If you’re super busy and feel like you don’t have time to work out, then high-intensity total body circuits are just what you need! Plan out just 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week for this circuit. Experiment with your weights, knowing that a set of 10-15lbs dumbbells should do the trick. Each movement requires 3 sets, 12 reps. Ready to see results? Here we go:
Curtsy Squats with Dumbbell Pump
Start with feet shoulder-width apart. Step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Make sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. Your arms should be simultaneously moving with you. Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep. Hello, perkier buns and stronger thighs!
Squat with Shoulder Press
Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position the dumbbells around shoulder height, palms facing forward. Keeping your chest up, lower your body into a squat by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. As you stand up, push the dumbbells overhead, keeping them in front of your ears.
Deadlift with Dumbbell Back Row
Start with your feet placed shoulder-width apart while you hold the dumbbells in front of you. Bend forward, making sure to keep your lower back flat and your shoulders retracted. At the bottom of the deadlift, pull the dumbbells up to the side of your chest and back down again by your sides. Stand back up, making sure that you return to your starting position.
Glute Bridge with Tricep Press
Lie flat on the floor on your back with hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder-width apart. Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in. As you settle down, extend at your elbow for the tricep extension.
Side Plank with Knee Crunch
Begin in a side elbow plank with your left elbow down and your right hand behind your head. Keeping your torso stable and your waist lifted, bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap your right elbow. Lengthen your right leg back to the starting position to complete one rep. With 12 reps complete on the right, switch to the left side.
Pullover-Arm Active Straight Leg Crunch
Lie on your back with your arms behind you. Extend your legs straight on the floor. Bring your right arm up over your chest and lift your shoulders off the mat while raising your opposite leg until it is perpendicular to the floor meeting the dumbbell. Quads and back are involved too. Return to the start and alternate sides. Your obliques and rectus abdominals will thank you!
Hitting the major muscle groups in each exercise requires a higher effort level, especially in a circuit with minimal rests. The good news is the harder the workout, the higher the after-burn effect (meaning burning more calories even at rest) and the shorter the workout needs to be. All in all, that equals more time to do everything else you need to get done!
–Natasha Maxwell, Personal Trainer & Certified Nutrition Coach