You haven’t got much time. You want to do a workout, but it needs to be quick. It needs to be efficient and god it needs to be effective.
It needs to be
something you can do in your living room after your kids have gone to
Ok, how about an
at-home circuit workout?
Yes, it is. But it’s
It’s a great
workout and can have you hitting your fitness goals in no time.
Want to learn more?
Let’s get to it...
You might be a bit confused about what a circuit training workout actually is. What makes it different to any other kind of workout.
Well, with a circuit
training workout you have a series of exercises, different exercises
that make up the circuit.
There is usually a
mix of strength exercises and cardio and once you’ve completed the
circuit you would have done a full-body workout. Or a full lower body
workout or upper body workout. Whatever the focus of the circuit is.
You complete the
number of reps, or set amount of time and then you move onto the next
exercise. Minimal rest. Once you have completed the entire circuit,
that’s when you have your little rest you have a little rest, and
then you do another round. All the way through.
I like circuits.
They’re straight forward.
You do have to
remember what exercise comes next in the circuit but the structure of
the workout is easy to remember.
So, wait a minute,
if your doing a series of exercises with rest in between, isn’t
Yes it is. It might not seem like, but it is.
Mainly with circuit
training you’re not working to your maximum capacity. You’re
completing a number of reps or a set amount of time.
A set time followed by a short rest, does sound very HIIT like but you’re usually working for longer periods than traditional HIIT. And the rest is just to move to the next exercise.
Also with circuit
training you’re completing a circuit of exercises.
All of the exercises
together make the goal of the workout. It could be strength building.
It could be upper body focused or it could be your whole body. But
there is a focus to the circuit.
HIIT on the other
hand is mostly cardio.
You can have a
HIIT upper body workout etc etc. But, it’s mostly cardio.
There are definitely are
some similarities but circuit training is different to HIIT.
To be honest,
they’re both brilliant ways of working out though, so you don’t
have to worry about it too much.
Try it. If you like it, do another one. If you don’t stick with HIIT.
I feel like I repeat myself a lot when it comes to benefits of doing
a specific type of workout.
But the things is, most benefits tend to overlap.
Any exercise you do, if it increases your heart rate will improve
your cardiovascular health and your overall fitness levels.
If your workout includes strength training you will be building
muscle and muscular strength.
Exercise in general, when paired with a healthy balanced diet is
great for weight loss.
But the beauty of circuit training, I think, it’s quite a contained
way of working out. And by that I mean, one workout and you can be
It can have strength, cardio, core, even mobility, all in one
circuit. And it’s an easy way to do it.
No I don’t mean the workouts themselves are easy, because they’re
not. They’re tough, of course they are, but you just work your way
through the movements and bam you’re done.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t want anything
fancy, with acronyms. I just want to have the exercises and how many
exercises I’ve got to do.
Circuit training is
a great way to do this.
As with most of the
workouts on my site, I’ve kept this one equipment light. Minimal
They are all
bodyweight exercises so you don’t need anything at all.
Having said that, if
you do want to use some equipment, you can.
All of these
exercises would be great with resistance bands, a pair of dumbbells,
or any other weights you might have lying around.
You can use light
weights or heavy weights, depending on your fitness level and your
If you’re looking
for more of a strength workout, reduce the reps around 5 and use
heavy weights. If you’re looking more for muscular endurance, the
rep range should be 12-15 using light weights.
Whatever you want to
do, these workouts can be adapted.
And if you fancy
using a jump rope, replace the cardio focused exercises with a bit of
Ok, so let’s talk about the movements you’re going to do…
Stand tall with your feet together and your arms at your side.
Engage your core, bend your knees slightly and jump.
As you jump, spread your legs to about shoulder width and take your arms over your head.
Jump back to the starting position.
Stand up straight with your feet about hip width apart.
Engage your core, bend your knees and sink your hips back to a comfortable position, your thighs should be roughly parallel to the floor.
Keep your chest lifted, and make sure your heels don’t lift off the floor. If they do, don’t go as deep into the squat or have your feet further apart.
Return to standing by pushing the ground away.
You start a jump squat the same way as a normal squat, so start
standing tall with your feet about hip width apart.
Engage your core, bend your knees and your hips until your thighs are about parallel to the floor.
Once there jump up explosively.
Land back in your squat position, with soft knees and as quietly as possible.
That’s one rep. Do as many as required or for the time limit.
Start in a high plank position. Hands under your shoulders.
Engage your core, inhale and slowly bend your elbows lowering yourself to the floor. Get as close to the floor as you can.
As you breath out push yourself back up to the start position.
If you find this tough, drop your knees to the floor. Your focus should be on getting close to the floor, it’s more important than staying on your toes.
A favourite of many, but they’re great because they hit all of
the major muscle groups.
Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart.
Engage your core, lower into a squat position and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
Jump your legs back until you’re in a high plank position, bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor like you would in a push up.
Push yourself back up to the high plank position, jump your feet back towards your hands and jump up, landing back in the crouch position with your hands back on the floor.
Stand tall with your feet hip width apart.
Engage your core and step your right foot back. Bend your knees lowering your back leg to the floor, stopping before your knee hits the floor.
Push through your left foot and right toes to return to the start position.
Switch sides stepping your left foot back.
Start in a high plank position with your hands under your
Engage your core and jump your right leg up, under your torso. Jump it back. Then do the same with your left leg.
Repeat. Very quickly. Think high knees but with your arms on the floor.
Start in a high plank position with your hands under your
Bend your right arm until your elbow and forearm are on the floor. Then bring your left forearm to the floor.
Straighten your right arm bringing your right hand back to the floor under your shoulder. Then do the same with your left arm bringing your left hand back to the floor under your shoulder.
Repeat, starting with your left arm this time.
These are exactly the same as bodyweight squats, see above, but
you’re going to slow it down. A lot.
So from standing to a lower squat position should take you to a count of five. Then count to five in your lower squat position, and your return to standing should also take to a count of five.
This one is a killer.
Again this is very similar to normal bodyweight squats, although
your feet will be closer together.
So, stand tall, but instead of having your feet hip width apart, stand with feet together, or just slightly apart if that’s more comfortable.
Everything else stays the same...engage your core, bend your knees and sink your hips back.
You probably won’t get as far as you would with a normal squat but don’t worry. Go as low as you can go with good form.
These are the same as push ups, although as you lower yourself
down to the floor you’ll do it slowly.
So, set up in exactly the same way as before but as you lower down to the floor, do it for a count of 5.
Once you’re on the floor, push back up to the starting position, for a count of 1.
You will need a step, a table, or a chair for this exercise…
Sit on the edge of a step, or whatever you’re using, with your hands either side of your hips and your fingers pointing towards your feet.
Slide forward so your bum is off the step, making sure your back is clear.
Breathe in, engage your core and bend your elbows, lowering your bum down towards the floor but making sure it doesn’t touch the floor.
Breathe out, breathe in and return to your starting position.
Another movement that’s slowed down.
Set up as you would for tricep dips but slow down the downward movement.
So as you bend your elbows and lower your bum towards the floor, do it for a count of 5.
Once you’re at the bottom of the movement push back up and start again.
Complete each exercise for 45 secs with 15 secs rest in between.
Once you have completed all of the exercises rest for 1 minute and go
again, if you have time. If you don’t, cool down.
One round will be 15 minutes.
Complete each exercise back to back. It should take about 5
minutes. Rest for one minute and repeat 2 more times.
This round is similar to the round above, just all about the upper
body. Complete each exercise back to back, rest for one minute and
Well, that’s a few circuit workouts you can try out at home.
But the question is...are you going to?
Does it sound like a fun way to workout? Or is it your idea of hell?
Let me know how you get on...