When the weather outside is frightful — or too rainy, hot or cold for an outdoor workout — you can create your own exercise circuits at home with absolutely no equipment needed. It can be a great way to stave off burnout and get a good workout.
According to the American Council on Exercise, a typical circuit training workout includes about 8-10 exercises. You alternate strength/resistance exercises focused on different muscle groups with brief cardio bursts of 30 seconds to 3 minutes. The beauty of the circuit is that you can be creative. Mix and match your favorite moves.
Here are some examples of exercises that can be included in a circuit, along with some basic safety tips.
- Jumping jacks
- Jumping rope
- Jogging or marching in place
- Stair climbing or step-ups
Strengthening and Stability Exercises
- Plank and side plank
- Sit-ups or crunches
- Hip lift or bridge position
- Triceps dips on a chair
- Squats or chair position
- Wall sits
- If you’re unsure about any of these exercises, talk with your healthcare professional or a certified fitness trainer.
- Choose exercises that are appropriate for your level of physical fitness and ability.
- Rest or stretch between exercises as needed.
- When starting an exercise program, begin slowly with low-intensity exercises.
- Wait at least 2 hours after eating a large meal before doing strenuous exercise.
- Wear appropriate shoes for your activity and comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely but won’t catch on other objects.
- Warm up with low-intensity exercises at the beginning of each exercise session.
- Drink water before, during, and after your exercise session.
- Stop if you have pain or pressure in your chest, neck, shoulder, or arm or feel dizzy or sick to your stomach.
- Breathe regularly; exhale as you push or lift and inhale as you relax. Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises.
- Build up your time and number of repetitions slowly as your fitness improves.
Last Reviewed 4/2016