Circuit Training: Add These 7 Empowering Exercises to Your Circuit Training Workout by Johnson Fitness & Wellness
Let’s face it, there are times when we just can’t get to the gym for a workout. Maybe you have a little one at home or have a tight schedule or you simply don’t want to deal with the hustle and bustle of a busy gym and having to fight the crowds. Sounds like the perfect time to consider adding circuit training to your at-home workout routine! Ready to give circuit training a shot? Here are some exercises to help get you started:
When done correctly, the v-sit targets multiple areas including the rectus abdominis, the external obliques, internal obliques and hip flexors, all while improving core and trunk balance. It’s also a great body-weight-only exercise that can be done virtually anywhere – all you’ll need is a little bit of floor space. Here’s how to do a v-sit:
- Begin in a seated position, with hands and feet on the floor.
- Slowly contract your abdominal muscles and core and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle.
- Reach your arms straight forward or reach up toward your shins.
- Hold this “V” position for 5-10 seconds to begin.
- As you get stronger, hold the position for a longer period – 20-40 seconds.
- You can also make the exercise more challenging by extending your feet further out in front of you and straightening your knees.
Get more helpful tips on doing v-sits.
Looking for a challenging warm-up move that may open up your hips and thoracic spine? Then you’ll want to add groiners into your pre-workout routine. Funny name, but an excellent mobility exercise that is great to do before a run, prior to a leg workout or any time you’re looking for a dynamic warm-up to get the blood flowing. Here’s how to do groiners:
- Start in a push-up position with narrow hand width and a tight midsection.
- Jump both feet up simultaneously as close to the hands as possible.
- Pause for a couple seconds, holding a proper deep squat position while taking in a deep breath or two.
- Jump the feet back to the starting position.
- Repeat for 10-12 total reps.
Here are some modifications for goiners exercise.
The single knee raise, often called the bicycle crunch, is a great all-around core exercise that targets your upper abdominal muscle (rectus abdominus), your outer abdominal muscles (obliques) and your deeper abdominal muscles (transverse abdominus). Take it slow for a solid core workout. Once you perfect the form, try and vary the speed during the reps to get a real sweat going. Here’s how to do a bicycle crunch:
- Lie flat on the floor (on your back) with your knees bent and hands lightly clasped behind your head.
- Contract your core muscles by drawing in your abdomen to stabilize your spine.
- Slowly raise your knees (bring your feet off of the floor) to a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly begin a bicycle motion by bringing your right knee in towards your upper body while the left leg extends straight out.
- Rotate your left elbow toward the right knee as it comes in.
- Return to the starting position before alternating and rotating your right elbow toward your left knee.
- Continue alternating for 8-12 reps per side.
Get more helpful tips on doing bicycle crunches.
Looking to target those love handles a bit during your core training? Then it’s time to add in heel touches. This simple but effective exercise not only targets those often-overlooked oblique muscles, but also goes a long way to help build overall strength through the core and help with things such as good posture and preventing low back pain. Here's how to do heel touches:
- Lie on the floor (on your back) with your knees bent and feet about 18-24 inches apart.
- Extend your arms out to each side of your body and raise your shoulders slightly off the ground.
- Using your abdominal muscles, reach your right hand toward the heel of your right foot. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
- Continue slowly alternating for 8-12 reps per side.
Get more helpful tips on doing heel touches.
With a push-up, by simply using your own body weight you can strengthen the arms, chest, shoulders and core. Add some challenge to your regular push-ups by doing a Spiderman pushup. This push-up will add some movement through the hips while giving the core (specifically the obliques) a good challenge. Here's how to do a Spiderman pushup:
- Start in a standard push-up position with your body in good alignment from head to toe and your hands placed directly under your shoulders.
- As you lower your body toward the floor and start the decent portion of the push-up, lift your right foot and bring your knee in toward your right elbow.
- Pause briefly as your chest is an inch or two from the floor.
- As you push yourself back up, return the right leg back to its starting position.
- Repeat on the left side and continue alternating for 10-12 reps.
Get more tips on doing Spiderman push-ups.
Have you become bored with regular old planks? Then the plank tap may be just what you’re looking for. This move is a great alternative to planks and strengthens your core, glutes, arms, wrists and shoulders. Here's how to do a plank tap:
- Start in a push-up plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in good alignment.
- Slowly lift up one hand to touch your opposite shoulder or chest area before returning to the start position.
- Alternate arms.
- Perform 8-10 taps per side.
Get more tips on doing plank taps.
The muscles of the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, etc.) are often the most ignored when it comes to workouts, yet they are some of the most important muscles to focus on. A great way to target the posterior chain muscles with absolutely no equipment is the single leg glute bridge, which is also an excellent core exercise. Here's how to do a glute bridge:
- Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are under your knees.
- Tighten your abdominal and glute muscles.
- Raise your hips up to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. This is the double leg glute bridge position and is a good starting point for beginners.
- Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine.
- Slowly raise and extend one leg while keeping your pelvis raised and level. If your hips sag or drop, place the leg back on the floor and return to a double leg bridge until you become stronger.
- Hold the bridge position for 20-30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
Get more more helpful tips on doing a glute bridge.
This post is sponsored by Johnson Fitness & Wellness.
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