Thursday 31 March 2011

Circuit Matrix

Okay, as promised here is the circuit training I talked about in yesterdays post. Circuit training is a great cardiovascular and weight bearing mix, which gives you the best time crunched workout possible. A circuit can be built in an incalculable amount of ways, so to introduce you to it (for those who haven't given circuits a shot that is) I've created a matrix to build your circuits from, and well as I'll give some sample workouts to get you started. Here we go!

Choose exercises from the following categories:

Arms: Push Up - Plank - Tricep Dips
Abs/Back: Plank - Crunches - Pilates Hundred - Swimmer - Table Top Extension
Legs: Squats - Calf Raise - Wall Sit - Lunges - Kicks
Cardio: Jumping Jacks - Burpees - Pylo Jumps - Shadow Box - Step Ups

To have a maintain a higher intensity during your workout, incorporate free weights into these moves, have no rest breaks, or insert a cardio burst between each move.

Here are a couple of sample circuits for you to give a shot:

1)     20 minutes total - each move preformed for one minute, rotating through line up:
jumping jacks -  push ups  - squats  -  swimmer -  step ups - tricep dips  - lunges  - plank 

2)    Complete for time (meaning, go as fast as you can through this work out):
20 burpees  -  Pilates hundred  -  20 push ups  -  25 squats  -  20 tricep dips  -  15 burpees  - Pilates hundred  -  15 push ups  -  20 squats  -  15 tricep dips  -  10 burpees  -  Pilates hundred  -  10 push ups  -  15 squats  -  10 tricep dips -  25 burpees

3) Insert step ups between the  following moves, rotating through line up total of four times:
Start with three minutes of step ups (one minute leading with left foot, then one foot leading with right foot, then one minute of two foot hops onto the step) - 10 push ups  -  10 each side table top extensions  -  20 walking lunges - 15 tricep dips  -  30 bicycle crunches - 30 second wall sit

Here is a description of the less commonly known moves listed above:

Plank: lay on your stomach on the floor. Place the palms of your hands flat on the floor, positioned directly below your shoulders. Pushing up, straighten the arms, and hold your body in a straight line with just your toes and palms of your hands touching the floor.

Tricep Dips:  Sit on the edge of a chair or bench, with your legs extended out straight in front of you and resting on the floor. Place the palms of your hands on the edge of the seat next to your bottom, and push up so you are holding your body weight with your arms. Move your body forward slightly so that your body can lower in front of your chair, and then bending at the elbows, dip your body down slowly, then slowly raise it back up. That is one rep.

Pilates Hundred:  Lay on the floor on your back with your arms down at your sides. Keeping your legs glued together, raise them off the floor to a 90 degree angle, and lift your head off the floor, tucking your chin to your chest. Lower the legs, still glued together, until they are as close to the floor as you can maintain without your lower back lifting off the floor. Lift your arms off the floor a few inches, and pump them at your sides while holding your body position. Pump your arms one hundred times.

Swimmer: lay on your stomach on the floor, arms extended by ears, legs straight. Lift left leg off floor at the same time as lifting the right arm off the leg. As you lower these back to the floor, lift the opposite arm and leg off the floor. essentially mimicking the swimming movement. That is one rep.

Table Top Extensions: On your hands and knees, lift one arm out in front of you, while lifting the opposite leg out behind you. Bring back down. Repeat with opposite arm and leg. That is one rep.

Squats: Standing, with feet hips width apart, sit back as if you're going to sit in a chair, holding for a moment at the 90 knee bend, not letting the knees extend past the toes.Stand back up. That is one rep.

(I like this picture haha! Reminds me of awesome hubby...dreamy)

Wall Sit: Hold a squat with your back resting against the wall.

Lunge: standing with feet hip width apart, take a step forward with the right foot, bending at the knee and dipping down towards the ground. Knee should not extend past the toe. Push back to standing with the back foot, swinging it to the forward position, and back down into a lunge. That is one set.

 Kicks: These give you options. You can kick forwards, backwards, and to the sides. Do not 'pop' the knee with uncontrolled movements, but keep the kick slow, controlled, and focused.

Burpees: Otherwise known as 'man makers', this move has a few steps. Start in a standing position, go down to a push up. As you push up, get back to your feet, and raise your arms overhead as you jump. That is one rep.

Pylo jumps: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Crouch into a squat, and explode up into a jump as high as you can. Land on the balls of your feet.

The only equipment you need for all of the moves I've included in the circuit matrix is your body, so get started today! There are no excuses anymore!

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