Total Body Workout for Beginners

Beginner's START HERE! A workout designed to kickstart your new life.

Total Body Workout for Beginners

So, you’ve made the decision to begin an exercise routine, but now the question is, “Where do I begin exactly?” First of all, congratulations! Making the decision to get healthy is one that you’ll never regret! Second, it’s important to start out with a program that’s not too intense, which is why this Total Body Workout for Beginners is an excellent starting line for your fitness journey.

This routine was designed using some of the most basic, yet highly-effective moves, to not only to help you start building strength, but also to assist in the fat-burning process! Don’t wait another day. The sooner that you begin, the faster you will reach your health & fitness goals!

Accelerate your results by participating in this 30-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan.

Total Body Workout for Beginners

Equipment Needed: 1 set of light dumbbells (5-10 lbs); chair or flat bench

What to Do: Perform the following exercises one after the other, like a circuit. If completing multiple circuits, rest 30 seconds between each of them. For optimal results, perform this workout 3 times weekly. Be sure to watch the video demonstrations before beginning your workout.

Beginner Level – Perform 1 circuit.
Intermediate Level – Perform 2-3 circuits (move to this level when ready).


1. Push-ups for Beginners (beginners & intermediate videos below) – 20 reps
2. Reverse Crunches – 10 reps
3. Bicep Curls – 10 reps
4. Triceps Kickbacks – 10 reps
5. Lateral Raise – 10 reps
6. Bent over rows – 10 reps
7. Body Squats – 20 reps
8. Standing Calf Raise – 20 reps

Instructional Videos

Beginner Push-ups

Intermediate Push-ups

Reverse Crunches

Bicep Curls

Tricep Kickbacks

Lateral Raises

Bent Over Rows

Body Squats

Calf Raise

Start your fitness journey today. Once you advance passed the beginner stage, remember that we have a library of workout routines for all fitness levels that will allow you to continue for a lifetime. No excuses, just results!

Check out these top routines and challenges:

Also, be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest to stay up-to-date on all of our latest fitness resources.

Editor’s Note: Originally published August 10th, 2014.

This post may include affiliate links.


The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. I'm so excited to find this!! As a blessed stay at home mother of 4 proudly married to an active duty Marine, this is perfect for me. I can do it at home & you give wonderful demonstrations so I'm sure to execute the exercises correctly. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this site. I'm excited about this journey for the first time in a VERY long time!

  2. Between this and the ab workout, I am excited! Especially since this can be done at home. Thank you so much!

  3. I really really need to do this…my problem is staying motivated…My word for this year is Intentional…so i am going to intentionally do this so that i can be the best i can be.. I really didnt know where to start so thank you for doing this!

  4. Im very excited to find it as well. I have never had to work out to stay skinny in my nearly 47 years of living! Fat snuck up on me over the past couple of years. Time to get back in shape!

  5. I LOVE your website and daily workouts! I've had a VERY hard time getting motivated and sticking with anything. I used to be a dancer, very in shape, and have had challenges getting back into exercise after a car accident and my 3rd baby. I'm 38 and have BIG, HEALTHY goals by 40!!! THANKYOU!!! One question- I hear different theories on light weights/more reps vs. heavy weights/less reps for toning arms… what's your take on this?

    Thanks again. Make it a great day! -Heather

  6. Last year I joined a gym and on my second day there, I pinched a nerve in my neck. I'm trying to get started back again (not at the gym) but here in my home on becoming fit. Thank you for the exercise routine and instructions on how to preform them. I will be back hopefully daily!

  7. I'm definitely going to try this! I need a stiff kick in the butt. I'm turning 40 at the end of this year and definitely need to get healthier. I've been overweight since 5th grade and have struggled with weight loss for years. We live in a rural town so working out at home right now is my best option. I find though being at home is full of too many distractions, LOL! Thank you for doing this!! This is my year to get fit!!

  8. I have been looking for something like this to get me going. I am a mom of 3 young children, including a 3 month-old, and a full-time student, so getting to a gym is a logistical challenge! Looking forward to this.

  9. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I am 54 and have just been told to start lifting weights for bone density. I didn't know where to start. Thanks again, Gale

  10. As someone who for the last 3 month has been trying to build up the courage to walk into a gym, thank you. I know can start my new life style by just getting up a little earlier every day in my own living room and work myself up to more extensive work outs as I accomplish my goals. Thank you so much

  11. I am committed to this beginners workout. I've lost 75 lbs and am trying to get lean now and lose an additional 40. My goal is to be fabulous at 50 which is in 1 1/2 years! I have not had any idea where to begin and am sick of cardio dvd's so I need something to get my muscles in shape. Thank you so much!

    1. Cindy, Welcome aboard..I'll be 55 in April! I agree, most cardio dvd's are pretty boring. I've decided to do all beginner's workouts the week. 🙂

  12. Thank you SOOoooo much for this!!! I'm also asking how and where to begin. I've got a super long road ahead and this will help me take some guess work out of it. Now I'd I could just figure out how many calories to eat. myfitnesspal says like 1800 and I just can't do it! 🙁 Anyhow thank you for this and I'd like to know what you think of the gym boss for someone like me who doesn't have a gym partner??

    1. Juanita, I could make it without my gymboss! I use for run/walk workouts, intervals and all cardio. You'll love it!

  13. this looks like just the thing i need to keep me motivated to work out every day!!! thank you!!! i look forward to doing the workouts every day 🙂

  14. I am excited to get started. Also thankful for everything you post on this site. Now its time for me to stop just reading and get off my butt and do it. You have so many wonderful resources.

  15. Will these videos be available longer than this week? I want to do this, but we're in the middle of a move. My weights are already moved to the new place and I won't be there till next weekend. I'm 62, I walk 3 miles every day and eat a healthy diet, but I know I need to do some strengthening exercises like Winnie the Pooh.

  16. I'm in! I've been looking for a total body (weight) workout since I don't know if I am doing the "right" thing at the gym and can't afford a personal trainer. I also need cardio. So I will add that to this. Great to see the exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment.

  17. This looks pretty doable for me, with the exception of the body squats. My knees are in very bad condition, especially the left. I need a total knee replacement, and the squats are out of the question. What is a good substitute?

  18. Gale, Guess what? My name is also Gale and spelled the same and I'm 54! Now, is that crazy or what? 🙂 Weight lifting does amazing things for your body. My plan is to lift–heavy–the rest of my life. So happy you're here!!!

  19. Kay, I love working out at home…so much easier to roll out of bed and do a workout rather than drive to the gym. I love the gym too but nothing beats home for working out. 🙂

  20. Rosemary, Yes it is the year you're going to get fit. So what if you've been overweight since 5th grade…that's all in the past girlfriend!!! You can do this. 🙂

  21. Hi Heather, When you lift heavy (I'm talking really heavy) you do few reps…maybe only 3, depends on the exercise. I usually do 6-8 when going really heavy. When I lift lighter, I definitely do more reps…15-20, also depends on the exercise. Glad you've made the commitment!

  22. Thanks! I am a veteran at working out but haven't seen any changes in almost a year, so it is time to shake things up! I did this and the ab challenge today so hopefully I will have abs showing soon!!! Thanks again!

  23. i'm starting from scratch and have 50 pounds to lose. thanks for a realistic workout for someone at my stage of fitness.

  24. I woke up at 4am & decided if I couldn't sleep might as well get up. I worked out & decided to check FB…glad I did, I found y'all. I'm in!

  25. The Dumbbell Bent Over Row video is not view able because it has been deemed private. Is there another video out there that you would recommend to show the proper way to preform this exercise? Thank you.

  26. I am committed.  Looking to get in the best shape of my life.  My 30th birthday is just three months away.  Thank you for all of the amazing workouts, Skinny Ms.

  27. had my first child 14 months ago and am back to my pre baby weight but not shape! looking forward to starting tomorrow and sticking to it! 🙂

  28. thanks for helping me start this program to lose weight while in a chair. I started yesterda April 30,2012 and will be doing it everyday. I told my Dr about it today and he is going to look at it and see what I am doing. You are a Godsend

    1. Hey Denise,

      You are so very welcome!!! Can't wait to hear about your progress. We know you'll be successful! 🙂

    2. That's a great achievement. Be sure to get your doctor's approval before doing the exercises. You will continue to amaze yourself. Good job!

  29. I follow on Facebook and pinterest and I get some great motivation from skinny ms! I will doing this everyday. I have ten pounds to go till I hit my goal. Been a long road but have lost 40 pounds over the last 20 months ( on and off dieting) with very little actual excersize, although with 5 children we are an active family. Just haven't been target toning. Do you know how many calories this quick n easy work out burns with no weights? I use my fitness pal daily and would love to be able to keep track of my exercises through there. Thanks 🙂

    1. Rhonda, We're so happy to hear you find the workouts motivating. Unfortunately we don't have the calorie burn info. 🙁

  30. Is this workout something that should be done every day or every other day or what? Thanks in advance. I'm ready to try, I'm one of those that really needs the beginner workout!

    1. Andrea, No…not everyday. Each major muscle group should be worked out 1-2 times a week, no more. I recommend looking over the workouts and see which ones are doable for you.

  31. Thanks so much for posting this. I have severe advanced arthritis in my knees and walk with a walking stick. I have been looking for something that I can do as a beginner and strengthen my muscles slowly. Walking very far is hard for me so hopefully through this program I will be able to get stronger and more fit.

  32. Hey Gale,

    May I suggest something? I’d personally add in 25 reps of calf raises to top it all off. Other than that, you pretty much hit all of the important muscle groups with the simplest workouts.

    This is a great start for beginners. And the best part is you can do it in your own home.

    Let me know if I can do anything for you,

  33. i would like to try this. my only problem is my knees won't let me do squats. any suggestions for adjusting these exercises?

  34. Thank you so much for this. I am thinking to do them Every other day (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). Will that be ok? I am getting on the elliptical daily (20 – 40 mins) then I do abs ripper Monday, Wed and Friday. I also jog/walk the dog about 4 times a week and I am always on the go on playdates and chasing after my little kids. I am trying to lose 10 lbs. Will this program help me tone up? Any recommendation for the lower part of my body? Thanks!

  35. when you say “Rest 30 seconds between circuits” is that a rest between the 8 individual excersises or a rest after the 8 before the 2nd round?

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