The idea of a full body workout is to both to improve general fitness and at the same time reduce fat in the body and tone muscles.
The ideal full body workout will incorporate some or all of the following exercises, but the number of repetitions can be tailored to your individual circumstances. If you are just starting out, it is better to do much fewer repetitions of each routine and then gradually build on that over time. The squat is an excellent exercise that improves the muscles of the thighs, hips, and buttocks, as well as, the quads and hamstrings. It is a routine that strengthens the core and leg muscles and is vital to improving overall strength and lifting ability. The basic bench press helps strengthen arm muscles while a few deadlifts are useful to strengthen the core muscles of the back and the legs. The number of repetitions you perform is up to you. By working out your muscles slightly, you help build more muscle tone, but if you go too far beyond your natural ability you run the risk of pulling or tearing a ligament and putting yourself back by several weeks, so take it slow and gently.
A well-known body building program called the 5X5 was devised by Bill Starr and used by Arnold Schwarzenegger to great effect. It features the use of the bench press, the barbell squat, plus the power clean, with increasing duration and intensity (three sessions per week). If you can keep this up with increasing effort it certainly works, building a leaner and stronger body over a period of weeks. The use of the barbell is advocated by many enthusiasts since with simple exercises you can target different muscle groups, and by increasing weight resistance, increase muscle mass. One coach suggests to perform a series of power cleans and then, on the last repetition, with the weight resting on your shoulders, you immediately switch to do a series of front squats. On the last squat, extend the lift into an overhead for a few repetitions and then release the weight and go and lie down for five minutes! This is an arduous set that you may have to work up to, but does give a full body workout without the need for complicated or expensive equipment. Effective full body workouts need to be done three times a week, with a day’s rest in between. Full body routines concentrate on the use of heavy compound lifts, which stimulate several major muscle groups and obviates the need for lots of different minor exercises.