Best Circuit Workout Exercises – Our Top 10 August 4, 2016

Circuit training workouts consist of a series of resistance exercises by using gentle weights and increasing the frequency. This is followed by another series of exercises concentrating on a different group of muscles. Circuit exercise is a great way to build overall strength and stamina. Plus, circuit training exercises have a brilliant effect on weight loss and toning of the body.

There are various gym machines available that help in working out all parts of the human body. But there are also different machines which, when combined, can help you complete the circuit training in the gym. Before we go into the best exercises you can include in your regime, let’s have a look at the tips that you need to keep in mind during circuit training.

Basics of Circuit Training

basics of circuit training

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Circuit training is a way to work out all the different parts of your body. This method combines strength training, weights, and aerobics that you do in the gym. This is the best way to shed some of your extra kilos or to tone up your body.

A. Select 7 to 11 Weight Exercises

select 7 to 11 weight exercises

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The ideal circuit workout should take approximately 15 to 25 minutes for completion.
This is one cycle, and it must include 2 minutes of aerobics in the middle.
If you want to keep the total time limit at half an hour for the 1st cycle, then you can add or remove the machines from your circuit.

B. Proper Demonstration Of All The Machines That You Will Use

proper demonstration of all the machines that you will use

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A lot of machines in the gym will have a diagram explanation and instructions on proper usage. But it is vital for you to get a live demonstration by the instructor. A lot of gym memberships include a discounted workout session with the instructor. The instructor will show you how to properly use the machine. This way you will be able to maximize the working out time and limit your injuries. If you are going to buy your own circuit machine and practice at home, then watch the instructional video properly before you begin exercising.

C. Always Begin With Warm-Up Exercises

always begin with warm up exercises

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  • Before you begin your circuit weight training exercises, you must always start with some warm-up exercises.
  • You must stretch and warm up for 10 to 15 minutes to prepare your body for the oncoming action.
  • The warm-up exercises will ensure that you do not sprain or strain your muscles during circuit training.

D. Build Your Heart Rate

build your heart rate

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You must take ten minutes off from your circuit training and try to build up your heart rate to the low-end. This must be done according to the aerobics benefit in relation to your age and body weight.

  • You can march standing in a place, dance or do leg lifts.
  • If you are at the gym, you can use a stationary bike or the elliptical machine for ten minutes.
  • If you want to avoid spraining the leg, then it is best to exercise at a moderate pace.

E. Start With The Weight Training

start with the weight training

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  • After you have corrected your heart rate at the aerobically beneficial level, it is time for you to start weight training.
  • During circuit training, it is vital for you to keep on exercising so that the heart rate remains at one high pace.
  • If you are working out at home with one machine, then you must quickly begin with the set of lifts.
  • But if you are at the gym you can always choose a different machine for 10 minutes before you begin weight training.
  • You must set the pace at such a level that the 15th repetition of the exercise becomes hard but is still achievable.

[ Read: Exercises That Help You Gain Weight ]

F. Scatter Aerobics

scatter aerobics

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If you want the best out of your circuit training, then you must scatter the aerobic exercises.

  • After every set of the machine, weights or strength training, you can add on 2 minutes of aerobics. This will help you to keep your heart rate at a high pace.

G. Cool Down At The End

In the end, after you have completed your circuit training body weight exercises and their repetitions, you must perform some cool down exercises. This will help to bring your heart rate down to the normal level. Stretch or small warm up exercises are always a good idea. Alternatively, one can also sit and meditate.

Here is the list of the best exercises that you should include in your circuit training routine.

Most Effective Circuit Exercises

1. Sit-Ups

Sit-ups strengthen your stomach muscles and boosts your core stamina and is good for all types of sports persons. Bend your knees and place your foot on the ground and then with your hands on either side of the head, raise your head and then the shoulder, followed by your torso.

2. Step Ups

step ups exercise

By Everkinetic ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Step ups are good to condition the lower half of your body. While doing step ups, keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight. You are required to place one foot on a raised surface of 8-12 inches and while you stand on it, place the second foot down and step back.

3. Press Ups

The press ups, also known as push-ups are a type of exercise for the primary muscle group, i.e., chest and the triceps. It also works on the stomach, back and leg muscles. Position your hands with palm facing downwards, almost shoulder width distant and lift your body upwards using your arms.

4. Squats


By Em Bhoo ( [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Em Bhoo ( [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Squats build whole body muscles and burn the extra fat in your body besides making you highly mobile and energetic. There are various types of squat that you can do: chair squat, pile squat, air squat, front squat, etc.

[ Read: Dips Exercise ]

5. Dorsal Press

This is an exercise for the lower back. It is performed by lying on an even surface and then raising your head and chest with the help of the lower back muscles.

6. Shuttle Runs

Shuttles are a very famous training for intensive sports that develop your speed, acceleration, and fitness. It involves a short running of approximately 10 m or even more and then going back to the starting line. You then run for 20 m and go back to the starting point and do this by continuously increasing the distance you cover.

7. Seated Dips

It is a fantastic workout for people who want their triceps in shape. Seated dips can be done with the help of a chair. Stand in front of the chair and place your hands on the edge, with your legs extended ahead and bend your elbows and then lower your butt. Hold the position for 3 -4 seconds and then release.

8. Burpees

You have to sit as you do while squatting and kick your feet like you do in the pushup position. While doing this, sink your chest to the surface, press your back upwards and pull your feet back to return to the squat position again and jump up in the air.

9. Bent Arm Pull-Overs

Bent arm pull-overs

By Everkinetic ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lie down on a bench with dumbbells in both hands and take them back behind your head and return slowly. This highly improves your shoulder strength.

10. Straddle Jumps

It’s great for the lower body workout. Step up and down a bench using your alternate legs. Such rapid movements are little tough but work wonders for the leg muscles.

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