Free Christmas Bodyweight Circuit

At this busy time of year, it can be a real challenge to get to the gym.

Well, I got you covered because this circuit will challenge your body, requires minimal equipment and will certainly crank up your heart rate and give you a decent afterburn for 24-48 hours afterward.

It’s done interval style. Go all out and complete one circuit and then recover. This is the most effective type of fat burning you can do.

Be sure to use a clock or stopwatch so you can accurately track your workout and measure your progress. The program sets are based on ‘time’ as opposed to ‘reps’. It’s important you count and record the number of reps for each timed set so you can keep track of improvements. Keep this in a journal.

Push yourself as hard as you can. Your heart rate should be at a level where you are breathing hard and you can barely talk.

Perform this two to three times per week and push yourself hard to complete more reps in the allotted time. This should replace your normal cardio routine.

There are four circuits (A to D) each consisting of four exercises. You’ll perform the four exercises in order, one after another with rest periods after two exercises. For example: do A1 followed immediately with A2, rest one min, and then move straight away to A3 followed by A4. Then you rest for two mins before moving onto B, C, and D.

I’ve also included brief exercise instructions in case your not sure how to do certain moves.

WORKOUT SUMMARY

What you need – towel, wall/step, small pair of dumbbells (or filled water bottle), skipping rope.

  • A1 – Tuck jump (1 min)
  • A2 – Alternating step ups (1 min)
  • Rest (1 min)
  • A3 – Indoor/Outdoor sprint (1 min)
  • A4 – Lateral hop (1 min)
  • Rest (2 mins)
  • B1 – Box jump (1 min)
  • B2 – Dumbell swing (1 min)
  • Rest (1 min)
  • B3 – Inchworm (1 min)
  • B4 - Hurdle jump (1 min)
  • Rest (2 mins)
  • C1 – Alternating squat kick (1 min)
  • C2 – Jumping jacks (1 min)
  • Rest (1 min)
  • C3 – Burpee (1 min)
  • C4 – Skipping (1 min)
  • Rest (2 mins)
  • D1 – Alternating hand step up (1 min)
  • D2 – Lateral ski jump (1 min)
  • Rest (1 min)
  • D3 – Twisting knee drive (1 min)
  • D4 – Dumbell clean and press (1 min)
  • Rest (2 mins)

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS

Tuck Jump

Just jump! Get as high as you can, and while you’re in the air, lift your knees up as high as you can and tuck into your chest. On landing bend your knees to soften the impact, and then jump right back up again. Use your arms to give you momentum to get higher.

Alternating Step-ups

Step up with your right leg, then up with the left, then back down with your right, and then down with the left. If it doesn’t feel like you’re at your limit during the 1-minute interval, either hold a weight or increase the speed.

Indoor/Outdoor Sprint

If you’re working out in a large room, run back and forth from wall to wall. Or if you have access to a garden or carpark go from one end to the other as fast as you can.

Lateral Hop

Keep your feet together and jump from side to side, as if you’re hopping back and forth over a small obstacle (you could use your towel as a marker). When you land in one direction immediately push off and jump to the other side. Spend almost no time touching the ground, imagine it’s like hot coals.

Box Jump

Find a step or wall ledge that you can safely jump up onto – the higher the more difficult the jump will be. Bend your knees and jump with both feet onto the box. Then step down, don’t jump back down to the floor and keep repeating.

Dumbell swing

Holding a dumbell with both hands (or filled waterbottle), swing the weight up to shoulder height. As it comes down, let it swing between your legs. Use a thrusting action from the hips and legs to swing the weight up, don’t just lift it with your arms.

Inchworm

Bend forward and place your hands on the ground in front of your toes. Walk your hands forward until you reach a plank position. Then walk your feet towards your hands and repeat.

Hurdle Jumps

Set up five implements evenly spaced on the ground (towels, books, weights etc). Jump forward over them keeping both feet together. If this is too easy, switch to jumping with one foot for 30 secs then alternate sides.

Alternating Squat Kick

Squat down as low as you can and as you come up, lift one leg and kick straight ahead. Be carful not to jar your knee by snapping the kick too hard. Kick 30 seconds with each leg.

Jumping Jack

Good old fashioned jumping jacks !

*Burpee *

Adopt a push-up position. Jump both legs in towards your chest and stand up and repeat.

Skipping

Do whatever style you prefer – two feet together, single feet landing, whatever ! If you don’t have a jump rope, do pretend skipping !

Alternating Hand Step Up

Start in a push-up position at the end of the step (or a pile of books), with one hand on either side of the step/books. Step up onto the step with one hand, then the other hand, and then step back down to the floor with each hand. Keep your body straight and your abs tight.

Lateral Ski Jump

Stand on one foot, push off and jump to the side, landing on the other foot with a bent knee. Repeat back and forth, keep moving the entire minute and have minimal contact with the ground.

Twisting Knee Drive

Similar to a mountain climber, start from a push-up position and lift one knee in towards the chest with a twist so you’re aiming that knee towards the opposite shoulder. Repeat back and forth (left knee towards right shoulder, right knee towards left shoulder).

Dumbell clean and press

Stand shoulder width apart and behind the dumbbells or filled water bottles. Squat down and grip the dumbbells (palms down). Use your legs, butt, upper back and arms to come up to standing position. Flip your wrists back so that the dumbbells rest above your chest. Press the dumbbells up above your head like performing a shoulder press. Return the dumbells back down to your chest, then to the floor by squatting again. Keep repeating for 1 min.