Cardiovascular and strength training are at the core of most exercise regimens. Many people think that they need to spend oodles of time at the gym in order to achieve results when in fact, time-saving circuit workouts can be just as effective.
Circuit workouts consist of a series of exercises that you repeat for a designated number of rounds or time, and are perfect for those who are constrained by the clock. Pushing through a rigorous circuit helps to build strength, increase metabolism and improve athletic conditioning. Customising a circuit workout not only helps you to control the type of movements you want to do, but it is also helps to create a pace of workout that you are comfortable with. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your own circuit workout:
1. How long do you want to exercise for?
Knowing how much time you want (or have) to exercise for helps you to determine the overall intensity and number of repetitions that are suitable for you. Generally, a shorter duration should indicate a more vigorous workout. Each circuit (or set) should comprise four one-minute movements and a minute’s rest. Ideally, your workout should last between 10 to 45 minutes.
2. Choose an upper-body exercise
You can choose to do different variations or the same upper-body exercises in subsequent circuits. Here are some suggestions of upper-body exercises you can do:
- Shoulder presses
- Standing dumbbell curls
- Triceps dips
- Russian ab twists
Every upper-body exercise targets different parts of your upper body, so it is recommended that you do a different movement between each circuit to optimise the effectiveness of the workout.
3. Select a lower-body exercise
Like the upper-body exercises, you can choose to do different or the same lower-body exercises in subsequent circuits. You can consider these lower-body exercises too:
- Walking lunges
- Sumo squats
- Calf raises
- Hamstring curls
4. Pick a compound exercise
Compound exercises increase your heart-rate as it works on muscles throughout your body. Here are some compound exercises that you can choose from:
- Jumping lunges
- Mountain climbers
- Bench hop-overs
5. Find a sprint
Moving fast is an effective way to increase your metabolism to burn fat. You can choose to do the following cardio exercises:
- Jump rope
- Jogging up-hill
- Climbing stairs
6. 1-minute rest
After completing the movements, end the set by resting for one minute before proceeding to the next one. It serves as a break for your heart rate and give you time to catch your breath.
With a customised circuit workout, you’ll never view exercising the same way again! Instead, working out becomes more pleasurable as it becomes something that is uniquely yours. Plan your circuit exercise now and give it a spin!