While the weather is anything but perfect this week, I like to take advantage of any warmer day I can in Michigan by getting outside!
After an interval run this afternoon, I put together a quick total body circuit right in my front yard. It took me around 20 minutes to complete three sets at a relatively fast pace. I challenge you to complete it in 30 or less!
This workout is perfect for those looking for a speedy, yet effective workout to throw in before work, after work or on your lunch break!
All of these moves have been featured on the blog before, but I wanted to provide a description of all of the exercises so we are on the same page. For good measure, I like to include the basic “no brainer” exercises, too. Please pay attention to your form, listen to your body, and modify any exercise you need to!
Get on the floor in a sit-up position: back and feet flat on the floor with your knees bent to a ninety degree angle. Cross your arms over your chest. This is your starting position. Tighten your glutes and hamstrings as you sit up, then slowly roll back to the starting position. Repeat for 20 reps.
This is one of my favorite bodyweight exercises to work the abs, lower back, booty, and thighs. It forces you to work on balance and stability by using opposite sides of the body. Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Knees should be about hip width apart.
With a tight and tucked core, extend your left arm straight front and your right leg straight back. Aim to get both limbs completely straight, hold for about five seconds and then switch sides. Repeat for 10 reps per side.
You can modify or enhance the level of difficulty for this one by starting on the floor with your chest pressed against a mat, then gradually move up to all fours, and eventually move towards starting in a straight arm plank on your hands and toes.
Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. They should be about hip-width apart. Arms should be resting by your sides with the palms facing the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips and hold the position for about 2-3 seconds. Stay on the heels of your feet and keep squeezing your glutes. Slowly lower your hips without touching the floor and repeat for 20 reps.
• single leg squats
Start with your feet hip-width apart and pointing forward. Begin with your back tall, right leg slightly bent, and hands on your hips. Be careful not to arch your lower back here!
With your core tight, keep your legs exactly where they are (left leg is hovering the floor) and lower into a squat position. Think about mimicking the movement of sitting in a chair.
Your left leg stays bent throughout the set and your right leg bends and straightens. Make sure your knees are in line with your feet, and focus on keeping both your knees and feet neutral and pointed forward.
Complete 10 reps, then switch sides.
Get on the floor and position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Raise up on your toes. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to toe without dropping your middle or arching your back. Before you begin the push-up, contract your abs and keep your core tight. Think of pulling your belly button towards your spine.
• chair triceps (bench) dips
Or… deck, couch, or box dips. Use whatever you’ve got!
(Please ignore the fact that my left hand isn’t exactly under my shoulder. That’s what I was aiming for, but when you are home alone and prop your phone to take photos… you kind of have to rush into position. Whoops.)
Start with your hands directly under your shoulders, feet hip width apart, and shoulders back. Don’t let your shoulders slouch, and keep your chest lifted throughout the entire exercise. Tighten your core and focus on moving your arms, not your hips.
Slowly bend your elbows down to lower the hips, then push to straighten and lift back up to your starting position.
To modify, bend the knees and bring them in. I love demonstration and form cues in this video!
• side plank hold
Start in a side elbow plank on your left side. Keep your legs straight and feet stacked on top of one another. You can modify this version of this exercise by unstacking the feet and putting one in front of the other, or placing the bottom knee on the ground. Make sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder and keep your weight there.
To challenge yourself further in this exercise, you can also raise your top foot a couple of inches off of the bottom one. Hold for 30-45 seconds, then switch sides.
Please let me know if you end up giving this workout a try! I’m off in a hurry to get the gym for the day, but I have to say… the extra fresh air outside earlier still has me in a fantastic mood.
I hope you have a great rest of your Wednesday, and I’ll see you in the morning!
Please note: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routines. <3
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me
This post was SO informative! When I initially followed you, I was not looking at fitness posts, but nowadays, I have been exercising more often, and I am going to try this one out tomorrow I think! Thank you Heather. 🙂
Yay! I’m so glad you are expanding outside of your comfort zone. I hope you enjoy the workout!
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood
I love this post! I love how each workout is laid out and described. My son is a terribly light sleeper and any workout that isn’t 100% silent is out of the question, but since it’s been nicer, I’ve been throwing in some outside workouts! Can’t wait to try this!
Yaa love the looks of this too! I decided to not renew my gym membership for the summer (I’m still hyperventilating a little about it). I want to spend more time outside and I love doing outdoor type circuits. So this is awesome for me! Especially since I have very very limited equipment… Thanks for sharing!!
These are so great, especially when you’re traveling and can’t make it into a gym!
I love workouts I can easily do outside! Lately the weather has been perfect for outdoor workouts!
Heather @Fit n Cookies
This looks like a fun one to take outside! I’m excited to try it.
Please let me know if you do!!
I did this workout last night at the gym before my spin class. It went great! Thanks for such an easy workout. I screen-shotted the order on my phone and just had my phone set out on the ground in front of me while I did it.
If only I could get over feeling embarrassed while workout out near the weights section. Its normally mostly guys and I just feel like everyone’s always watching me and judging me? But I’m sure everyone else feels the same I just wish I wasn’t so intimidated by it.
Awesome, Kelly! Paired with some cardio, you got one heck of a workout yesterday. I know… working out in the weights section can be intimidating, especially when it’s mostly male dominated. You just have to go in with a focus of what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to reach for what you need! It’s your space too. 😉 If I’m not using weights however, I go over to a separate section away from a crowd to do my bodyweight circuits. It’s a nice break every once in a while!
This looks challenging and I am always up for a challenge!
You’ve got this Jennifer!