It's easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut with your training, doing the same old things without really testing yourself or noticing improvements.
Variety is key to any gym routine, both from a motivational and results perspective, and circuits are a great way to get the most out of your time.
Station 1: Running
Equipment needed: Treadmill
Time: Two minutes
Cadence: Round one begins with a comfortable 2 minute walk, round two increases into a jog with effort and round three is a 2 minute bust sitting at 80/90 % of your maximum effort.
To get your muscles warmed up and ready for action, head to the treadmill.
Focus on form and technique, and be aware of your posture. Shoulder blades should be relaxed, and your back and ribs should feel long. Position your elbows slightly away from body, and keep your eyes focused ahead, not down, to keep your airwaves open. Run through the front foot and focus on your hamstrings pulling the heel up towards your backside
Your breathing should be steady, natural and relaxed until the 3rd effort in round 3.
Station 2: Decline push ups and squats (15 of each)
Equipment needed: Box
Time: One minute push ups, one minute squats
Cadence: Two seconds down, two seconds up
Decline push ups
Decline push ups target the shoulders, Triceps, back and upper chest more than a standard push up does, as it engages more of your body weight. So… get into the push up position and place your feet on the box. Lower your chest down, keeping your body long and retract your shoulder blades. Bend your elbows, using your biceps as lowering mechanism. Squeeze your chest muscles and engage your core whilst not allowing your hips to drop. The cadence for this exercise is two seconds down, two seconds up, so don’t be tempted to hammer them out! Be mindful of your posture. Keep your body and ribs feeling ‘long’ and keep your heels back. If you struggle with full push ups, go on to your knees remembering to keep your inside thighs engaged.
Using the exact same timing – two seconds up, two seconds down – you squat down so your bottom touches the edge of the box. Keep your body long and shoulder blades back. Push your bottom back and sink from the hips, keeping your back straight. Lower your hips to just below knee depth, pull inner thighs together on the way up, and make sure you engage your glutes at the top. Breathe in on the way down, and out on the way up.
Once finished, straight on the next station. NO REST! Grab a bench and a skipping rope… Go, go, go!
Station 3: Skipping and triceps dips (15 reps)
Equipment needed: Skipping rope and box
Time: One minute skipping, one minute triceps dips Skipping – as fast as you can while retaining form and posture. Triceps dip: Two seconds down, two seconds up
Keep your body long and feet relaxed. Skip while keeping shoulder blades back. Aim for one jump per revolution of skipping rope, but if that’s a struggle you can do an additional jump in between. Keep your feet relaxed
Place your hands on your bench, fingers pointing back to you. Lower hips down and bend from elbows lowing your body weight down, Press back up by extending the back of your arm whilst contracting your triceps.
Rest? Not for us! Keep going
Station 4: Lateral squats and deadball slams
Equipment needed: Step with 2 blocks and a deadball
Time: Four reps of each until two minutes is up
Cadence: Lateral squats – one second in, one second out. Deadball slams – as fast as feels comfortable, while retaining form and posture.
Set up step (aligned vertically to body) with two blocks underneath each end. Feet start together on step, and step sideways and down with your left foot, pressing bottom back and lowering hips towards floor.
Step back in while engaging inner thighs, and join feet together. Then repeat with the right foot. Timing one second in, one second out, and in and out on both sides is a full rep.
Stand straight and hold your deadball. Lift the deadball above your head but not behind it, and slam the ball at the floor. Squat down with your bottom back and hips down, and bring ball back up.
Station 5: Kettlebell swing and mountain climbers
Equipment needed: Kettlebell
Time: Four reps of each until two minutes is up
Cadence: Begin with a steady controlled pace, while retaining form and posture.
Stand holding kettlebell in both hands by the handle, palm facing in. Start with feet just outside hip line, toes point away soft knees. Push bottom out with your hips down and swing kettle bell up, keeping your ribs long and shoulder blades down and back. Remember, the kettlebell range must stay forward on the body and not extend behind the head.
Get on the floor in a push up position, arms strong and straight, aligned with shoulders. Engage your core and alternately draw your thighs towards your ribs extending your leg away from you in a slow and controlled movement.
Grab some water, take a two minute break, and then repeat. And repeat!
Remember, our Balance staff are here to help, so if you have any questions about any of these exercises, or would like advice on building your own circuit in the gym, just ask!