• 10 Jul - 16 Jul, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

If you want to start lifting heavier weights, a full-body strength workout is a must to add to your routine. And you don’t need to go overboard on the number of exercises to get it done.

When you’re looking to get stronger, the exercises you choose and how you programme your workout becomes particularly important. As for the exercises that’ll help you get stronger, the best bang for your workout buck is going to be big, basic compound movements – think squats and rows rather than leg extensions or bicep curls. Because these exercises activate large muscle groups, you’re also going to be able to load them up with more weight than you would for moves that isolate smaller muscles.

Then comes how you programme your workout. If your goal is to build full-body strength, straight sets – where you complete one set, rest, then go back to the same exercise for one or more work-rest periods – are going to be a better way to accomplish that than circuits, where you go from one exercise to the other without resting. Circuits keep your heart rate up (and add a cardiovascular boost), but they don’t give you the recovery you need to lift heavy weights set after set.

Ready to really work on some strength? Here’s a full-body strength workout that has just five moves.

Farmer carry

• Place a dumbbell on the floor next to each of your feet.

• Squat to grab onto the weights with a neutral, palms-in grip.

• Keeping your chest up and core braced, stand up.

• Walk forward, keeping an upright torso and engaging your abs so that the weight doesn’t dump into your low back. Imagine there’s a string connected to the top of your head that’s pulling you toward the ceiling.

• Walk forward for 50 feet. If you don’t have the room to do this in one shot, you can break up the distance.

• When you're finished, squat to place the weight back on the floor.

Goblet squat

• Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, a weight in both hands in front of you so it hangs vertically.

• Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels, push your hips back, and bend your knees to lower into a squat.

• Drive through your heels to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top for one rep.

• Continue for six to eight reps.

Romanian deadlift

• Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your thighs.

• Hinge at your hips, bending slightly at your knees. Push your butt way back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor, and the weights should reach your shins.

• Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to stand up straight. Keep the weights close to your shins as you pull.

• Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is one rep.

• Continue for six to eight reps.

Bent-over row

• Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides.

• With your core engaged, hinge forward at the hips, pushing your butt back, and bend your left knee, making sure you don’t round your shoulders. (Your hip mobility and hamstring flexibility will dictate how far you can bend over.)

• Gaze at the ground a few inches in front of your feet to keep your neck in a comfortable position.

• Do a row by pulling the weights up toward your chest, keeping your elbows hugged close to your body, and squeezing your shoulder blades for two seconds at the top of the movement. Your elbows should go past your back as you bring the weight toward your chest.

• Slowly lower the weights by extending your arms toward the floor. That’s one rep.

• Continue for six to eight reps.


• Start in a high plank with your palms flat, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.

• Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor.

• Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms. This is one rep.

• Continue for six to eight reps.