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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

Here's an all-round fitness circuit that will leave you absolutely reeling

We can’t promise you’ll enjoy yourself, but you can thank us later.

CIRCUIT TRAINING IS a brilliant way to stay in shape all-year round. One of the many benefits of this kind of training is very often, it doesn’t require many extras like weights or gym balls, just you and your body weight. The benefits of this type of training are many and include;

  • Maximum benefits in minimum time
  • Can be performed in a group or on your own
  • It’s a full body workout
  • There is no time for wasting
  • You know exactly what’s ahead of you and it eliminates gym boredom
  • Can be done with very little floor space

Before every gym session you should warm up briefly on the rower, treadmill, stepper or exercise bike for around five minutes – we want this to make you, not break you.  This warm-up loosens out the muscles, elevates the heart rate and prepares you for more intense exercise. A 10-15 minute stretch is also beneficial and will decrease your chances of straining or even pulling a muscle during the circuit.

The circuit will target the upper body, lower body, the core and will also work on your cardiovascular fitness. There will be 10 exercises in total and it won’t – or shouldn’t take much longer than 40 minutes.

Okay, let’s get going. After your warm up and stretch…

1. Push-ups

Start the stopwatch and in 60 seconds do as many as you can. Focus on correct form (here’s a refresher) and remember to breathe.

2. Sit ups

These can be performed any number of ways but we’re going to start by lying on our backs, shins parallel to the floor and feet crossed at the ankle. Now, for 60 seconds raise the upper body consciously while engaging the core muscles.

3. Box jumps

This needs a box that can be any height, but the higher the better. A box that reaches to your knees is ideal, but mid-calf is okay for beginners.


The drill is simple, squat down as low as you can until you bum touches your heels and explode upwards, jumping onto the box and planting both feet on it. Drop down and repeat for another minute.

4. Burpees

Begin in a standing position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Now, lower your body into a squatting position, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back so that you are in push-up position.

burpee Source: xHit/YouTube

Keep your hands firmly on the ground to support your body. Lower your chest to do a push-up. Bring your chest back up. Kick your feet back to their original position. Stand up, and then jump into the air while clapping your arms overhead. Do as many as you can in one minute.

5. Rope tabata

This is a killer and really works the arms and shoulder muscles. Using a thick rope – most gyms have them nowadays, lean backwards and grab the rope at both ends. The longer and thicker the rope the better. Now, very simply create ‘waves’ using the ropes by raising and lowering your arms while firmly grasping each rope. Again, 60 seconds or until you struggle to lift you arms.

6. Lunges

These are excellent for your hamstring, quad and glute muscles. From a standing position take one long step out in front of you and then kneel until you opposite knee touched the floor.

shutterstock_160361207 Source: Shutterstock

Now, in one movement bound upwards and switch the front leg, bringing the other knee down to touch the floor. There is no rest, keep going for 60 seconds.

7. Shuttle run or skipping

This offers the first real chance of a respite but isn’t to be done as a rest. If you have the space, perform 20 metre shuttle runs.

8. Tricep dips

Using the same box as earlier, position your hands shoulder-width apart. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.

Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the box.

Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the box to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.

9. Planks


The oldest - and still the best - trick in the book. You know the drill. Keep that body straight; ankle, knee, hip, shoulder all in one straight line. Hold for 60 seconds, contracting the core.

10. Skipping

The important thing to remember here is to go for 30 seconds on one leg, 30 on the other. This is much harder than jumping with both feet at the same time.

This completes one 10-minute set of out circuit. Take a three-minute breather and repeat the set twice more. Remember to drink, drink, drink in this well deserved rest, not run out the door.

You should be utterly spent by the end of the third set but after two weeks of this (twice a week) you’ll notice huge improvement.

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TheScore Team

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