Many of us work out with a goal in mind. If a summer bikini body is your goal, you’re already well aware that you only have a few months left to make some magic happen. However, with the spring season comes the possibility of a lot of rain, and gloomy weather makes us less and less likely to get out and get active to meet our goals.
But instead of becoming couch potatoes, you can do quick circuit workouts in the house that help you strength train using your bodyweight. Here are five circuit ideas you should try for the body parts you’re looking to focus on. We recommend doing each move for 30 seconds (both sides of the body for balance), only taking a rest when you’ve completed all five movements. When you have, give yourself a 60-second break and complete those moves two more times for a total of three reps — five if you’re feeling gully. No equipment, no gym, and if you like, no clothes (but definitely a sports bra) necessary. Click the exercise name for a video demonstration.
Lay on your back. With one leg crossed over the other, place the hand of the opposite arm behind your head. So, if you cross your right leg over your left knee, lift up your torso and crunch your right elbow towards the bent knee. After 30 seconds, switch sides!
Get into a traditional plank, but get down on your forearms.
Mountain Climber Twists
You assume the traditional mountain climber position, but instead of running, alternate, turning your right knee in toward your left armpit, your left knee toward your right.
Bird Dog Crunch
Get on your hands and knees. From there, extend the opposite arm and opposite leg out, holding for a second before bringing them back to their starting position.
Start out on your back. With hands behind your head, alternate: Bring your left elbow to your right knee, your left right elbow to your left knee.
Side Kick Squats
With your hips back and your legs spread shoulder-width apart, put your body weight on one leg and extend the other leg out. Return to the starting position and do it for 30 seconds before switching legs.
Lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips up off of the ground, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. You can either hold that position for 30 seconds or lower your body down toward the floor before coming back up and repeating.
Step your right leg behind you to the left so that it crosses behind your bent left leg. Hold the pose briefly before returning to standing. Switch sides after 30 seconds.
Lateral Sliding Squat
Using a towel, paper plate or pretty much anything that slides, prepare to get into a squatting position. Send your hips back, and slide your right foot out (as far as possible) out, on top of the sliding object, while slightly bending your left knee. Pull your right foot back in slowly while returning to standing position. Repeat and be sure to change legs.
As you get down on your hands and knees, bring your right knee out to the side and return it to starting position while keeping your hands on the ground. Continue doing the move for 30 seconds and then switch to the opposite leg.
If you know yoga, you know a lot about the cobra move. After lying flat on your stomach, place your palms on the ground next to your chest. As you keep your lower body down on the ground, push your upper body up off of the ground and proceed to do push-ups from that position.
You can use the floor, a bench, a (stable) table or a couch. Wherever you choose to do it, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, put your hands behind you and have your fingers pointed toward your body. Lift your hips up off of the floor (or chair, or table or couch), bringing them up, arms straightened, and then slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body back down — not completely to the floor (or chair, table, etc). Repeat.
Stand in a traditional plank, or if that is too difficult, bring your knees down to the ground. As you balance on your hands, tap your right hand to your left shoulder, left hand to your right, alternating.
As though you were getting into a downward dog position, lift your hips and make your body into an upside down V. Bring your hands outside of your head, bend your elbows and lower your upper body until your head almost touches the floor. Push yourself back up until your arms are straight and repeat.
With your feet slightly apart and while standing up straight, bend forward and place your hands on the ground. Keep your feet in place, but your use your hands to walk your upper body down into a push-up position. Once you do that, use your hands to walk yourself back to a standing position. Repeat.
Flat on your stomach, raise your arms, legs and chest off of the floor at the same time, holding the position for three seconds before returning to the ground.
Start by standing up straight. With your knees slightly bent and your spine neutral, hinge forward until your chest is parallel to the ground. Slowly return to a standing position.
Reverse Snow Angels
Flat on your stomach with your legs straight out, arms to your side and toes pointed down, raise your hands a few inches off of the ground, engage your back and bring your arms out to the side, then above your head (thumbs almost touching) and back. It’s like you’re making snow angels without putting your arms on the ground.
Bent Knee Reverse Plank
Sitting on the ground, place your hands on the ground right behind your hips (with the your fingers pointed at your feet) and bend your knees. Lift your hips up high and hold.
Lying flat on your back, bring your knees together. As you extend your arms out to the side, rotate your hips and back in the direction your knees go, from far left to far right.
Standing a few feet away from a wall, place your back on it. Afterward, slide your back down until you look like you’re literally sitting in a chair, spine straight, knees bent 90 degrees. Keep your back, shoulders and head flat against the wall and hold.
Single Leg Lunges
With the tip of your right foot behind you on a couch, stool or chair, propel your left foot and knee into a forward lunge. Bend your knee down and come back up while keeping the opposite foot on the chair. Switch sides after 30 seconds.
Plie Squat Jump
With your legs apart and your toes turned outward (and your back straight), squat. From there, bring your feet together quickly as you jump before separating them again, landing softly back down.
It’s a traditional squat, folks. Keep your weight on your heels, torso upright and send your hips back as you go into your squat. Your knees shouldn’t be beyond your toes. After going down, return to a standing position. Holding a squat is tough work, but you can also bounce when you go down for more of a challenge.
Single Leg Raises
Lying flat on the ground with your hands to your sides or underneath your bottom, lift your legs in the air. Bring one foot down at a time, keeping them from completely touching the ground. Lift your chosen leg back up and repeat with the other leg.
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