Written by Nichelle Laus. Follow her @nichellelaus.
Some of the best workouts are the ones where you just don’t stop moving. Working through one exercise after the other not only guarantees you’ll work multiple body parts while boosting your heart rate, but also it saves time. This is why this routine is great for days when you’ve only got a short window to exercise. All you need is a few feet of floor space, and a weight plate.
Warm up with five minutes of dynamic movements such as skipping, jumping jacks, and mountain climbers.
- This four-week circuit-style workout will keep you on your toes, and your heart rate going! It consists of six exercises, which target all areas of the body.
- Start with the first exercise, then continue to the next exercise with little or no rest until all the exercises are complete.
- For weeks 1 to 2: Once all the exercises in the circuit are complete, rest 90 seconds, and repeat the entire circuit 2 more times.
- For week 3: Once all the exercises in the circuit are complete, rest 60 seconds, and repeat the entire circuit 2 more times.
- For week 4: Once all the exercises in the circuit are complete, rest 60 seconds, and repeat the entire circuit 3 more times.
- As you can see, as the weeks progress, the circuit gets more challenging. Record your results, so you can keep track of your progress.
|Exercises||Weeks 1–2||Week 3||Week 4|
|Chest Press||10 reps||12 reps||10 reps|
|Weighted Bench Dip||10 reps||12 reps||10 reps|
|Bent Over Plate Row||10||12||10|
|Overhead Squat Press||10 reps||15 reps||20 reps|
|Hamstring Curl||10 reps||12 reps||10 reps|
|Russian Twist||10 reps each side||12 reps each side||10 reps each side|
What it targets: Chest
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold two weight plates together between both hands, fingertips pointing forward, at chest height. Keep constant pressure on the plates throughout to keep them from falling. Brace your core and keep your shoulders down.
Leading with your fingertips, slowly extend your elbows as far as you can to press the plates perpendicularly out and away from your body in line with your chest. Once fully extended, pause, then flex through your elbows to return to the starting position.
Weighted Bench Dip
What it targets: Triceps
Sit on the inside of one of two benches placed parallel to each other. Place your hands on the edge of the bench. Straighten your arms, slide your rear end off the edge of the bench, and position your heels on the adjacent bench with your legs straight. Have someone place a weight on your lap near your hips.
Lower your body by bending your arms until a slight stretch is felt in your chest or shoulders, or your rear end touches the floor. Raise your body to return to the starting position.
Bent Over Plate Row
What it targets: Back
Stand holding a weight plate with your hands gripping the sides. Hinge from your hips and lean over, keeping your back flat. Pull the weight back and up toward the middle of your chest, and return to the starting position.
Overhead Squat Press
What it targets: Shoulders, quads, glutes
Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Lift a weight plate over your head by fully extending your arms upward. Drop down by hinging at your hips and bending your knees. Keep your weight back in your stance as you descend, until your knees and hips are fully bent or until your thighs are just past parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position by extending your knees and hips.
What it targets: Hamstrings
Lie face up, knees bent, with a plate under each heel. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
Push the plates away from your body with your heels. Once your legs are fully extended, pull the plates back in toward your butt with your heels, raising your toes off the ground to activate your glutes and hamstrings.
What it targets: Obliques
Sit on the floor with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Hold a weight straight out in front of you and keep your back straight (your torso should be at about 45 degrees to the floor). Twist your torso as far as you can to the left, and then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right. That’s one rep.