Circuit Training

by Natural Health

Get Creative with Circuit Training at Home or Outdoors

Whether you’ve been working out in a home gym or have been able to go back to a local fitness center, it’s inevitable that, at some point, you’ll get bored with your exercise routine. This is where circuit training comes in, inspiring creativity in your routine and putting the mojo back in your motivation.

Circuit Training incorporates a set number of stations of exercises targeting all the major muscle groups in one workout. A typical circuit takes 30-45 minutes to complete. However, more seasoned exercisers can intensify their workout with advanced movements for a shorter time of 20-30 minutes. In a gym setting, traditional circuit training involves the use of body weight only movements, machines, and free weights. The exercises are performed in sequence for 1-3 rounds with a specific amount of rest between each round. At each exercise station, 12-15 reps would be completed. Today, exercise stations include more variety of exercises and can include balls, bands, and suspension training stations. Additionally, the number of reps, total number of stations, and rest-work periods can be varied for different workout goals, such as enhancing muscle endurance or cardiovascular fitness.

If you’re ready to get out of the home gym or fitness center and enjoy circuit training, try these routines:

Drill Sergeant’s Circuit incorporates mostly body weight exercise stations. If you have a fitness trail near you, this is a great place for this workout. It includes: pushups, dips, sit-ups, pull-ups using different hand grips, squats with or without a medicine ball, plyometric jump squats, sprints, bear crawls and any other movement from a boot camp protocol. To up the challenge, wear a weighted vest during the workout.

Team Sports Circuit incorporates exercises based on sports movements such as soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, and baseball. Here you might have kicking drills using a ball and a target, sprints, lateral scooting style moves, full-body thrusts against a padded sled or sled pushes/pulls, jumping, shooting, and twisting moves or drills. Whatever the move or drill, it mimics, or is related to, the conditioning of a move from a sport.

On the Ball Circuit involves the use of various size therapy balls, possibly light hand-held weights, and medicine balls. Included squats, crunches, leg lifts, and a wide variety of movements using different balls.

Hit The Trail Circuit is done outdoors where you can run, walk, sprint, side shuffle, and use the elements of nature around you (tree limbs, branches, inclines and declines) to squat, jump, and swing your way into shape.

For more ideas see this resource.

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