Best Full-Body Workout Routine for Beginners

Best Full-Body Workout Routine for Beginners

If you’re new to working out, finding a routine you can stick to is a great way to get started. You’ve signed up for the gym and your sneaker game is on point — now it’s time to get to work(out)!

Tips for getting started

Know your limits. Be sure to use weights and/or other equipment that you can control. Correct posture and form are also key to help prevent injury.

Set reasonable fitness goals. Start slow and set realistic milestones for yourself so you don’t end up getting discouraged if you don’t see instant results.

Be consistent with your workouts. And be patient with yourself. Bubnis suggests thinking of this time as a form of self-care. Research has shown that staying physically active can improve your health, mood, and overall well-being.

One-week workout routine for beginners: Schedule

To make your transition into #FitFam easier, we’re giving you a 1-week step-by-step workout routine for beginners designed by certified personal trainer Daniel Bubnis.

While Bubnis says it’s ideal to get the one-on-one attention of a personal trainer, in general he recommends that beginners follow “a full-body strength training workout 3 times a week.”

Here are some things to consider before you get started:

  • Try doing 1 circuit with 10 repetitions of each exercise.
  • Maintain slow, controlled movements.
  • Start with light weights and build up slowly over time.
  • Rest for up to 90 seconds between exercises as needed.
  • If you have any underlying health conditions, make sure to check with your doctor before diving into this new routine.

A word on warmups and cooldowns

Always include a warmup and cooldown in your fitness routine. Research suggests this can maximize the effects of your workout and help prevent injury.

Shoot for 5–10 minutes of light cardio and a 10–15 minute stretch before and after each workout.

Day 1: Full-body workout

The simple act of sitting down in a chair and standing up requires you to tighten your tummy, stabilize your hips, and engage your leg muscles. Getting in and out of a chair repeatedly can be a great beginner exercise to do at home. This movement mimics a squat, which is a fundamental bodyweight exercise often seen in more advanced gym workouts.

  1. Warmup: 5–10 minutes
  2. Core: Standing march
  3. Chest: Stability ball dumbbell press
  4. Back: Seated cable row
  5. Shoulders: Seated stability ball military press
  6. Legs: Ball squat
  7. Triceps: Single-leg triceps pushdown
  8. Biceps: Single-leg dumbbell curl
  9. Cooldown: 5–10 minutes

Day 2: Active rest day

Day 3: Full-body workout

  1. Warmup: 5–10 minutes
  2. Core: Plank
  3. Back: Stability ball dumbbell row
  4. Chest: Push-up on stability ball
  5. Shoulders: Single-leg dumbbell scaption
  6. Legs: Walking lunge
  7. Biceps: Single-leg biceps cable curl
  8. Triceps: Stability ball triceps extension
  9. Cooldown: 5–10 minutes

Day 4: Active rest day

Day 5: Full-body workout

  1. Warmup: 5–10 minutes
  2. Core: Floor prone cobra
  3. Legs: Alternating step-up
  4. Chest: Stability ball dumbbell fly
  5. Shoulders: Shoulder shrug with dumbbells or resistance bands
  6. Back: Seated lat pulldown
  7. Triceps: Standing one-arm cable extension
  8. Biceps: Seated hammer curl on stability ball
  9. Cooldown: 5–10 minutes

Day 6: Active rest day

Day 7: Rest day

1-week workout routine for beginners: Exercises explained

Day 1: Full-body workout

Standing march

Targets: Core
How to do it:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms straight and relaxed by your sides, and knees close together.
  • Squeeze abs to lift one knee up, keeping bottom of your foot parallel with the floor.
  • Lower your knee back down.
  • Repeat on the other side.

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Stability ball dumbbell press

Targets: Chest
How to do it:

  • Sit on a stability ball.
  • Grab your dumbbells.
  • Keeping legs shoulder-width apart, roll down until your upper back is resting on the ball.
  • Make sure hips are elevated and back is straight.
  • Hold the dumbbells close to your chest and push them straight up.
  • Bring them down to about 90 degrees.
  • Push up again.

Seated cable row with resistance band

Targets: Back
How to do it:

  • Sit with feet flat on the floor and spine neutral.
  • Wrap a resistance band around a sturdy surface at chest height, holding each end just in front of your knees.
  • Pull both sides of the resistance band together into your ribs, with elbows facing down.
  • Release back to the starting position.

Seated stability ball military press

Targets: Shoulders
How to do it:

  • Sit straight on a stability ball, with feet pointing forward and chest out.
  • Hold two dumbbells at shoulder level.
  • Push the dumbbells up, fully extending your arms.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Ball squat

Targets: Legs
How to do it:

  • Press a stability ball into your back against a wall.
  • Keep feet shoulder-width apart, slowly squat while trying to keep the ball stable.
  • Push back up to the starting position

Single-leg triceps pushdown

Targets: Triceps
How to do it:

  • Use a triceps pushdown machine or resistance bands.
  • Stand on one leg with elbows tucked in at your sides.
  • Push the cable weight or resistance band down until elbows are fully extended.
  • Slowly reverse and return to the starting position.

Single-leg dumbbell curl

Targets: Biceps
How to do it:

  • Stand on one leg, holding a dumbbell in each hand and keeping your back straight.
  • Start with the dumbbells just below your waist and your elbows facing behind you.
  • Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders, then lower them back to the starting position.
  • Switch legs at the halfway mark.

Day 2: Active rest day

Active recovery means any moderate-intensity activity that can get your blood flowing. Research has found that it can reduce muscle soreness. So don’t skip it! Opt for a brisk walk (yes, walking counts as exercise!) or a gentle yoga sesh.

Day 3: Full-body workout

Plank

Targets: Core
How to do it:

  • Get into push-up position on your hands and toes (lower onto your forearms if necessary).
  • Keep your core tight and back straight.
  • Hold the position for 15–30 seconds or as long as you can hold proper form.

Stability ball dumbbell row

Targets: Back
How to do it:

  • Lie with your stomach against a stability ball.
  • Plant your toes into the floor and extend arms in front of you, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Pull the dumbbells straight up to your sides.
  • Extend your arms back out.

Push-up on stability ball

Targets: Chest
How to do it:

  • Kneel next to a stability ball.
  • Slowly roll your shins onto the ball and walk your hands out until you’re in push-up position.
  • Keeping elbows close to your torso, lower your shoulders toward the floor.
  • Straighten your arms to push back up.

Single-leg dumbbell scaption

Targets: Shoulders
How to do it:

  • Stand straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Keeping arms at your sides, lift one foot directly beside your balance leg.
  • Raise the dumbbells at a 45-degree angle to your body, keeping arms straight.
  • Keep your torso aligned and engage your core.
  • Stop when arms reach shoulder height.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Walking lunge

Targets: Legs
How to do it:

  • Take a long step forward with one foot, keeping front heel down.
  • Lower your back leg until knee touches the floor.
  • Push through your front leg to stand.
  • Continue to walk forward, alternating feet.

Single-leg biceps cable curl

Targets: Biceps
How to do it:

  • Face a cable weight machine and grab the handles, or wrap a resistance band underneath one foot.
  • Lift one foot in front of you, holding it closely beside your balancing leg.
  • Flex your arms by bringing hands up to shoulders
  • Extend arms back down to return to the starting position.

Stability ball triceps extension

Targets: Triceps
How to do it:

  • Lie on a stability ball with your back straight and feet planted firmly into the floor, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lift the dumbbells above your chest.
  • Bend elbows to bring the dumbbells just behind your head.
  • Straighten arms to return to the starting position.

Day 4: Active rest day

Plank

Stick to lighter activities on this active rest day. Some good examples:

  • swimming a few laps
  • going for a brisk walk
  • biking around town

Day 5: Full-body workout

Floor prone cobra

Targets: Core stabilization posture
How to do it:

  • Lie facedown with arms at your sides and palms outward.
  • Lift head and chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Return to the starting position.

Alternating step-up

Targets: Legs
How to do it:

  • Find a sturdy platform (such as a box, bench, or stairs) at an appropriate height.
  • Step up onto the platform and back down, alternating legs, as if you’re marching.

Stability ball dumbbell fly

Targets: Chest
How to do it:

  • Sit on a stability ball.
  • Roll down until your shoulders are resting on the ball.
  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, extend arms straight up.
  • Lower the dumbbells to either side, keeping a slight bend in your arms.
  • Return to the starting position.

Shoulder shrug with dumbbells or resistance bands

Targets: Shoulders
How to do it:

  • Hold a dumbbell or the end of a resistance band in each hand.
  • Keeping shoulder blades together and arms straight, shrug your shoulders up and down.

Seated lat pulldown

Targets: Back
How to do it:

  • Sit at a lat pulldown machine and grab the bar with an overhand grip, or wrap a resistance band around a sturdy surface above you.
  • Keep arms straight and torso upright.
  • Pull the bar or resistance band down to chest level by bending elbows and squeezing shoulder blades down, pausing at the bottom.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Standing one-arm cable extension

Targets: Triceps
How to do it:

  • Stand with one foot in front of the other, wrapping a resistance band around your back foot.
  • Hold the resistance band in your hand on the same side as your back foot, with upper arm raised next to your head and forearm bent behind you.
  • Isolate your triceps and raise your hand to straighten arm.
  • Slowly bring arm down again.

Seated hammer curl on stability ball

Targets: Biceps
How to do it:

  • Sit on a stability ball, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Plant feet firmly on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend elbows and lift the dumbbells up to your chest, keeping wrists facing each other.
  • Return to the starting position.

Day 6: Active rest day

For this active rest day, try going for a short walk or hike. Pro tip: Use a foam roller to ease sore muscles.

Day 7: Rest day

You made it to rest day! Yay! Your muscles need time to recover, so your body deserves a little bit of nada — even if that means chillin’ on the couch all day. No judgment!

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