If you want to know what are the best sports for overall workout, you’ve come to the right place! It is pretty well known that some sports only work out a part of your body and others the whole body. If you don’t feel like doing multiple exercises or multiple workouts, you might be interested in this article. Because today, at Pret-a-Train, we’re going to show you the best sports for an overall workout. Most of them are achievable for beginners so don’t worry if you’re not used to working out. Plus, you could try doing plank every day for starting!


Sport for overall workout: Triathlon 

Triathlon is a sport discipline that consists of three endurance sports: swimming, running and cycling. Originated from the United States in the 1970s, it is now a worldwide renown discipline. Its renown got to its paroxysms when it became an official discipline in the Olympic in 2000. If you want to work out your whole body but are indecisive, this is the perfect discipline for you as it allows you to work out all your body parts and practise several sports. After a warm-up and a workout with one (or all) sports of the triathlon, you’d feel brand new! Let’s have a look at it now shall we?



Swimming is one of the oldest known sports, and one you learn at a very young age. As well as being fun, swimming is a healthy activity which has many benefits for your physical and mental health. It’s even available for people of all ages (yes even babies!). There are four types of swimming: the crawl, the butterfly, the breaststroke, and the backstroke.

The crawl, or the ramper, is the fastest type of surface swim. It is usually used in competitions for this exact purpose. For this technique, you need to be on your stomach and work your arms in a circular movement, one arm after the other. At the same time, your legs will be flapping. Obviously, you have to breathe. Try to breathe at a regular interval, i.e for instance, when your right arm is not underwater and in a circular movement move your head out of the water on your right side and just breathe.

On the health side, swimming will keep your heart rate up and relieve some of the stress you may suffer. But that’s not just it! Swimming will tone your muscles, build endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Almost every muscle in your body is working when you’re swimming which is proof that it is one of the best sports for overall workout.

This sport is very versatile as you can swim in a public pool, lake, or river.



Cycling is the whole range of activities carried out on a bicycle. It covers several categories ranging from everyday riding for transportation, to international competitions such as major races, to touring and leisure activities. It is one of the best sports for overall workout because not only does cycling increase cardiovascular fitness, boosts muscle strength and flexibility, it also makes you happier and makes your brain stronger. Not only will the muscles in your legs be used, but also those in your arms, shoulders, abs and buttocks.

On the plus side, cycling is a great sport that you can include in your daily life as you can practise it everywhere: a park, in the mountains, in the city, countryside and even in your own home with a stationary bike!

Cycling is available for people of all ages and can be practised alone or with others, as it does not require a lot of high-level skills. From an ecological perspective, cycling can be time-saving as you could use it to move around. For instance, you can use your bike to go to work instead of taking your car or public transportation. You’d get a workout done, save time and help save the planet! 



The last sport of the triathlon is, you guessed it, running! This one is a great sport for overall workout as it allows you to work out the muscles in your legs, buttocks, abs and back! Like the other two members of the triathlon, running helps strengthen muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness.

If you do not feel like running, as it can be very intense, try jogging! It’s basically the same thing but slower. This means you will not get the same results since running requires more effort from your muscles, heart, and lungs. 

Running is also cost-efficient as you don’t need any accessories or particular attire to work out. You just have to wear something in which you’re comfortable (shorts, sweats, shirt, sports bras, leggings etc) and a good pair of shoes and run!

You can run everywhere just like cycling! However, if you don’t feel like going out of your home or if the weather doesn’t allow it, you can run on a treadmill and still get the same results.

To conclude on the triathlon, you don’t have to practice those sports on a competition level. You can do one at a time, all of them or just one to get an overall workout. Triathlon is one of the best sports for overall workout but it is not the only one.


Sport for overall workout: Tennis and Squash


Indeed, like the triathlon, tennis is a good sport for overall workout as it maintains health and fitness. Also, while you practice tennis, your arms, shoulders, back, abs, buttocks and legs will be used. Can you imagine? A sport as fun as tennis allows you to work out all those body parts at the same time!

Tennis has many health benefits. Indeed, playing tennis can help increase bone density, lower body fat, improving muscle tone, strength and flexibility.

Like the other sports, tennis does not have an age limit. You can take tennis lessons in a club on a court or with family and friends in an outdoor setting. After all, you just need a net, rackets and balls to play!

However, unlike the other sports, tennis requires at least two to play. Try to find a player on the same level as you are as it would be more suitable. You can even play with 3 other players!

There is also another sport similar to tennis which you could try: Squash.



Originally from England, squash is a racket sport played in singles or doubles, on a playing court completely surrounded by walls and possibly glass walls: the two players alternately share and defend the same playing surface. A squash match is played in 3 winning games. The server must send the ball directly to the front wall, between the service line and the front wall line. The ball must land within the opponent’s quarter-court, with or without bouncing off other walls. Players take turns returning the ball until one of them fails to make a good return.

Just like tennis, your arms, shoulders, abs, buttocks and legs will be used while you play squash. However, and unlike tennis, the muscles in your back won’t be solicited.

If you like rackets sports we would recommend you to try tennis and/or squash as they are good sports for overall workout. Multiple muscles are used while playing and they both have great health benefits.


Sport for overall workout: Volleyball

Another sport which requires a net and several players to play is volleyball! Originally known as mintonette, Volleyball was created by the American William G. Morgan in 1895, which he described as a combination of basketball, baseball, tennis and handball. Morgan wanted his sport to become a less intense and demanding alternative to basketball so that it can appeal to a much wider audience, both in terms of age and physical ability.

Whether you play it professionally or not, when you play volleyball all the muscles in your body, besides in your back, are solicited. Indeed, the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, abs, buttocks and legs are all used while playing volleyball.

As we stated previously, volleyball requires several players, but I can be played anywhere. One of the most common places to play volleyball is the beach! Indeed, beach volley is a fun way to exercise as you are in one of the most beautiful places: the beach. Surrounded by your friends, family and strangers, under the warm sun, can you think of a better place to work out?

With the triathlon, tennis, squash and now volleyball you pretty much have a good idea of what the best sports for overall workout looks like. Don’t worry, we’re not done yet as we have more technical and physical sports to get to.


Sport for overall workout: Gymnastics

Gymnastics, derived from a Greek word meaning “to exercise naked,” was in ancient Greece to all exercises practiced in the gymnasium, the place where male athletes did indeed exercise unclothed. Nowadays, gymnastics is one of the best sports for overall health, wellness and workout. Today, it includes a wide range of sports disciplines, practised for leisure or competition: artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, acrobatic gymnastics, aerobic gymnastics, tumbling.

While its not an easy sport, it is very efficient for improving your flexibility and mass-building. If you are doing gymnastics, the areas of your body that will be used are: arms, abs, back, buttocks and legs.

Unlike volleyball, you don’t need another player to practice gymnastics. You could do some gym at home following a class online or attend a physical class. We would recommend you to be followed by a professional if you are a beginner.


Sport for overall workout: Boxing

Finally, we kept this one for last as it does not appeal to everybody due to its aggressiveness. Boxing is a combat sport in which you put protective gloves and other equipment and throw punches either to a punching ball, a coach (whom has an equipment to protect themselves from your punches) or an opponent during a fight.

Before boxing existed, it was originally known as pankration in ancient Greece and was even part of the Greek Olympic Game.

When you are boxing, your shoulders, arms, chest, abs, buttocks and legs are all working out. The only part of your body that is not solicited is your back, exactly like squash.

Nowadays, there are four commonly used boxing styles: the swarmer, the slugger, the out-boxer and the boxer-puncher. Throughout the years, those different styles have been used by legends.

For instance, Muhammad Ali was a notorious out boxer because he used to maintain a gap from his opponents and fight with faster, longer range punches. An out-boxer is the opposite of a swarmer because they put constant pressure on their opponent, are very aggressive.



We have chosen in this article the eight sports we felt like were the best for an overall workout. Whether you practice them professionally or just for fun, never forget to warm up before a physical activity. Feel free to check up our articles about some of these sports! If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!


Picture from unsplash.com

Categories: HealthSport

Pret a train

Pret-a-Train is a team of personal trainers, expert in fitness. We deliver in person and online personal training and we also share some tips and advice to make you healthier and fitter. Be happy, be healthy.


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