Do you feel like a bear exiting her den after a long winter (and have the winter weight to prove it)? Never fear! Summer is right around the corner and that’s excellent motivation to get into shape.
Circuit Training for Fast Results
Circuit training is an effective summer shape-up workout because it’s time efficient, can be done anywhere without special equipment and works every muscle group in the body. Another bonus, you won’t be bored since you’ll be performing different exercises, one after the other! Circuit training that combines strength and cardio can burn about 10 calories per minute and makes a terrific summer workout plan.
What follows is our list of the top 10 exercises to get your body in shape for summer. Do as many reps as you can, of each of the following in 1 minute, remembering to keep the proper form for each.
1. Forward Lunges
- Stand with feet hip width apart, and your hands on your hips.
- Step forward with your right foot, lowering both knees until they’re at a 90-degree angle.
- Pushing up, return to an upright position.
- Repeat on the opposite side. You want your back knee to almost touch the floor and without allowing the front knee to go over your toes.
2. Jumping Squats
- Starting with your feet hip width apart, and place your hands behind your head.
- Lower into a squat position, then jump up off the floor.
- With each squat, get as low as you can; then immediately jump up.
- Get into a full pushup position, with your body like a plank in a straight line.
- Lower your body to the ground, pushing back up to the starting position, keeping your core and butt tight.
- If this is too difficult, do modified pushups
4. Squat Pushup
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- In one smooth movement, move into a squat, and put your hands flat on the floor.
- Kick your legs out into a pushup position.
- Reverse the movement and stand.
- Keep your core tight with each rep and push out with your heels as you return to a standing position.
5. Sumo Squats
- Stand with your feet 2 to 3 feet apart, toes pointed outward.
- Squat into a sumo wrestler pose, hands on hips, butt moving out while squatting, legs forming a 90-degree angle.
- Push through your heels to return to a standing position.
6. Jumping Jacks
- Stand with your feet together, hands by your sides.
- Bring arms out and then overhead, simultaneously, and then return to start.
- Stay light on your feet and move smoothly and steadily as you jump.
7. “T” Stabilization
- Get into a full pushup position, with your body like a plank, in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.
- Shift weight onto your left hand, simultaneously rotating your torso until your right hand is pointed toward the ceiling. Body should form a “T”.
- Hold for 3 seconds; then return to the starting, pushup position.
- Repeat on the opposite side. Keep your core tight, and follow your hand with your eyes.
8. Seated Core Rotation
- Sit on the floor, engaging and tightening your core.
- Lean back until you form a 45-degree angle with the floor, knees bent.
- Raise your feet a few inches off the ground, bringing your arms out, palms facing.
- Rotate your torso to the right, pause, then rotate to the left. Continue alternating back and forth, engaging your obliques.
- Do as many of these as you can in one minute.
After the completion of one circuit, rest, then repeat the entire routine for a total of three circuits. For best results, do this every other day, 3 days per week. Only have 10 minutes? Complete one circuit.
Don’t Forget the Cardio!
Five minutes of low, medium, and high intensity cardio activities should be included after your static, strength building circuit exercises. These can include, but aren’t limited to:
Low Impact: Walking outdoors or in place, using an elliptical trainer set at 4 to 8, or easy biking
Moderate Impact: Moderately paced walking or jogging
High Impact: Running, jogging, using an elliptical set at 8 to 15, jumping rope
Pick something from low, moderate, and high impact that you enjoy and do 5 minutes of each, with 10 seconds rest before moving to the next activity. Perform the cardio circuit twice, switching to a different activity the second go-around. Beginners can do strictly low impact cardio, and experts can do strictly high, if desired.
By performing these circuit activities, and eating right, you’ll be burning up to 30% more calories than you would doing traditional “summer beach body workouts.” And you should be bikini ready in no time if you stick to it!