Bodyweight Cardio Circuit Workout

Not all of us have access to a gym or workout equipment. The good news is you don’t need any of that to get an effective and fun workout. Using just your body weight, you can improve your strength, cardio, and flexibility. This workout focuses on using your body weight to work on both strength and cardio by increasing your heart rate and working against gravity. You can do this workout at home, in a gym setting, or head outside and enjoy the outdoors. Just make sure you have a large enough space to safely perform these exercises. You will want a flat surface that is not slippery. Make sure there are no obstacles around you that could cause you to trip or hurt yourself.

This is a circuit workout, which means you will go through each exercise once, take a break, and then start from the beginning again. This makes it modifiable to your fitness level and the intensity of the workout. If you are a beginner, start with doing 15 seconds of each exercise. Take breaks between exercises if you need to. Try to repeat the circuit 3 times. See how you feel the next day, and if you feel good, try 20 seconds per exercise, working up to 1 minute per exercise. Take anywhere from a 30 second to 2-minute break between circuits. The amazing thing about interval training is that we do not need to exercise for very long to get in a good workout and burn a ton of calories.

Feeling extra strong? Add some resistance to the exercises! Hold dumbbells, soup cans, milk jugs or water bottles. If you like using resistance bands, you can make use of those too.

1. High Knees

High Knees

High knees are a great way to warm up the entire body and activate the core. If jumping is too difficult, march in place for a lower impact version of the exercise.

Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart. Drive one knee up towards your chest as you counter the movement with your opposite arm. Engage your core to raise your knee as high as possible. At the top position, hop onto your other foot and lower your foot to the ground. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction. Involving the arms helps warm up your shoulders, while the high knees warm up your hips and knees. Try to focus on engaging your core and not move laterally too much.

Modifications: As mentioned earlier, perform marches and leave out the jump for a lower-impact alternative. If you have any hip or knee pain, definitely opt for this variation.

Perform the exercise for 15 seconds to 1 minute, then move onto the next exercise.

2. Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are another great way to loosen up the joints and improve your cardiovascular fitness. If jumping is too difficult, do a low-impact, stepping version of this exercise instead.

Begin in a standing position with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Jump up, landing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your arms overhead. Jump up, landing with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Focus on your core and perform smooth, controlled movements.

For the low-impact version of this exercise, begin by standing with your arms at your sides. Step out to the side with one foot as you raise your arms overhead. Step back to the starting position as you lower your arms to your sides. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Modifications: If you have any joint pain, try the low-impact version of the exercise first to build strength and warm up the body.

Perform the exercise for 15 seconds to 1 minute, then move onto the next exercise.

3. Jump Squats

Jump Squats

Jump squats are a challenging exercise, so work your way up to performing the full exercise. Squats work your legs, especially your quads and glutes, and the jumping movement gets your heart pumping and improves your cardiovascular fitness.

Begin by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Hinge through your hips and knees to move into a squat position, similar to sitting in a chair. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes and your knees in line with your ankles. Keep your chest forward and your core engaged. Jump, landing with soft knees. Lower back down to the squat position and repeat the movement.

Modifications: For a lower impact version, perform regular squats. Squeeze your glutes as you stand back up. If you are experiencing hip or knee pain, move into a shallower squat.

Perform the exercise for 15 seconds to 1 minute, then move onto the next exercise.

4. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are the ultimate full-body workout, as it engages your upper body, lower body, and core simultaneously.

Begin in a 4-point position, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Tuck your toes and move into a straight-arm plank position, maintaining alignment from your shoulders to your heels. From the plank position, engage your core and drive one knee towards your chest. Bring your leg back to the starting plank position, then repeat the movement with your opposite leg. Similar to the other exercises, you can increase or decrease the intensity of this exercise by either jumping or stepping.

Perform the exercise for 15 seconds to 1 minute, then take a break before starting the circuit again. When you first start, give yourself a couple of minutes, and as you progress, shorten your break time.

Be sure to give this bodyweight circuit workout a try. This is a great way to work all of your muscle groups while giving your cardiovascular system a push.

And for the ultimate bodyweight workout, be sure to check out the Bodyweight Blender workout below.

Bodyweight Blender