Sometimes it is hard to fit in a workout if you are busy with other things, but if you are smart you can create a compact workout that keeps you super fit in less time. No more waiting around for the leg machine, with circuit training you can burn more faster and use your own body weight to push, lunge and stretch your way to optimal health and fitness.
With a compact circuit routine you won’t have to work out as often as you will work every muscle group in one session. Also, circuit training keeps you moving, so you won’t have time take breaks for sips of water and chit chat.
Circuit training also keeps your heart rate up for a faster cardio burn. Do this 3 times a week (with a day of rest in between) and you’ll feel super energised and have a bit more bounce in your step!
Start with a 10-minute warm-up and leave 10 mins on the end for a warm-down, so the hard bit will be 40 mins. Go through the circuit as many times as you can in the 40 mins. If you are not used to high-impact training then ease yourself in. But if you are in shape you can go a bit harder.
If you need to, take a break to catch your breath and then start again.
Burpees are a good movement to start with in order to prepare your muscles for the other exercises.
Follow these steps for the perfect burpee:
- Start in a standing position.
- Jump into a plank with your head, neck and back straight.
- Keep your arms straight and under your shoulders.
- Jump your feet toward your hands into a squat position.
- Leap up into a standing position to complete one repetition. You can add a jump in the air on to this if you like.
Push-ups will work your arms and chest.
- Start in a plank position with your back, neck and head in a straight line.
- Lower down so that your chest reaches the ground.
- Ensure your elbows point back at a 45-degree angle.
- Push your arms up into a plank position. If you fancy you can even clap your hands in between!
Squatting works your quad and buttock muscles and gives a general cardio workout too. You don’t need weights to start but you may want to add some as your fitness improves to increase the intensity of your circuit training.
- Start in a hip-width stance with your shoulders rolled back and down.
- Lower yourself back as if you were sitting on a chair.
- Keep your knees pointed out throughout the movement, with your feet turned slightly out too.
- From the lowest point (with the thighs at a horizontal) push back up to standing.
20 Triceps Dips
These will tone the backs of your arms.
- Place your feet out in front of you and put your palms on a chair or ledge behind you.
- Make sure your fingers point toward your feet.
- Lower down until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle pointing straight back.
- Push back up with your elbows. One rep complete. Now for the other 19!
20 Forward Lunges
This will work your whole leg.
- Step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle.
- Then reverse, bringing your left foot forward to lunge with your left leg. That is one lunge. Do both legs for a total of 20 times.
50 cycle Crunches
These will work your oblique muscles.
- Start lying down on your back and interlace your fingers behind your head then gently raise your head and neck up from the ground.
- Next, bring your left elbow to your right knee and then to centre. Repeat for the other side and do this 50 times!
This may be tough the first few times but keep it up and you’ll feel the benefit in no time. Soon you’ll even look forward to your circuit training ‘power hour’!