Strength Training Exercises

Check out these free strength training exercises! Listed below are all the major muscle groups in your body. Each link will take you directly to a page that displays loads of free weight exercises for that body part.

Almost all of the pictures include the use of dumbbells and a bench or stability ball. You can purchase this equipment at any sporting goods store.

You can also use these strength training exercises and adapt them to work on your home gym. Most home gyms, all-in-one machines, and gym machines work the same way as dumbbells.

These are just some of the many strength training exercises that you can do at home or in the gym. The trick is not to learn fancy exercises or gadgets, but to learn how to perform effective weight training exercises on each and every repetition.

If you are lifting heavy weights, it is always a great idea to have a spotter. Safety is always first and foremost when workout out.

  1. Strength Training Exercises

    1. Ab Exercises
    2. Back Exercises
    3. Bicep Exercises
    4. Calf Exercises
    5. Chest Exercises
    6. Hams & Glutes Exercises
    7. Hip Exercises
    8. Hip & Thigh Exercises
    9. Neck Exercises
    10. Quad Exercises
    11. Shoulder Exercises
    12. Strength Training Ball Exercises
    13. Tricep Exercises
  2. Core/Abdominal Specific Articles

    1. Abdominal Weight Loss
    2. Abdominal Exercise Article
    3. Abdominal Exercise for Women
    4. Back Fat
    5. Back Strengthening
    6. Core Strength Training
    7. Core Strength Training Exercise Article
    8. Free Core Strength Training Article
    9. Strength Training Abdominals
    10. What Is Core Strength Training

Strength training exercises are a necessary component of an overall fitness program. Our body needs to be balanced and strong in all areas.

Keep adding lean muscle mass to your body. Think about this… every pound of muscle in your body burns 35-50 calories per day. Every pound of fat only burns about 5 calories per day.


  1. Riyadh says


    I’m working on a foundation program, incorperating compound exercises into my daily
    Exercise routines. Is that good?

    Any feed back and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again.

    • Lynn says

      Hi, Riyadh.

      Yes, compound exercises are great to incorporate into a routine – especially if you’re already fit. If you’re brand new to working out or are still working on proper form, then isolation exercises may be a better place to start. But if you’re ability level and form are on par… then compound exercises save time and work out more than one muscle at a time. It also is great because it tends to mimic real-life movements more.

    • Lynn says

      Hi, Erin.

      I keep my warm ups easy… walking for 5 minutes (I do swing my arms while I walk to loosen them up). Stretching as a warm up is not good. You can also do your activity as the warm up. So for example lets say you are going swimming. You don’t need to walk on a treadmill as your warm up for that… just swim lightly to get things loose.

        • says

          Hi, Charity.

          Most people stretch as their warm up. Meaning they go from no activity to stretching and they consider this the warm up. Stretching cold muscles is a major reason people get injured. So you’d want to warm up first and then stretch – or I personally like to warm up, workout and then as my cool down, I stretch.

  2. Rhiannon James says

    should we split up weights ( lower & upper ) or tackle the whole body 3 times a week aswell as 3 days cardio??
    & also shold we only do one exercise for each body pat when we do the program??
    Thanks Rhi

    • says

      Hi, Rhiannon.

      You can do either :) It totally depends on your experience strength training, your goals, etc. If you’re just beginning I would keep it simple and do one exercise per muscle group and I’d do the 3 sets of 12. I’d do that 3 days a week and do 30 minutes of interval training for your cardio 3 other days per week.

  3. Jadawnharrison says

    Hi i’m a type 1 diabetic and I had a lumbar disectomy 3 months ago i’ve been dieting and lost 36 lbs so far even though the scale says i’m getting smaller I don’t feel like I look that way please help me with a plan that’s best for me! :)

    • says

      Sounds like you already have a plan that’s working if you lose 36 pounds :) Is there a reason you don’t feel like you’re getting smaller? Generally when we lose extra fat, we lose inches first (which frustrates people because the scale is the last thing to go down, but the inches are being lost).

      • Jadawnharrison says

        Well even though I have about another 40 lbs to go I feel like my body isn’t tone enough especially the stomach region idk sometimes I get frustrated b/c one week I could lose 4lbs one week and the next week I didn’t lose anything for some reason I just don’t see the weight loss i’m just trying to get as much advice as possible

  4. Maria says

    Hi Lynn! What an incredible website! I just found it this morning when looking for ways to get motivated again for working out. I started strength training 8 months ago at home, along with fast walking and running in the neighborhood. I am much stronger and now within the normal body mass index for my height. However, I hit a slump a month ago, and realized that I didn’t like my strength training routine anymore. I was working out 6 days a week, doing 4 sets of 20 reps. with 2 muscle groups each day so I could work each muscle group every week. How often do women that are 50+ years old need to work out each muscle group to maintain strength and slow down muscle mass loss?

    • says

      Hi, Maria.

      Thanks for the compliment! This website is definitely a labor of love for me :) To answer your question… there is no magic number of days that someone needs to work out to maintain strength. Muscle loss occurs once the muscles are no longer used to being worked. So what I would do is change your routine to what you want and monitor your results.

  5. Thenameisgabby says

    I agree with everything that has been said here and i believe that streghth training also helps with peoples health so i encourage it as a trainer myself

  6. Shannon says

    Hello, I’m Shannon
    Thank you soo much for this! But, can I do one exercise from each muscle group to make a full body workout? I’m a teen beginner btw.

  7. Charlotte says

    I want to workout to lose weight overall but mostly on my upper body (thighs, hips, butt, & abdominal especially, arms too, etc. and all the way up). I have skinny legs though. my calves especially are small. I look like an upside down triangle. I just wanted to know what would be a good workout routine to get my body proportional. Do I do more leg strengthening or upper body strengthening? will running help? What other cardiovascular activities will help. I’m really having trouble figuring out a routine. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi, Charlotte.

      Great questions. I don’t really believe in doing special routines for certain body types. I believe that your body holds fat where it’s genetically programmed to and there’s not really much we can do to change our genetics.

      So my general advice would be to simply get started on a full body strength training routine and cardio program. From there eating more healthy foods is your next stop. The general idea is the same… in order to reduce fat from any place… we must reduce over all body fat.

      And the way to do that is through a solid routine, proper hydration, good food, enough rest and enough calories.

      • Charlotte says

        Thanks Lynn! I used to work out my upper body more than my lower body because i thought it would make my upper body slimmer. I guess i’ll do everything evenly. what cardio program would you recommend? i run a mile often and i like to play sports. will this work? all the rest i will do except getting enough sleep. I will try though.

        • says

          Hi, Charlotte.

          I do all sorts of cardio. The goal is to be active most days. Sports is definitely a cardio option. Whatever you choice… just be sure you’re moving and keeping the heart rate elevated.

  8. Laurie N. says

    I am a 43 year old woman who enjoys working out but does not have time for a gym. I try to incorporate the treadmill with some strength training but get confused on the best way to do both, with the most benefit. I have gained about 25 lbs because is sit more at my job and have just been put on BP medicine. My Dr said if I can drop the weight, I might be able to get off my BP meds. So, I my question is, do you have any suggestions to the the most out of a cardio/strength training plan for someone who has about an hour a day at home?

    • says

      Hi, Laurie.

      An hour is more than enough time to get in an effective workout. I don’t know what type of equipment you have at home, but even if you have none… you can whip up a good routine.

      Walking, jogging, and interval training can be done anywhere. Body weight exercises can also be done anywhere (squats, lunges, ab exercises, pushups, calf raises, etc). You can buy dumbbells fairly cheap now from Walmart or Target. TRX is awesome for a low cost all–in-one piece of equipment.

      • Laurie says

        Thank you! I have a couple stability balls, a small stepper that I can incline and dumbbells (5, 8, 10, 12, 15 & 20). I like the idea of the pyramid strength training. That really makes a lot of sense to me. I did find a interval program for my ipod, so I’m going to see where this leads me! Thank you for the information. I love the website and now have it bookmarked! Happy New Year!!

  9. Essy83 says

    Thanks for all the helpful information. Is there a website that you recommend that I can use to find out how many calories I am suppose to be consuming per day. I currently use one of those iphone applications that suggests for me to be on a 1,200/day calorie intake. After reading a few articles, including one of your tips on about calorie intake, I believe that I am not consuming the right amount of calories. I am trying to loose about 40lbs (based on the right BMI for my height-5’3) and I work out 4-5 days per week. I do not feel that the tool that I am using to keep track of my calories is taking into account the amount of excersice that I do. Do you have any advice on how I can find out how many calories I should be consuming? Thanks.

    • Geoffloomis says

      If you believe that you should be eating 1200 calories a day (which is not bad), but you feel like the iphone ap is not taking into account your exercise, then you need to figure out how many calories you are burning with each workout and then add that number to the 1200 calories. This of course will limit the amount of weight loss. If you eat the same amount of calories that you are utilizing in exercise then as far as weight loss goes you might as well not have exercised. The other health benefits from exercise are plentiful though and well worth it.

  10. Meleo says

    Hello! I am making up a workout routine and was wondering if you should do other sorts of exercises on strength training days? Also, on cardio days what sort of exercises would you suggest?

    • says

      Hi, Meleo.

      It depends on your routine. Most people start with doing 3 days of a full body strength training routine and 15 minutes of cardio. Then the other 3 days are just 30 -45 minutes of cardio. The final day is a rest day.

  11. Nina says

    Hi Lynn! I read one of the comments below and found it curious. Is it true that if you exercise and burn as many calories as you take in, then you won’t lose weight? I am limiting myself to about 1200 calories a day of healthy, whole foods, but some days I work out for 1.5 to 2 hours a day and burn it all off. I’m not seeing the wieght loss that I had hoped I would for all the effort I’m putting into it. I’m in my seventh week and have lost 10 pounds, the same 10 pounds that I lost in the first four weeks of my journey. I walk, run, lift weights, and do yoga… maybe I’m not eating enough?? Nina :)

    • says

      Hi, Nina.

      1200 is a pretty low number for most people. I would think you’re eating too little and exercising too much :)

      I eat 1500 calories per day and workout 30 – 45 minutes 6 days per week.

      To find out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, check out this calculator: – from this I usually subtract 250 or so and eat that amount of calories.

      • Nina says

        Hi Lynn,

        I will give that a try because today I stepped on the scale at 2 pounds heavier than I was three days ago. This was the first time since I started that I’ve just about given up. I’m trying to pull myself out of it and am hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

        I used the caluclator and it said for me to eat over 1800 calories! Yikes… I feel like I won’t loose weight doing that. But then again, I’m not losing now… so what the heck.

        Thanks so much, you know I’m a HUG fan and I apprecaite your words.


  12. Smhighered says

    Hi Lynn,
    Really like the tips and excercises on here. I have been working out and lifting weights for years but am looking to step it up a notch with weight training because I feel like I have hit a rut and don’t see the same amount of muscle definition. Should I be changing up the excercises that I do with each body part or lift heavier weights?

    • says

      Hi, Smhighered.

      Either/or :) More muscle definition occurs 2 ways…

      1) By reducing overall body fat – doing this shows off the muscles you already have. Most of us have great abs… we just have a layer of fat over them.

      2) Increasing muscle size – lifting heavier weights will add muscle size (definitely easier for men than women).

    • says

      Hi, Blossom1.

      It’d be best to ask your doctors. Depending on the type of knee pain you have/had, it would affect the exercises recommended.

  13. Min says

    Hi, Lynn!
    My partner and I are in the process of revitalizing our workout routine. After searching the web for hours, I came across your website. The weight training exercises that you inluded are exactly what we needed! Thank you for organizing them by and offering multiple exercises for each muscle. Good luck with your home business! OH! And, I can’t wait to try your vegan pancake recipe! Thanks, again!

  14. Mindy says

    I been going to the gym for about a month. I been doing the cybex machines but I’m ready to try free weights. So on my routine your saying you should only do one exercise per muscle, example bicep pick only one, tricep pick one, chest pick one. Is it wrong to do more then one exercise per muscle. I hope this makes sense. Thanks..

    • says

      Hi, Mindy.

      I understand your question and think it’s really up to you. Most people doing 3 sets of 12 reps (a full body routine done about 3 times per week) tend to stick to one exercise for all 3 sets.

      But you could do whatever you liked best and really motivated you.

      I know when I do a split routine (upper body one day, lower body the next for example) then I do more than 1 exercise per body part.

      So it depends on the routine style and what you like to do. Whatever you do… make sure your muscle is warmed up first. Doing a chest fly works different parts of the muscle than a push up :)

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