THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON FIT AND ME.
Think you can’t get a tough strength and cardio workout in under half an hour? Think you need to go to the gym or buy a lot of equipment to get fit? Put away the excuses and let us show you how you can build a powerful, effective workout that needs only your commitment and your own body to get the job done.
We’ll show you how you can put together a sequence of bodyweight exercises to build a high intensity circuit that you can do anytime and anywhere, whatever your fitness level. These best bodyweight circuit exercises will get your muscles working and your heart rate up!
Why do Bodyweight Exercises?
Bodyweight exercises are exercises that use your own body weight as the resistance tool. That means you don’t need special equipment to get your workout done! Your own weight is plenty tough enough to move if you choose the right exercises, so don’t think you have to have a set of weights handy to get a real workout in. If you move it right and move it fast, your body will also provide you with enough resistance for a rigorous cardio effort that will get your heart rate up, even in a small space. You don’t need a treadmill or a bike to get that speed and endurance workout!
That’s what makes bodyweight workouts great – there are no excuses. You can do them anytime, anywhere. If you are traveling, have a small space, can only workout for a short time or at odd hours, or don’t have (or can’t afford) a gym membership or a lot of gym equipment at home, then bodyweight is for you.
What’s Circuit Training All About?
‘Circuit Training’ is based on the concept of ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ (HIIT). This principle is that you get stronger and fitter – faster – by working at a very high intensity for a short period, and interspersing rest intervals between your ‘sets’. This is a proven method for getting the most out of your workout time and reducing your risk of injury.
A ‘circuit’ is a sequence of short movements, repeated a few or several times with a short period of rest in between. With a circuit, you’ll be able to get more reps in, because you only work each muscle area for a short time, but you keep your whole body working hard the whole way through. This allows the lactic acid buildup in your muscles (the ‘burn’) to ease up and keeps your heart working hard moving blood from one muscle group to the next. The best circuits will have you alternating between upper body, core, and lower body movements to keep your heart rate up!
You can also add intense cardio movements to your circuit. These moves don’t work any muscle group too hard, and let the lactic acid disperse, but keeps up the effort to get the maximum benefit of the circuit. We’ll show you some of the best bodyweight exercises for each of these – lower body, core, upper body, and cardio – that you can use in a circuit, and best of all, none of them need any special equipment!