This is a great workout to work those legs and engage your core. This is a circuit I did at the gym last week and LOVED! So of course I wanted to share – not only the workout but my personal experience and thoughts on it as well.
This is a weight training workout – but I really focused on keeping my heart rate elevated as well. Be sure to take the time to get the form correct, but try to rest minimally between exercises. I’ve integrated a few exercises that are meant to be done at a faster pace. Keeping your heart rate up will insure more calorie burn, especially post-workout when combined with the weight training.
I did this workout in about 50 minutes (warm-up included) and I burned 479+ calories!! Weight training is great because you continue to burn calories 24 hours or more post-workout!
The first group of exercises will work your legs primarily. Be mindful of your core and keep it engaged. Do 3 sets of these before moving on to the second group, which will work your entire core. I will advice you when you should pick up the pace or slow it down. I started with a 10 minute warm-up.
10 minute walk on treadmill (4.0 speed and 6.5 incline) – Keep your arms pumping and do not hold on. If the incline or speed are too challenging then drop either or both. The incline will get your hamstrings warmed up.
Group 1 – 3 sets
Bosu Ball Side Step-ups (12 reps/side) – Stand to the right side of a bosu ball (flat side down) with your left foot placed in the middle of the ball, your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Squat down and then come up onto your left foot, raising your right leg up knee to chest. Pause briefly and land right foot back down into a squat and repeat. This should be a continuous flow – try to do this as quickly as possible while maintaining balance. I do running arms with my arms, but you can hold them in front of you at your chest or on your hips – whichever keeps you balanced. If you don’t have a bosu ball, you can use a step or low bench. Complete all reps, then repeat on the other side.
Elevated Deadlifts (12-15 reps) – For these deadlifts, you will stand with each foot on a box or bench that are about a foot apart. I used a 30lb weight in each hand, but you can also use a barbell. Start with a lighter weight if you don’t do a lot of deadlifts. Being elevated adds challenge to the normal deadlift by maintaining a little more balance than usual. Stand with a slight bend in the knees and slowly lower the weight down toward the front of your feet. Only go as low as comfortable – and until you feel a decent stretch in your hamstrings. Lift back up keeping your weight toward your heels and using your hamstrings to lift you, and squeeze your gluts at the top. The pace should be 2-3 counts down and 1 count up. If you don’t have 2 boxes, you can stand with both feet on one platform. Do 12 reps if using a heavier weight, and 15 if using lighter weight. With 60 lbs I couldn’t do much more than 12 reps!
Quick Clean and Press (12 reps) – For these use a lighter weight than you may usual use for a clean and press. I used a 30lb barbell. The idea here is to do these as quickly as possible and continually from rep to rep.
Group 2 – 3 sets
Standing Diagonal Obliques (12 reps/side) – This move is somewhat inspired by kickboxing. I just added some weight to it! I used a 10lb medicine ball. Hold a weight or medicine ball with both hands overhead and to the right. Almost all of your weight will be on your right leg with the left extended almost straight out to the side with your toes touching the ground. Bring your left leg up and to the right toward your chest as you lower the weight down to the left. Extend both back to start briefly and repeat. Keep the weight focused on your standing leg and keep your core engaged. Do these as quickly as you can while keeping balanced. Complete all reps then switch sides. You can also do this without weight – place your hands behind your head and lift your knee and twist to meet the opposite elbow to your knee (see pic).
Oblique Sit-ups (10 reps/side alternating) – I used the same 10lb medicine ball I used for the previous exercise for this one – but use whatever works for you. You can also do the without weight. Lay flat with legs straight, holding the weight (or with hands together) straight back on the ground. Sit up and twist and lower the weight (or hands) down to the right hip – keeping your arms and legs straight. Raise arms back up overhead and lower back down. Repeat twisting to the left. Continue alternating sides. It’s key to keep your arms straight overhead, and hands together if you aren’t using weight. Do these at a steady pace, just be sure not to lower back to laying too quickly.
Dead Bug (10 reps/side alternating) – This is one of my new favorite ab exercises. It’s a little deceiving and worked my abs harder than I thought it would! Lie faceup on floor with knees bent, feet flexed, holding a stability ball in front of chest. Your shins are parallel to floor, and the ball is suspended above your torso by pressing into it with hands (arms extended) and knees (see pic). Simultaneously lower right arm directly behind head and extend left leg forward so that both hover a few inches off floor. Bring right arm and left knee to touch ball again. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Keep the ball as steady as possible, and keep your lower abs engaged so that your back remains flat. I used a large weighted medicine ball – the added weight makes it even tougher!