Posted on Mar 05, 2021, 4 p.m.
Circuit training is the answer for anyone who is short on time or wants to work out while having fun and getting out of a rut. If you've done a workout class such as a group fitness class or a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, chances are you've already done circuit training without realizing it.
The main idea in circuit training is that you rotate through various stations, doing different exercises at each one with little rest in-between. Most circuits include bodyweight, dynamic, and weighted exercises.
Circuit training for beginners is perfect because it's a form of exercise that is easy to adapt to individual needs and has many benefits. You can do circuit training without needing lots of space, either.
Get ready to improve your strength, mobility, endurance...and motivation to exercise!
Circuit training workout
Each round will last 15 minutes. Do the most reps possible for each exercise for 60 seconds before moving on to the next activity. Allow for a break of 15 to 30 seconds between each exercise.
If you don't have much time, just do one round. If you want to ramp up your workout, do two or three rounds (up to you - pace yourself!)
Equipment needed: A barbell or pair of dumbbells, a skipping rope, and a chair, bench, or a plyometric box. But you can do an at-home circuit workout without any equipment.
This workout will target your biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back, core, hips, quads, and glutes. In other words, it's a full-body workout!
Note: Don't forget to warm up. Warming up is crucial before you begin your circuit training. You can jump rope for a few minutes or do jumping jacks. The idea is to engage your whole body and wake up your muscles before you start the circuit.
Here's the circuit. Details on how to do each exercise are below:
- Shoulder presses
- Bent over row
- Jumping jacks
- Deadlifts (or RDLs)
- Tricep dips
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body to the ground as you push down with your heels. You want your thighs to end up parallel to the floor. Pause there, then rise to your starting position.
Note: If you want to challenge yourself, you can use bands around your thighs (above the knee) to work against the band as you squat.
Begin holding a barbell in front near your shoulders or a dumbbell in each hand. Stand up straight (as above for the squats). Raise the bar or weights above your head with your elbows slightly bent. Pause at the top before returning to your starting position.
You can hold a dumbbell in each hand or a barbell across the back of your shoulders if you wish. Otherwise, just use your body weight (if you are new to step-ups.)
Step up onto a bench, sturdy box, or step with your right foot. Now step up with your left foot. Step down with your left foot, then follow with your right. Reverse for the next rep, so you are working both legs evenly.
Holding a dumbbell or a barbell, bend at the hips to tilt forward 45 degrees. Lift the weight up to your chest with a rowing motion, lowering it back slowly.
With arms at your sides, stand with your feet together. Jump your feet out hip-width apart as you stretch your arms up over your head, elbows bent. Jump to bring your legs back to start while lowering your arms.
Deadlifts (or RDLs)
This exercise is best shown visually to protect your back - here's what it looks like.
Find a solid bench or chair, and put your hands on either side of you while you sit on the edge. Move your feet forward and put your weight on your heels. Lower yourself down towards the floor by bending your elbows (keeping them close to your body so that they face the back of you rather than each side.) You should feel your triceps engage when you push yourself back up to your starting position.
Lie down facing the ceiling with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your arms should be straight and by your sides. Now lift your hips off the floor until your chest is in a straight diagonal with your knees. Squeeze your glutes to work deep, then lower gently and slowly back to the starting position.
Lie face down on a mat or the ground with your arms bent so that your weight is on your forearms. Straighten both legs so that your weight is on the balls of your feet (or your toes, even harder.) Tighten your core muscles to form a straight line with your body, and look forward. Hold for 60 seconds.
This article was written by Nancy R Fernandez, a blogger and health advocate.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
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