The Simple, At-Home Workout Perfect for Any Exercise Enthusiast

woman performing one arm row at home

Getty Images / RyanJLane

If you are an intermediate-level fitness enthusiast who's looking to work out in the comfort of your own home, it can be difficult to find sufficiently challenging. If you have limited space or equipment, this prospect becomes more complex.

Yet with the correct exercises and techniques, you can get in a fun and challenging workout at home using basic equipment and body weight exercises.

Below you will find a complete resistance training workout for your whole body.

You can choose to follow the exercises in order, or pick and choose movements you'd like to add to your existing routine. You will also find alternatives for most of the exercises, so you can use whatever equipment you may have at home.

What You'll Need

For the intermediate workout below, you will need dumbbells, resistance bands, a stable surface such as an exercise bench or table, and enough space to perform the movements safely.

If there is some equipment you don't have, for instance, if you only have dumbbells and no bands or vice versa, there are tips for making substitutions or modifications for the exercises.

Intermediate At-Home Workout

The below exercises can be performed in order for a full-body workout. If your goal is to gain muscle mass and you are at an intermediate level, aim for 3 to 4 sets of each exercise. Some of these movements are best performed with heavier weights for fewer repetitions while others are better with higher reps and lower weights, based on the body part size and the number of muscles involved.

Ideal rep ranges are listed in the instructions for each exercise, but you can perform more or fewer, depending on your fitness level, body size, and goals. How many reps you perform also depends significantly on the weights you have available. You should feel sufficiently challenged that you could not perform another 2 to 3 repetitions at the same weight when you stop the set.

Dumbbell Split Squat

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Split squats are excellent for targeting your legs, including calves, hamstrings, and quads. Your abdominals will also work to stabilize you during this unilateral movement. The image above shows the rear foot elevated version called Bulgarian split squats. You can perform it this way or leave your back foot on the ground.

  1. Hold appropriate dumbbell weights in each hand. Brace your core.
  2. Step forward with your left foot, keeping your right foot behind. Lower the back right knee towards the floor until just about touching it.
  3. Push through your front left foot to rise back up, keeping all of your weight in your front foot. Do not bring your front foot back to the starting position until all repetitions have been completed.
  4. Continue performing all reps on the front leg. Switch sides and repeat.
  5. Aim for 8 to 10 repetitions on each side.

While the split squat may look similar to a lunge, the difference is your weight is placed completely on the front foot. You stay loaded on one foot without bringing it back to the center until all reps are completed.

Dumbbell Push Press

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

The push press allows you to lift more weight because you use the momentum of a slight lower body push to lift the weights. You could perform a strict shoulder press instead if you only have lighter dumbbells, which is shown in the image above. The push press targets your shoulders with your core, glutes, hips, and triceps activating to support the movement to build explosive power and strength.

As an alternative, you can use kettlebells or resistance bands. To use bands, anchor them under your feet with the handles in your hands. You may need to perform additional reps to get a sufficient challenge when using bands.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells with an overhand grip.
  2. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height with elbows bent, palms facing forward.
  3. Bend your knees, hips, and ankles to lower your body slightly.
  4. Push through your feet to explosively drive your body upward while pushing the dumbbells up, extending your arms overhead.
  5. Lower the dumbbells to your shoulders and repeat for 8 to 10 reps.

Decline Push Up

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Decline push-ups are great for intermediate at-home workouts because they do not require any equipment, other than a stable surface for your feet, and they are more challenging than regular pushups.

  1. Face the floor and place your hands flat on the floor with your wrists stacked under your shoulders.
  2. Place the tops of your feet on a bench or similar sturdy surface.
  3. Brace your core and lower your chest towards the floor, bending your elbows about 60 degrees until your chest is almost touching the floor and you feel a stretch across your chest.
  4. Hold for a count before pushing through your hands, back to the starting position, and straightening your arms. Do not lock out your elbows.
  5. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.

Dumbbell One-Arm Row

One-arm rows work the muscles of your back, including your upper back, lower back, and traps, with the core stabilizing muscles helping you brace. This movement can also be performed using a kettlebell or resistance band anchored beneath you.

  1. Hold a dumbbell with an overhand grip, palm facing in.
  2. Maintain a straight lower back and braced core.
  3. Use your back muscles to pull the dumbbell straight up to your side, drawing your elbow back close to your body.
  4. Squeeze at the top of the movement to engage your back muscles.
  5. Lower to the start position.
  6. Repeat on the same side for 10 to 12 reps before switching sides.

Band or Dumbbell Wood Chop

The final exercise for your intermediate at-home workout is a rotational core movement that will activate your abs, back, glutes, and deep core stabilizing muscles. You can perform this exercise with a dumbbell, held in both hands by the bell ends, or a band anchored near the ground.

  1. Stand with your side to the anchored resistance band. Grab the handle with the farthest hand underneath the same side hand. Maintain a flat back and braced core throughout the movement.
  2. Hinge your hips and bend your knees to squat down. Keeping your feet in position, raise, twisting the band to the opposite side of your body.
  3. Pause to contract your core before slowly reversing to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps before switching to repeat on the other side.

A Word From Verywell

Working out at home offers convenience and comfort, with no waiting for equipment or distractions. The downside is you may not have the variety of equipment found at commercial gyms. But, with the right exercises and techniques, you can get in a challenging and fun workout at home.

Seek the guidance of a personal trainer if you are unsure how to perform any of the movements or are looking for a complete workout program that progresses you toward your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you become a better lifter? 

    You can become a better lifter by practicing. Seeing a personal trainer who can help you learn proper form will also improve your technique and results.

  • Are full body workouts good for intermediate level exercisers?

    Full-body workouts are an excellent choice for intermediate exercisers. Working each body part twice per week is ideal for results. As you progress, you can add more volume to keep seeing muscle growth.

  • How long do you have to workout to be considered intermediate?

    How long you have to work out before being considered intermediate depends on what you learn, how consistent you are, and if you've been using proper techniques to progress your workouts. In general, intermediate lifters will have at least 2 years under their belt.

5 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. Liao KF, Nassis G, Bishop C, Yang W, Bian C, Li YM. Effects of unilateral vs. bilateral resistance training interventions on measures of strength, jump, linear and change of direction speed: a systematic review and meta-analysis. bs. 2022. doi:10.5114/biolsport.2022.107024

  2. Soriano MA, Suchomel TJ, Comfort P. Weightlifting overhead pressing derivatives: a review of the literature. Sports Med. 2019;49(6):867-885. doi:10.1007%2Fs40279-019-01096-8

  3. Mannarino P, Matta T, Lima J, Simão R, Freitas de Salles B. Single-joint exercise results in higher hypertrophy of elbow flexors than multijoint exerciseJ Strength Cond Res. 2021;35(10):2677-2681. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003234

  4. Lee J, Kim T, Kim D, Shim J, Lim J. Effects of selective exercise for the deep abdominal muscles and lumbar stabilization exercise on the thickness of the transversus abdominis and postural maintenanceJ Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(2):367-370. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.367.

  5. Mangine GT, Hoffman JR, Gonzalez AM, et al. The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained menPhysiological Reports. 2015;3(8):e12472. doi:10.14814/phy2.12472

By Rachel MacPherson, BA, CPT
Rachel MacPherson is a health writer, certified personal trainer, and exercise nutrition coach based in Montreal.