When it comes to being in the weight room, I’m a huge proponent of circuits because they keep your heart right high, burn more calories and not to mention they save time. A circuit could be anything from creating a specified number of exercises that you do one after the other to going from a set of biceps directly to a set of triceps instead of waiting around to start your next bicep set. This means less rest time, which, like I said above, means a higher heart rate and more overall calories burned.
Here’s a circuit that I have been doing with my clients. So far, it’s gotten rave reviews. One session, after going from the circuit to simple weight-lifting exercises, one of my clients said, “Even though that circuit was killer, it was more fun than just lifting and working one muscle at a time.” So without further ado:
Directions: Complete this circuit 2 times with a 1 minute water break between circuit sets. Go from one exercise to the other without stopping. If you want to make it harder do a 3rd set.
What You’ll Need: A mat and a 10 lb Medicine Ball (the Rec Center now has Medicine Balls with handles!)
Workout Location: I like to do these types of circuits on the bottom floor (where the pool is located). I set up a station at the very end of that long hallway.
1) Walking Lunge Twists:Hold the medicine ball to your chest. Do nice, long walking lunges to the third patch of tan flooring, then turn around lunge back to where you started. While you lunge, twist the medicine ball towards your leg that is bent. Tip: Exaggerate your stride. You don’t want to be doing tiny lunges or you’ll put strain on your knees.
2) Med Ball Squats: Hold the medicine ball to your chest. Get into proper squatting position (feet should be a little wider than shoulder width apart) and do 12 squats. Tip: Keep your heels anchored to the ground or else you’ll fall forward!
3) Super Slow Mountain Climbers: With your hands on the mat in a push up position, bring your knee up to your elbow and alternate. The point of these mountain climbers is to do them super slow so you feel it in your abs. Do 20 total. Tip: Keep your butt down while in mountain climber position.
4) Knee Push-Ups: Do 12. Tip: Make sure you are going all the way down until your chest brushes the floor. Those knee push-ups where you’re barely bending your arms don’t count!
5) Med Ball Plank: This one is sort of a balancing act. Position both your hands on the medicine ball and then get into push-up position. Instead of doing an actual push-up, however, hold this position for 30 seconds. Tip: Keep your core tight and think of a good memory that will take your mind off the time!
6) Med Ball Abdominal Pumps/ Leg Flutters: Lie flat on your back with your legs out in front of you. Hold the medicine ball directly over your head. At the same time, lift your legs about 6 inches off the ground. Do 12 “pumps” with the medicine ball. This means bending and straightening your arms while keeping your legs 6 inches off the ground.
When you’ve finished doing these exercises once, repeat! Also, here’s an idea: Do this circuit with a friend! You can either do it at the same time and motivate one another or switch off and coach one another along the way. Happy Circuiting!