Time is of essence! In a one-hour workout, it’s difficult to achieve a proper warm-up, an adequate cardio workout, a challenging strength training segment, some postural exercises and an appropriate cool-down and stretch. How do we fit it all in?  Most people want results in the shortest period of time. Who wants to spend 2+ hours in the gym?

Full Body Exercises are the answer to your prayers. Incorporating exercises that combine lower body, upper body, trunk musculature and balance training all into one exercise accomplish three times as much training in the same amount of time. 

Full Body Training is also a more natural and functional way of training. Can you imagine any daily task that you complete regularly that involves only one joint or muscle group? Our bodies just don’t function in an isolated fashion. When you get out of a chair, bend down to pick something up or lift something to put it on a shelf, your entire body functions as a team. And all sports require your muscles to work together. And yet when we train in the gym, most people generally train their muscles separately focusing on only one body part at a time. It would be like a football coach taking each of his starting line players and training them individually before their first game. Even though each player may be in optimal physical conditioning, if the coach hasn’t pulled them together and scrimmage in order to learn to work together, their first game is going to be a disaster. For example, a Leg extension exercise works the quads independently but it doesn’t mean the quads will be able to work together well with the hamstrings or the trunk muscles. Full Body training teaches your muscles to work together as a team as they do in real life situations. During sports or recreational activities, your muscles have to learn to react, support and oppose each other effectively. 

Full Body training is an effective form of training both from a time efficiency and a functional perspective. Keep in mind, however, that it may take you a while before you can work up to this type of training. First, you have to learn how to execute each individual movement correctly and then you can start combining movements. 

stabilityballbenchpressb(2)Some examples of combination training exercises would be to combine lunges with an overhead press or squats with rows. What about performing bench step-ups with bicep curls? Try balancing on one leg when performing any upper body movement or lying over a stability ball when performing chest presses. When designing your program, analyze how you can take any exercise skill to the next level by combining two or three movements into one complex, compound movement. Not only will you be more efficient with your time but you will also be training your body in a way that mimics real-life movements.

Here’s my 3 Favorite Full Body Movements:


Very few people like Burpees but the reality is they are a highly effective, full-body movement. You can start with a 4-point Burpee. Place your hands onto the floor about shoulder distance apart. Walk or jump your legs back into a plank position. Jump or walk your legs back towards your hands and then stand up and jump.

Squat & Row

Position yourself in front of a pulley system holding the handles and using an appropriate weight. Start by squatting down to a comfortable level. Then return to the starting position while you pull the arms into a Rowing movement.

Triple Threat

This movement is a Push-up, Row and Overhead Press. Start by holding weights in your hands. Drop down into a Push-up position and perform a push-up while holding the weights. While holding the plank position, now lift one arm and complete a single row while stabilizing. Do one each arm. Then walk or jump your legs back into towards your hands. Stand tall and press the arms overhead.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Cover Clover Run 2016Join us for the…..COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES – March 25th, 2018
Celebrate in your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.





Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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