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Workout Plans for Women You Can Start Today!

Holly Smith

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

workout plans for women

Looking for good workout plans for women? It can be hard to find any workout plan when you're also juggling work, life, and family commitments!

Luckily, you can build strength and lose weight without spending hours working out.

One of the best ways to achieve this is through full-body exercises.

With home, work, and family responsibilities, finding time to exercise is often pushed to the back burner, especially now with the closure of most gyms and fitness centers.

However, it is still important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Full-body workout plans for women allow you to achieve your fitness goals.

And if you are stuck at home, these exercises can be done without bulky gym equipment. 

Benefits of Full-Body Workout Plans for Women

Target Major Muscles Groups More Frequently

Full-body exercises are great for a number of reasons.

They enable you to have killer workouts that target all of your major muscle groups! 

When you perform full-body workouts you can work on every major muscle group in a single session instead of isolating your muscle groups to one day a week.

For example, instead of spending one day on just back and biceps, you can exercise your chest, core, and lower body with one structured full-body workout. 

You can incorporate full-body workouts two to three times a week. This means that you can train all of your muscles more frequently.

Research has shown that increasing the frequency of exercising each muscle group can lead to bigger strength gains as compared to isolating muscle groups and targeting them once a week.

Improved Recovery Between Workouts

Not only will full-body workouts build muscle, but they will also allow you to go into your next workout without being extremely sore.

This is because you aren’t doing numerous reps on one muscle group. This, in turn, will allow for better recovery. 

Full-body workouts also give you the most bang for your buck in regards to muscle synthesis following a workout.

By doing a workout every other day or every two days, you are giving your body enough time to recover before the next full-body workout.

In addition, by not allowing too much time between targeting each muscle group, you are able to hit the best window for when muscle growth is at its highest potential.

This, in turn, will increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage. 

Full-Body Exercises Help Avoid Overtraining

By utilizing full-body exercises you can avoid overtraining specific muscle groups.

For example, if you specifically focus on legs one day, there is a higher risk of overtraining as you try to cram all of your leg work into one day. 

However, by doing three workouts a week that incorporate full-body exercises, you can focus on all muscle groups simultaneously during these workouts.

By repeating this three times weekly, you will still get in the desired weekly sets and reps without causing excessive muscle damage.

Improve Health and Decrease Risk of Chronic Disease

In addition to weight loss and muscle gain, engaging in full-body exercises will also improve your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

This will keep you living a high quality of life to spend with your family and loved ones.

For example, exercise has been shown to decrease the risk for development of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Exercise also aids in fat loss and overall weight loss as well.

By just decreasing your potential for obesity you can avoid the development of numerous chronic diseases, ranging from cardiovascular disease osteoarthritis, and even certain cancers.

Full body strength training will reduce your risk for injury as well, not just while you’re working out, but also in day to day activities.

This will allow you to live independently as you age. 

Women's Workout Plan Weekly Schedule

For the beginner, you can first try to do the total body workout twice a week. As you progress, you can try to add a third day.

You should also add a cardio workout once a week, and a lower intensity stretching and balance workout on another day to maintain your overall fitness.

So, for example, each week in this women’s  workout plan would look something like this:

  • Monday: Full-body workout
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: HIIT workout or endurance cardio workout
  • Thursday: Stretching/balance workout
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Full-body workout
  • Sunday: Rest

Full-Body Strength Workout Plan

For each of these exercises, perform three sets of 10-12 reps. Take one to two minutes of rest between each set. 

You can do all of these exercises with just your body weight.

However, if you have a set of dumbbells or resistance bands these can be added to challenge yourself with these workouts.

Jump Squats

  • Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Make sure you drive through your heels and don’t allow your knees to track over your toes.
  • You can clasp your hands in front of you or hold them out parallel to the ground.
  • As you come up, jump up about six inches off the ground, then land with your knees slightly bent.

This is a great exercise to work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Also, in order to maintain good form, you will be engaging your abdominal and core muscles as well. 


  • Start on your hands and knees, with your hands about shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend the legs straight, resting on your toes.
  • Make sure your hands are directly under the shoulders.
  • Contract your abs and keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest is near the floor. 
  • Make sure that your hips do not sag.
  • Push into the floor to push yourself back to the top.

If you need to start on your knees at first, that’s fine! Gradually you will gain strength and progress to a full push-up.

If you find your hips sagging or are unable to maintain form, drop to your knees!

Shoulder Press

Use a set of dumbbells (or soup cans or similar objects) to perform this exercise.

  • Hold the dumbbells at shoulder-level.
  • Press overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  • Bring your arms back to shoulder-height. 

You can use resistance bands to do this exercise as well.

  • Stand on top of the resistance band with feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold the handles with an overhand grip with your arms at shoulder-level.
  • Then press the handles overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  • Then bring your arms back to shoulder-height. 


  • Step your right foot forward and keep your left foot back behind you.
  • Bend your right knee to lower the body towards the floor.
  • Keep your right knee behind your toes and be sure to lower straight down rather than forward.
  • Engage your abs as you push through the front heel and back to starting position.
  • Then alternate with the left leg.
  • That is one rep.

Bicep Curls

If you have dumbbells available, bicep curls are a great way to shape your arms.

But even if you don’t have weights, you can do bicep curls! Again, use a couple of soup cans or any object that you can grasp and curl. 

Or, you can do these with resistance bands!

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a tube resistance band under your feet so that you can grab the handles at both ends. 
  • Grab the handles with an underhand grip, then curl the band to about chin height with your arms bent into a curl and elbows pointing to the floor.
  • Bring the band back down to the starting position slowly and controlled.

Tricep Dips on Floor

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet in front of you.
  • Place your palms on the floor behind you.
  • Your hands should be underneath your shoulders, with your fingers facing toward your body.
  • Extend your arms to lift your butt, then bend your elbows to lower yourself back down without bringing your butt completely to the ground.
  • That's one rep.

HIIT Workout Plan

Workout plans for women should also incorporate cardio at least once a week.

This is essential to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

In addition, you will burn calories and drop pounds by adding in some high-intensity cardio to your workouts. 

This HIIT workout below should be done as a circuit. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, then take 30 seconds of rest.

After this short rest period, jump right into the next exercise.

You need to minimize the rest periods in order to see big fitness gains in a short period of time.

Start with a five minute light warm-up. This could include some jumping jacks, jogging in place, or stair runs.

Main Circuit

30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest

Alternating Jump Lunges

  • Start in a split stance position with your hands on your hips and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle with your right leg forward.
  • Lower your left knee while bringing your right thigh parallel to the floor in a lunge position.
  • Push off the ground, jump and switch the position of your legs while in mid-air, landing into the lunge position with the left leg forward.
  • Repeat, switching legs on each jump.

High Knees

  • Stand upright and place your feet hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands near your waist with your palms down.
  • Drive your right knee up to meet your right hand, then bring the same leg back to the ground and immediately bring the left knee up to meet your left hand.
  • Continue to alternate knees with a hopping motion, staying on the balls of your feet.

Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a push-up position.
  • Bring your right knee forward under your chest, then return the leg back.
  • Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
  • Keep switching legs and pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.

Plank Side to Side Hops

  • Start in a high plank position with your wrists below your shoulders.
  • Keep your feet together and jump them up and to the outside of your right hand.
  • Then, extend your legs and jump back to the original plank position.
  • Next, jump the feet up and to the outside of your left hand and back to plank again.
  • Continue alternating sides for the entire 30 seconds as quickly as you can. 

Burpees with Push-Up

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  • Kick your legs straight out behind you into a high plank with your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor, then straighten them to do a push-up.
  • At the top of the push up jump your feet toward your hands into a squat.
  • Jump straight up into the air, reaching your arms overhead.
  • Repeat.

After you complete this circuit, rest for a full minute and a half, then repeat two more times. 

Cool down for five minutes to get your heart rate back down after completing this awesome high-intensity workout.

Altogether, with the warm-up and cool down, you will have completed an amazing cardiovascular and resistance workout in under 35 minutes.

Stretching/Yoga Workout Plan

Too often women get caught up in muscle building and cardio, that they forget the importance of balance and flexibility in their workout plan.

Even a workout plan focused on weight loss needs at least one day dedicated to stretching and balance exercises.

Although these exercises don’t actively burn a ton of calories, these types of yoga workouts should be a part of every woman’s workout plan.

Stretching and balance workouts help to maintain flexibility and range of motion in your joints and decrease the risk of injury.

In addition, balance exercises will help strengthen your core, which will improve your strength and cardio workouts.

Stretching and balance exercises can also help decrease stress and improve sleep.

Proper sleep and recovery are necessary to keep your body healthy and immune system functioning at the highest level

Stretching and Balance Workout

Full Body Roll

  • Stand and reach your arms towards the sky.
  • Then relax your arms and roll your spine down.
  • Let your arms relax towards the floor.
  • Keep your knees bent to protect your back.
  • Hold for 5-15 seconds then slowly roll back up and repeat three times.

Neck and Shoulder Rolls

  • Stand and gently tilt your chin towards your chest and feel a gentle release in the back of your neck.
  • Then slowly roll your head to the left and hold for 20 seconds.
  • Then roll your head to the right to stretch and hold for another 20 seconds.

Hamstring and Calf Stretch

  • Stand about one foot from a wall and place your hands on the wall at shoulder height.
  • Take a step back with one leg while pushing into the wall.
  • Keep your back straight and press your heels into the floor.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Step forward and repeat with the other leg.
  • Repeat the exercise three times on each side.

Triangle Pose

  • Stand upright and extend your right hand forward.
  • Lower your right hand down onto your shin or ankle.
  • You can even place your hand on the floor if you are more flexible.
  • Reach your left fingertips toward the ceiling.
  • Turn your head to look up to your left hand.
  • Stay for five breaths, then repeat the pose with your left leg forward.

Tree Pose

  • Stand tall and shift your weight to your left foot.
  • Bring your right foot to your inner left thigh.
  • Press the sole of your right foot firmly into your left leg.
  • Bring your hands together in front of you.
  • Focus your gaze on one point.
  • Try to hold for 30 seconds and then switch to the other side.

Chair Pose

  • Stand with your feet separated hip-distance apart and parallel to one another.
  • Bring your arms overhead with your palms facing one another.
  • Keep your ears in line with your arms and relax your shoulders.
  • Exhale and bend your knees as if you are sitting in a chair.
  • Bring your thighs as close to parallel with the floor as comfortable.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, taking about five deep breaths.

Child’s Pose

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Bring your body to the ground with your stomach between your thighs and your forehead to the floor.
  • Stretch your arms in front of you with the palms toward the floor.
  • Stay in this position as long as you like, but for at least five full breaths.

Burn Calories and Gain Muscle

By sticking to these workout plans for women and following healthy eating habits, you will burn calories, lose weight, and gain muscle to achieve a strong, toned physique. 

The Fit Mother Project also offers workout plans for women, from the free Fit Mom 3-Day Weight Loss Jumpstart to the more advanced FM30X, to our constantly updated YouTube channel.

So get started today on your own path to a fitter, healthier you!

Holly Smith
Holly Smith

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is an osteopathic physician, runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast.

She is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelors degree in dietetics and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, olympic distance triathlons, half marathons and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

She has also recently qualified for the 2020 World Championships for Ironman 70.3, in New Zealand!

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  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on workout plans for women.

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