Circuit Blast for the Holidays

By Diane Vives – December 30, 2011

e are in the heart of the holiday season – how is your workout routine going? Are you small on time but large on excess calorie consumption? How’s your stress level? Remember, even fun events can cause stress.

Now is the perfect time to have some quick, time-efficient workouts in your arsenal to maintain fitness and relieve holiday stress. This month we’ll target the lower body with a circuit using your own body weight, or wearing a weighted vest, that you can do in your own home or while traveling.

This metabolic circuit is intended to help you do more in less time. Perform the series of movements back-to-back, completing the movements in a full range of motion (if possible) and making every repetition count. After a 60- to 90-second rest, repeat exercises one through four. These quick repetitions with incomplete recovery time will really boost your caloric expenditure and work capacity.

Start by performing two circuits for the first two weeks. Then bump up your volume by performing three to four circuits in a single training session twice a week. This may not be ideal for a long-term program, but it’s a great compromise for the busy holiday season.

Start with using just body weight. Increase the challenge by wearing a weighted vest and adding 5 to10 percent of your body weight . Be sure to use one that fits snugly to maintain natural movement and form.

This circuit challenges the mind, body, and spirit so that you can feel great through the holiday season and maintain the fitness you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

LEG BLAST CIRCUIT with Brooke Stacey, CPT, Fitness Model

1) Speed Squats
• Start while standing tall, with feet hip-width apart, toes facing forward, and core braced.

• Squat by sitting back into your hips.

• Stop the downward movement when your upper leg is parallel to ground.

• Push through heels to return to a standing position with hips fully extended and squeeze the glutes.

• Repeat the exercise as fast as you can control with full range of motion for 24 repetitions.

Note: Always work in a pain-free and successful range of motion; if needed, start by performing partial movements.

2) Side Lunges
• Start with feet hip-width apart. Step directly to the right with your right foot just outside shoulder distance, lunging your body naturally in that direction.

• Sit back into the right hip and make sure that your right ankle, knee and hip are facing forward. Your left foot stays flat on floor with left leg extended.

• Push off the heel of the right foot to return to start. Repeat on left side.

• Alternate from right to left side for a total of 24 repetitions.

3) Mountain Climbers
• Start in a plank position with hands on the ground, flat torso and hips, and one foot and knee tucked underneath the body. The opposite leg is extended.

• Keeping your back flat, simultaneously exchanging the position of your feet as fast as you can control by pushing off the balls of the feet.

• Each exchange is a repetition; perform a total of 24 repetitions.

4) Skaters
• Balance on your right foot with an athletic stance, slightly bending the ankle, knee and hip.

• Bound directly to your left, landing softly on your left foot with control and balance. Challenge yourself with increasing the distance but make sure to land safely and in a controlled manner.

• Quickly repeat going from left to right, counting each landing as a repetition, for a total of 24 repetitions.

Diane Vives, MS, is an Advisory Member of the Under Armour Performance Training Council. An internationally recognized fitness expert, she has appeared in several publications such as Women’s Health, Shape, and Muscle & Fitness Hers.


Related Articles

September 1, 2023
September 1, 2023
Learn More