Beginner Workout: Bodyweight Circuit

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By: Roger Lockridge

Everyone who gets into a sport or fitness has one common goal. They want to be in control of their body. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, get stronger, perform better in your sport, or all of the above, taking control of your body is what it takes to eventually become successful. As important as this is, it’s surprising that there are many people out there who actually don’t try to control their body by learning to control their body. The one piece of equipment you always have access to 24 hours a day, seven days a week is your physical body. Doesn’t it make sense that you should be able to use your body and control the movements you perform in order to get in better shape?

The workouts that follow will help you do just that. There are programs ranging from your very first workout ever to advanced conditioned athletes. They are circuits which are a group of exercises performed consecutively without any rest in between. Commit to the program that fits your level of fitness and you’re sure to see improvement regardless of what your goals are. These workouts should be performed 4-5 times a week either after weight training if you lift weights or at whatever time of day you can commit to doing them that suits your schedule. Just make sure you do them.

 

BEGINNER WORKOUT: Level 1 Workout Circuit

This workout is for anyone who is starting out a fitness program of any kind for the first time or have been very inactive for a long time. Start with this workout that requires almost no movement except transitioning from one position to the next so you can learn how the muscles feel when they’re working and after this becomes easier for you, you can move on to the next workout.

Beginner WorkoutBodyweight Squat Hold – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower your butt until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the floor. If you can’t get this low, go as low as you can. Keep your hands and arms close to your chest. Hold this position for the recommended time or as long as you can until you can reach the recommended time.

Beginner WorkoutPushUp Hold – Get into a pushup position with legs straight and your toes on the floor. Your arms should be straight and supporting your upper body with hands open. If you can’t hold this position with toes on the floor, place your knees on the floor for extra support. Hold this position for the recommended time or as long as you can until you can reach the recommended time.

Stomach Vacuum – Lie flat on your back. Toes should be pointed up. Place your hands on your stomach. Force all of the air you have out and suck in your stomach. You should feel like you’re trying to make your belly button touch your spine. If this position starts to feel uncomfortable, relax for a few seconds and start over. Hold this position for the recommended time or as long as you can until you can reach the recommended time.

Hold each position for 20 seconds. Perform all three holds consecutively. Repeat as many times as you can for 15 minutes. Rest when needed but no more than 30 seconds.

BEGINNER WORKOUT: Level 2 Workout Circuit

This workout is for women who are able to move around without any problems but may not push themselves with a fitness program. This will serve as a good program to start pushing yourself until you feel like you can complete a workout without any problem and are ready for a tougher program.

Bodyweight Squat – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower your butt until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the floor. If you can’t get this low, go as low as you can. Keep your hands and arms close to your chest. Hold this position for a second and then return to the standing position. Immediately repeat for as many reps as you can in the time recommended.

Pushups with Knees on Floor – Get into a pushup position with legs straight and your knees on the floor. Your arms should be straight and supporting your upper body with hands open. Bend your elbows and lower your upper body until you touch the floor. Using force from your arms immediately push yourself up to the starting position. Repeat for as many reps as you can in the time recommended.

Beginner WorkoutCrunches – Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Cross your arms across your chest. Force your breath out and lift your shoulders to sit halfway up to contract your abs. Hold this position for a second and return to the starting position. Take a breath in and repeat. Repeat for as many reps as you can in the time recommended.

Perform each movement for 20 seconds. Perform all three holds consecutively. Repeat as many times as you can for 20 minutes. Rest when needed but no more than 30 seconds.

BEGINNER WORKOUT: Level 3 Workout Circuit

With this program you should be ready to push yourself and be challenged. This serves as an intermediate workout because there will be more movement and the exercises are more intense.

Mountain Climbers – Place your hands on the floor and your feet behind you like you’re about to start a race. Keep your back as straight as you can. Bring one knee into your midsection like you’re about to push off that foot. Jump and switch feet so they are in opposite position. Jump and return to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat for as many reps as you can in the time recommended.

Beginner WorkoutSquat Jumps – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower your butt until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the floor. If you can’t get this low, go as low as you can. Keep your hands and arms close to your chest. Hold this position for a second and using force from your legs, explode and jump as high as you can. When you return to the ground immediately perform another squat. Repeat for as many reps as you can in the time recommended.

Standard Pushups – Get into a pushup position with legs straight and your toes on the floor. Your arms should be straight and supporting your upper body with hands open. Bend your elbows and lower your upper body until you touch the floor. Using force from your arms immediately push yourself up to the starting position. Repeat for as many reps as you can in the time recommended.

Perform each movement for 30 seconds and perform each consecutively. Repeat this cycle as many times as you can for 20 minutes. Rest when needed but no more than 30 seconds.

BEGINNER WORKOUT: Level 4 Workout Circuit

If you’re trying this workout then fitness should be nothing new to you. You should already be in good shape. This will make a good workout for you when you’re not able to make it to the gym or want to do something different than a typical run or cardio workout.

Jump Lunge – Have your front leg in a 90 degree angle with toes and knee pointed forward. Have your back knee a few inches above the floor. Jump and switch legs. Make sure your abs are tight, back is straight, and chest is out. Keep arms to your sides as much as you can. Continue to alternate for as many jumps as you can in the recommended time.

Double Touch Sit Ups – Lie flat on your back with legs straight and feet flat on floor. Start with your arms behind your head on the floor. Sit up to contract your abs and reach forward to touch your feet. Once you touch your feet, lower yourself back to the starting position until your hands touch behind your head. This is one rep. Repeat for as many reps as you can in the time recommended.

Burpee – Stand tall. Drop down until your chest is on the floor and your body is in a pushup position. Perform a push up and jump so your feet move under you for a squat. Once you’re in a squat position, jump as high as you can and lift your arms like you want to touch the ceiling. Once you’re back to a standing position, repeat. Repeat for as many reps as you can perform in the recommended time.

Plank – Get into a pushup position. Place your forearms on the floor. Contract your abs and hold this position for the recommended time. Don’t lift your head as it will place strain on your neck. Keep your back and legs straight the entire time. Control your breathing but don’t let your stomach relax. After the recommended time, start over with the first movement in the circuit.

Perform each movement for 30 seconds or hold for 30 seconds. Perform each consecutively without rest. Repeat the cycle as many times as you can for 30 minutes. Rest when needed but no more than 30 seconds.