Pullups, Pushups, and Barbell Squats, Three Exercises For a Complete Workout

Recently I was asked if I could only do three exercises, what would they be?  After some consideration, I said I would do pullups, pushups, and barbell squats.  I explained that if you combined these three exercises in a workout you would hit all the major muscle groups of your body

Let’s look at these three exercises and see if they would be a complete whole body workout.

Pullups target the major muscles of the upper back, the biceps, and the forearms.  The core muscles also work to stabilize your body to keep you from swing as you pull your body up and lower it down.  Take a look at the video below to see a properly executed pullup.

Pushups target the major muscles of the chest, the shoulders, and the triceps.  The core muscles are also strongly used to keep your lower back from sagging as you lower your body to the floor and push your arms back to full extension.  A correctly performed pushup is shown in the video below.


Barbell Squats target the quads, the hamstrings, and the glutes.  Squats are also a very good exercise for strengthening the erector spinae muscles, these are the muscles of the lower back that keep you erect when you stand and walk.  Take a look at the video below as I perform a correctly done squat.

There you have it.  These are the three exercises I would do if I was limited to doing only three.  What three exercises would you do?