20-Minute Total Body Circuit Workout with Dumbbells

All I’ve been posting lately is workouts! I’ll get some variety on here ASAP but for anyone not feeling the pyramid superset workouts I’ve been posting each Monday, I wanted to throw another structure into the mix. This workout will be as hard as you make it (depends on how heavy you go with the weights) so it’s great for most fitness levels.

20-Minute Total Body Circuit Workout with Dumbbells

Equipment I Used

Set an interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds work / 15 seconds rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of exercises four times. Focus on one side (right/left) each time through the circuit. In other words, do all the one-sided exercises on the right then left then right then left.

Single-Leg Squat | As far as upper body goes, I want you to think “deadlift.” Lower body, think “single-leg squat/curtsy lunge.” Start standing on your right leg holding the weight in both hands in front of your body. Start to squat down on your right side, sending the left leg behind you into a hover. Make sure your right knee doesn’t jut out farther than your toes by thinking about sending your hips and butt back and down. Weight should be in your right heel at the bottom of your squat. Lower until the weight lightly taps the ground (or hovers) and then stand back up. As you do this, make sure you’re engaging your abs to avoid undue stress on the lower back.

Single-Arm Burpee with Thrust | Start standing with one dumbbell in your right hand at your shoulder and the other hand behind your back (you won’t use it at all). Squat down. Bring the dumbbell to the floor. Jump your feet back into a single-arm plank. Jump the feet back up, bring the weight to your shoulder and then stand up, thrusting the weight up overhead as you do.

Squat Jump-Jacks | Start in a low squat position with feet a little wider than hips width apart. Staying low in the squat, jump your feet in together and then back out wide. From there, do a squat jump, straightening your legs as you jump straight up in the air and then landing softly back down in your starting position.

Thread the Needle Plank to Side Plank Rotation | Start in a plank position with hands underneath shoulders, right hand gripping the dumbbell. Once you start the movement, you won’t return to this position (dumbbell won’t touch floor again). Rotate your body open to the right, dropping your heels so that you’re on the edges of your feet in a staggered side plank position. As you do reach the dumbbell up to the ceiling. Twist back to center plank, rolling back to the balls of your feet and squaring your hips as you wrap the dumbbell through the space between the floor and your chest, reaching it across your body to the left side of the room (like you’re giving yourself a one-arm hug). Reverse the movement, rotating back open into side plank, extending the weight back up to the ceiling.

This one will work both sides of your obliques (right as you twist through center threading the needle), left as you twist open and support your bottom sidebody. I always feel it more in the side holding the weight though.

Curl to Press in Lunge | Start in a low lunge position, right foot forward, ball of the left foot planted behind you (you want your back knee bent, too). Hold a weight in each hand down by your sides. From here, do a biceps curl, rotating the palms towards your body as you curl them up to your shoulders. Then do a shoulder press, rotating the weights as you press them above your head so that palms face forward. As you do the shoulder press, straighten your legs, rising out of your low lunge. Reverse the movement back down to starting position.

WEARING | Mindfulness cropped leggings c/o Aurum // H&M crop tee (old but American Apparel has a similar one) // Nike TR Flex Supreme sneakers

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Low Body Stacked Circuit Workout (Bodyweight or Dumbbells)

I mentioned a couple months ago that I took a trip to New Hampshire to teach a fitness class for the team at MegaFood to spotlight their Bone Health tablet. Strength training + the goodness in this supplement = happy bones.

When most people think of bone health, calcium is the first thing that comes to mind. And it is important, but in the right amount. Too much calcium can actually be a bad thing, as it goes to the arteries and can increase your risk of heart disease. It’s also worthwhile to note that men need less calcium than women, and in some cases shouldn’t be taking supplements containing it at all (a bone density test is the best way to know if this applies to you). Bone Health is specially formulated by Dr. Tieraona Low Dog with 500mg of calcium.

In addition to calcium, your bones need other vitamins and minerals. The tablets have 300mg of magnesium, 1000 IU of Vitamin D, Vitamin K1 and K2 and Vitamin C to help your body absorb the calcium.

If you’re taking one of MegaFood’s other multi vitamins, you’ll notice they don’t contain calcium and magnesium. These minerals are large so to keep the size of the tablets down, they’re found separately in Bone Health. Even with the separation, MegaFood can only fit so much of these minerals from food (if all 500mg of calcium came from food, the tablet would be MASSIVE) so the rest comes from rice amino acid chelate.

Ok now that you’re a pro with Bone Health, let’s talk about another big component of bone health: strength training. This is the low body portion of the class I taught the MegaFood team.

Low Body Stacked Circuit Workout

Equipment I Used

The structure of this workout is the same format as the Power class I used to teach at BURN (they just opened a beautiful second studio in the Back Bay–local readers should check out a class there!!) The circuit is stacked like a game of Simon. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds and the sets get longer as you add on exercises. So here’s a breakdown:

  • Exercise 1
  • Rest 30 sec
  • Exercise 1 + Exercise 2
  • Rest 30 sec
  • Exercise 1 + Exercise 2 + Exercise 3
  • Rest 30 sec

And so on until you’ve done all six exercises.

Weighted Squat – Squat Thrust Combo | Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, feet about hip’s width apart and squat down, keeping your lower abdomen held in and sliding your bum and hips back and down. Once you reach your lowest squat, power up, driving your hips forward and engaging the glutes as you straighten your legs to stand. As you do so, press the dumbbells overhead into a shoulder press. Repeat, but without the thrust.

Truck Driver | Start by squatting down, weight in your heels, hips down and back, core engaged and chest open. Hold a dumbbell on the ends, palms facing in towards each other, and extend arms straight in front of you at chest height. You’re going to maintain this position the entire duration of the exercise. From here, you’re just going to rotate the weight in your hands, tipping one end up and then the other, as if your hand were on a steering wheel (hence the exercise name). Try not to bend the arms or let them drop below chest height as you rotate them back and forth.

Side Lunge to Knee Raise (alternate sides each set) | Start standing with one weight in your left hand at your shoulder. Step your right foot out wide to the side, bending that knee and sinking your hips back and down into a deep side lunge. As you do, bring the weight across your body towards the right foot. Press off that right foot to push yourself back up to standing, but instead of bringing your right foot to the floor, drive the knee up and into your chest and then lunge right back down to the side.

Jump Lunge | Start in a split-stance lunge: right foot in front, ball of left foot planted on the floor behind you. Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, front knee aligned over ankle, back knee hovering just a couple inches off the floor. From here, push off your feet to jump up in the air, switching feet in mid-air and landing back in a lunge with left foot forward and right foot planted behind. Continue, alternating feet with each jump.

Single Leg Squat (alternate legs each set) | Keeping a flat back, chest open, and holding the weight in both hands, hover your left foot off the ground behind you and squat down on the right leg, lowering the weight towards the floor. If you need balance help, lightly touch the left foot on the ground behind you. Press back up a straight leg.

Squat Jack with Scoop | For the low body, think jumping jacks in a squat position. For the upper body, think paddling a canoe. This one can be like rubbing your stomach while patting your head, so don’t be frustrated if it feels uncoordinated at first—you can always eliminate the upper body movement and just hold the weight at your chest as you jump your feet in and out.

Start in a low squat position with feet wide, weight in your heels, low abs engaged, hips back and a dumbbell held at your chest with both hands. Staying low in a squat, jump your feet in close together as you scoop the dumbbell down and around to the left of your left leg. As the weight comes up and back to center, jump your feet out wide again to the starting position. Repeat, this time scooping the dumbbell down and around to the right side of your legs as you jump them close together. The goal is to stay low in a squat as you jack your feet in and out, fluidly scooping the dumbbell side to side like a figure eight or canoe oar.

WEARING | Michi NY leggings (old but this newer design is similar) // tank c/o Reebok (old but this muscle tank is similar) // Fabletics bra // Adidas neo sneakers (sold out but these are pretty darn close)

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This post was sponsored by MegaFood. While I am a paid ambassador for the brand, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I truly love their products (and think you guys will, too!) and will be using them long after our partnership comes to a close. Outfit links are affiliate.

Superset Pyramid Time Challenge Workout (Week 2) – Slider Exercises

Week 2 of the superset pyramid time challenge series is here! If you missed last week’s, be sure to check it out, too (my abs were sore for three days after doing it!).

Superset Pyramid Time Challenge – Slider Exercises

Equipment I Used:

For this workout, you’ll do 10 reps of each exercise (on the right and on the left) and then 9 reps, 8 … down to 1 rep of each. Complete the workout as fast as you can without sacrificing proper form. Make sure to warm up beforehand. 

Torso Twist Lunge Sliders | Start in a low lunge position with the right foot forward and the back left foot on a slider. Hold a weight between your hands with arms outstretched at chest height. Staying low on the right leg, weight in your heel, bend your left knee, sliding the left foot forward as you bring the weight into your chest and then extending the leg back out behind you as you press the weight forward, returning to the starting position. From there, keeping your arms outstretched, twist your torso to the right and then back to starting. That’s 1 rep.

Single Leg Mountain Sliders | Start in a plank position with one foot on a slider and the other leg hovering. From there, it’s just like a mountain climber except you’re sliding the supporting foot in and out. Each pair = 1 rep (right + left).

WEARING | Reebok tank // Shadow Leggings by Michi c/o Shopbop // Nike TR Flex Supreme (also love their Flyknit training sneaker)

If you tried last week’s time challenge, too, let me know how they compared in the comments! Personally, this one was easier for me than the first.