Home Workout Routines to Build Lean Muscle and Strength

Home Workout Routines

Home workout routines are a must-have for every fitness enthusiast. And even if you’re just a part-timer, it’s good to know that you can get a great workout in the comfort of your home.

Let’s face it, there will always be those days when you can’t get to the gym…there are hundreds of reasons why:

  • Holidays – gym is closed
  • COVID!
  • Looking for a quick workout outside of gym hours
  • Your turn to watch the kids
  • Blizzards -or- Hurricanes
  • Funds are tight

These home workout routines are quick, efficient, work all major muscles, and are very effective for building strength and lean muscle. And if even if you can get to the gym one day, these home workouts provide some variety to your fitness plan when you need a break.

And you only need to lift weights (resistance training) two days a week to build a lean and muscular frame. You won’t bulk up or become a competitive bodybuilder on two days a week, but you can certainly get lean and fit!

Home Workouts

If you are 35 or older, you must be very aware of how to avoid workout injuries. When you hit 40, and certainly 50+, injury can be a monthly event unless you take the time to properly warm-up. You’ll save yourself much frustration and downtime.

You just have to practice good warm-up, and unique stretches (like wrist stretches to avoid tendon problems in your elbow, and back stretches to keep your lower back healthy). It can happen so quickly, and even a minor injury can put you out for 6 months, and nag you for a year.

Table of Contents

Warm-up and Stretching

The first part of your home workout routines is doing proper warm-up and stretching. It’s well worth the 5 minutes it will take you.

  1. Do 2 minutes of light cardio in your bedroom or family room (jog in place, jumping jacks, skipping rope). The goal here is to get the blood flowing and warm the muscles. You never want to exercise cold muscles, and again, this becomes more important as you get older.
  2. Next, do 1 minute of dynamic stretching to loosen your now warm muscles. More info on dynamic stretches here.

Now you’re ready for a great home workout routine.

Dumbbell Workout at Home

If you plan on doing a lot of home workout routines, it would be a good idea to purchase some dumbbells to give you more options in your workouts at home. This routine below will require you to have dumbbells. You can buy them cheap at Walmart.

Now, you don’t have to have an entire rack of dumbbells taking up the back wall of your bedroom. You can get a great workout by just having two sets of dumbbells (4 total) and store them in your closet.

(If you don’t have dumbbells and don’t want to purchase them, you can always focus on bodyweight workouts.)

Dumbbells You Need | 1 Light Set, 1 Heavy Set

  • Beginner: (2) 5 or 10# dumbbells, (2) 15 or 20# dumbbells
  • Intermediate: (2) 10 or 15# dumbbells, (2) 20 or 25# dumbbells
  • Pro: (2) 15 or 20# dumbbells, (2) 25 or 30# dumbbells

Key points for a Home Workout

  • Maintain control of the dumbbell at all times
  • Use your heavy dumbbells for larger muscles: Chest, Back, Legs
  • Use your light dumbbells for smaller muscles: Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders
    (However, you can mix up the dumbbells for lighter or heavier resistance)
  • Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets
  • Perform each set 1 rep short of failure

Perform these workouts below two days a week:  
1 A-day, 1 B-day

  • A-day – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Legs
  • B-day – Back, Biceps, Abs

Home Workout Routine

A Day: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Legs

ExerciseMuscle GroupSetsReps
Push upsChest36-12
Bench Push upsChest36-12
Dumbbell Side RaisesShoulders36-12
Seated Dumbbell PressShoulders36-12
Dumbbell KickbacksTriceps36-12
Tricep ExtensionsTriceps36-12
Bench DipsTriceps26-12
Body SquatsLegs36-12

B Day: Back, Biceps, Abs, Legs

ExerciseMuscle GroupSetsReps
One-Arm RowsBack46-12
Bent Over Side RaisesBack46-12
Alternating Dumbbell CurlsBiceps36-12
Concentration CurlsBiceps36-12
Lying Leg RaisesAbs36-12
Front LungesLegs315-20

Cardio Workout at Home

After your workout is a good time to do 10 or 15 minutes of cardio, as any exercise after your workout will burn primarily fat, and not stored glycogen.  This is because your glycogen (sugar stored in your muscles) will be the fuel used during your workout, and so after this is depleted your body’s next fuel source is stored body fat. This is why it’s important to know when to do cardio.

More Individual Home Exercises

The following links will provide you with some additional exercises for individual muscle groups that you can work into the home exercise routine above.






Additional Home Workout Routines

Bodyweight WorkoutBodyweight Workouts

If you don’t have any dumbbells, or if you are just looking for variety in your routine, bodyweight workouts are also a great way to build lean muscle and increase your strength.

Click here for bodyweight workout routines you can do at home.


Bodylastics are a very unique way to get a great full body workout using resistance bands and exercise bands. The main point is to attach these bands to an anchor point, such as a door, and then perform resistance training. Again, good variety and also effective training.

Click here for more on Bodylastics home workout routines. 

Home Boxing Workouts

Home Boxing WorkoutHome boxing workouts are one of the best “out of the norm” home workout routines you can do. If you have never boxed, it is hard to imagine how exhausting this sport is!  Watching it on TV does not do it justice in terms of what a smoker it is.

Click here for some Home Boxing Workouts.

Quick Home Workouts

There will be those days when you don’t have time for a full workout, even though you know it’s an exercise day in your weekly rotation. Don’t let it go to waste. Here is a workout that can be done in 10 minutes or less, and it targets all of your major muscle groups.

Click here for Quick Home Workouts.

Avoiding Injury

Avoiding Workout InjuriesThis might be the most important section of all, as there is nothing that can derail your home workout routines like an injury. (1)

They are generally the result of one of 3 things:

  • Improper warm-up
  • Improper form
  • Trying to lift too heavy

So, to avoid injury, always follow these important rules:

  • Always take time to properly warm-up with light cardio and dynamic stretching. (2)
  • Practice good form during each exercise.
  • Don’t go too heavy on the weights you are using. 
  • If you sense the first feel of an injury coming, take 2 to 3 weeks off and let things heal. It will probably save an injury.
  • Perform some static stretches at the end of your workout to improve range of motion.
  • Always protect the lower back with proper lower back stretches, and never lifting too heavy. This is the single most vulnerable (injury-prone) area of the body.

Drop us a line and let us know how the workout goes. Click to return to all home workout routines, and see our home workout videos.

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David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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  1. Biron, A. (2018, February 28). 7 guidelines for injury prevention: Orthopedics & sports medicine. UConn Health. https://health.uconn.edu/orthopedics-sports-medicine/2018/02/28/7-guidelines-for-injury-prevention/
  2. Contributors, W. M. D. E. (n.d.). Warm-up exercises: Do they improve performance and reduce injuries? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/benefits-of-warmup-exercises

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