a rep scheme for this. Here are some of our favorites:
We like to test ourselves to see how deep into the 50 reps we can get at a time. So, can we do all movements in one round? That would be 50 air squats, 50 push-ups, 50 crunches, 50 burpees, and 20 pull-ups unbroken.
This is a very difficult rep scheme, obviously. To get to those levels in all movements requires great general strength as well as muscular endurance.
But, you don’t have to finish all movements in one round. Maybe start with a target of two rounds. See how deep you can get in the first round and leave the rest for the second round.
We have used this rep scheme a lot. It hits good repeatable muscular endurance. Can you do 2 rounds with each movement broken up in half?
A descending ladder scheme. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Now, you may do this math and realize that this actually adds up to 55 reps for each movement. We know that. There is nothing wrong with adding a few more.
We have used the 5 reps by 10 rounds routine a great deal. We have also combined this with running between each round to add in 10 rounds of cardio.
This one balances muscular endurance (for the 25 rep round) with a bit easier path if 2 rounds of 25 are just too difficult.
We hope that you will give this workout a try. It is an absolute staple for us. We use this full-body workout to ensure that we are hitting all of our major muscle groups on a regular basis. The fact that we can get it done so quickly allows us to be flexible with our schedule. You will see, as you get better and better, that your time on this workout will drop to the 15-minute mark and even close to 10-minutes.
If you try this workout and come up with other rep schemes that you enjoy, share them below!
Here are some other great articles from our Basement Series that you can try as well:
- 550 Rep Full-Body Workout – Basement Series
- How to Build Core Strength From Nothing
- 100 Deadlifts Workout and More – Basement Series
- 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge And More