A lightning-quick circuit you can sweat¬†through when you‚Äôve got just 15 minutes¬†to get fitter, leaner and healthier.
If you‚Äôre short on time, yet big on¬†lean ambitions, then circuits should¬†be your weapons of choice. In fact,¬†they‚Äôre so effective that studies in the¬†Journal of Strength and Conditioning¬†Research found doing them for eight¬†weeks made people lose more fat than¬†traditional sets, all while still gaining more¬†muscle and strength. The real kicker is that¬†you only have to do one set on each exercise.
Although this runs contrary to reason,¬†research in the European Journal of Applied¬†Physiology found that doing one set on a¬†circuit burnt as many calories 72 hours after¬†the workout as doing three sets did.
The workout below uses that weird science¬†to your advantage. Circuits don‚Äôt limit you¬†to a single rep-range and can use different¬†exercises to keep shocking your body while¬†maintaining a high level of motivation by¬†keeping things fresh and interesting. Use it to¬†sharpen up your cuts and increase your fitness¬†in record time.
Works: shoulders, chest,¬†triceps, abs
- Lie prone on the ground.¬†Support your body with the¬†balls of your feet and have¬†your hands narrower than¬†shoulder-width apart. Have¬†a training partner place a¬†weight plate on your back.
- Bend your elbows to¬†lower yourself to the floor,¬†then straighten them to¬†return to the start position.
Works: biceps, forearms, lats
- Grab the parallel handles of a chin-up station, so your¬†palms face each other. Hang with straight arms.
- Bend your elbows until your chin crosses the bar,¬†then lower to the start position.
Works: glutes, hamstrings,¬†quads, calves, abs
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width¬†apart in front of a bench.¬†Rest a barbell on the backs of¬†your shoulders.
- Bend your¬†hips and knees to lower yourself¬†towards the bench. Stop when your¬†glutes rest on it and straighten your¬†legs to the start position.
LYING HAMSTRING¬†BALL CURL
Works: hamstrings, abs
- Lie supine on the¬†floor with your calves¬†resting on a Swiss¬†ball and your arms¬†outstretched.
- Squeeze your¬†glutes and bend your¬†knees to raise your¬†hips off the floor and¬†roll the ball towards your¬†backside. Straighten your¬†legs to roll the ball away from you.
STANDING DUMBBELL¬†SHOULDER PRESS
Muscles: shoulders, abs
- Stand with your feet¬†shoulder-width apart. Hold a¬†dumbbell in each hand and¬†hoist them up so they‚Äôre on¬†either side of your head.
- Straighten your arms to push¬†the weights above your head.¬†Lower back to the start.
ABS WHEEL ROLLOUT
Works: abs, shoulders, lower back
- Kneel in front of an abs wheel and¬†place your hands on the handles.
- Roll the wheel forward,¬†extending your body as far as you¬†can without letting your hips¬†sag. Pause for two seconds,¬†then reverse the move to¬†return to the start.