08 July, 2011
Fun Circuit Training Exercises
Circuit training usually involves a variation of high intensity interval training, or HIIT, which boosts your heart rate and challenges your physical abilities through short, circuited movements. Especially in a workout sequence where moves are revisited and reps gradually increase, it's important to look forward to the challenge that's coming next. Incorporating dance, acrobatics, and gymnastics into a circuit are three ways to build a surprising amount of strength in forms that are exploratory and playful.
Cardio Kickboxing Routine
Turn up the tunes, cardio kickboxing routines incorporate punches and kicks into cardio-heavy workouts. Between the music and the punch/ kick combinations friendly to all levels of coordination, cardio kickboxing feels more like a dance party than an afternoon at the gym. According to the American Health Association, cardio kickboxing not only boosts strength, but flexibility, too. To integrate some kickboxing action into your circuit, try a basic combination: squat, right arm punch, left arm punch. When you're ready for some variety, trade out the punches for hooks or undercuts.
Balancing Single Leg Squats
Bring a lightness to your body and your squats by floating out into an airplane position from your squats. This yogi balancing maneuver, balletic in its form, will bring both an enjoyable lightness to your body and a flight to your step. From a single leg squat, bring a bend to your extended knee and sweep the lifted leg back behind you with your toes flexed toward the ground and your arms reaching beyond your ears -- an airplane position. You can stay here to engage your core stability or move from your airplane position through to your single-leg squat on the other side.
Bring some core cultivation and fun into your circuit with rainbow jumps. Starting from a downward dog position, rainbow jumps involve jumping your feet forward to meet your hands and backward to land with elbows close to your ribs in a low pushup position. An acrobatic strength training movement, rainbow jumps are play time with hang time for adults. As your core and triceps strengthen, you will be able to gain height on your jumps forward and backward.
Turn your circuits and your body upside down. Handstands are a playful way to strengthen the arms and experience a levitation of the legs. By developing the scapula muscles, general arm and core strength and balance, handstand kicks will get the heart pumping and the blood moving back toward the heart, which will leave you energized for your next circuit. From shortened downward dog, lift your right heel skyward and bend into your left knee to explode through your left foot as you kick up. Start with sets of five kicks for each leg and see if you can suspend your airtime with each kick.
- John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images