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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)!

If you’re not sure how to go from workout newbie to fitness pro, you’ve come to the right place. This 1-week workout routine designed by certified personal trainer Daniel Bubnis will help you jump-start your journey to a healthier you.

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Tips for getting started

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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

  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

Here’s your guide to each of the exercises above, including GIFs to follow and modifications to make sure your workout is challenging, not impossible.

Day 1: Full-body workout

Standing march

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GIF by Active Body, Creative Mind

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.

Stability ball dumbbell press

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Active Body, Creative Mind

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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Image by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Active Body, Creative Mind

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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

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GIF by Dima Bazak

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!

Starting to see some results from week 1 and ready to keep the momentum going? Make it a month with these variations!

  • Week 2: Ramp up the reps!
    • Circuits: 1
    • Reps: 12–15 reps of each exercise
    • Order of your workouts: Day 2, 3, 1
    • Rest: 0–60 seconds after each exercise
  • Week 3: Double up!
    • Circuits: 2
    • Reps: 12–15 reps of each exercise
    • Order of your workouts: Day 3, 1, 2
    • Rest: 0–40 seconds after each exercise
  • Week 4: Switch it up!
    • Circuits: Instead of doing circuits, you’ll do a bunch of reps for a certain number of rounds (sets).
    • Reps: 10–12 reps of each exercise
    • Sets: Do 3 sets of 10–12 reps before moving to the next exercise.
    • Order of your workouts: Day 1, 2, 3
    • Rest: 0–30 seconds after each exercise

Even a minor injury can kill your #FitLife vibe. Here are some easy ways to stay strong:

  • Maintain proper form. Ask a fitness pro for help if you’re not sure how to do a movement. Most gyms have personal trainers on hand.
  • Take it easy. Rushing through a routine is a one-way ticket to muscle mayhem. Research suggests slow-motion training can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Don’t try to deadlift like a Dothraki on Day 1. This will only lead to pain. (Trust us.) Build up your stamina and strength over time.
  • Don’t skimp on your warmups and cooldowns. They’re super important for muscle recovery.

This workout routine for beginners is a great way to build strength and endurance, working toward a healthier you. Just be sure to set realistic goals and stick to the program to see lasting results.