Full Body Workout: Killer Arms & Banging Glutes

Eleven years ago when I got my first personal training job, all the women I trained were after Madonna’s arms. Not long after, it became Michelle Obama’s arms. I’m not sure who has the arms de jour right now but someone whose arms are just as shapely, I’m sure. At the time I was a little surprised that so many women were wanting to focus on their upper bodies since I thought for sure they would be all about flat stomachs & round butts.

Full Body Workout

I quickly came to find out that those areas were also priorities for most of my clients. They all wanted to feel both feminine and strong and to have bodies that they were proud of and that showcased their hard work. Now, that, I am all about!

The workout below covers all your bases: upper body, lower body, core, and it’ll get your heart rate up. Plus I’m giving you a bonus circuit focusing specifically on butt and abs. All of the exercise names are links to YouTube demo videos so that you’ll be able to execute them properly & with confidence.

(Wo)Man Maker Parfait

Say what?! My friend, Raechelle, coined that term to refer to workouts where you are layering exercises on top of one another - just like a yogurt parfait!

It might sound confusing but it starts to make sense once you get going. Here’s what it looks like:

Round 1: 5 DB Shoulder Press

Round 2: 5 DB Shoulder Press + 5 DB Curls

Round 3: 5 DB Shoulder Press + 5 DB Curls + 5 DB Squats

Round 4: 5 DB Shoulder Press + 5 DB Curls + 5 DB Squats + 5 Plank Rows/arm

Round 5: 5 DB Shoulder Press + 5 DB Curls + 5 DB Squats + 5 Plank Rows/arm + 5 Push-ups

Round 6: 5 Push-Ups + 5 Plank Rows/arm + 5 DB Squats + 5 DB Curls

Round 7: 5 Push-Ups + 5 Plank Rows/arm + 5 DB Squats

Round 8: 5 Push-Ups + 5 Plank Rows/arm

Round 9: 5 Push-Ups

See how that works? Cool, right?

This is a great way to get in a lot of reps in a pretty short amount of time without really realizing how much work you’re actually doing (mostly because you’re trying to remember what comes next)! The idea is to do this as quickly as possible, with as minimal rest as possible. If you’re feeling really out of breathe & your heart rate it through the roof, stop for a second, grab a little bit of water, let things calm down a bit, and resume where you left off.

Choose a weight that is challenging for sets of 5 Shoulder Presses, as this will likely be your limiting factor. When/if you’re able to get through the Shoulder Presses with little issue, that’s your sign to either increase the weight (preferable, if you have them) or increase the reps to make it more challenging.

Record your time/weight so that you can compare efforts each time you do this workout. If you use the same weight & complete the parfait faster - that’s progress! If you use a heavier weight but it takes a bit longer - that’s still progress because even a little additional weight adds up after all those reps!

BONUS WORKOUT- Ab & Butt Blaster:

While you’re working these muscles in the (Wo)Man Parfait, I know you love feeling the burn in these 2 areas, in particular, so here’s an awesome way to do that.

Perform 4 rounds of the following exercises, again, taking as little rest as you need:

25 Glute Bridge (with a mini-band if you have one, if not - no worries)

20 Jack Knives (total, not per side)

25 Frog Pumps 

20 V-Ups 

If you’re feeling up to it, you can do both of these workouts on the same day and if you’re really wanting to prioritize abs & glutes, do the Blaster 2-3 times per week!

What are your favorite full body workouts?! Tell me in the comments below.


About the Author

Esther Avant

Esther grew up in a small town in Maine where she participated in sports despite an obvious lack of athleticism or understanding of the rules. When she discovered the weight room at the local YMCA, she realized she had stumbled on the perfect athletic endeavor: one in which no one was depending on her and there weren’t many spectators.

Her love of fitness led her to pursue an education in Exercise Science at Boston University. Upon receiving her Personal Training certification in 2006. Through the relationships she built with her clients, she realized that helping women workout wasn’t enough, they needed a multi-faceted approach that addressed nutrition, psychology, mindset, behavior modification, motivation, willpower, and lifestyle change.

She pursued certifications and further education in all of the above, which have helped her provide clients with the ideal approach to making lifestyle changes that stick.

If you have any questions about these exercises or any others, feel free to reach out to me! You can find me at www.estheravant.com, on Facebook and on Instagram.