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Basic Strength and Cardio Circuit

This basic strength and cardio circuit workout is perfect for those days when you want to work everything in a short period of time.  This circuit involves alternating a low impact cardio exercise with classic combination strength moves, so you get the benefits of both cardio and strength in one simple workout. This workout is great for beginner or intermediate exercisers.

Precautions

See your doctor if you have any medical injuries, illnesses or conditions.

Equipment Needed

A medicine ball, various weighted dumbbells

How To

  • Warm up with 5-10 minutes of any cardio activity
  • Perform each exercise one after the other for the suggested time
  • Try not to rest between exercises unless you're very winded
  • Repeat the circuit 1-3 times, depending on your fitness level and time constraints
  • Skip any exercises that cause pain or discomfort
Exercises  
Knee Lifts with Med Ball
Hold a light medicine ball or weight straight up overhead.  Lift the right knee up to waist level while bringing the arms down, touching the weight to the knee.  Return to start and repeat on the left side.  Alternate knees and repeat for 60 seconds.
kneeupsmedball1.JPG kneeupsmedball2.JPG
Squats With an Overhead Press
Begin with feet about hip-distance apart and hold medium weights just over the shoulders. Squat as low as you can, keeping the abs in and the knees behind the toes. Push into the heels to stand up while pushing the weights overhead. Repeat for 60 seconds


Squat with Med Ball Toss
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball.   Squat as low as you can (knees behind toes and abs contracted) and touch the ball to the floor, if you can.  Stand up and toss the weight overhead.  Repeat for 60 seconds.
squattoss2.jpg (6862 bytes)  squattoss.jpg (4431 bytes)
Lunge With Bicep Curls
Stand in a staggered stance, right foot forward and left foot back.  Lower into a lunge, keeping the front knee behind the toe.  As you lunge, curl the weights up into a biceps curl.  Lower the arms, stand up and repeat for 30 seconds before switching sides.
 
Windmills
Stand with legs wide, arms straight out to the sides and parallel to the floor.  Bend the right knee into a side lunge and bring the left arm down towards the foot.  Repeat on the other side, lunging from side to side and bringing opposite arm towards foot.  The faster you go and the lower you lunge, the harder it is.  Repeat for 60 seconds.
 
Pushups
On the knees or toes, lower into a pushup, going as low as you can or until chin touches the floor.  Push up and repeat for 30 seconds.  Rest briefly and complete another 30 seconds.
or 
Squat Circle Medicine Ball
Stand holding a medicine ball near the right hip.  Step out with the left leg into a squat as you circle the ball all the way around until it's next to the left hip.  Step back, circling the ball back and repeat for 30 seconds on each side.
Dips
Sit on a chair or bench and balance on your arms, moving backside in front of the step with legs straight. Bend the elbows and lower down, keeping the shoulders down until elbows are at 90 degrees. Push up and repeat for 30 seconds.  Rest briefly and (optional) repeat for another 30 seconds.
Dips
Front Kick with Squat
Stand with feet together.  Bring the right knee up and extend the leg in a front kick without locking the knee.  Bring the right foot down and lower into a squat.  Stand up, kicking with the left foot.  Continue alternating squats and kicks for 60 seconds.
  csquatkick2.jpg 
Plank
Begin on your forearms and knees or toes (harder) and hold that position with your back flat and abs engaged.   Tilt your pelvis and contract your abs to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
or
Total Workout Time:  10-15 minutes  
Repeat 2 or more times for a longer workout  
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