Use Simple Circuits For Schedule Friendly Fitness At Home
Updated: Mar 11
One of the most frequent things I hear for reasons as to why people have trouble exercising is "I just don't have time." To be fair (insert Letterkenney "To Be Fair" montage here, HOW ARE YA NOW!!)), that is completely understandable.
Especially if you're:
1) Working from home.
2) Schooling from home.
3) Family-ing (yep, for our purposes, this is totally a word) from home.
Put all those together, and that 24th hour in the day seems to come and go faster than, well, something that goes really fast. Stay with me people, I'm only about 50% caff'd at the time of this writing. Your blood caffeine levels may vary.
Anyway, time, we can all use more of it. As a purveyor of PE and all things fitness, I'm going to tell you, outside of injury or illness, I believe there are ZERO reasons why we can't move daily. If even for just 2-3 minutes at a time.
It doesn't have to be a full blown 60 minute workout sesh that you tell your fitfam you just crushed on social media. Wow, I actually just wrote that. There are no words sincere enough to convey how sorry I am I subjected your eyes to that combo of consonants and vowels.
This is where I, as your well meaning fitness friend, tell you that your brown belt, black shoes and white socks don't go together (that's never a good look btw.) Meaning? Its time for a little tough love. There IS time to move during the day, and I'm going to show you how.
You get 24 hours in a day. In theory, that gives you 144 blocks of 10 minutes. It breaks down like this:
a) There are 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes/hour = 1,440 minutes.
b) Divide this by 10, and there's your 144 blocks of time.
c) And no, I didn't tell you there'd be math. I was a journalism major for a reason. However, sometimes the bloggery here is a journey of self discovery that I need you to go on. You're welcome.
Even if you take hour 6-8 hours out of the equation for sleep, that still leaves you with a ton of time to move. Especially if you do it in small blocks.
As a stand alone bout of 10:00 minutes, or smaller bouts stacked multiple times, simple circuits can go a long way to help you move consistently. With the right exercises, you an build quite a lactic acid lather, regain a little sanity and have an easier time with the rest of your day. Here are a few ways it can shake out.
PLEASE NOTE: As an old school gym rat Bro Scientist, I always list the amount of sets first, and the time/rep count second.
a) 5 x 2:00 minute blocks of movement
b) 10 x 1:00 minute blocks of movement
c) One straight 10:00 minute block of movement.
d) It is a very flexible approach.
Compound Movements FTW
The most effective way to put together time crunched workouts is to use a squat, a push and pull. Suspension straps and bands make this really easy, and for at home fitness, they are worth their weight in gold.
Kettlebells and dumbbells are great, but you've got to store them somewhere. If you've got the room, have at it. If you don't, straps and bands take up virtually no room when not in use and give you 100's of movements possibilities. Not too mention they are a lot easier on the wallet than bells of various kinds.
Here are some of my favorite simple circuits. If you can put an interval timer on your phone, it makes the whole thing even easier because you set a specific amount of sets, time to move, rest periods and total minutes exercising.
Simple Circuit I: Suspension Straps
1) Single Leg Squats
We spend a ton of time on one leg each day (walking comes to mind), may as well strengthen your foundation.
2) Two Arm Low Row
My guess is that you sit for a few minutes a week. Working the posture muscles of the back half of the body to address isn't that bad of an idea. Suspension strap rows will help.
3) Chest Press
Total body core from a compound movement is what you get with the chest press. The chest press is a very basic, incredibly simple movement that can pack a wallop in a simple circuit.
Simple Circuit II: Exercise Bands
1) Exercise Band Step And Press
This is a pretty functional movement that uses damn near every muscle in the body at once. It is great for running mechanics as well because it pretty much uses the same muscles.
2) Exercise Band Step And Pull
Take the press from above, turn it around and now you're hitting the muscles in the back half of the body. If you're lucky, your heart rate will go up a little too.
3) Exercise Band RDL
If there's a posture muscle in the back half of the body, this exercise will activate it. If you need a good deadlift or kettlebell alternative, this will do the trick.
As you can tell from the exercises above, you don't need much to get a whole bunch done when it comes to exercising at home. With a few simple movements, you can put together a pretty effective total body exercise bout.
If you'd like more ideas on how to use simple circuits to fit in fitness at home, drop me a line and let's see what we can come up with.
You can also listen to "The Fit At Home Podcast" I co-host with Red Delta Project founder Matt Schifferle. Its a weekly show that gives you some great tools to optimize your at home fitness experience.