Are you looking for fun ways to freshen up your workout? With a change of season around the corner, now is the perfect time to start spring cleaning your fitness routine.
During the long winter months, it’s common to get into a workout rut, sticking with the same stale exercises every day. But over time, these predictable movement patterns cause your brain and body to become bored.
For fitness to flourish, you must satisfy your craving for change and challenge. One of the best ways to do this is by trying something new, such as circuit training. This method involves choosing five to eight exercises that, when put together, target multiple muscle groups. You practice each part with little rest in between exercises, then repeat the entire sequence two to three times.
Not only is this form of exercise more exciting, it also can boost the metabolism, enhance endurance, improve cardiovascular health, and yield greater physical gains. It’s a great way to ward off potential injuries, too, because you’re engaging a variety of muscle groups instead of the same ones constantly.
For the following total-body circuit, you will need a set of free weights that provides a good challenge. Try to keep rest breaks to 60 seconds or less so your heart rate is elevated from start to finish, but take more time if you need it. Once you complete the first round, rest for three minutes and repeat the entire circuit two more times.
Side plank squeeze
Rest on your right side, propping your weight up on your right forearm. The shoulder and elbow will be aligned and legs are stacked.
Engage your core as you push through your forearm, feet, and hips to elevate the body into a straight line from the head through the feet.
Once balanced, lift your left arm overhead. Bring the left elbow and left knee in until they almost touch. Squeeze the obliques, on the sides of your abdomen, for two counts. Release and repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
Stand in a staggered stance with the left leg in front and arms extended overhead. Both feet are pointed forward.
Lower the arms and lift the right knee to activate the abs. Hold this pose for two counts then release. Rapidly repeat this movement eight times, then switch sides. Make sure your grounded leg is stable. If you feel your knee wobbling as you move, slow down to regain balance.
Squat shoulder press
Stand tall with a weight in each hand. Feet are slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bring the weights up to shoulder height, palms facing in.
With your weight in your heels, hinge back at the hips and lower into a squat. Hold for two counts.
Simultaneously push through the heels and extend the arms up. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times.
Reverse lunge lift
Begin by standing with the feet hip-distance apart with your hands resting on your hips.
Take a step back with the right foot, keeping your body weight in your front heel as you lower into a lunge. The knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, the shoulders are over the hips, and your back knee is under your hip.
Hold for two counts, then push through your front heel to stand and drive your right knee up toward the torso. Keep the left foot in place as you perform seven more reps. When complete, switch sides.
Pump your arms and legs quickly, landing lightly on the balls of your feet, 15 times.
Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach in South Jersey. Learn more about her virtual training program at ashleyblakefitness.com.