A person wearing a red shirt, black shorts, and weight lifting gloves using a mixed grip on a barbell in a deadlift start position.

An hour-long full-body workout is a great way to get started in an exercise routine when you only have one or two days a week where you can make time. It’s also a great way to fill in the days between more targeted workouts or as a way to get a quick gym workout while traveling.

With just one hour in the gym, you can get your heart rate up and hit key muscle groups in your upper body, legs, and core to build muscle strength and endurance. Get ready to add this killer 60-minute full-body gym workout to your rotation of workout routines.

Lat Pulldowns

Woman in a pink top and blue leggings sitting at a weight machine with the bar pulled down to her chest.

Lat pulldowns are a great way to start your 60-minute gym workout and take advantage of the more specialized machines available that you probably wouldn’t have access to at a home or outdoor gym.

With any cable-based equipment, you’ll want to make sure that the mechanism is moving freely without any impediments before you begin your exercise. You’ll also most likely need to adjust the weight on the machine.

When selecting your weight, start with something you know you can manage for the full round of reps and sets without it compromising your form. It’s always better to do an exercise correctly with less weight than to put yourself in a position where you could hurt yourself.

  1. Set the weight and adjust the bar to be just above your reach when sitting.
  2. Place your hands on the bar in a wide grip with your palms facing forward.
  3. Pull your elbows down towards your sides as you bring the bar in front of your face keeping your back straight.
  4. Hold at the bottom of the motion and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  5. Maintain control as you release and raise the bar back above your head.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps.
  7. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

High to Low Cable Fly

Muscular man leaning forward into the end position of a high to low cable fly.

High to low cable flys target a wide range of muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back, making them a great complementary exercise to lat pulldowns. You can easily pair these exercises to make supersets that can help keep you on track with time as well as offering your muscles a rest during the rotation.

If your gym doesn’t have a cable fly machine or it isn’t available, you can also use a resistance band looped behind your back to create resistance for motion. 

  1. Set the pulleys to the highest setting and set your weight.
  2. Hold the handles with a neutral grip and take a step forward with one leg as you lean forward.
  3. Bring your hands down and forward as you bring them together in front of you.
  4. Hold for a moment as you squeeze your chest and shoulders.
  5. Maintain control as you release your arms back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps.
  7. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

Deadlifts

A man in black shorts at the gym in the start position for a barbell deadlift.

Deadlifts are an essential part of any full-body workout as they work a large swath of muscles from your back and core all the way down your legs. They are also quite versatile and can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, a kettlebell, or a plate weight.

If you are going to use a barbell, you can either grip the bar with both palms facing forward or in a mixed grip with one palm facing forward and the other supinated. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to which grip you prefer or which hand faces which direction; it all just comes down to what feels right. 

  1. Plant your feet into the ground hip-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outward. 
  2. Grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart either with both palms facing down or with your dominant hand facing up. 
  3. Bend gently at your knees, keep your back straight, and your chest up as you lift.
  4. Push your hips forward and your shoulders back at the top of the motion and hold. 
  5. Maintain control and a neutral spine as you release back down to the start position.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps.
  7. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

Leg Press

Woman wearing black leggings and a sport top seated at the leg press machine with her feet in the start position.

The leg press is a great alternative to squats when you are in a gym and can take advantage of the facility's equipment. It’s also a good option for working through a lower-body injury as you have a lot more stability sitting in the leg press than you would standing doing even a box squat. 

The most important thing about the leg press is to never lock your knees. The second is to never push off your toes or the balls of your feet, always drive through the heel to keep your knees from falling to either side. And third is to never push the plate beyond the reach of your feet so that it falls back towards you, for obvious reasons, this is incredibly dangerous so just don’t do it. 

  1. Set your weights and adjust the machine to allow you enough room to sit comfortably.
  2. Place your feet on the platform and brace your abs as you drive through your heels.
  3. Keep your knees in line as you push the platform away and straighten your legs.
  4. Pause at the top of the motion without locking your knees.
  5. Maintain control as you bring your knees back towards your chest in the start position.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps.
  7. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

Hip Thrusts

A set of two illustrations of a woman performing an inclined hip thrust against a weight bench with a barbell across her lap. The first image is of the start position seated on the ground and the second of the top of the motion with her body flat through the knees.

Hip thrusts can be done either lying with your back flat on the ground or at an incline, creating a pivot point on your back just below your shoulder blades.

The inclined version is slightly more challenging, especially if you refrain from sitting all the way down at the bottom of the motion. However, it is easier to keep the weight in place at an incline compared to the floor position. 

  1. Lean your back against a weight bench or squat box with the edge just under your shoulder blades, place your feet flat on the floor in front of you with your knees up, and place a single weight across your hips.
  2. Drive through your heels as you press your hips up toward the ceiling.
  3. Pause at the top of the motion as you squeeze your glutes.
  4. Maintain control as you lower back down to the start position.
  5. Repeat for 12 reps.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

Russian Twists with a Medicine Ball

Man in a grey tank top and shorts sitting on the gym floor holding a medicine ball to one side.

Finish out your 60-minute workout with a solid core-targeted exercise. Russian twists are a great way to work your obliques as well as your abs while increasing mobility throughout the spine.

This movement is all about control, so if you find you have a tendency to swing, bounce, or drop the medicine ball, start with a lighter one or even try it without any weight at all for the first few times. 

  1. Sit on the floor with your feet flat on the floor in front of you and your knees gently bent toward the ceiling keeping your torso at a 90° angle to your legs.
  2. Lift the medicine ball up to your chest and hold it a few inches in front of you.
  3. Twist to one side bringing the ball as far as you can while maintaining posture and control.
  4. Pause at the bottom of the motion before twisting to the other direction and pausing at the bottom.
  5. Repeat for 12 reps.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

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