In a previous post on bodyweight exercises we mentioned that one of the many benefits of these exercises is their efficiency, toning and weight loss. Aside from allowing you to get fit practically anywhere, these powerful workouts also offer the ability to train at a faster rate than you would with strength training or cardio workouts that require equipment. Whether you are traveling without fitness equipment or simply don’t have enough time for a long workout routine, it’s great to have a quick bodyweight exercise circuit in your back pocket so that you don’t skip a day of training. When your workout time is limited, here is a powerful bodyweight exercise circuit that we recommend for strength, weight loss and toning.
The 12 Minute Bodyweight Circuit
The following circuit incorporates some of the most powerful bodyweight exercises into one 12-minute workout. Perform the following series of workouts 3 times back-to-back with 10-second rest periods in between each exercise and you will be feel as though you’ve spent an hour at the gym in a fraction of the time:
- 30 second plank – Move your body into pushup position with your forearms on the ground. With your elbows below your shoulders, keep your body straight and elevated. This will engage your core and back muscles.
- 30 second bodyweight squat – Stand tall with your arms stretched straight out in front of you. In one smooth motion push your hips back and lowe r your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to the standing position and repeat until the 30 seconds are up. This will engage your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.
- 30 second pushups – Return to plank position and place your hands on the ground slightly wider than hip-width apart. Lower your body downward until your chest is roughly an inch above the floor. Return to starting position and repeat this exercise until the 30 seconds are up. This movement will strengthen and tone your chest, shoulders and triceps.
- 30 second jumping jacks – Stand straight while keeping your feet together and hands at your sides. Jump in the air while spreading out both your legs and raising your arms above your head. As soon as you land, jump right back to the starting position and repeat for 30 seconds. This exercise will improve your cardiovascular system and promote healthy blood flow through all major muscle groups of your body.
- 30 second crunch – Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and knees bent. With your fingers laced behind your head, move your head and shoulders forward toward your pelvis and return to starting position. Repeat this motion for 30 seconds to work your core.
- 30 second lunge – With your shoulders back and back straight step forward with one leg. Lower your hip until your front knee is above your ankle at about a 90 degree bend. Push back to starting position with your heels, switch legs and repeat. Continue to do this motion for 30 seconds to tone and strengthen your leg muscles.
Add home gym equipment to expand your circuit
If you are looking to bring your bodyweight training circuit to the next level, there are some useful pieces of home gym equipment that will expand your workout possibilities even more. For example, there are dozens of powerful pullup variations that will bulk up your back, core and upper body when done frequently. Pullups can be done on several of our home gym pieces including the SteelBody STB-98005 Monster Cage, SteelBody STB-98010 Full Rack/Utility Trainer and SteelBody STB-98501 Power Tower or Apex TC-1800 Fitness Station. The Power Tower and Fitness station also offer vertical knee raise stations for additional leg-developing bodyweight workouts, while the Apex Roman Chair/Hyper Extension Bench offers another level of highly-effective core strength training workouts.