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The Essential Total Body Workout Plan At Home With Weights

This total body workout plan at home is perfect for working the entire body. It includes all the classic exercises and can be done in a short period of time. This might even be a life saver for those wanting to squeeze in a little extra workouts during the day (or even during those Saturday's when the little ones are sleeping)

All you need are a few sets of dumbbells and these basic exercises. These moves hit all the major muscles of your body, including the chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and abs. This is a great workout option when you are crunched for time, but still want to complete a muscle building workout.

Warm Up

Warm up with 5 minutes of light cardio or warm-up by stretching. Some of my favorite warms ups to do before I do a full body workout are: arm circles, step up and over, arm swings and an arm reach.

Full Body Workout

To perform a full body workout, choose two upper body exercises, two lower body exercises, and perform two or three ab workouts of your choice. You can switch up your exercises each time to form new routines. Aim to complete 2 to 3 full body workouts each week.

In this total body workout plan at home, you will find the following exercises:

  • Chest press

  • One-arm row

  • Overhead press

  • Spider Curls with dumbbells

  • Kickback

  • Deadlift

  • Squat

  • Lunge

  • Seated Twist

Chest Press

After your warm up, one of the best ways to build your muscles is the chest press. This exercise mainly targets the chest muscles, but it's also great at working your shoulders and triceps. It really works multiple muscle groups at the same time, making this a perfect compound exercise!

The Chest muscles are a larger muscle group, so you can lift a little heavier weights if you would like to, but it also depends on your strength and comfort level. It's always safer to lift lighter weights than to strain yourself to lift heavy. This could cause injury, which you don't want.

How to: Lie on a bench or step and hold dumbbells up over your chest. Bend the elbows and lower the weights until your elbows are at about 90-degree angles; they should look like goal posts at the bottom of the movement. Press the weights back up and repeat.

One-Arm Row

I'm a huge fan of the one-arm row. Not only does this exercise work the lats, but you also get in a good bicep workout too.

How to: Place your left foot on a step or platform and rest your left hand or forearm on the upper thigh. Hold a weight in the right hand. Tip forward, keep your back flat and the abs in, and hang the weight down towards the floor. Bend your elbow and pull it up in a rowing motion until it is level with the torso or just above it. At the top of the movement, squeeze your back muscles. Then Lower. Complete the desired amount of reps.

Overhead Press

Yes, the classic overhead press. This total body workout works your shoulders. It mainly targets your deltoids, mid and front.

How to: Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart. Hold the weights at ear level with the elbows bent (like goal posts). Press the weights up and overhead while keeping your abs tight and avoiding arching the back. Lower the weights and repeat the desired number of reps.

Avoid lowering the arms way down past the shoulders because it takes the emphasis off the shoulders. You could always watch yourself in a mirror to make sure you're keeping that goal-post shape every time, especially if you are new to the exercise.

Spider Curls with dumbbells

The spider curl is an isolation exercise that targets your arm muscles—specifically your biceps. Practice spider curls by resting your torso against an incline bench set to a 45-degree angle or a spider curl bench designed for this type of biceps exercise. You might find an exercise machine at your local gym that has this exercise available too.

How To: Adjust a flat bench to a 45-degree angle. Place your chest against the bench, and rest your feet on the floor. Your legs should be long with a slight bend in your knees. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet.

Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing away from your body. Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats, and allow your arms to hang while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.

Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. Engage your core by tightening the muscles. All repetitions should begin from this position. While keeping your upper arms still, squeeze your biceps, and bend your elbows until your lower arms contact your upper arms.

The dumbbells should finish close to your shoulders without contacting your shoulders. Squeeze your biceps, and pause at the top of the movement. Slowly straighten your elbows to return to the starting position. Come to a complete stop at the bottom before beginning another repetition.


This exercise is an easy one that targets the triceps. You can perform the kickback either one arm at a time or both at the same time. As a personal trainer, I usually recommend my clients complete this exercise one at time. If you are more advanced, or feel like you can tackle both arms at the same time, by all means go for it! - Just make sure you are maintaining proper form and bending at your knees to support your lower back.

How to: Hold a weight in each hand. Bend at the waist, keeping the back flat and the abs engaged. Pull the elbows up to the torso. Holding that position, straighten the arms and squeeze the triceps muscles. Lower and repeat the desired number of reps.


From my experience, Deadlifts are challenging to learn to do correctly. But, with practice and mindfulness regarding form, they make an excellent transition into the lower body portion of the workout. Not only do Deadlifts target the glutes and hamstrings but it also works the lower back.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold weights in front of thighs. Tip from the hips and lower weights towards the floor, back flat, and shoulders back. Return to start and repeat.

Keep the shoulders back throughout the entire exercise. It's tempting to round your back with this move, which puts your lower back at risk for injury.


Squats are probably one of the most important exercises in any strength routine, especially a total body workout. This functional exercise helps you work on all the muscles you use each day to sit, stand, and walk. For added challenge, you can use an exercise band to place around your thighs. (My favorite one to use is WALITO Resistance Bands.)

How to: Hold weights in each hand and stand with feet about hip-distance apart. Bend the knees and lower into a squat, knees behind the toes and squatting as low as you can. Push back to start and repeat.

Think of sending your butt back behind you when you squat. You can even place a chair behind you and act like you are sitting on the chair. Make sure you are putting the emphasis on your glutes and thighs instead of on the knees.


The lunge is a simple exercise that you can add easily into your total body workout plan at home! Lunges work multiple muscle groups! If they hurt your knees, try one of these alternatives to lunges. You can also get a decent size exercise mat to put down on your living room floor, or garage. This will add added padding, support and comfort while completing exercises of all kinds! I know I can feel the difference when I exercise on concrete or a hard surface, versus a softer surface.

How to: Start with your feet about hip width distance apart. Step one foot back and drop your knee low to the ground. Lift back up and repeat before switching sides.

Seated Twist

The seated oblique twist exercise, sometimes called the Russian twist, is a very effective exercise for strengthening the abdominal muscles. Using a medicine ball in the exercise adds a challenge to the workout.

You can do this exercise as part of a core strengthening workout along with exercises such as the plank, crunch, and bridge.

How To: Start by taking a seat on the floor and clasping your hands together. Slightly bend the knees and raise your feet roughly six inches off the floor. Start by rotating your torso to the left, taking your right elbow toward your left knee. Now turn your shoulders and rotate your torso to the right, now taking your left elbow toward your right knee. Keep legs mostly still and maintain the feet off the floor throughout the movement. Continue rotating back and forth until all reps are completed.

Final Thoughts

These exercises are just an example of what kinds of exercises you can add to your total body workout at home. They are easy to do, so these are great for beginners. You can also add more weight for a challenge, or even try other exercises that are more complicated to get in more of a workout. Also remember, to see any results, it takes time, dedication and changing up your diet.

Here's for a successful year in 2023!

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