Circuit Training is one of the best ways to spice up a boring workout routine or if you’re strapped for time, help you get the most out of your workout. Each move is set up to target both your major and minor muscles groups. By doing these total body movements, you’re increasing your metabolism and burning fat while toning muscles. The little rest in between circuits turns this workout into a cardio and strength training routine.
All you need for this 25 minute workout are a set of 3 or 5 pound dumbbells, an exercise mat, and a watch with a second timer. After each completed circuit only take a few moments to get water before moving on to the next circuit. Take no more than 30 seconds. The greatest benefit of this workout routine is quickly moving to the next movement or circuit without a lot of resting time. Each exercise and warm-up is done for a total of 30 seconds unless specified and each circuit is repeated twice.
Dynamic Warm-Up (5 min)
Start slowly and ease yourself into the move. Repeat this circuit twice. During the second time through, slowly increase the intensity of the warm-up to get the heart rate up. Do this by making the movement bigger and more dynamic. Take a 5 second break before beginning the first circuit.
- March in place
- Arm circles
- Jumping jacks
- Cross toe touches
- Jumpers (Pretend jump rope)
Circuit 1- Buns, Quads, Hamstrings, Shoulders, and Bi’s (5min)
- Stationary lunge with bicep curl: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right leg so that both the front and back legs are in a 90 degree angle. (Make sure that the knee doesn’t go beyond the ankle.) As you lunge forward bring your hand weights up into a bicep curl. Repeat this exercise without alternating for 30 seconds. Switch to the left side.
- Deadlifts with hammer curls: Stand with feet hip distance apart and hold your weights at your side so that your palms are facing towards your outer thighs. Keep shoulders back and support back with abdominal muscles. Bend from the hips, keeping back straight and without bending the knees. Lower the weights as far to the ground as you can. Only keep a slight bend in the knees if need be. Draw abs inwards as you lift back up. Make sure to be using your glutes and the back of your legs to bring you to standing. Once you hit standing, curl your weights up. Make sure that your palms face each other as you curl your weights. Do this for 45 seconds.
- Squats with shoulder press: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your weights up at a 90 degree angle. Your elbows should be aligned with your shoulders. Lower your body by bending your knees as far as you can while pushing your hips and butt back. Push yourself back to starting position. Once at start position, raise your arms in the arm making sure to keep shoulders down and away from your ears. Return your arms to starting position. Do this for 45 seconds.
Abs, Chest, and Thighs (4 mins)
- Plank push-ups: Lie down on your mat and bring yourself into plank position. Widen your arm stance so that it is wider than shoulder-width. Lower your elbows to get as low to the ground as possible. Push elbows up to bring to starting position. Inhale as your lower. Exhale as you push up.
- Plank with side twist: Move in to plank position. Stay low while bringing up your right knee to your left elbow. Switch sides.
- Plank with toe touch: Keep in plank position. Tap the left leg out to the side and bring it back to start. Work left leg for 30 seconds before switching to the right side. Do toe taps for 30 seconds on the right side.
Buns, Thighs, and Tri’s (3 min)
- Sumo squat with overhead extensions: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Turn toes out. Place arms straight up while holding one dumbbell with both hands; lower arms to a 90 degree angle. Elbows should align with ears. Lower hips while bending knees to the lowest possible position. Push yourself up to starting position. As you push your lower body up, raise the dumbbell above your head. Lower the dumbbell as you begin your next squat.
- Static chair squat with two arm kickback: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lower self into a squat position. Knees should be bent and above the ankle while abdominals should be supporting your back. Keep back straight. Bend your arms by your side to a 90 degree. Straighten your arm. Then bring your arms back to start position.
- Diamond Push-ups: Lie down on the floor in a push-up position. Move hands so that they are under your chest. The tips of your index fingers and the tips of your thumbs should be touching and creating a triangle shape beneath the center of your chest. Lower yourself to the group keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push yourself back to start.
- Chest press with crunch: Stay on the floor and roll over onto back. Lie in a crunch position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Grab both of your dumbbells and hold them out in front of you. They should be aligned with your chest. Bend your arms to a 90 degree angle so that your elbows rest on the floor while your hand weights stay raised in the air. Lift shoulder blades up off the ground while pressing your belly button to the back of your spine (this is also called imprinting your core). Pull your abs up into a crunch. As you do this, straighten arms above your chest. Lower upper body and arms back to start.
- Bicycle Crunch: Leave weights on the ground. Bring knees up so that they are stacked above your hips. Raise shoulders up off the floor and imprint your core. Extend the right leg out while bring your left knee in. As you extend that leg, bring your right elbow to your left knee. Switch sides. The movements in this exercise should be controlled and smoothed.
- Windshield wiper crunches: Extend arms out into a ‘V’ shape and left legs about two inches off the ground. Using your abdominal muscles, bring legs up to your left arm. Lower your legs to start position and repeat movement to the right arm.
Cool Down (5 mins)
Spend five minutes doing stretches that focus on the lower body, abs, and upper arms. All three areas got a serious workout and need time as you start to cool down the body.