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Beginner Total Body Strength - Level 2

This beginner total body workout is a step up from Basic Total Body Strength with more exercises and heavier weights.  Like the previous workout, this one focuses on the major muscles in the body, including the hips, glutes, thighs, chest, back, shoulders, arms and abs.  This simple, straightforward workout is a great way to target the entire body while building lean muscle tissue and strength.

See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions.

Equipment Needed
Various weighted dumbbells, a barbell (substitute dumbbells if needed), a step or weight bench, an exercise ball, and a resistance band.

How To

  • Begin with a 5-10 minute warm up of light cardio (walking in place,
  • Perform each exercise for 1 set of 15 reps. If you need more of a challenge, do 2 sets of each exercise with 20-30 seconds of rest between sets.
  • Use enough weight that you can only complete the desired number of reps.
  • For an easier workout, try Basic Total Body Strength.  For more intensity, try Total Body Strength 3.
  • Do this workout 1-3 non-consecutive days a week, taking at least one day of rest between workouts.  For best weight loss results, combine this workout with regular cardio and a healthy, low-calorie diet.
Squat with Dumbbell
Stand with feet wider than shoulders and hold a heavy dumbbell in both hands. Bend knees and, keeping your weight in the heels, squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as you can). Keep abs in and make sure you can see your toes. Push through the heels to stand up and repeat.
Pushups on the Ball

Kneel on the floor with the ball in front of you and roll forward on it, walking the hands out to where you can comfortably support your body with the abs in, shoulders retracted and the body in a straight line. Place the hands a bit wider than shoulders and bend the elbows to lower into a pushup. Press back to start and repeat.
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Stand in a split stance, with feet about 3 feet apart. Hold weights in each hand and bend the knees.  Lower the back knee toward the floor, keeping the front heel down and the knee directly over the center of the foot. Keep the torso straight and abs in as you push through the front heel and back to starting position. Repeat all reps on one side before switching sides.
Chest Press

Lie on a bench or step and begin with the weights over the chest, palms facing out. Bend the elbows and lower the arms down until the elbows are just below the chest (arms should look like goal posts). Press the weights back up without locking the elbows and repeat.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and hold medium-heavy weights in front of the thighs. With the back flat, shoulders back and abs in, tip from the hips and lower the weight as far as your flexibility allows. Raise up, squeezing the glutes.
Dumbbell Row
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Bend over at the waist until the torso is parallel to floor or at 45 degree angle, abs in and knees slightly bent. Hold the weights straight down without locking the elbows.  Bend the elbows and pull the weights up until the elbows are level with the torso in a rowing motion, contracting the back.  Lower and repeat.
Side Step Squats

Place a resistance band under the feet and hold onto handles with both hands. Take a wide step to the right, and lower into a squat, knees behind toes and keeping tension on the tube. Step the feet together and continue stepping to the right for 12-16 steps or the length of the room before switching sides.
Tricep Kickbacks
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Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist until back is parallel to floor.  Pull the elbows up next to torso.  Keeping elbows static, extend the arms out behind you, contracting triceps.  Lower and repeat.
Barbell Curls

Hold a heavy barbell with hands shoulder-width apart.  Contract the biceps to curl the weight towards the shoulder, keeping the wrists straight.  Lower back down and repeat for 12 reps.
Seated Rotation for Abs
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Sit with good posture holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of torso, elbows slightly bent. Keeping the abs contracted, rotate the ball to the right while keeping the hips and legs facing forward. Contract abs to bring the ball back to center and then to the left. Go slowly and concentrate on rotating only at the torso.
Ball Crunch

Lie with the ball resting under the mid/lower back and place hands behind the head or across the chest.  Contract your abs to lift your the torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips. As you curl up, keep the ball stable.
Bird Dog

Begin on hands and knees, hand directly under shoulders, knees under hips and back straight, abs tight. Slowly raise right arm and left leg up until level with the body, holding your balance and keeping torso tight. Lower back down and repeat with the left arm and right leg.
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