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Bodyweight Circuit Workout Routine

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burpees
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There are plenty of excuses to try to justify why we are inclined to skip workouts. Common ones are a lack of time and/or lack of equipment. Maybe you travel a lot for work and have no idea what you could do for exercise in your hotel room. Or maybe you drive right past the gym on the way home but it doesn’t seem like it makes sense to stop when you really only have less than 30 minutes to work out before family dinner. While these are not invalid excuses, they’re excuses nonetheless.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), “One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.” That means if you have 10 minutes and choose to use it to exercise, it will count toward the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise that is recommended per week for adults. My hope is that the workout I provide for you below will help eliminate some of these excuses and help you realize that there’s always something you can do and something is almost always better than nothing.

Despite using only relatively simple body weight exercises, this workout will work your whole body, with exercises focusing on the lower body, upper body, core, and cardiovascular system. Complete the following body weight exercises in circuit fashion for as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes:

  • 10 Burpees
  • 15 Dips
  • 10 Lunges per leg
  • 15 Crunches
  • 15 Jump Squats
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Mountain Climbers per leg
  • 10 Leg Raises

Burpees

  1. Begin in push-up position.
  2. Perform a push-up.
  3. Hop your legs in (together) toward your hands.
  4. Stand up, ending with a hop at the top.
  5. Return to a squat position with your hands on the ground and quickly hop your legs back in one motion to return to the top of a push-up position.
  6. Repeat for reps.
To Modify: Don’t do the push-up, step your feet in and out instead of hopping, or don’t do the jump at the top.

BurpeesBurpees

Dips

(you’ll need a chair or bench for this one)

  1. Start off sitting on the chair with your hands close to the sides of your body, arms straight, and shoulder blades back. Keeping your butt as close to the chair as possible, slide your weight off the chair so your weight is supported in your hands. Keep your feet together and knees bent slightly.
  2. Bending your arms, slowly lower your body down until your shoulders are just above elbow height.
  3. Straighten arms to return to starting position.
  4. Repeat for reps.
To Modify: To make this exercise harder, try extending your legs out straight instead of keeping your knees bent.

DipsDips

 

Lunges

  1. Starting with legs together, take a big step forward with one leg.
  2. Bend at the hips, knees, and ankles, until you have roughly 90 degree bends in both knees. The back knee should be within a few inches of the ground.
  3. Maintain weight distribution between your heels and middle of your feet, keeping your knees tracking between first and second toes. Keep your torso erect and do not lean forward with your upper body.
  4. Drive back up to starting position through the heel of your front foot until feet are side by side.
  5. Step forward with the other leg and repeat for reps, alternating legs.
To Modify: If you can’t get your back knee to get very close to the ground, you can do this exercise with a limited range of motion.

LungesLunges

Crunches

  1. Lie on your back on the ground with your knees bent, feet flat, and hands supporting your head lightly.
  2. While keeping the lower back pressed into the mat beneath you, roll your head, shoulders, and upper back off the mat in a crunching motion. Keep your gaze up toward the ceiling and do not rest your chin on your chest.
  3. Slowly lower.
  4. Repeat for reps.

CrunchesCrunches

Jump Squats

  1. Squat down about ¾ of the range of motion of a normal squat (where the tops of your thighs are parallel to the ground) and swing your shoulders back so your hands are behind your hips.
  2. Explode up, jumping vertically and swinging your arms up overhead.
  3. Land on your toes and then heels.
  4. Repeat for reps.
To Modify: You can do a normal squat instead of the jump.

Jump SquatsJump Squats

Push-Ups

  1. Lying face down, place hands a little wider than the shoulders, at a width that will allow forearms to be perpendicular to the ground when elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Come into high plank position with elbows extended. Make sure the entire body is in a neutral position.
  3. Flexing at elbows, lower your body until elbows are flexed about 90 degrees. Make sure to maintain a neutral spine and not let your back arch or butt stick up in the air.
  4. Push back to starting position without altering your form.
To Modify: You can drop your knees to the ground to make this exercise easier or you can perform them at an incline, so that your hands are on something higher than your feet.

Mountain ClimbersMountain Climbers

Mt. Climbers

  1. Start in high plank position just like you did for the push-ups.
  2. With your body in a straight line, shoulders stacked over your hands, step in toward your hands with one leg, bringing your knee into your chest.
  3. Simultaneously switch feet positions, so the forward leg extends back and the extended leg comes forward.
  4. Repeat as quickly as possible for reps.

Mountain ClimbersMountain Climbers

To Modify: You can switch your feet at as slow a pace as necessary.

Leg Raises

  1. Place your hands under your glutes with your palms facing down. Keep your legs as straight as possible. Make sure your lower back is pressed into the mat and adjust your range of motion/leg position as necessary to maintain contact throughout the motion.
  2. Slowly raise your legs perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Hold the contraction at the top for a second, then slowly lower your legs to the start position.
To Modify: You can work within a limited range of motion, use a slight bend in the knees, or rest your heels down in between reps.

Leg RaisesLeg raises

Esther Matus

Certified Personal Trainer

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