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 I did recently with my Equinox trainer Lauren. The workout has you performing each exercise for a minute, which means you need to keep a stopwatch handy, but you have the luxury of not needing to count.
Get the details of this circuit after the break.
Instructions: Work through the first circuit three times and rest for one to two minutes between each round. Rest and stretch for three minutes, then begin the second circuit, 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
Works: glutes, core, shoulders
|60 seconds||Five-kilogram medicine ball||Holding weight above your head forces your core to work harder.|
|Chest press on exercise ball
Works: chest, core, glutes
|60 seconds||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.|
|Triceps press on exercise ball
Works: triceps, core, glutes
|60 seconds||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
Works: abs, back, shoulders
|Circle 30 seconds in each direction||Exercise ball||Keep your abs pulled to the spine and your pelvis in line with the torso as you circle the exercise ball with your elbows.||Woodchopper with medicine ball
Works: obliques, back, legs
|30 seconds each side||Five-kilogram medicine ball||Focus on rotating through your waist; move quickly in this exercise to keep heart rate up, but control the momentum.|
Works: increase heart rate, full-body move
|60 seconds||body weight exercise||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
Works: hamstrings, glutes, core
|60 seconds||Exercise ball||Keep your pelvis high and bend and straighten your knees.|
|Seated Russian twist
Works: obliques, deep abs, core
|60 seconds||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
Works: glutes, thighs, arms,
|60 seconds||Five-kilogram medicine ball||Hold the medicine ball at your chest as you alternate sides with every rep.|
|Side elbow plank
Works: core, obliques, inner thighs, shoulders
|30 seconds each side||Body weight exercise||Activate the bottom inner thigh muscle to keep the pelvis from sagging.|
As with all our workouts, feel free go heavier or lighter with the weight recommendations and use what works for you.