Circuit training is a great way to work out, targeting a variety of muscles in short bursts and getting the heart pumping, resulting in toning and fat burning all in one session…. Result! Not only are circuits a great form of fitness, they are easy to do whether it joining a local class or creating your own one at home. You van do plenty of exercises without any equipment, you just need a stopwatch or a clock with a second hand. Try using household items like tins of beans, bottle of water, or investing in some low cost equipment, such as dumbbells, a skipping rope and a gym ball.
Ladies, try this circuit at home or in the gym to help tone up the whole body…
Do each exercise for 30 seconds once round to warm up with 30 seconds rest in between. Then do it again another 2 or 3 times, however much time you can spare for a good hours workout but this time do each exercise for 45-90 seconds with the 30second rest in between. Remember the national guidelines for exercise are 30 minutes each day 5 days a week. Feel the burn in the muscles and your heart pumping to see the results working on your shape in a few weeks!
1. Plyometric lunges
Stand in a split stance and lunge the back leg towards the floor so both knees are almost in a 90 degree position. Jump up and swap the legs over so you are lunging with the opposite leg, keep jumping and swapping until the time is up,
2. Tricep dips
Grab yourself a step,the bottom step of your stairs or a chair. Place your hands palm down facing away from the step so they grip it. Lower your bum towards the floor using your arms to help lower you, but keep the shoulders relaxed and bend the elbows to help target those triceps! Bingo wings no more!
3. Tummy crunches
Lie in the floor with your legs bent and feet on the floor. Take your hands to your temple and focus on a point on the ceiling. Engage those core muscles and lift your shoulders off to floor and crunch the abdominals. Keep your torso in line (put a tennis ball under your chin if you struggle) and remember not to pull on your head or neck. Keep going!
4. Shuttle runs
Use a good 10m distance and run back and forth during the time. Try using your garden or the stairs to really get those legs working. Or if you do not have much room to spare, just jog as fast as you can on the spot.
5. Curl and press
Grab the dumbbells, tins of beans, bottles of water or anything with a bit of weight to use as your resistance in each hand. Keep the elbows tucked into the side of your body and palms facing away from you, curl your forearms towards your shoulders, turn the palms away from you again and push up towards the ceiling….and reverse back down, repeat. Tone those arms up!
6. Oblique bends
Another one for your core, keep your resistance from the Curl and Press in each arm. Stand with feet hip width apart. Bend down to the side until your weight is about in line with your knee and stand back up straight. Repeat on the same side nti, you are half way through the time then swap to the other side. Feel the crunch in the side of your core, which will help to tone up the love handles.
Use a skipping rope for this one which will get the heart pumping, legs moving and the arms working too as you keep the rope moving. If you do not have a skipping rope, grab yourself an imaginary one!
8. Front and side raises
Get hold of your weights in each arm. Stand with feel hip width apart. Keeping a soft bend in the elbows, raise your arms upwards straight out in front of you, until level with your shoulders. Take the arms back down and lift them away from the side of you this time, again until level with the shoulders. Repeat.
9. Russian twists
One of my favourites…This one is great with a medicine ball if you have one, otherwise grab a weight or even a cushion. Sit on the floor with legs bent and feet flat o. The floor. Lean back just so you can feel your abdominal muscles engaged. Using your weight or cushion, hold it out in front of you with arms almost straight. Twist your whole torso and aim for your arms to tap the floor at the side of your hip. If you feel like you could do more, lift your legs off the floor.
10. Wall squat/ski sit
Head to your nearest wall. Plant your back against the wall and lower yourself until, your legs are 90 degrees. Hold this position for the duration of this exercise. Feel the burn in the quadriceps at the top of your legs. If you want more, hold your arms out in front of you and hold a weight.
Well done! Do the circuit a couple of times and let me know how you get on. Remember to have a stretch afterwards to minimise a few aches and pains the next day.