full body workout for women
Incorporate abdominal exercises on your full body workout!
full body workout for women
Incorporate abdominal exercises on your full body workout!

This article is part of the “Body Toning Series.” Click here to learn more.

As a private weight loss coach for many successful women, I love getting my clients the biggest bang for their workout buck. And that’s why a full body workout for women can be done quickly and effectively are so popular among my clients. If you’re trying to get back into a workout routine, a long workout can feel intimidating or like a burden. If you’re short on time, a long workout can feel like a chore!

Enter the full body 10-minute workout that will leave you feeling tightened and toned all day long. I recommend doing this workout every other day to allow your muscles to recover. Here are the exercises, and you’ll repeat the full circuit a total of 3 times. This full body workout for women should take just 10 minutes!

Pre-Workout Tip: be sure to stretch dynamically before doing this or any workout routine. Dynamic stretching is the opposite of holding stretches still, which is done at the end of the workout. At the beginning of the workout, stretch while you are moving.

Exercise #1

The Basic Squat – 10 times

The basic squat is the perfect way to start off your workout routine. Not only does this exercise work the lower body and the legs, but it also helps loosen up the hips and gets your body moving. I recommend doing these faster rather than slower so that you’re really moving through these first 10 repetitions. Since we only have 10 minutes, we’ve got to make every rep count!

To do the basic squat, start with your feet open a little bit wider than your hips. Pull your naval in towards your spine to engage your core and protect your low back. Then bend at the knees and reach your glutes back as if you’re about to sit down on a chair. When you get as low as you can go, press down through your feet (specifically your heels) and press back up to standing. This works your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Repeat this 10 times.

woman doing the first step of a squat
Basic squat: Step 1
Woman doing the second step of a squat
Basic Squat: Step 2

Progression: If you want to step it up, you can add in a cardio burst here! You could run in place to get your heart rate up; you could also march in place for lower impact.

Modification: If you’re new to exercise or have joint issues, only lower down into a half squat. Stop when you feel like you’re halfway down into a chair and then come back up.

Exercise #2

Wide Leg Open Toe Squat – 10 times

This squat is similar to the first one but engages some different muscles and body parts. Keep your feet open a little bit wider than your hips and turn your toes out. By turning your toes out, you’re able to engage the inner thighs during this squat. Pull your naval in towards your spine and focus on keeping your back straight and upright. Bend the knees out towards the sides, reaching the glutes down (not back like above), and then press down through the heels to stand back up to the starting position. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Repeat this 10 times.

Girl doing an open leg toe squat with arms to the front
Wide Leg Open Toe Squat

Progression: After this exercise, you could stay in this position and shuffle in place. Channel your inner athlete here and move your feet very quickly up and down on the floor. Do this for 60 seconds for some added cardio.

Modification: If this wide-legged, open-toe squat is too challenging on your knees, just lower down halfway into the squat instead of all the way.

Exercise #3

Bicep Curl – 10 times

Depending on your fitness level, I recommend starting off with 5 lbs. dumbbells and then progressing to 8 lbs. and eventually 10 lbs. over time. Stand up with your knees softly bent and hold the weights down by your sides. Then hug your elbows into your sides and curl your arms up towards your shoulders. Slowly lower your arms all the way back down. Repeat this 10 times.

girl holding two dumbbells for bicep curls
Bicep curl starter

Progression: If this exercise feels too easy for you, progress up to a higher weight and then do this exercise.

Modification: If you’re brand new to exercising, you can alternate arms and do a bicep curl with your right side first. Then switch to your left side.

Exercise #4

Side Extension – 10 times

If you’re looking for sleek and toned shoulders, this exercise is for you! Holding the same weights as in the bicep curls, softly bend your knees and hold the weights down by your sides. Then raise the weights up just as high as your shoulders and out to the sides before lowering them back down. Be sure to pull your shoulders away from your ears rather than hiking them up and engaging your neck muscles. Repeat this move 10 times.

woman doing a side arm exercise

Modification: If this exercise starts hurting your neck, don’t raise your arms as high as your shoulders. Only lift them up halfway. It’s important to keep your neck out of this exercise and focus primarily on your shoulders to lift and lower your arms.

Exercise #5

Criss Cross Ab Crunch

Now it’s time to lie down – but not for too long! This exercise is all about the mid-section. Lying down on your back, bring your knees up to a table top position. Place your hands behind your head and pull your naval in towards your spine. Using your head, neck, and chest to curl up; slowly cross your left chest towards your right knee. Then extend your left leg straight out. Switch to then turn towards your left knee and extend out your right leg. Repeat this for a total of 10 times for each side.

Keep your elbows wide and your chest lifted for this exercise. Also, be sure to keep your hands behind your head to help support your neck.

woman doing a criss cross ab crunch

Modification: As a modification, you can simply march your legs up instead of keeping them up in table top and extending your legs. Just keep your feet flat on the floor and curl your upper body up towards your right knee and then lift your right knee towards your chest. Bring your upper body back to center, place your right foot down, and twist your upper body towards the left, bringing your left knee up towards your chest. Listen to your body and do the exercise that feels best for you! The aim of criss-cross tightening across your mid-section is to tighten and tone your core.

girl doing a modification of an ab crunch

Now you’re ready to repeat the above circuit 2 more times so that you do each of these exercises for a total of 3 rounds and 30 repetitions each!

Post Workout Tip: Be sure to stretch after this and every workout. Breathe slowly and feel your muscles loosening and lengthening as you stretch.

Even though you may worry that this is only 10 minutes, the point is to fit full body workout for women into your busy schedule! Eventually, that 10 minutes may become 15 minutes, then 20, and then 30. Getting into the habit of working out consistently is more important than the length of the workout.

Congratulations for going through full body workout for women! Drink plenty of water after your workout and enjoy a post-workout snack that contains some protein to help rebuild your muscles.

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Can you see results with full body workouts?

The main purpose of a total body workout is to target all muscle groups in order to promote muscle growth efficiently and effectively. Whether you’re a bodybuilder, underweight, or someone trying to build muscle after an injury or illness, full-body exercise can help build muscle and strength.

Is 30 minutes enough for a full body workout?

Yes, it is! Most people think that being able to work out for 30 minutes isn’t enough, especially when compared to a 45-minute spinning class or a 1-hour yoga class. However, 30 minutes of exercise is plenty of time for a good workout.

Do full body workouts help lose weight?

Whole-body exercise combined with aerobic exercise and strength training has been shown to promote fat loss, burn more calories, and reduce heart health risk factors. You can increase those benefits even more by combining cardio with resistance training.