For a full-body workout, use lighter weights and perform higher reps, going from each exercise to the next with as little rest as possible. Keep moving as fast-paced as possible to keep your heart rate in the higher intensity fat burning zone (140-170 beats per minute for most of us). This routine will not only burn fat, but it will also build more muscle, which will also lead to more fat burning. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be, which is what makes your body a fat-burning "furnace!"
Rest for one minute after the complete circuit, and then repeat it two to three more times. Use a weight that challenges you enough to make you struggle during the last four to five reps on each exercise!
Do 20 reps of leg presses to start out this circuit. You'll work your quads, hamstrings and lower back with this one. Click here to learn more about the leg press.
Step 1: Begin standing with feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees, palms facing down on the tops of your thighs, grasping a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your knees slightly bent and your chest up.
Step 2: Pull your hands directly up until your elbows and forearms are virtually parallel to the ground while squeezing your shoulder blades together. The dumbbells should end at chest level. Pause at the top and lower the dumbbells to the starting position. That is one rep.
Do 15 reps on each leg, alternating legs each rep. Reverse lunges are a great alternative to forward lunges, especially if you find that forward lunges bother your knees.
Step 1: Stand with your feet under your hips and lift your chest.
Step 2: Step one leg directly behind you at the same width and bend both knees until they form 90-degree angles. Keep your chest lifted and your torso centered over the hips. Try to get your back knee down as low as possible. Exhale and push out of the lunge, bringing the leg back to the other one.
The pushup is a great staple move of all fitness circuits for a reason: it gets results! Do 15 pushups.
Step 1: Assume plank position, with your arms shoulder-width apart.
Step 2: Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
Twenty of these will give your hammies the workout they've been screaming for!
Step 1: Lie on your back with your heels planted on top of a stability ball. Raise your hips up and form a flat bridge. Your shoulder blades should be anchored into the ground, with your arms on the floor for support.
Step 2: Squeeze your booty and roll the ball in, thrusting your hips up into the air as far as possible. Pause at the top and lower back down to the floor. That is one rep.
You'll really feel the burn in your shoulders with the lateral raise. Do 20 reps of these.
Step 1: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Keeping your elbows straight, raise your arms up so that they are level with your shoulders. Your palms should now face the ground.
Step 3: Slowly lower the dumbbells down to the front of your thighs, palms still facing inward. Repeat for allocated amount of reps. Continue for allotted time. If you have to swing your body to raise the dumbbells, then decrease the weight.
Test your hamstrings, core and endurance with leg extensions. Do 20 reps before moving on.
Step 1: Sit on the floor, legs extended straight out in front of you. Keeping your core engaged, lean back slightly, so you’re able to place your hands on either side of your glutes. With flexed feet and a tight core, lift left leg a few inches off the ground.
Step 2: With control, pull leg back, bending at your knee, without touching the floor. Return to start, that’s one rep. then repeat on the right side.
A classic move for building bicep muscle, do twenty bicep curls in this circuit.
Step 1: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm's length at the edge of your hips. Turn your arms so that your palms face forward.
Step 2: Tuck your elbows into your sides and bend them, curling the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Make sure your elbows stay stationary and your upper arms do not move.
Step 3: Slowly lower the weights back to your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended at the bottom. That is one rep.
Calf raises are perfect for toning those calf muscles you love to show off during the summer months. The best part of calf raises is that you can do them anywhere! Do as many as you can until the last four or five reps are difficult.
Step 1: Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your sides. Relax. Feet are under the hips; chest is lifted.
Step 2: Exhale and press up onto the ball of each foot. Instead of shifting your weight forward, think vertical – act like your tapping the crown of your head to the ceiling. Inhale and release.
Again, do as many of these as you can until your muscles start to feel fatigued. You should really be struggling with the last few. You'll need a chair or bench as well as a stability ball for this one.
Step 1: Sit on the edge of a stable chair and place your hands behind your hips. Have your feet resting on top of the stability ball.
Step 2: Keeping your back straight, lower your body until your elbows have reached a 90-degree angle.
Step 3: Raise your body, fully extending your arms and contracting your triceps muscles.
The Roman chair is perfect for exercising all of your ab muscles, not just the few that are targeted during normal ab work. Try doing 20 reverse sit-ups. Click here to see how to do them from Pop Sugar.
Sure, you've masted the squat, but have you mastered the power squat? Finish off strong with 20 of these bad boys.
Step 1: To perform this plyometric exercise, first stand with the feet slightly outside the shoulders (wherever your squat stance is) and drop the hips backward and down. Send the arms straight out in front of you to help the chest stay lifted. Double check your knee position – make sure they're staying behind your toes.
Step 2: Push through your heels to drive out of the squat. Roll through the foot to lift into your jump, bringing the arms overhead to help propel you upward. Land softly and quietly with bent knees. If you can go right back into your squat, do it! Otherwise, take the soft-knee landing and reset for the next squat.0comments
That's one circuit. Repeat it two to three times, and don't forget to cool down when you're finished!
You can do this circuit once a week to fine tune all your muscle groups, or you can do it as often as every other day, if it is the only program you are following. You should do some form of strength training at least two to three times a week to get results. If your training intensity isn't high enough to get you to the "uncomfortable" feeling (heart beating, sweating, breathing hard, muscles and lungs on fire) then you will not see any changes in your body. It's just like anything else in life that requires change; it's always going to be a little uncomfortable, but that's part of the journey to reach something better. Happy training!