New to strength training? An at-home beginner workout just for you

A couple of weeks ago, one of my Twitter followers asked me if any of my free at-home workouts were appropriate for beginners.

Although I regularly work with strength training ‘newbies’, I’ve somehow neglected this group when creating workouts for readers of Fitknitchick. (Thanks Brittany @AHealthySlice for the heads up!)

Below, you’ll find a short, whole-body, at-home beginner workout. (If you’ve trained with me in-person, you’ll recognize this circuit; I almost always use it during our first ‘assessment’ session because it includes all of the functional movements that need to be mastered before you can progress to more challenging, and FUN, exercises).

The only equipment you’ll require is a stability ball and a pair of dumbbells (3, 5, 8 or 10 pounds, depending on your upper body strength). Focus on form before attempting to increase the difficulty of the move or the amount of weight you’re lifting. Watch the video at the bottom of the post for a demonstration of each of the 6 exercises in the circuit.

At-home beginner workout

1. Start with a light, 5 minute warmup. Include movements like walking, marching, arm swings, stair climbing, low impact jumping jacks and cross-country skis.

2. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise (except the plank; just hold it as long as you can), one after the other, with a short break between exercises. Move slowly and through as big a range of motion as is comfortable.

3. If one circuit completely poops you out, stop and stretch (see 5. below).

4. If you have a bit more energy, repeat the circuit a second time, then stop and stretch (see 5. below).

5. Finish your workout by stretching the muscles of your thighs, chest, back, glutes and shoulders. Not sure what to stretch (or why you’re stretching at all)? Read this post and watch the imbedded video.

6. Perform this workout two to three times per week for a minimum of three weeks before trying to make the exercises harder. Consistency trumps progression when you’re new to strength training!

Did you like this workout? Then PLEASE

  • WATCH and DO the workouts with me
  • SUBSCRIBE to fitknitchick on YouTube 
  • CHECK OUT the #FatblasterFriday Playlist for more, real time workouts
  • PIN the above WORKOUT PHOTO
  • GIVE me your FEEDBACK on YouTube or in the COMMENTS section below
  • LIKE and SHARE my videos with your friends via email, Facebook and Twitter


Disclaimer: Although I am a registered Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.



  1. this is what I adore you about you.
    SHORT. HOME. FULL BOD. —-> set us all up for weights success and leave us craving more!
    Miz recently posted…What if it all went away?My Profile

  2. Great! you DO know I have a Pinterest board just for your workalong vids!

  3. Cardio is great for endorphins but nothing beats actually seeing my body become stronger–feeling it when I do things. So rewarding!

    • You’re so right Carol! We really do need both though. I love cardio for stress reduction, but weights really make my body change (for the good!)

  4. Yay for beginners. I love teaching them. This is an excellent workout for them. Glad your Twitter follower asked for this.
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted…How Duff Goldman, Pompeian Oil and I Teamed Up To Donate $5000 to the FoodbankMy Profile

    • Me too! I couldn’t believe, when I looked through all the workouts that I’ve created, that there really wasn’t anything specific for beginners (and yet I teach and train them all the time….). I blame the pressure of social media…

  5. This looks like something I can actually do and want to do. Now that the weather’s getting warmer here I can take it outdoors and to the beach!
    pia recently posted…You probably think this post is about youMy Profile

    • Pia, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I hope that you DO try this workout. It’s not very long and a great place to get started with strength training!

  6. It’s long past time for me to get back in shape…this looks like an easy starting place for me. Heading to get my tennis shoes on right now! Thank you….
    Walker Thornton recently posted…The Practice of Love-It takes work to build a strong relationshipMy Profile

  7. Perfect for beginners & then they can increase weight & progress from there!!! 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted…Gratitude Monday & THIS! SuperSeedz Giveaway WinnerMy Profile

    • You got it Jody! I think I’ll need to create a follow up post to this one; maybe in two or three weeks time…

  8. Great video! I’m pinning it! 🙂
    Andrea@WellnessNotes recently posted…Spiced Cashew MilkMy Profile

  9. Perfect! You’re right- we can easily forget beginners when putting together workouts and info. Love the video, too!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…18 weeks pregnant + For Two Fitness giveawayMy Profile

  10. I have everything you need so I am going to try this tonight! Thank you!

  11. I AM ALL OVER THIS!!!!!!! I used to have a trainer, long time ago, then I switched to Pilates. Now while I still do Pilates, I want to start doing a little weight training, and I have officially started but your routine helps me tremendously!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Academy Award Winning AppetizersMy Profile

  12. Great routine! I find that 6 exercises is just right for enough variety, but not so many that I get lost remember what I still need to do.
    Coco recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday (The Danish Food Edition)My Profile

    • Coco, exactly! I’m a big fan of 6-exercise workouts. I try to do them as supersets, 8-10 reps, 3-4 sets. In and done in a flash!

  13. Glad I just read this Tamara…I tend to get bored and stop doing these simple yet effective moves. Thanks for this, I am ready to do today and I enjoy the instruction 🙂 Now can you move to Sonoma, CA please ?
    Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry recently posted…It’s Wednesday Wonderfulz #1My Profile

  14. Thanks! This looks great. And I just happen to have an exercise ball and dumbbells, right here!
    Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) recently posted…Cakewalk in Forest Park #SaturdaySnapshotsMy Profile


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