Here is a no-equipment circuit that not only works the shoulders, abs and legs, but also your balance, coordination and flexibility in 30 minutes. I think it’s a nice routine when you’re in need of a no-equipment workout, but you don’t feel like doing all the ‘traditional’ moves like push-ups, dips, squats and lunges. The workout’s moves are mainly inspired by Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution program.
The workout consists of a circuit of 10 exercises. I perform each exercise for 50 seconds with 10-second breaks between exercises (I use the free gym-boss app). You could also perform this circuit without timer by doing 10 to 12 reps per exercise.
The 3rd exercise has a bit of a cardio element to it, but the rest focuses more on strength and flexibility than cardio and can be performed slowly, taking your time.
Good to know
Since you’ll be with your head upside down during many exercises, it’s a very bad idea to do this workout right after a meal. In fact, that would be the perfect routine to make an unexperienced workout partner throw up, especially if you add some killer cardio intervals between the exercises :)
Is this workout suitable for beginners?
It can be a little too tough on the wrists for beginners who are not used to do many plank exercises. You can perform the ‘low plank to high plank’ on your knees and skip the bridge-up or replace it with a glute bridge.
How many calories does this workout burn?
This is not a cardio or interval workout, so you’re not going to get a huge number if you use a heart rate monitor. My polar heart rate monitor usually displays around 300 calories for 3 rounds of this circuit (30 min). I jump rope for 10 minutes as a warm-up, and finish the workout with 10 extra minutes of jump rope for an extra bit of cardio. In total, this comes up to 500 calories.
|1) In-and-outs on the right leg
One foot forward, knee over the ankle, hands on the floor. Move your other leg in and out, taping the floor with your toes. It’s normal for the static leg to start burning :)
|2) In-and-outs on the left leg|
|3) Bear to squat
On all fours, balls of the feet and hands on the floor, but knees off the floor (“bear” position). Jump into a squat position. Jump back into the bear position.
|4) Low plank to high plank (both arms at the same time)
On your elbows, in a low plank position, hands in front of you, rock up into high plank, integrating a weight shift from the toes into the hands. Hold, then come back down on your elbows. Get on your knees when the move becomes too difficult.
|5) Plank walkout with right leg up
One leg up, come down, walk out into plank, walk back, come up, and repeat. (If you’re really missing push-ups, add a push-up when you’re in plank position to kick it up a notch!)
|6) Plank walkout with left leg up|
|7) Down dog knee-to-elbow, right leg up
In a down dog position, take one leg up, drive your knee to the opposite elbow into a plank. You can also alternate and drive your knee to the chest or to the elbow of the same side.
|8) Down dog knee-to-elbow, left leg up|
Lay on your back, bring your heels close to your butt and place your hands, with fingers pointing at your feet, under your shoulders. Push up into the highest back bridge you can reach, hold momentarily and lower down. (Replace this exercise with a glute bridge if you have back problems, or if you don’t have the flexibility to come into a bridge position or if it doesn’t feel right. This is a tough exercise!)
|10) Dancing crab
Sit on the ground with knees bent and hands on the ground behind you, fingers pointing toward your butt. Straighten arms and raise hips. Lift left leg and right arm, reaching right hand toward left foot. Return to the starting position and repeat, reaching left hand toward right foot. Alternate sides keeping your hips raised the entire time.
Repeat the circuit for a total of 3 rounds!