What's not to love about circuit training? Combining heart-pumping elements of cardio with strength-training moves means you torch calories while toning muscles. It's just so efficient.
Here's a fun yet challenging circuit workout from Equinox trainer Lauren Fairbanks. Have a stopwatch handy for this one since you perform each exercise for 60 seconds. Don't be daunted by the time — you can do anything for a minute. Plus, it's nice to have the luxury of not needing to count all those reps.
Get the details of this circuit after the break.
Instructions: Do each exercise for one minute. Work through the first circuit three times, and rest for one to two minutes between each round. Rest and stretch for three minutes before starting second circuit, which you also repeat for a total of three times. Try to complete this workout in 45 minutes or less.
For this workout you will need: an exercise ball, a five-kilogram (around 10-pound) medicine ball, and 10-pound dumbbells.
|Alternating backward lunge holding medicine ball overhead||Glutes, core, shoulders||Five-kilogram medicine ball||Holding weight above your head forces your core to work harder.|
|Chest press on exercise ball||Chest, core, glutes||Exercise ball, 10-pound dumbbells||Make sure your neck and head are supported by the exercise ball; keep pressing your pelvis toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes.|
|Lying triceps extension on exercise ball||Triceps, core, glutes||Exercise ball, 10-pound weights||Make sure your neck and head are supported by the exercise ball; keep pressing your pelvis toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes.|
|Circling elbow plank on exercise ball||Abs, back, shoulders||Exercise ball||Keep your pelvis in line with your torso as you circle. Switch direction of circle after 30 seconds.||Woodchopper with medicine ball||Obliques, back, legs||Five-kilogram medicine ball||Switch sides after 30 seconds. Focus on rotating through your waist; move quickly in this exercise to keep heart rate up, but control the momentum.|
|Burpees||Full-body move||Body weight exercise, raises heart rate||Do a full version of the burpee with the push-up in the plank position, and a jump as you return to standing.|
|Hamstring curl with exercise ball||Hamstrings, glutes, core||Exercise ball||Keep your pelvis high and bend and straighten your knees.|
|Seated Russian twist||Obliques, deep abs, core||Five-kilogram medicine ball||Keep your back straight as you twist; to increase the difficulty, lift your feet a few inches off the floor.|
|Curtsy lunge with medicine ball||Glutes, thighs, arms,||Five-kilogram medicine ball||Hold the medicine ball at your chest as you alternate sides with every rep.|
|Side elbow plank||Core, obliques, inner thighs, shoulders||Body weight exercise||Activate the bottom inner thigh muscle to keep the pelvis from sagging. Switch sides after 30 seconds.|
As with all our workouts, feel free go heavier or lighter with the weight recommendations and use what works for you.