GYM AND CIRCUIT TRAINING ROUTINES
GYM CIRCUIT FOR A FAST PACED EXCITING WORKOUT
Create your own circuit training workout
If an hour in the gym or jogging around the park leaves you cold, get fit with this exciting, flexible routine that you can follow anywhere.
Circuit training is exciting and fast paced. Circuit workouts involve moving from exercise to exercise quite quickly. Not only is it fun and demanding it also works your muscles and your heart and lungs.
If you like exercising with other people you could try joining a class at your local health and fitness centre. However, the great thing about circuit training is that you can customize your own program that you can do at home, in the gym or outside.
Try one or all of these 3 sample circuits for inspiration.
Next go to dips on a chair. Start by sitting on a stable bench or chair. Lift your bottom off the chair, bend your knees and rest the palms of your hands on the seat. Keeping your back straight, chin down and body close to the chair lower yourself down to a ninety degree angle so your elbows are level with your shoulders. Repeat ten to twenty times.
The last exercise in the circuit is a set of 20-25 stomach crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent, hands by the side of your head and elbows out. As you breathe out curl your head, shoulders and upper back off the floor for the count of 2 then slowly lower back down again. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor.
Stretch and cool down.
In the gym: try doing this circuit three to six times.
Start your workout by warming up on a piece of aerobic equipment – such as the treadmill, stationary bike, rowing machine or stepper – for a few minutes then stretch.
The first exercise of your circuit should be five minutes on a different piece of aerobic equipment than you used in the warm-up. This should be a little bit faster than your warm-up pace.
Next do a set of 10-20 lunges and squats. If you usually use weights while doing these in the gym pick a slightly lighter weight than usual and concentrate on making your moves slow and controlled.
Follow this with 20 straight-leg or kneeling push-ups, 20 bicep curls and 20 tricep kick-backs. For the kickbacks bend forward so that your back is horizontal. Bend your knees and raise your left elbow until it is level with your back. Holding a weight in your left hand extend your forearm back so that your arm is straight. Remember to pull in your tummy to protect your lower back. Swap sides.
Follow this with a set of 10-20 one-arm rows. Place your right hand and knee on a bench. Lean forward – your back should be almost parallel to the floor. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and start with it hanging straight down to the floor, knuckles facing your thigh. Slowly bend your left elbow and lift the dumbbell. Do not raise your elbow higher than your back. Slowly release.
Finish with a set of 20-25 stomach crunches.
Cool down and stretch
Outside: try doing this circuit 4-6 times.
Many parks have exercise circuits already set up, but don’t dive straight in. You should always warm up and stretch first.
Use your imagination. Your first exercise could be running up and down a small hill or stepping up and down on a low step (never lift your leg higher than 90 degrees) for 4-6 minutes.
Next do 10-20 lunges, squats, press-ups and triceps dips using a bench in the park.
10-20 standing stomach crunches. Stand with your legs hip-width apart and hold your arms out in front of you, bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Now lift your left knee towards your right elbow. Make sure your knee gets above waist height each time and be careful not to lower your elbow to meet your knee. Keep your back straight, tilt your pelvis forward and pull your abdominals in.
If it is slightly wet outside do your cool down and stretch at home where it is dry and warm. If you walked to the park keep up a brisk pace on your way back home to keep your heart rate up.