We all have those days when we can’t make it to the gym but still want to work out. This strength circuit can easily be done at home in 30 minutes and will challenge your lower and upper body, toning and building strength.
Don’t have any weights at home? No problem. You can easily make your own. Substitute barbells and dumbbells with common pantry staples such as tins of beans, bottles of milk, bags of rice, sugar or flour. Use two equally weighted items in place of a barbell. Instead of a medicine ball, try using a soft backpack filled with heavy clothes or a heavy cushion. If the items are slippery, try tying some rubber bands around them for more grip.
Using these items can even be beneficial as lifting things with unevenly distributed weight activates tiny muscles, challenges your stability and works your brain.
INTERMEDIATE: 30 SECONDS PER EXERCISE WITH 30 SECONDS REST IN BETWEEN EACH SET. COMPLETE 2-3 CIRCUITS.
ADVANCED: 40 SECONDS PER EXERCISE WITH 20 SECONDS REST IN BETWEEN EACH SET. COMPLETE 5 CIRCUITS.
Move 1: Upright Row
This is a great shoulder strengthening exercise. Use either a barbell, 2x dumbbells or 2x home weights.
- Rest the weights on the top of your thighs with your arms extended, a slight bend in your elbows and a straight back
- Exhale and use the sides of your shoulders to lift the weights, raising your elbows up and to the side
- Keeping the weights close to your body, continue to lift until they nearly touch your chin. Remember, your elbows should drive the move and should always be higher than your forearms
- Lower back down slowly to the starting position
Move 2: Standing Military Press
This move will also help to build strong shoulders. Use either a barbell, 2x dumbbells or 2x home weights.
- Slightly bend the knees and place the weights on your collar bone
- Lift the weights up over your head by locking your arms
- Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head
- Lower down to the collarbone slowly as you inhale
- Lift back up to the starting position as you exhale
Move 3: Wrist Curls & Extensions
Wrist curls are excellent for building a firm wrist. Use either a barbell, 2x dumbbells or 2x home weights.
- While standing with a shoulder width stance, hold the weights by your thighs with an overhand grip
- Using just your wrists (your arms should be extended and stationary in front of your body), curl the weight towards your body by flexing your wrists, then fully extend your wrists by doing a reverse curl
Move 4: Bent Over Barbell Row
This move will strengthen your back. Use either a barbell, 2x dumbbells or 2x home weights.
- Start by holding the weights with your palms facing down, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. The weights should hang directly in front of you
- While keeping your torso stationary, breathe out and lift the weights towards you
- At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a brief moment
- Inhale and slowly lower the weights back to the starting position
Move 5: Overhead Medicine Ball Slams
Overhead slams are great for building strength in your core. When doing this move, make sure your core is braced the whole time – this will help to strengthen your abs and support your back.
- Holding the medicine ball or cushion/bag, lift it up over your head, then forcefully throw it to the ground
- When picking the weight back up, make sure you bend your knees
Move 6: Russian Twists
This move will strengthen the core and help protect your lower back from injury. Use either 1x dumbbell or 1x home weights.
- Start in a seated position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor and hold one weight with both hands in front of chest
- Keeping the spine long and the abs braced, lean back slightly and lift your feet slightly off the floor
- Slowly twist the torso to the left and bring the weight beside the left hip
- Return to the centre, and then slowly twist to the right and bring the weight beside the right hip to complete one rotation