Ready-To-Use Strength Training Plans

The following strength training plans can be used as is or used as a starting point for creating your own program.

Full Body Workout 1

This program works all the major muscle groups with a total of ten exercises. Schedule at least one rest day between workouts. You will need dumbbells or another type of weight and a bench, step or chair.

  • Ab crunches Lay flat on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Cross arms over your chest. Lift head, shoulders and chest off the floor by contracting your abs. Pause and return to start.
  • Reverse Crunches Lay flat on the floor with hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. Your feet should be in the air. Lay arms flat on the floor along your body for stability. Pull your knees towards your head by contracting your abs and rolling your hips up off the floor. Pause and return to start.
  • Side squats Stand with feet together and hands on hips or holding dumbbells at sides. With right foot, step out to the right and lower yourself into a squat all in one motion. Keep back straight and head up. Pause and return to start. Repeat with left foot. 
  • Lunges Stand with feet about hip width apart. Step forward with right foot. Lower into lunge by lowering left knee towards ground and keeping right knee over right foot and ankle. Pause at the bottom of the lunge and step back to starting position. Repeat, stepping forward with left foot.
  • Calve raises Stand on the edge of a step, bench or low chair with heels extended off the edge. Hold the stair rail or another sturdy object lightly for support. Keeping knees straight, lower heels slightly below the top edge of the step. Push up on your toes by contracting your calves to lift yourself. Lower back down and repeat.
  • Push-ups Start in a push up position on the floor by supporting yourself on your toes and hands. Your arms should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keeping your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your heels, bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest towards the floor. Bend your elbows to at least 90 degrees, pause and return to start.
  • Tricep Dips Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your palms on the edge of the chair on either side of you. Supporting yourself on your hands, walk your feet out in front of you. Your arms should be straight up and down. Slowly lower yourself below the front edge of the chair by bending your elbows to 90 degrees and supporting your weight with your arms. Press through your palms to straighten your arms back up and repeat.
  • Bicep curls Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent for stability. Hold dumbbells in each hand with palms facing out. Keeping elbows stationary at your sides, bend and curl weight up toward your shoulders. Pause at the top and return to start and repeat.
  • Shoulder press Sit on a sturdy chair, bench or exercise ball with back straight and feet flat. Keep abs tight for stability. Hold dumbbells alongside and just above your shoulders with palms facing out. Slowly press the weights straight up  overhead. Fully extend arms but stop short of locking your elbows. Bring weights slightly toward center overhead but avoid tapping or banging dumbbells together. Pause, lower and repeat.
  • Bent-over row Stand with feet hip width apart and knees bent for stability. Bend forward from the hips and keep your back straight (not hunched over) so your back is at about a 45 degree angle. Hold dumbbells with arms hanging straight down and palms facing each other. Using arms only, pull weights up towards chest and squeeze shoulder blades together. Pause, lower and repeat.

Full Body Workout 2

This program works most major muscle groups with a total of seven exercises. Schedule at least one rest day between workouts. You will need dumbbells or another type of weight and a bench, step or chair.

  • Walking lunges Stand with feet about hip width apart. Step forward with right foot. Lower into lunge by lowering left knee towards ground and keeping right knee over right foot and ankle. Pause at the bottom of the lunge. Stand and immediately step forward with left foot and repeat lunging motion. Continue "walking" until all reps are completed.
  • Sumo squats Stand with feet wider than shoulders and toes pointed out at an angle (like a Sumo wrestler). Slowly lower into squat keeping knees aligned with angle of toes. Keep back straight and head up. Return to starting position and repeat.
  • Heel-tap crunches Lay on floor with knees bent and feet flat. Extend arms along floor at sides and lift shoulders into a crunch position. While maintaining crunch position curl sideways to the right and touch right heel with right hand. Immediately curl to the left and touch left heel with left hand. Repeat until all reps are completed.
  • Chest press Lay back on a bench or exercise ball (even laying flat on the floor, while not as effective, will get the job done in a pinch.) Hold dumbbells at chest level with elbows dropped slightly below your chest and palms facing out. Press dumbbells straight up and towards each other in the middle. Pause and return dumbbells to starting position.
  • Hammer curls Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. (This can also be done seated on a bench or exercise ball for more stability.) Hold dumbbells at your sides with palms facing your legs. Keeping elbows at your sides, curl dumbbells up towards shoulders. Pause, return to start and repeat.
  • Wide-grip bent-over row Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent for stability. Hold dumbbells parallel to your body and palms facing you. Bend forward from your hips so your back is flat and arms and dumbbells hang straight towards the floor. Keeping elbows out, pull dumbbells up while squeezing shoulder blades together. Dumbbells should stop about chest level. Pause, return to start and repeat.
  • Tricep kickbacks This can be done one arm at a time or both arms together. Stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent for stability. Bend forward at your hips so your back is flat and almost parallel to the floor. Hold dumbbells with palms facing the sides of your body and elbows tucked tight against your side and bent at 90 degrees. Keeping upper arm still, extend your lower arm at the elbow so you are lifting the weight behind you. Only your lower arm should move.