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  • Writer's pictureDennis Romatz

5 Best Exercises for a Total Body Workout

Updated: Apr 4

Your guide to the 5 best exercises for a total body workout by personal trainer Dennis Romatz owner and head personal trainer at Dennis Romatz Fitness.

5 Best Exercises for a Total Body Workout by Personal Trainer Dennis Romatz

When it comes to designing an effective total body workout program, experienced personal trainers like Dennis Romatz Fitness understand the importance of incorporating exercises that target multiple muscle groups and provide a well-rounded training stimulus. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top five exercises that Dennis Romatz includes in every program. Each exercise is carefully selected to engage various muscle groups, improve strength, enhance cardiovascular fitness, and promote overall functional movement. Let's delve in and take a look at The Essential 5: A Total Body Workout Program by Personal Trainer Dennis Romatz Fitness.

1. Squat to Overhead Press

Get your whole body moving with the squat to overhead press. Maximize your time in the gym by doing this killer movement that works multiple body parts, muscle, tendons, ligaments and really gets the heart rate elevated. At Dennis Romatz Fitness myself and my team of personal trainers and fitness coaches have the squat to overhead press in our functional fitness training program.


  1. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand at shoulder height.

  2. Engage your core, keep your chest lifted, and initiate the movement by bending your knees and sitting back into a squat position.

  3. As you rise from the squat, press the weights overhead, fully extending your arms.

  4. Lower the weights back down to shoulder height as you descend into the next squat repetition.

  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Benefits: The squat to overhead press exercise is a compound movement that targets multiple muscle groups. It primarily works the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, and triceps. This exercise builds lower body strength, enhances upper body pressing power, improves core stability, and increases overall muscular endurance. Additionally, the squat to overhead press engages the cardiovascular system, making it a time-efficient exercise for a total body workout.

2. Deadlift

The deadlift...not just a powerlifting movement any more! Great personal trainers know the benefits of the deadlift. Want a strong back and core? Add the deadlift int your workout routine next time at the gym. Gym trainers, fitness coaches and personal trainers all know this old school movement is one of the best.


  1. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and a loaded barbell or dumbbells in front of you.

  2. Hinge at the hips, keeping your back straight and chest lifted, and lower your torso until you can grasp the bar or dumbbells with an overhand or mixed grip.

  3. Engage your core, drive through your heels, and stand up, extending your hips and knees simultaneously.

  4. Maintain a neutral spine as you lift the weight, making sure to avoid rounding your back.

  5. Lower the weight back down to the starting position, maintaining control throughout the movement.

  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Benefits: The deadlift is a fundamental exercise that targets the posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. It also engages the quadriceps, core muscles, and upper back. Deadlifts improve overall strength, enhance hip and hamstring flexibility, promote proper lifting mechanics, and increase grip strength. This compound movement stimulates multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it a highly effective exercise for total body development.

3. Push-Ups with Rotation

Back to basics movement with a twist...literally! It's a personal trainer favorite and a fun way to get a personal training client to boost up their push-up game.


  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, fingers pointing forward, and arms extended.

  2. Perform a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your body towards the floor.

  3. As you push back up to the starting position, rotate your body to the right side, extending your right arm toward the ceiling and opening up your chest.

  4. Return to the high plank position and perform another push-up.

  5. Repeat the push-up rotation, this time rotating to the left side.

  6. Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions.

Benefits: Push-ups with rotation combine the benefits of traditional push-ups with an added rotational component, targeting the chest, shoulders, triceps, core muscles, and obliques. This exercise enhances upper body strength and stability, improves shoulder mobility, and engages the core for better trunk control and rotational power. Push-ups with rotation also challenge coordination and proprioception, promoting overall functional movement.

4. Renegade Rows

A movement that should be in every personal trainer tool box. It's definitely a favorite at Dennis Romatz Fitness. Give it a try!


  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands gripping a pair of dumbbells, hands directly under your shoulders, and feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

  2. Keeping your core engaged and hips stable, row one dumbbell up towards your ribcage while maintaining a flat back.

  3. Lower the dumbbell back down to the floor and repeat the rowing motion on the opposite side.

  4. Continue alternating rows, maintaining a strong plank position, and avoiding excessive rotation or movement.

  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions on each side.

Benefits: Renegade rows are a compound exercise that primarily targets the back muscles, including the lats, rhomboids, and erector spinae. This exercise also engages the core muscles, shoulders, and arms. Renegade rows improve upper body strength, posture, and stability. By incorporating unilateral movements, they help address any muscle imbalances between the left and right sides of the body. Renegade rows also require significant core activation for balance and stability, making them an excellent addition to a total body workout.

5. Burpees

The burpees is a personal trainer favorite movement for it's total body benefits.


  1. Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Lower yourself into a squat position, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.

  3. Kick your feet back, landing in a high plank position.

  4. Perform a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your chest to the floor.

  5. Push through your palms to extend your arms and return to the high plank position.

  6. Jump your feet forward, returning to the squat position.

  7. Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms overhead.

  8. Land softly and repeat the sequence for the desired number of repetitions.

Benefits: Burpees are a dynamic, full-body exercise that combines strength, cardio, and plyometric movements. They engage multiple muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles. Burpees provide a high-intensity cardiovascular workout, burn calories, and improve overall endurance. They also enhance explosive power, coordination, and agility. Incorporating burpees into a total body workout program can boost overall fitness levels and elevate the metabolic rate.


Dennis Romatz Fitness, a seasoned personal trainer, includes these five essential exercises in every total body workout program. The squat to overhead press, deadlift, push-ups with rotation, renegade rows, and burpees target various muscle groups, improve strength, enhance cardiovascular fitness, and promote functional movement. Incorporate these exercises into your routine for a comprehensive, well-rounded total body workout that will help you achieve your fitness goals. Remember to prioritize proper form, gradually increase intensity, and listen to your body to ensure safe and effective training. Get ready to transform your body and elevate your fitness with these fundamental exercises.

About the Author:

Dennis Romatz is the Owner and Head Personal Trainer at Dennis Romatz Fitness representing the pinnacle of excellence in personal training. You can contact Dennis to train with him in person or live online or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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