3 At Home Simple Circuit Workouts
Updated: Oct 28
Before we get too far along, we've got a great running specific 4-week exercise bands challenge starting on September 7, 2020. Click here for more details.
I recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of my 29th birthday. It consisted of loads of coffee, my weekly Saturday morning Zoomercise workout with friends, an awesome pastrami sandwich for lunch with an amazing gluten free Bundt cake chaser and a great burger topped with bacon aioli for good measure for dinner.
The funny part, mentally I don't feel a day over 29. Younger if you ask my wife. Physically, I feel pretty good. If I keep up with targeting core stiffness and glute work, life is pretty good.
One of the easiest ways I've found is to do this with what I like to call "Simple Circuits." Here's how I go about it. I pick three exercises, set a timer and move.
A squat, with a pull and a push of some kind does the trick and saves me a ton of time.
Its a really simple formula that is simple to put into action. Notice, I said "simple," not easy.
I've teamed up with Keith Rucker from The Gym in Tracy, one of my favorite human beings on the planet btw (in spite of his non-allegiance to my Giants of San Francisco), and one of my newest fitness friends, Kelly Pullizi, aka @kp.love.to.run on Instagram for three simple circuit examples.
Keith and I are covering exercise bands, and Kelly is taking care of business with a great dumbbell circuit. Mr Rucker is starting us off, enjoy!
Getting The Band Back Together
Bands are a great way to build speed, power and stability. Here are 3 exercises that incorporates 3 primary movements with extra core engagement.
Remember if new to these exercises start with medium band tension and build from there.
Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, arm extended so that your wrist and shoulder are even.
Maintain this alignment through out the exercise. Now curl your arm until your wrist is even with your shoulder, pivot and press then return to the start position.
Bow & Arrow Rows
start facing the anchor point of the bands, arms straight mid chest level. Now take a drop step back with your right hand driving your right elbow back while keeping the left arm straight. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.
start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, grab 1 band with both hands and extend them straight out at mid-chest level (make sure the tension is no heavier then medium). You will maintain this position as you drop your hips and sit back into a squat while maintaining the same shoulder and hip ailment you had on the set up.
If you can't maintain your ailment lighten the band tension.
My turn to help you simplify your home workouts, use a whole bunch of muscles at once and get in a great bout of movement. Simple circuits are an INTEGRATE Performance Fitness staple, and here you go!
1/2 Kneeling Pallof Press
I love this exercise because it helps me hit my core and glutes at the same time. It is a pretty efficient movement that builds quite a bit of lateral stability. Also known as one of the most critical components to low back happiness.
Split Stance Single Arm Exercise Band Press
This is an incredibly functional movement that will help you build core stiffness from glute activation as you improve the way you walk, run, skip, etc. Since your trunk has to be locked down to give you a movement platform, there are a ton of benefits from doing this exercise.
Split Stance Single Arm Exercise Band Pull
Take all of the benefits from the version above, and add in diagonal loading to the mix. That's a fancy way of saying your right shoulder is stabilized by your left hip in a split stance and vice versa.
If you want to improve your ability to move your best, and fight off the injury bug, this exercise will help.
I now pass the mic to Coach K!
We don't realize it at the moment, but throughout the day, we are squatting, pushing, and pulling. We do a single leg squat every time we walk up stairs, we pull doors every time we leave our homes, and push anytime that we need to move something.
Throw these three simple movements into a circuit at least 2-3 times per week and you will definitely see improvements in overall strength. Believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities between the training programs of professional athletes and weekend warriors. While volume and load may look different, they all push, pull, and squat in order to improve their strength.
With so many of us working from home more and moving less, it is important that we keep our posture in check! Pulling movements are one of the best ways to work on this. and to improve strength in the upper back, the dumbbell bent over row is the way to go.
The dumbbell bent over row challenges you to work on your posture and upper body strength.
It also teaches you to properly hinge your hips which can protect your lower back. To perform the movement in the hinge position, imagine that you are trying to open a door without your arms. Keep your knees slightly bent and push your hips back until your upper back is parallel to the ground. From this position, pull the dumbbells towards your rib cage, and finish by slowly lowering them back to the starting position.
The floor press is a great alternative to the traditional push-up as it gives you a chance to work with a load that may be more appropriate for your level of strength.
To make this a total body exercise, push your hips into a glute bridge and work to keep the glutes and core engaged the entire time! When performing the press, the weights should stay above the chest the entire time.
You really can get better than the squat for lower body strengthening. Want to be able to get up and down from the ground faster? Squat. Want to be a faster runner? squat. A stronger cyclist? squat. The advantage of the bilateral squat is that you are more stable, and can and use a heavier load than the single legged counterpart. (However, forms of unilateral squats should not be left out of a training program!) .
To perform the squat, imagine that you are sitting your hips back like you are sitting in a chair, once your legs are at about 90 degrees, push the earth away from you as you return to the starting position.
Thanks a TON to Keith and Kelly for contributing to the post. Rest assured they will be making another appearance.