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10 Full Body Strength Training Exercises for the Beginner

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/25/2010 4:00 PM   :  28 comments   :  46,376 Views

Fitness experts recommend a triad of exercises we should incorporate into our lifestyle in order to achieve optimum fitness. These exercises include cardio-respiratory activities, flexibility exercises and resistance training. Cardio-respiratory activities such as walking, cycling, running, and swimming help with our overall health, while flexibility exercises, such as stretching, help with range of motion around the joint. Lastly, we should all participate in some form of resistance training regardless of our age or gender, whether with free weights, machines, resistance bands or even your own body weight.

If you feel you do not have time to incorporate all the various exercises into your busy schedule, according to the American Council on Exercise, "significant fitness and strength gains can be made in just two strength training sessions per week when you target all muscle groups."

Below are ten strength training exercises to do at home with the use of free weights, a stability ball and a step. These exercises target all the major muscle groups.

Please be sure to include a warm-up and cool-down before and after doing these exercises.

Note that if you have a history of joint problems or health issues you will want to get medical clearance before performing any of these activities.

Chest Exercise

Chest Fly with Dumbbells

Back Exercise

One Arm Dumbbell Rows

Shoulder

Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Press

Bicep Exercise

Seated Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Tricep Exercise

Overhead Tricep Extension

Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Glutes

Squat with a Ball

Hamstring

Hamstring Curl Alt

Glutes

Quadruped Hip Extensions

Calf Exercise

Calf Raises

Abs

The 1-Minute Plank Pose

Next week's blog will feature full body exercises to do in the gym setting.

Do you prefer a full body routine or a workout targeting specific muscle groups every day? What is your favorite at home resistant training exercise?


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Comments

  • 28
    Thank you so much, I know this is an old blog, but I have been looking everywhere for something like this. I really need to start strength training but really had no clue what to do or how many reps/sets. Now I at least know where to start (now I just have to figure out how much weight to use). - 1/9/2014   7:15:04 PM
  • ROBWINTERS
    27
    Nancy you're so right that people regardless of age or gender should be doing resistance exercises - the benefits are so worth it yet so many people (women and older people in particular) tend to neglect them.If going to the gym is not an option they'd be doing quite well to follow your advice and exercises to get them started.

    I see that you're hitting all the major muscle groups in the exercises listed and i realise it's for people working out at home with limited equipment but most of the exercises listed are isolation exercise wheras if 'strength training' is your goal you should be basing your workouts around the big compund exercises - Barbell Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Pull Ups etc. You won't get very strong without doing exercises were it's possible to gradually progress to lifting very heavy weights. I realise that's not for everyone , for various reasons but i thought i'd mention it given your title.

    However for beginners and the like you have provided a very good list that will get them working all the different muscle groups. People often tend to neglect the back, legs and core when they exercise so it's good to see you've got exercises to cover those areas.

    P.S. I recently saw an eighty something year old man do a 400lb deadlift so it's really never too late to start strength training. If i locate the clip i'll post it up here for inspirational purposes.

    - 8/27/2011   2:32:32 PM
  • 26
    I enjoy working multiple muscles at one time although I normally just do one group at a time unless I'm using a DVD. I love those listed above and some new ones. I also found out I was working a muscle I thought I had left out. Makes me feel great. Thanks for this information! - 10/25/2010   6:20:19 PM
  • ZUMBAWITHTASHA
    25
    I will try this. - 10/21/2010   6:08:20 AM
  • 24
    Holy Cow! Just did this for the first time! Trying a new regime of full body 2x a week... because I am lousy at doing ST. WHEW!!! This will be a workout for me, for a while! Will you do an "intermediate" later? - 9/2/2010   5:11:46 PM
  • 23
    could you do all of these in one day and do that every other day? - 9/2/2010   9:36:19 AM
  • 22
    I'd love to see this on one of the Spark training uploads. This is VERY helpful. - 9/2/2010   9:17:05 AM
  • 21
    Great information. Thanks! - 9/1/2010   8:06:48 PM
  • 20
    I do not enjoy strength training. That said, if I don't DO it, I can't move my shoulder. Only when I've been doing dumb-bell presses (or band equivalents) can I keep my joint fluid and strong enough to work for me. (too many years playing violin with improper posture...urgh).

    These are good exercises, (as long as the body parts all work). Thanks, Nancy. - 9/1/2010   1:42:13 PM
  • 19
    I DO 60 MIN OF STRENGTH TRAINING (UPPER, LOWER AND CORE) AND 60 MIN OF CARDIO EVERY MORNING AT 5 AM MON THRU FRI . IT'S A GREAT FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. - 8/30/2010   11:01:04 AM
  • 18
    I prefer to do an "all-over body" work-out. Yet during my work-outs oftentimes I tend to focus on either upper- or lower-body areas exclusively. I am currently focusing on my core attempting to build the ab area to strengthen my lower back. - 8/28/2010   12:06:02 PM
  • 17
    I WOULD LOVE TO DO ALL OVER STRENGTH TRAINING BUT I HAVE KNEE ISSUES THAT PREVENT ME FROM DOING SQUATS AND LUNGES AND IT SEEMS THAT THEY ARE USED OFTEN.

    IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE A PROGRAM FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT STILL WANT TO STRENGTH TRAIN. - 8/27/2010   3:43:45 PM
  • 16
    HOORAY I can finally leave a comment. I do most of those exercises but since I am a beginner with the strength part I still need demos . I really wish-perhaps I have overlooked them -there were some videos that we can go along with that would make strength training as easy as the cardio moves. I realise it is a tall order but doing it by Upper lower and core and Beginner Advanced it would be so much easier. We all grew up with cardio but not STRENGTH and that I feel does more for weight loss than cardio.

    SO glad I can post my message now. Pat in Maine. - 8/27/2010   1:54:53 PM
  • MLSPIVA
    15
    I very much enjoy strength training. It makes me feel strong, and healthy. Because my mother had osteoporosis it's also very important for me to engage in some type of strength training. - 8/27/2010   4:38:47 AM
  • 14
    I am steadily filling in my exercise card. The whole body work out is in the making. Thanks a bunch! - 8/26/2010   7:49:48 PM
  • 13
    This is great -- I already do most of these during my strength routines :-D - 8/26/2010   3:56:23 PM
  • 12
    I already do most of these. :) - 8/26/2010   11:25:24 AM
  • 11
    Nice blog, I'm always looking for the most benefit in a simple, easy to understand and execute "plan", this 10 exercise full body workout fits the bill!

    @ALLERGICONE, if you log in you should be able to save this blog (to your favorites) for future reference. I do find it unusual that the links to these exercises were to sources outside of SparkPeople. The only one I couldn't find a close match in SP fitness examples was the quadruped hip extensions. Love the SparkPeople examples because there is always a "demo" so I can make sure I'm doing the exercise the right way! THANKS AGAIN SPARKPEOPLE! - 8/26/2010   6:17:12 AM
  • 10
    @ALLERGICONE - "Wish we could save this blog for reference..."

    Does the "Save to SparkFavorites" button (below "share" and "like") work for you? :-) - 8/26/2010   3:41:32 AM
  • 9
    Wish we could save this blog for reference... and wish there were demos on SparkPeople for all these exercises! I've done most of them at one point or another with a trainer, but knowing what the call them is always tricky for me! - 8/26/2010   12:09:30 AM
  • 8
    I love KettleBells which are fun to do and I have 13 exercises that I go through. My children do the P90X work out with Tony Horton & that is awesome since he covers the total body in 50 minutes. - 8/25/2010   11:55:10 PM
  • 7
    This is great. I have done all of them. - 8/25/2010   11:40:20 PM
  • 6
    This is great. I'm clueless when it comes to strength training. I know I've been doing it wrong. - 8/25/2010   10:48:14 PM
  • 5
    Thank you for this!! I am getting back into fitness after a long long time out. This was a great resource to start with. I'm hoping to stick with Cardio 3-5 times/week to start and strengthening 3 times a week, with some type of exercise every day, except sunday. My hope is to tone up while I loose weight. I'm trying to do it slowly so I don't get too overwhelmed or in pain. - 8/25/2010   9:57:20 PM
  • TAMANDJOE
    4
    I prefer to do a whole body workout. I find with my busy schedule I don't have time for strength training. I have softball twice a week, yoga once a week, and most weekends we are camping or hiking. The two days a week I am not as committed to excercise. I need to have time for laundry! I am looking forward to winter because I don't do as much outdoor activities and have more time in the gym to do weights. - 8/25/2010   7:56:22 PM
  • 3
    I am looking at adding strength training back into my routine. I have the cardio to where I feel great but know I can do more.. I think these will work just fine for quite awhile.. I have lost most of the weight now its time to tone up... probably should of been toning up all along.. - 8/25/2010   6:21:52 PM
  • 2
    For me, to get used with strength training, I prefer whole body workout per day, twice a week. Then, when I know the correct techniques, I'll "migrate" to different specific muscle on different days. So far, I'm still trying to get the correct position, posture for push-up and abs workout and I think I got it with lunges and squats (favourite workout for lower body) - no more bending too far! - 8/25/2010   5:16:13 PM

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