If you want to infuse your day with a jolt of energy, try a Circuit Workout! The word circuit connotes completion and a total connection that ultimately renders energy. When you do a circuit workout and move from station to station to execute different movements without rest in between, you can get an electrifying head-to-toe cardio/strength challenge that can zap you out of a rut.
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Build Your Own Circuit and Energize Your Output
Create your own circuit anywhere. Here’s how:
1) Choose your location.
2) Look around. What sort of equipment is available? Are there picnic tables, chairs, fitness toys or weights? Be creative.
3) Decide how much time you want to spend exercising so you can determine how many stations you need. Any number is fine. You can hit most major and minor muscle groups in 6 stops. The sample circuit presented below has three stations, but you’ll hit each stop twice using different exercises the second time around.
4) Determine how much time you want to spend at each station. You could spend a minute at each stop and repeat the entire circuit several times. Or you can visit each station once and spend 3 minutes on each drill. Custom fit it to your needs. The options are endless.
5) Pick your movements. The American Council on Exercise has a growing library of movements with extensive alignment cues you can use. Consider choosing movements that take very little transition time so that you can keep moving fluidly from station to station without rest.
The sample circuit below requires minimal space and equipment. Find a step, jump rope and a set of hand weights. You’ll work your way through Stations 1, 2, and 3. Then return back to the first stop to use the same equipment to do a new exercise set to complete Stations 4, 5 and 6. Same line, different exercises!
Set It Up!
– Place a step at Station 1/4. (Or you can use the bottom step of a staircase.)
– Station 2/5 needs a jump rope and hand weights.
– Lay a mat down at Station 3/6.
DO IT! One round of this cardio/strength circuit takes 25 minutes to complete if you hustle quickly to each station. Add 5 minutes if you stop to catch your breath! Take 10 minutes to warm-up and 10 to stretch at the end for a well-rounded workout.
Cardio – 3 minutes of Jumping Jacks
Strength – 1 minute Plank