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The Best Strength Training Workout for Beginners (Home or Office)

Strength training is an essential component of a balanced fitness routine. It not only helps build muscle but also enhances metabolism, helps with weight loss, improves bone density, reduces blood pressure, and boosts mental health.

For beginners, incorporating strength training workouts that can be performed anywhere—be it at home or in the office—is key to maintaining consistency and seeing progress. This article outlines the best strength training exercises for beginners that require minimal equipment and space.

Why Strength Training is Important

Strength training offers numerous benefits beyond just muscle gain. Here are a few reasons why you should start:

Improved Muscle Mass

Helps in building and maintaining lean muscle, which is crucial as we age.

Increased Metabolism

More muscle mass leads to a higher metabolic rate, aiding in weight management. If burning extra calories, losing weight, and maintaining it are your goals, you should undergo a strength training program.

Enhanced Bone Density

Regular strength training strengthens bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Better Joint Flexibility and Balance

Improves overall mobility and reduces the likelihood of injuries.

Mental Health Benefits

Engaging in strength training can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve overall mood.

Getting Started: Tips for Beginners

Starting a strength training routine can be daunting, but these tips can help ease the process:

Warm Up

Begin with a 5-10 minute warm-up to prepare your muscles. Activities like brisk walking, light jogging, or dynamic stretches are effective.

Start Light

Use lighter weights or bodyweight exercises to learn proper form and technique.

Focus on Form

Correct form is crucial to prevent injuries. Quality over quantity is key—perform exercises correctly and in their full range of motion rather than doing more repetitions incorrectly. Focusing on your form will also activate all the appropriate groups, resulting in greater muscle hypertrophy.

Progress Gradually

Gradually increase the resistance or weight as your strength improves. Changing it up can help you lose weight (if that’s one of your goals), and improve muscular endurance and cardiovascular health. Heavier weights will become your new norm as you progress, resulting in burning more calories.

Rest and Recover

Ensure you get adequate rest between workouts to allow muscle recovery and growth.

How Much Weight Should Beginners Lift?

For beginners, the amount of weight to lift should be determined by their ability to perform exercises with correct form and control. Start with a weight that allows you to complete 8-12 repetitions comfortably, where the last few reps are challenging but still manageable. This typically means beginning with a lighter weight, such as 2 or 5 pounds for upper body exercises and 5 to 10 pounds for lower body exercises.

As strength improves and lifting weights becomes easier, gradually add weight in small increments to continue progressing. Always prioritize technique over the amount of weight lifted to avoid injuries. Consider asking a personal trainer for help to ensure you’re doing the right thing.

How Many Reps and Sets Should Weight Lifting Beginners Do?

Weightlifting beginners should aim to perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for each exercise. This range is effective for building strength and muscle endurance while allowing beginners to focus on proper form and technique. Starting with 8-12 reps helps ensure that the weight is manageable yet challenging enough to help you gain muscle and lose body fat.

As strength and confidence improve, beginners can add more weight or gradually increase the number of sets while maintaining the 8-12 rep range to continue progressing.

Should Beginners Strength Train Everyday?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, beginners should perform a strength training workout a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week with 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps. 

Are Weight Machines Necessary to Start Weight Training?

No, weight machines are not necessary to start weight training. Beginners can effectively build strength and improve fitness using bodyweight exercises, free weights like dumbbells and kettlebells, and resistance bands. These tools and exercises can be done at home or in any small space, offering flexibility and convenience to those who want to strength train but can’t go to the gym regularly.

Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and planks, make use of your own body weight. Combining bodyweight exercises with free weights and resistance bands provides a comprehensive strength training routine that targets all major muscle groups without the need for larger weight equipment.

Home and Office Strength Training Exercises for Beginners

As a beginner, you only need to choose one or two strength workouts for each muscle group in the upper body and three to four movements for the lower body. Most experts recommend starting with your larger muscle groups and proceeding to the smaller ones. 

Before you jump ahead into the following strength training moves, make sure to warm-up your entire body first with dynamic stretches. Warming up will ensure that your muscles are ready for the resistance training you’re about to put them through and reduce the likelihood of injuries.

Bodyweight Squats

A must for any traditional strength training workout, this lower body exercise targets large muscle groups like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. To perform this, stand with your feet as wide as your shoulders. Lower your body as if sitting back into a chair, keeping your chest up and knees over your toes.


This strength training workout for beginners targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. To do this, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground. Push back up to the initial position. If you find this challenging, perform the push-ups on your knees instead.

Bodyweight Dip

This exercise targets your push muscles in a different way than push-ups. Place your hands on the edge of a bench or a chair. Position them as wide as your shoulders. Lift your body so that your arms are straight and your feet are off the ground. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Press back up to the initial position by straightening your arms.


Lunges target quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. For this exercise, step forward with your left leg and lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Push back to the starting position. Do the same with the right leg. 

Side Lunge

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and then step your right foot a few feet to the right as you bend the right knee. Keep the left leg straight and sink back into your right glute. Press down through the right heel to come up to the starting position.

Biceps Curl

This isolation exercise is the best for the biceps. Stand with arms extended in front of thighs and one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward. Slowly curl weights toward the shoulders then lower to the starting position.


Planks are considered a full-body workout. To perform planks, get into a forearm plank position with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core and avoid letting your hips sag.

Chair Dips

This exercise is great for upper body days. To perform this, place your hands on the edge of a sturdy chair, fingers pointing forward. Slide your hips off the chair and lower your body by bending your elbows. Push back up to the starting position.

Standing Calf Raises

You need to strengthen your calves too and you can do so with this exercise. Stand with your feet hip-width apart as a starting position. Raise your heels off the ground as high as possible then lower back down.

Triceps Extension

Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart. Lean forward from the waist, elbows bent at 90 degrees at your side. Straighten your arms and return to the 90-degree bend.


Strength training does not require a gym membership or elaborate equipment. With these simple exercises, beginners can effectively build strength and improve their overall health from the comfort of their home or office. Consistent strength training, correct form, and gradual progression are the keys to success. Start today and experience the benefits of strength training in your daily life.

If you feel any discomfort or if you want to make sure you’re doing the workouts properly, seek the aid of a personal trainer. 

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.