Enhanced Beginner Total Body Strength Workout

Take It to the Next Level

This beginner total body workout is a step up from a basic total body strength workout with more exercises and heavier weights. It focuses on the major muscles in the body, including the hips, glutes, thighs, chest, back, shoulders, arms, and abs.

This simple, straightforward workout is a great way to target the entire body while building lean muscle tissue and strength.

  • Precautions: See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses, or other conditions.
  • Equipment Needed: Various weighted dumbbells, a step or weight bench, an exercise ball, and a resistance band.

Workout Format

  • Begin with a warm-up of light cardio exercise for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Perform each exercise for 1 set of 15 reps. If you need more of a challenge, do 2 sets of each exercise with 20 to 30 seconds of rest between sets.
  • Use a weight for each exercise that is heavy enough that you can only complete the desired number of reps.
  • Do this workout on one to three non-consecutive days a week, taking at least one day of rest between workouts. For best weight loss results, combine this workout with regular cardio and a healthy, low-calorie diet.

Squat With Dumbbell

squat with dumbells

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Stand with feet wider than shoulders and hold a heavy dumbbell in both hands.
  2. Bend knees and, keeping your weight in the heels, squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as you can). Keep abs in and make sure you keep your chest tall.
  3. Push through the heels to stand up.
  4. Repeat for 15 reps.

Pushups on the Ball


Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Kneel on the floor with the ball in front of you and roll forward on it, walking the hands out to where you can comfortably support your body with the abs in, shoulders retracted and the body in a straight line.
  2. Place the hands a bit wider than shoulders and bend the elbows to lower into a pushup.
  3. Press back to start.
  4. Repeat for 15 reps.

If performing this move on a ball is too difficult, modify by doing regular pushups. 


Split Squat

single lunge

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Stand in a split stance, with feet about 3 feet apart.
  2. Hold weights in each hand and bend the knees.
  3. Lower the back knee toward the floor, keeping the front heel down and the knee directly over the center of the foot.
  4. Keep the torso straight and abs in as you push through the front heel and back to starting position.
  5. Repeat 15 reps on one side before switching sides.

Chest Presses

Ben Goldstein

  1. Lie on a bench or step and begin with the weights over the chest, palms facing out.
  2. Bend the elbows and lower the arms down until the elbows are just below the chest (arms should look like goal posts).
  3. Press the weights back up without locking the elbows.
  4. Repeat for 15 reps.


Neustockimages/Getty Images
  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and hold medium-heavy weights in front of the thighs.
  2. With the back flat, shoulders back and abs in, tip from the hips and lower the weight as far as your flexibility allows.
  3. Raise up, squeezing the glutes.
  4. Repeat for 15 reps.

Double Arm Dumbbell Rows

Neo Vision/amanaimages/Getty Images
  1. Bend over at the waist until the torso is parallel to the floor or at a 45-degree angle, abs in and knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold the weights straight down without locking the elbows.
  3. Bend the elbows and pull the weights up until the elbows are level with the torso in a rowing motion, contracting the back.
  4. Lower and repeat for 15 reps.

Side Step Squats

Squat With Side Step

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Place a resistance band under the feet and hold onto handles with both hands.
  2. Take a wide step to the right, and lower into a squat, knees behind toes and keeping tension on the tube.
  3. Step the feet together and continue stepping to the right for 12 to 16 steps or the length of the room before switching sides.

Triceps Kickbacks

Tricep kickbacks
David Foster/Blend Images/Getty Images
  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist until back is parallel to floor.
  2. Pull the right elbow up next to torso.
  3. Keeping the right elbow static, extend the arm out behind you, contracting the triceps.
  4. Lower and repeat for 15 reps. Then switch sides and complete with the left arm.

Incline Curls on the Ball

incline with dumbells

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Sit on the ball with the weights resting on the thighs and slowly walk forward until you're at an incline with the ball supporting your back. You'll have one weight in each hand with palms facing the midline of the body.
  2. Bend the elbows and bring the weights towards the shoulder without swinging the arms.
  3. Lower and repeat for 15 reps.

Seated Rotation for Abs

Seated rotation of abs
Johner Images/Getty Images
  1. Sit with good posture holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of ​your torso, elbows slightly bent.
  2. Keeping the abs contracted, rotate the ball to the right while keeping the hips and legs facing forward.
  3. Contract abs to bring the ball back to center and then to the left. Go slowly and concentrate on rotating only at the torso.
  4. Repeat for 15 reps.

Crunch on the Ball

exercise ball crunch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Lie with the ball under your mid/lower back and place hands behind the head or across the chest.
  2. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
  3. As you curl up, keep the ball stable.
  4. Repeat for 15 reps.

Bird Dog


Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Begin on hands and knees, hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips and back straight, abs tight.
  2. Slowly raise right arm and left leg up until level with the body, holding your balance and keeping torso tight.
  3. Lower back down and repeat with the left arm and right leg.
  4. Repeat for 15 reps.
3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Heinrich KM, Patel PM, O'Neal JL, Heinrich BS. High-intensity compared to moderate-intensity training for exercise initiation, enjoyment, adherence, and intentions: an intervention studyBMC Public Health. 2014;14:789. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-789

  2. Andersen V, Fimland MS, Kolnes MK, Saeterbakken AH. Elastic Bands in Combination With Free Weights in Strength Training: Neuromuscular Effects. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(10):2932-40. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000950

  3. Obert J, Pearlman M, Obert L, Chapin S. Popular Weight Loss Strategies: a Review of Four Weight Loss Techniques. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2017;19(12):61. doi:10.1007/s11894-017-0603-8

By Paige Waehner, CPT
Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer," and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness."