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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019

The half-an-hour home exercise circuit which requires no equipment, just you

No gym, then there’s still no excuse.

The pike push-up is a great way to vary your work out.
The pike push-up is a great way to vary your work out.
Image: YouTube

GETTING YOUR WEEKLY dose of exercise can be hard work.

If the thought of going to the gym repulses you, then why not work out from your own living room?

This 30-minute circuit two or three times a week is all you’ll need to stay in shape and the best part is that you don’t need to spend a penny on equipment.


Bodyweight standing squats

Source: Shapeshifter Media/YouTube

Very simply, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and go from an upright position into a seated position 20 times.

The key is to push your bum right back and keep your hands behind your head.

Imagine sitting back into a chair, keeping your knees over your ankles. Continue for 30 seconds.

Jumping jacks

Source: Howcast/YouTube

Possibly the first exercise you ever learnt in your life! You know the drill by now. Continue for 60 seconds.

Alternating split squat jump

Source: TotalFormFitness/YouTube

Stand in a staggered stance, one foot in front of the other, hands behind your head.
Now, in one quick movement, jump up and change the position of your feet, bringing the hind leg forward and vice versa.

When your feet touch the floor, drop the knee of the front foot down until it touches the floor and rebound back up. Continue for 30 seconds.

This is one set. Perform three sets with a one-minute rest between sets to complete the warm-up.

Total time: 9 minutes.

Now we’re ready for the main body of our exercise, one which last just 20 minutes.

There are eight exercises, each to be performed twice (in two sets).

Working exercises

High knees

Source: XHIT Daily/YouTube

A difficult one to start with, this targets your glutes, calves and quads. Run on the spot with your hands in front of you, tapping your quads as you bring them right up parallel to the ground.

Continue for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds (10 minutes).


Source: Bowflex/YouTube

Holding a plank position with your arms extended, jump into a tuck position by bringing your knees into your chest.

In the same movement, explode up into the air by driving your feet into the floor and pushing up.

And without pausing, jump back into the plank position again for one rep. Yes, ouch.
Continue for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds (11 minutes).

Plank arcs

Source: XHIT Daily/YouTube

Staying in the plank position with your arms extended, perform an arc.

By this we mean keeping your feet together and stationary and imagine you are the small handle of a wall clock going from 9pm to 3pm and back again to 9pm.

Continue for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds (12 minutes).

Single leg bodyweight squats

Source: Dewey Nielsen/YouTube

Also known as pistol squats, these are a lot harder than they look.

Balance on one foot and squat down, bending at the knee and pushing your hips back as much as possible. Maybe it’s best to try squatting with two feet first before advancing the exercise.

Continue for 40 seconds on each leg and rest for 20 seconds between (14 minutes).

Ab walkouts

Source: GAINfitness/YouTube

Start on all fours, your arms extended and your palms pressed into the floor.

Now, move up onto your toes and walk forward, one hand at a time until you can go no further. Hold here for three seconds and slowly walk back to the starting position.

Continue for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds (15 minutes).

Donkey kickbacks

Source: Health Magazine/YouTube

Position yourself on all fours with your back straight. Raise your left leg behind and bring your shin perpendicular to the floor, the soles of your feet parallel with the floor.

Now, squeeze your glutes and lift your knee up as high as possible but remembering not to ‘swing’ or ‘rock’.

Hold for a second at the highest point, squeeze your glutes a little more and bring back down again to the floor. Switch legs.

Continue for 40 seconds on each leg and rest for 20 seconds between (17 minutes).

Pike push-ups

Source: Global Bodyweight Training/YouTube

Get into a plank position with your arms extended, your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from your head through to your heels.

Now, lift your hips as high as they’ll go, keeping your arms extended. Hold at the highest point and perform 8 push ups.

Continue for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds (18 minutes).

Alternating side plank with a twist

Source: LoveYourselfLean/YouTube

Rest on your elbow and keep one foot on top of the other, extending the ‘free’ hand high into the air.

Keeping your hips high, hold this position for a moment before performing a twist whereby you rotate forwards and bring your ‘free’ hand under your body.

Return to the starting position. Do 30 seconds on each arm to complete the circuit (19 minutes).

Take a one minute rest and repeat the circuit.

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