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Strong 20: Functional Strength Training Program

Build strength for the demands of everyday life with this free functional strength training program: Strong in 20! Push, pull, squat, hinge, lunge and rotate. Mimicking the moves you do everyday. So you can move better and feel stronger. Download this free, full body workout plan with daily workout videos on YouTube. All you need is a set of dumbbells and 20 minutes a day.

woman kneeling holding dumbbell at her face as part of strong20 functional strength training workout


Download Your FREE Workout Plan Here

Download the PDF calendar for this workout plan so you can easily access your daily workouts.
Download Plan

Strong in 20 is our first 20-minute program – condensing the best strength training routines into achievable 20-minute workouts.

I created this program to fit the specific needs I had as a busy, sleep-deprived mom. I wanted quick and effective strength training workouts I could do at home in 20 minutes between nap schedules and work sessions.

This is a functional strength program, which means the workouts focus on functional movement patterns and strength exercises that help you perform activities in everyday life more easily.

Build a strong foundation of strength so you move better and feel stronger.

Two women performing a glute bridge with text overlay describing the strong20 functional strength training program

A functional strength program designed for real life. The workouts are short, efficient and scalable for all fitness levels – from postpartum/beginner to advanced.

This free 2-week workout plan is modeled after our popular SplitStrong35, HIITStrong35 and Zero30 workout plans. These programs are different from our other free workout challenges because they include 10 daily workout videos (a new workout video each day) that were cohesively filmed as one complete program. 

Strong 20 Workout Program Details

1. Gym Equipment Needed:

A Set of DumbbellsMost of the daily workouts require a set of free weights. Each weight training workout will have a recommended dumbbell weight, usually between 8-20 pounds. You want a weight heavy enough that your last few reps are a struggle, but you are still able to complete the workout with good form.

Optional Exercise Equipment: Mini Loop Resistance Bands (Discount Code: NML). And Glider or Towel.

2. Time Requirement: 

Workouts are 20 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

This plan includes 2 rest days per week. You get to choose which days are your rest days. I suggest resting after day two or three (Wednesday or Thursday) and then again after day five (Sunday). OR completing days 1-5 and then resting on days 6-7; over the weekend. The goal is to make this plan work for YOU!

If you’re a runner, I would suggest completing 2-3 of the strength workouts per week. So your training plan would look like:

Week One: 

Day 2: Arms and Shoulders

Day 3: Glutes and Abs

Day 5: Full Body Strength

Week Two: 

Day 7: Back and Arms

Day 8: Legs, Thighs and Abs

Day 10: Full Body Strength

3. Fitness Level:

Beginner to advanced, with modifications offered for all fitness levels in the daily workout videos.

4. Cost:

FREE! No sign up needed.

workout plan faqs

Program FAQs

Want to know more about adapting this plan for runners, cycling, pregnancy or postpartum? Check out our FAQ page.
Get Some Answers
Functional Strength Training program workout calendar PDF with clickable links to daily workouts

How To Download and Use This Workout Plan

  1. Download the Functional Strength Training Workout Program PDF by clicking here, or bookmark this webpage for reference as weekly workouts are outlined below.
  2. Save this workout calendar to your mobile device home screen for easy access.
    1. Open this workout calendar pdf in the safari browser on your phone.
    2. Tap the bottom arrow in the center of your screen.
    3. Select ‘Add to Home Screen’.
  3. Hover over and then click on the bold text each day to access the full video on nourishmovelove.com. Or scroll down to find the daily workouts linked below.
  4. You can also access all of the home workout videos on this workout challenge calendar on YouTube via this YouTube Playlist: Strong20 Workout Program.
  5. Share your daily workouts with me by tagging @nourishmovelove on social and ‘Pin’ the daily workouts on Pinterest so you can do them again.
two women standing with dumbbells at shoulder height as part of functional strength program

Find This Workout Plan On Youtube

youtube icon Youtube Playlist

Strong20 Workout Program: WEEK 1

Functional Strength Training Program: week 1

Day 1: 20-Minute Legs and Back Workout

  • YouTube Link: Leg and Back Workout (Strong 20, Day 1)
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Pregnancy Modifications: Follow the workout modifier and slow down moves as needed. If you’re not comfortable lying on your back, take the glute bridges from a bench or exercise ball.

Day 2: 20-Minute Arm and Shoulder Workout

  • YouTube Link: Arm and Shoulder Workout (Strong 20, Day 2)
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Pregnancy Modifications: Follow the workout modifier and slow down moves as needed. Taking exercises from a seated position or adding a bench incline as needed.

Day 3: 20-Minute Glutes and Abs Workout

Day 4: 20-Minute Standing Core with Weights

Day 5: 20-Minute Full Body Functional Strength Training

  • YouTube Link: Full Body Functional Strength (Strong 20, Day 5)
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Pregnancy Modifications: Follow the workout modifier and slow down moves as needed. If you’re not comfortable lying on your back, take the chest press from a bench or exercise ball.

Strong20 Workout Program: WEEK 2

Functional Strength Training program week 2

Day 6: 20-Minute Chest and Leg Workout

  • YouTube Link: Chest and Leg Workout (Strong 20, Day 6)
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Pregnancy Modifications: Follow the workout modifier and slow down moves as needed. Take push ups from your knees or an incline. If you’re not comfortable lying on your back, take chest presses and flys from a bench or stability ball.

Day 7: 20-Minute Back and Arm Workout

  • YouTube Link: Back and Arm Workout (Strong 20, Day 7)
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Pregnancy Modifications: Follow the workout modifier and slow down moves as needed. If you’re not comfortable lying on your back, take the dumbbell pullover and tricep skull crushers from a bench or stability ball.

Day 8: 20-Minute Thighs, Legs and Abs Workout

  • YouTube Link: Legs and Abs Workout (Strong 20, Day 8)
  • Equipment: Dumbbells and Optional Towel/Exercise Glider
  • Pregnancy Modifications: Follow the workout modifier and slow down moves as needed.

Day 9: 20-Minute Functional Core Training

Day 10: 20-Minute Full Body Functional Training

Wondering Which Workout Program To Do Next?

We recommend repeating each program 2-3 times before moving on to the next program. This allows you to challenge yourself to pick up heavier weights, perform the moves with better form, and measure progress.

  1. SplitStrong 35 is a strength-focused split training workout routine. SplitStrong is designed to build a solid base of foundational strength. We recommend completing this Strong in 20 program before advancing to SplitStrong. Then complete SplitStrong x 2-3 times before moving on to HIITStrong.
  2. HIITStrong 35 is the HIIT version of SplitStrong. HIITStrong adds some additional intensity and advanced compound exercises to the strength base you built in SplitStrong.
  3. Zero 30 is a no equipment full body workout program designed to be done ANYWHERE.

Functional Strength Training Program FAQs

What Is Functional Strength Training?

Functional strength training means training for movement, not for aesthetics. Functional training creates a base of strength that directly enhances one’s ability to perform daily movement patterns, like squatting, reaching, and twisting. This is a program designed to build strength in the muscles and movements that we use in daily life, so you can move better and feel stronger.

Can I Do This Plan If I’m A Beginner/Pregnant/Postpartum?

Yes. Functional training is naturally low impact and a great option for beginners and pregnancy/postpartum. I filmed this program at 5 months postpartum – weight training workouts like this were some of the first I did when I was ready to return to exercise. Follow along with the modifier for options to scale each move up or down.

What Are Examples of Functional Strength Training Exercises?

Popular examples of functional training exercises include squats, overhead press, single leg or balance work, and core rotation. Functional training works to improve your range of motion, mobility and full body strength. These are all moves we use in every day life, and can benefit from training in a controlled setting.

Is Functional Strength Training Effective?

Functional fitness workouts are some of the best workouts you can do to build muscle, improve endurance and reduce risk of injury. This form of training targets the muscle groups we rely on the most for daily movement (and builds in core strength to every workout).

Pin this Free Workout Program: Strong 20 Functional Strength Training Program

Pin for pinterest - strong in 20 program

Note: before beginning any new exercise program you should consult with your physician or midwife. The information provided with this workout challenge is intended for general information and use; it does not include specific, individualized recommendations and is not intended as medical advice. Before you begin any new exercise program Nourish Move Love recommends that you consult with your physician. Nourish Move Love primarily educates clients to assume more personal responsibility for their health by adopting a healthy and active lifestyle.

This post does include affiliate links and I earn a small commission on products purchased using these links. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love.

  1. I LOVE your workouts. I’ve been doing them regularly for more than a year, and they have been the easiest workout routine for me to stick to. I adore you and Rachael as you are genuine and bring a lightheartedness to a hard workout. I have 4 kids under 11 and work part time as well, and you have made it possible for me to stay strong and fit. I tell my friends about your workouts so PLEASE just keep them coming!

    • Jennifer! I’m so glad you’re loving the workouts!! We are all about quick and effective workouts for busy moms! Thank you so much for sharing our workouts with others we really appreciate it! And we hope you keep coming back for more! Thank you! Lindsey

  2. Yay! So excited to start working out again after getting cleared in a few weeks. Do you recommend starting with this program or the postnatal one as an adjustment back to working out?