No Equipment Necessary: The At-Home Circuit Workout You Can Do Anywhere


Question: What’s your favorite type of workout? Are you a runner, weight lifter, yogi, etc.? Do you prefer to mix things up now and then, or do you stick to your routine? If you like mixing things up, you’re going to love circuit training workouts, which is what we’re talking about today! 

Even if you prefer consistency in your workouts, there are a lot of positives to circuit training-style workouts. If you’re traditionally a runner, circuit training can help work your upper body. If yoga is your workout of choice, trying a workout program that includes circuit training can help you get your heart rate up and speed up your metabolism. And if you typically do resistance training or strength exercises with heavy weights, circuit training can help you incorporate high-intensity moves using just your body weight. We can’t emphasize it enough: with circuit training, there’s something for everyone!

Another perk of circuit training workouts is that they’re often low on equipment, while still bringing plenty of intensity. The bodyweight exercises in the workout featured below are compound exercises, which means the movements are using different muscle groups, rather than isolating individual muscles, like dumbbell curls do. Compound exercises work your major muscle groups, which is what makes them so effective. And when you’re doing them in circuit format with shorter recovery times and minimal rest, you’re getting cardio exercise in addition to building muscle. Circuit training workouts are basically a total win-win!

Additional bonus: studies have shown that interval training can be incredibly effective for fat loss. One study compared the effects of interval training to the effects of moderate-intensity training over four weeks, and found that the group of people who performed interval training experienced a greater loss in total fat mass. If fat loss is one of your goals, try adding this full-body workout into your workout routine a few times a week. Even if fat loss isn’t your goal, circuit training still has great benefits for all people with a vast array of health goals.

The full-body workout below is primarily focused on strength training, but it’ll torch calories, too. You can think of each move in the workout as a floor station – however, you won’t need physical floor stations for this workout, since it’s equipment-free. When you move to your next exercise, you stay in the same place, rather than moving to a “floor station,” but you’ll still rotate through the moves in the workout. You’ll just need open floor space for moves like squat jumps, push-ups and more.

Ready to give circuit training a try? Let’s get started!

At-Home Circuit Training Workout

This workout features eight exercises that will challenge your entire body. In between each exercise, you can rest for about 20 seconds. If you choose to repeat this workout in the same workout session, we recommend resting a full minute in between sets. As for equipment, you can perform this workout with just your bodyweight! We recommend grabbing a mat if you’re on a hard floor, since you’ll be doing forearm planks and push-ups. If you’d like, you can add dumbbells to the squats, but it’s completely optional, and you’ll be moving so fast that weights might just slow you down!

Here’s all the exercises and some helpful descriptions. Ready, set, go!

15 reps of push-ups

We’re not easing you into this workout! Push-ups will work and warm up every muscle in your body. Challenge yourself with a traditional starting position on the floor, but drop down to your knees if you need to! Good form is the key here, so it’s better to do push-ups on your knees if you feel your form slipping. If knee push-ups are your plan, grab a mat to make the floor more comfortable.

20 second rest

15 reps of burpees 

Burpees right after push-ups? You read this next exercise right! Get ready to jump up and then hit the floor. The push-up is optional for this move, but if you want to get the most out of your workout, we’d recommend it. Remember, you can always take the reps slow and do the push-ups on your knees. If you need a lower-impact version of this exercise, you can take the jumping out of the movements.

20 second rest

1-minute plank 

This plank will give your arms one last challenge, and strengthen your core. Your starting position can either be in high or low plank on the floor, whichever you prefer. If you need to adapt this move, drop down to your knees. You can also perform side planks, switching sides at the 30-second mark. If you want to make it more challenging, try lifting one leg at a time. You won’t be able to lift your legs very high, but even raising each foot a couple of inches will challenge your core!

20 second rest

20 jump lunges

Jump lunges are a great workout for your lower body and a great way to get your heart rate up. To perform them, start by standing on the floor with your right leg in front of you, your left leg back, and your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Jump up, pushing through both your right leg and left leg, and land with your left foot in front of you and your right foot behind you. You can land with your legs straight or with your knees bent, whichever is best for your fitness level. Drop back into a lunge position, and repeat for 20 reps. If this is too hard, you can always perform traditional lunges, lunging either back or forward with your right leg and then switching sides to your left.

20 second rest

15 reps of dolphin push-ups

Dolphin push-ups are unfamiliar for most people, so we recommend looking them up. Dolphin push-ups are a great challenge for your core, and they work your leg and shoulder muscles uniquely as well. While it’s tempting to push off the floor from your feet, make sure you’re keeping your left and right leg even and straight, so that you’re getting the most out of this move. Your left and right knee can have a gentle bend, but try to keep them even and straight as well. Dolphin push-ups can be tricky, so feel free to substitute regular push-ups or push-ups on your knees.

20 second rest

20 reps of frog squats

Frog squats are another fun, animal-inspired move and if you’re unfamiliar, it might be best to watch a video to learn! For frog squats, you’re really going to be working your hips. For your starting position, your hips will be very low, close to the floor, like they would be for a goblet squat. Then, raise your hips up from the floor halfway – to a normal squat starting position, so that your hips are in a straight line with your knees. That’s it! You’re going to feel your leg muscles burning, since you won’t be able to fully straighten your hips and release. 

If it’s too difficult for you to perform this move with good form, you can always try squat jumps or air squats. Air squats is just another term for bodyweight squats, so for air squats, you’ll be performing regular squats with your bodyweight at a quick pace.

20 second rest

15 triceps dips

Use a nearby chair or coffee table for tricep dips. For your starting position, you’ll face away from the chair, with your right and left hand on it and your legs extended, with your feet on the floor. Tricep dips are an awesome resistance training move for your upper body. Keep your knees straight as you lift and lower your body with your arms. Try to get your hips down to the floor, but it’s OK if you can’t make it there! Even if you can only lower your body a few inches closer to the floor, you’ll see progress after just a few weeks of this workout program.

20 second rest

1-minute wall sit

We’re working your lower body one last time with a wall sit. Good form is crucial to getting the most out of your wall sit, so make sure your feet are flat on the floor, your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and your left and right foot are flat on the ground. We recommend one minute, but see how much time you can hold this move for! If wall sits don’t work for you, you can finish with air squats.

1 minute rest

If you’re new to circuit training, try this workout once through and see how it feels. It should be pretty challenging, but remember, it’s only going to make you stronger! If you have another round in you, go for it, and experience an awesome workout! For intermediate athletes who want to get a full session in, we recommend trying this workout three times through.

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