Lower Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Bursts

Low Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Blasts - you'll just need a set of weights and 15 minutes! (video included if you want to follow along at home)

You have no idea how many technical difficulties I had making this post–every electronic device I own mutinied on me yesterday. So a day and a half later than planned, let’s just get right to it…

Consider THIS with Weighted Low-Body Exercises

Before getting to the workout, I want to talk a little about choosing weights for the exercises we’ll be doing in the circuit portion. With weighted lower body exercises, don’t just think to yourself “Ok, how much extra weight can I handle for these exercises?” Consider where that added weight will be. A squat with a 20-lb dumbbell held at your chest, for example, will feel different from a squat with two 10-lb dumbbells held at your shoulders. That added front weight is going to alter your center of gravity and will require your back to work a bit harder to stabilize. This is especially true for any exercise in which your torso is hinging forward rather than remaining perfectly upright.

I mention this because you can really use any weight (dumbbell/s, kettlebell, medicine ball, etc.) for this circuit (or just body weight!), and if you go with a singular weight, you’d be holding it at your chest. If your form is on point and you know these exercises like the back of your hand, challenge yourself–go heavy! But if you’re newer to working out or have any history of back issues, I’d definitely encourage you to go lighter than you think you can handle. And that goes for everyone, regardless of where you’ll be holding your weight (shoulders, chest, down to your sides).

Lower Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Bursts


Equipment:

  • Set of dumbbells (or just one held at chest) — I’m using 8-lb weights because they’re the heaviest available at the studio where I filmed the workout. Normally I would have gone with 12-lbs. (No complaints haha).
  • Exercise mat — I didn’t have one when I filmed and my knees were angry during the surrenders. Use a mat!
  • Interval timer — I used this tabata iPhone app for the HIIT bursts and a regular stopwatch for the circuit.

For this workout, you’ll be alternating between a circuit of low-body exercises and a quick 2-minute bodyweight HIIT. The HIIT is all about speed and doing as many reps as you can in the given work interval. The circuit is about control and challenging yourself with weight load (keeping the above info in mind!). Each time you go through the circuit, you’ll stay on it for a shorter period of time.

Breakdown of the Workout:

Exercises and descriptions can be found below the pictorial. You’ll get 15 seconds of rest in between sides and before/after the HIIT.

Weighted Circuit on the Right (45 sec each exercise)
Weighted Circuit on the Left (45 sec each exercise)
2-Min HIIT Blast
Weighted Circuit on the Right (30 sec each exercise)
Weighted Circuit on the Left (30 sec each exercise)
2-Min HIIT Blast
Weighted Circuit on the Right (15 sec each exercise)
Weighted Circuit on the Left (15 sec each exercise)
2-Min HIIT Blast

Make sure to warm up before starting this workout (here’s a 5-minute warm up you can do at home). Always listen to your body and modify as needed! Low Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Blasts - you'll just need a set of weights and 15 minutes! (video included if you want to follow along at home)

Weighted Circuit

Complete 45/30/15 seconds of each exercise on the right then repeat on the left. Try to go from one exercise to the next without rest. If it gets to be too much, just slow down the pace. You can rest for 15 seconds in between the right and left legs.

Side Lunge to Knee Raise | Start standing with one weight at each 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. 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.

  • Make it easier: No knee raise; come back up to standing with both feet on the floor instead.
  • Make it harder: Add a hop off the left foot as you drive your right knee into the chest at the top.

Curtsy Lunge to Side Kick | Start standing with feet hip-width apart. From here, sink down into your curtsey lunge: right foot stays planted on the ground and as you bend that right knee, reach your left foot behind it as far to the right as you can, planting the ball of the foot down. As you come back up to standing, swing that back leg up and out to the left side in a wide kick. As if sweeps back down, lower into your next curtsy lunge.

Squat to Surrender | Start standing with weights at shoulders, feet a little wider than hip’s width apart. Squat down, sliding your hips back and down, keeping your chest open. From here, come to a kneeling position, stepping your right foot back behind you, planting the ball of the foot and knee on the floor and then doing the same with the left. Continuing to lead with the right, return to a low squat position, stepping the right foot forward onto the floor and then the left. From this low squat position, straighten the legs as you drive the hips forward to your starting position.

HIIT Blast

Set a timer for 4 rounds of 20 second work and 10 seconds rest. You’ll go through the following four exercises (20 sec on each with 10 sec rest in between).

Squat Jacks | Start in a low squat position with feet wide. Staying low in a squat, jump your feet in close together and then jump your feet out wide again to the starting position. When your feet are wide, one hand should come to the ground in front. Continue jacking your feet in and out, staying low in the squat and alternating which hands touches the floor (this ensures you’re staying low through the legs!).

Lunge Hop RIGHT | Start in a split-stance lunge position: both knees bent to 90 degrees, right foot flat in front; left foot in back, ball of the foot planted on the ground. Keeping the same foot in front/back, you hop a few inches into the air and land softly back into your starting position. Your legs are never fully straightening during this; it’s a small upward hop, pushing off the balls of the feet. To modify, take out the jump and just pulse at the bottom.

Lunge Hop LEFT 

Hot Feet | You probably know these best as a basketball or football drill. You essentially run in place as fast as you can while in a wide-leg squat position. With your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart, squat down. Staying low, you’ll quickly run your feet up and down, staying on the balls of your feet and barely picking them off the floor (an inch or two) so that you can maintain the speed.

Low Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Blasts - you'll just need a set of weights and 15 minutes! (video included if you want to follow along at home)terez-stand-up-to-cancer

WEARING | Terez SU2C Mantra leggings (5% of sales are donated to Stand Up To Cancer) // GAP tank // adidas neo sneakers (also love them in black with the marbled sole!) // Athleta bra (sold out in orange but much cuter colors available)

Just to highlight what’s mentioned above in the outfit details, the leggings I’m wearing in today’s post give back! Terez (also the makers of these skull leggings everyone loves) will donate a portion of the proceeds to Stand Up To Cancer.

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4-Min Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Sliding High Plank Exercises

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Slider ExercisesThe final day hath cometh! Did anyone do all seven of these tabatas? Let me know in the comments which was your favorite/hardest/easiest. I’m excited because I finally invested in a pair of real sliders and I can stop using dish towels. I went with these because they’re double-sided and work on both hardwood and carpet. $16, free shipping with Amazon Prime, done. Totally worth it.

4-Min Plank Tabata: Sliding Exercises

A tabata interval structure is 20 seconds of work + 10 seconds of rest, 8 times. This tabata will be made up of four different plank exercises and you’ll go through them twice. During the 10 seconds of “rest” you can either rest OR hold a plank. If your wrists need a breather, feel free to hold the plank from your forearms.

You’ll need sliders for this workout. Dish towels work well, too, if you have hardwood floors.

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Slider ExercisesBear | Start in a plank position with your feet on a towel. Keeping your hips level with your shoulders, back flat, slide your feet forward, bending your knees in towards your elbows. Slide feet back out, straightening your legs into plank position. Two most common errors while doing this are lifting the booty up as your feet slide in and letting the low back arch down towards the floor. Pull your abs in tight the whole time, maintaining a flat back.

Windshield Wiper Slides | From a high plank position, you’re going to slide (it may require a light hop) both feet up and over to the outside of your right hand. Staying as light on the feet as possible, slide/hop back to center plank. Repeat to the left.

Single-Leg Sliding Mountain Climbers (Isolate One Side)| Start in a high plank with your right foot on a slider and your left leg straight and hovering. Keeping the left leg hovering the entire time, do mountain climbers, driving or sliding one knee into your chest while the other is extended and then alternating. This isn’t just a core challenge, your slider leg will be fired up as well!

You’ll do just the right side the first 20-second interval. Do just the left side the next time you come to the exercise.

Sliding Kickthroughs | From high plank, slide your right foot across your body and over to the left, straightening out your leg and swiveling through the hips. Bring it back to center and repeat with the left.

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Slider Exercises

WEARING | leggings & tank c/o Sweaty Betty (tank is old–shop current here)

I want to draw special attention to my leggings because Sweaty Betty is hosting a kickass giveaway to celebrate the launch of them. You can enter to win $1000 in activewear HERE–holler! These new Power leggings are meant to be versatile and fitting for a wide range of activities. As with all SB leggings I own, the waistband is high, wide and comfortable and the print is super fun. Love them! Check out the whole collection of Powers.

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4-Min Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Forearm Slider Exercises

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Sliding Forearm Plank ExercisesOh man was it overly ambitious of me to think I’d get up two plank challenge posts on the weekend while in Arizona at a wellness retreat (lolzzz nice try, Nicole). I have so much content for you guys from revitalize as well as new full-body workouts and other posts, but first I have to share the last two plank tabatas dammit!!

4-Minute Plank Tabata Workout: Forearm Slider Exercises


A tabata interval structure is 20 seconds of work + 10 seconds of rest, 8 times. This tabata will be made up of four different plank exercises and you’ll go through them twice. During the 10 seconds of “rest” you can either rest OR hold a plank. 

You’ll need sliders for this workout. Dish towels work well, too, if you have hardwood floors. 4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Sliding Forearm Plank Exercises

Forearm Plank to Pike | Start in a forearm plank position with your feet on the sliders. Keeping your legs straight and heels lifted, pike your hips up into the air, bringing your body into an upside-down V shape. Slowly lower back down to plank. If you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to get your hips up very high–that’s ok!

Army Crawl | Put your feet on a towel and get into a plank with your forearms at the end of an exercise mat. Army crawl your way up the length of the mat, one forearm in front of the other, maintaining the plank position as you slide forward. When you can no longer go any farther forward, reverse the motion, crawling your forearms backward towards the starting edge of the mat. As you move, try to keep your hips level in a plank. They’ll want to dip side to side with each step of the forearms; use your core strength to stabilize them.

Beginners: you can do these from your knees, just make sure to add an extra towel for padding.

Low Corkscrew | From a forearm plank, you’re going to bend your knees in towards your right arm, twisting through the waist. Extend back out to plank and then repeat, twisting your knees in towards the left arm. Your hips will be a few inches higher than your shoulders as you bend the knees, but try to get them back to a level height when you extend back out to plank.

Saw Jacks | From forearm plank, start by sliding your feet out wide to the sides and then back to center, keeping your hips level with the shoulders. From here, saw your body back and forth, hinging from the shoulders and maintaining your neutral spine. This part is hard! You may only be able to rock back an inch or two–that’s ok!

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Sliding Forearm Plank Exercises

WEARING | Fabletics leggings (get your first outfit for $25) // Soybu tank (sold out but love this flowy tee from them) // Champion bra

Ok–one day to go! Then I’ll officially be all planked out and ready to switch up the workouts for you guys. 😉

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