Which Exercise Is Best for the Whole Body?


Looking for an exercise that is best for the whole body? While there’s no such thing as a bad type of exercise, there are some that are more efficient at training many muscle groups at once. Here are some options for full body workout classes.

What is the Best Form of Exercise?

Is there such thing as the best form of exercise? This is a rather loaded question, because the answer is “It depends on the individual and what their fitness goals are.” The most common fitness goal is to lose weight – a generic statement (see our blog on how to set SMART fitness goals). However, some might be looking to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, or just simply want to burn calories. What if there were ways to do all of these things at once? Let’s look at some full body workouts.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

This type of workout is designed to be a very efficient way to burn lots of calories by using short but very intense bursts of cardio respiratory activities. Your workout might have a warm-up, followed by a lifting exercise like a squat, and then an exercise that is designed to be hard, intense, and exhausting, like a set of burpees. You might put the burpees in for 1 minute, then return to a lifting exercise, and then another set of burpees, or another high intensity exercise like jumping rope, or squat jumps. The idea here is that those short bursts are very high intensity, so the overall workout feels very hard.

Another way to do HIIT, though, is as a part of a cardio-respiratory plan, like in a spin class. In this instance, the intervals are worked into the whole cardio workout.  A warm-up might be followed by a steady state hill climb, then followed by a period of high intensity intervals, where you are going full power for a period of time (let’s say 15 seconds), and then recovering for 15 seconds. In both types of workouts, High intensity intervals are used to increase the effort of the overall workout.  This will glean two main results:  a higher fitness level faster than conventional workouts, and a higher overall caloric burn.

Is it for you?

HIIT has it’s place in programming workouts, but it’s not for everybody. For example, if you are just beginning a workout program, you need to work on your aerobic base before getting crazy! If you are out of shape, it’s been a long time since you exercised, or if you are recovering from an injury or have a disability, this may not even be possible for you. In addition, more than 2-3 HIIT workouts in a week are a prescription for overuse injuries and over-training. Working with such intense effort puts a lot of strain on the body, the joints, and the mind. It’s very uncomfortable to work at that high of an intensity, and it may be hard to wrap your mind around getting in for a workout that can seem torturous.

However, if you have been regularly working out for a while and are looking to get out of your comfort zone, HIIT is a great full body workout.


Swimming works your heart, lungs, and strengthens many muscle groups simultaneously. Each swimming stroke such as freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly work muscles from shoulders down to your calves.

Another way to exercise in the water is through aquatics exercise classes. Elite Sports Clubs offers full body workout classes such as H2O Blast, Aqua Tabata, and Aqua Zumba.

Is it for you?

Swimming may not burn as many calories as other cardiovascular activities, but because it works many muscle groups, it’s a fantastic choice for a full body workout. Also, any method of aquatics exercise is great for those with joint pain because it is very low impact.

Les Mills BodyPump

The Les Mills Body Pump is a full body workout class that works every major muscle group in a complete workout ideal for both men and women, and beginners through experienced exercisers. This weight workout uses barbells with adjustable weights and is set to motivating music directed by only certified Body Pump™ instructors.

Is it for you?

This class can be challenging, but if you’re a beginner it’s recommended you start with lighter weights as you get more comfortable with the exercises. All exercises can be modified to match your ability level.

Full Body Workout Classes Near Me

If you enjoy working out in a group exercise format, Elite Sports Clubs has over 150 weekly classes for you to take! From Les Mills classes to water aerobics to Zumba, we’ve got one of the most comprehensive offerings in the Greater Milwaukee area, all under one membership.

Not sure which class is right for you? Check out our blog.

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