Mini-Circuits Workout (Full Body, Set of Dumbbells)

Mini Circuits Workout - full body, dumbbells

For many months now, it’s been pretty quiet here on the blog. A post here, a post there, sometimes with weeks in between. I’m really excited for that to change. I have a ton planned for 2018 and P&I will soon be back to a regular 3-5 posts each week. Woop woooop! I know a lot of us are in vacation mode this week and not checking blogs, but I’m sharing this mini-circuits workout anyway. Mainly because these leggings are only appropriate for a few more days and I need to get maximal wear out of them. 😉

Mini-Circuits Workout

EQUIPMENT I USED

  • 10-lb dumbbells – you might want two sets of weights, a heavy and medium set (I wished I had a heavier pair during the first circuit)
  • Exercise mat

This workout is broken up into three mini circuits. For each circuit, you’ll complete four sets of three exercises. You do each exercise for 30 seconds, back to back, and then rest for 15 seconds before starting the next set.

As with all workouts, make sure you’re properly warmed up beforehand. Always listen to your body, modifying or stopping as needed.

Mini Circuits Workout - full body, dumbbells

CIRCUIT 1 – Core & Upper Body

  • Row to Crossbody Crunch | In a plank position with a dumbbell in your right hand, row your right elbow up, bringing the weight to your armpit. Return it to the floor and crunch left knee across to your right elbow. Alternate sides each set.
  • Rolling Crunches | For these, you just alternate between a side v-up crunch on your right side, then roll onto your back for a regular full-body crunch, then roll onto your left side for another side v-up, back to center, and so on. Start laying on your right side with right arm stretched outwards on the ground for support. Do a side crunch, lifting your legs up and crunching the knees in to meet your left elbow and raised torso. Lower down and roll onto your back with arms overhead and legs straight out, hovering a couple inches off the floor (to make these challenging, try your best to never let your feet rest on the floor, even while rolling from side to side). From this position, bend your knees into your chest at the same time as you crunch your torso off the floor. Slowly release back down onto your back and roll over to your left side for your next side v crunch.
  • Windmill to Shoulder Press | Start in a standing position, feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, dumbbell pressed above head in right hand. Your right foot should be pointing forward, your left foot pointing out to the side (perpendicular to the right). Slowly bend down from the hips, keeping legs and the arm holding the weight straight (but don’t lock out the knees). Lightly touch the ground by your left foot with your left hand, keeping the weight perpendicular to the ground the whole time. Slowly rise back up to starting position. Do a shoulder press, lowering the weight and pressing it back up. Alternate sides each set.

CIRCUIT 2 – Legs & Glutes

  • Low Squat to Side Lunge | Start in a low squat position with a weight at your shoulders. Staying low, lightly tap your left foot out wide into a side lunge then back to center. Alternate sides each set.
  • Surrender Squats | Start by squatting down with weights held at shoulders. Step your right foot back behind you, planting the ball of the foot on the floor as you gently lower your knee to the ground. Both knees should be at opposing 90-degree angles. Step your left foot back to meet the right so that you’re kneeling on the ground. Step your right foot forward so that you’re in the same position as before, just with the opposite foot in front. Bring your left foot forward (staying low), returning to your starting low squat position. Power up to stand. Switch your lead foot each rep.
  • Popcorn Squats | Jump your feet out wide as you sink down in a squat, brining one hand to touch the floor. Hop back up brining feet together then immediately go back down bringing opposite hand to the floor. Continue, jumping as quickly as you can.

CIRCUIT 3 – Full Body

  • Overhead Swing to Marching Plank | Start in a low sumo squat position with weight between your feet, toes angled outward. Swing the weight overhead, staying low in a squat. When you do this, make sure you’re engaged through the core, not letting your rib cage poke out. Bring weight back to floor and hands outside of it. Hop back into a plank position and march down to a forearm plank and back up to hands. Hop feet up wide and start from the top. When you do the march, alternate which is the lead hand.
  • Torso Twist in Lunge | With right foot forward and left foot back, hold a low lunge position, front knee bent to 90 degrees and stacked over the ankle. Hold a dumbbell in both hands and outstretch arms at chest height. From here, twist torso, brining arms out over to the right. Return to center. Alternate sides each set.
  • Squat Press | With one weight on each shoulder, squat down and drive up, doing a shoulder press at the top. Keep your core engaged as you do this so that you don’t arch into the low back too much.

Mini Circuits Workout - full body, dumbbells

WEARING | Terez leggings (old, but they have a similar holiday print in black) / ASICS zip-up / Adidas 24/7 training sneakers

Happy holidays, everyone! Enjoy this week with family.

xo Nicole

Links to outfit details are affiliate.

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

This 20-minute beginner interval workout is perfect if you’re new to exercising or have taken a long time off and want to get back into a routine. Minimal equipment is required (just a set of weights), so it’s perfect to do at home.

I don’t post a ton of workouts geared specifically towards beginners (check out my last one here), because in ALL my videos I do give modifications so that every workout can be scaled down as needed. That being said, my beginner tabata workout has over 17,000 views on YouTube, so I think that’s a sign today’s routine is way overdue! If you guys like these beginner-friendly workouts, be sure to let me know in the comments on the blog or YouTube and I’ll keep ’em coming more frequently.

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

Video is sponsored by MegaFood and one of my favorite products of theirs: Blood Builder. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂

EQUIPMENT I USED:

  • Set of 10-lb dumbbells (use a weight that works for you; 5 lbs is a great place to start!)
  • Exercise mat
  • Chair or bench for modifying (optional but recommended if mobility issues prevent you from getting down to the floor and back up again repeatedly)

For this workout, we’ll be doing 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. You have six exercises that you’ll go through three times (18 minutes total). We’ll then rest for 60 seconds and finish up the workout with a minute of modified burpees.

As with all workouts, make sure to properly warm up beforehand. I have a 5-minute warm up on my YouTube channel you can do, or just do one on your own. Always listen to your body, modifying or stopping as needed. In the video, I explain how to modify every exercise as we go through the workout.

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

EXERCISE BREAKDOWN

Side-to-Side Lunges | From a standing position, step your right foot out wide to the side, bending your right knee and sliding the hips back as you lunge down and reach your opposite left hand across your body to the floor by your right foot. Push off your right side to return to standing. repeat over to the left.

TO MODIFY: Instead of reaching your hand all the way to the floor, stretch it across your body at chest height.

Jumping Jacks | As you jump your feet out wide, swing your arms overhead. Continue jumping your feet in and out and your hands swish up and down.

TO MODIFY: Step instead of jump. From a standing position, step your right leg out to the side as you bring your right arm overhead. Return to center and repeat on the left. Continue alternating.

Reverse Lunge, Curl to Press | Hold a weight in each hand down at your sides. Step your left foot back behind you, bending the right knee into a lunge. At the bottom of your lunge, do a bicep curl and then a shoulder press. Reverse the movement and stand.

TO MODIFY: Use a chair for balance. Your right hand will hold on to the chair as you lunge back, and do the curl and press with just the left arm.

Reverse Lunge, Curl to Press on other side

Russian Twists | Holding a weight with both hands, sit on your bum, leaning back and hovering your feet of the floor. Twist side to side, bringing the weight to the outside of each hip.

TO MODIFY: If on the floor, place your heels lightly on the ground. If mobility issues prevent you from getting to the ground, sit in a chair and twist from there.

Bird Dog | Who named this exercise? Why is it called Bird Dog? Is it even called Bird Dog or did I make that up years ago and now just foolishly believe it to be true?! Anyway … start in a tabletop position on the floor. From here, reach your opposite leg and arm out long. Pause and then return to starting tabletop. Repeat on the other side.

TO MODIFY: If mobility issues prevent you from getting to the ground, place hands on a bench or chair so that you’re in an incline plank position. From here, lift up one leg at a time.

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

WEARING | DYI leggings / Puma tank (old) / adidas sneakers

Before I end this post, a little PSA: You should totally subscribe to my YouTube channel. 😉 While I get that it’s not completely necessary because I do always embed the videos on the blog as well, there are some definite perks to being a subscriber. My videos usually go live there hours (or even days) before they’re up on the blog and you’ll get an email notification when they do.

25-Minute Circuit Workout with Cardio Blasts: Legs & Butt

25-Minute Circuit Workout with Cardio Blasts: Butt & LegsHappy Friday! I’m looking forward to a busy, fun weekend. Tonight I’m heading to Credo for a makeup event with some other Boston “influencers” (I hate using that word to describe myself but “Instagrammers” also sounds weird—can’t win) and tomorrow I’m doing a photoshoot with Reebok. I’m really excited for the shoot but admittedly a little nervous. Getting the chance to work with a big fitness brand brings out the little insecurities as my mind falls into the comparison trap (I don’t have a visible, ripped six pack; I’m not flexible enough to do crazy-cool poses; blah blah blah). It’s useless chatter that doesn’t serve me and I’m sure the shoot is going to be a blast and my tight hip flexors and l will be fabulous. *snaps fingers and flips hair*

Now to shift focus on to a photoshoot I most definitely was not nervous about … let’s talk about me alone in my living room with a camera set up on a tripod (aka today’s workout). 😉 This 25-minute circuit workout focuses on legs and butt and damn did it burn!

25-Minute Circuit Workout with HIIT Blasts: Legs & Butt

EQUIPMENT I USED:

This workout is broken up into four mini circuits. For each of the circuits, you do three exercises for 30 seconds each, three times through. So that’s four and a half minutes of continuous work. You then rest for 30 seconds and finish the circuit with 30 seconds of cardio finisher. The last circuit is a little different in that instead of resting after the circuit, you go right into your finisher which is just a 30-second hold.

I’m using a 20-lb kettlebell but you could totally do this with a dumbbell and, as always, adjust the weight to fit your current fitness level. I’m also using a resistance band loop. If you don’t have one, don’t sweat it. All the exercises can be done without it as well (and will still be challenging, I promise).

As with all workouts, make sure to warm up beforehand. I have a 5-minute warm up on my YouTube channel or you can do your own. Listen to your body and modify as needed. If something doesn’t feel right, stop. There’s a difference between challenging your body and hurting it—let’s stick to the former!

25-Minute Circuit Workout with Cardio Blasts: Butt & Legs

Circuit 1

30 seconds each exercise x3 – loop band around thighs, use weight

Sumo Squat | Hold your weight at your chest with elbows in tight (like a goblet squat). Feet are a little wider than hip’s width apart, toes are angled out. Keep your chest open and upright, shoulders back and you bend your knees and sink down into your squat. Actively push out against the resistance band so that your knees track in line with your middle toes the whole time. Press back to the top, bringing your hips forward and squeezing your butt at the top.

Sumo Squat Pulses | Hold your lowest squat and pulse up and down at the bottom. For these, you’re going to keep the weight at your chest as long as you can. When it gets to be too much, place it on the floor but stay low in your pulses!

Low Squat Side to Side Step | No weight for this one (unless you’re really advanced and want it—then be my guest!). Staying in a low squat position, you’re going to walk side to side, three or four steps to the left and three or four steps to the right. You want tension on the resistance band the whole time so never let your feet come in too narrow as you do these. Think wide and low.

CARDIO BLAST (30 sec): Squat Jacks | No weight for this one either. Start in a low squat position with feet wide, weight in your heels, low abs engaged, hips back. 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, bring one hand to touch the ground, alternating hands each time.

Circuit 2 – RIGHT LEG

30 seconds each exercise x3 – use weight

Single Leg Deadlift to Reverse Lunge | Hold the weight in your left hand. Your right foot will stay firmly planted on the ground the whole time. Left toes are *lightly* on the floor about six inches behind the right foot. From here, do your deadlift, sending your hips back and hinging from the hips as you lower the weight towards the floor. This is a hinge, not a squat, so the weight doesn’t need to come all the way down to the ground. Keep your chest open as you do this. Come back to stand and then step your left foot far back behind you, sinking into a reverse lunge. Come back up, bringing the left toes lightly to the ground behind the right and repeat.

Curtsy Lunge | Start standing with feet hip-width apart, weight held at your chest. To modify, do these without the weight. 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 until the ball of the left foot is planted on the ground as well. From this deep lunge position, you’re going to slowly stand up on the right foot, bringing the left foot back to center, lighting touching it to the ground (don’t shift too much weight into that left side)

Reverse Lunge to Low Squat | No weight for this one (unless you want it, in which case rock on!). Start in a low squat position. Staying low, step your left foot back into a low lunge and then quickly back up to the squat. You continue lightly stepping back and up, staying low through the legs and keeping weight in your right heel. This one burns!

CARDIO BLAST (30 sec): Sprinter Hops | Start in a low lunge position with right foot forward and fingertips lightly on the ground framing your front foot. From here, you’re going to hop everything off the ground (your feet barely need to leave the floor) and land right back low. Keep your chest open as you do these (try not to hunch). If mobility issues make these ones tough, do regular lunge hops with your torso upright instead of getting so low through the upper body.

Circuit 3 – REPEAT CIRCUIT 2 ON LEFT LEG

Circuit 4

30 seconds each exercise x3 – resistance band loop around thighs

Circuit 4 is five straight minutes of hip bridge work (talk about a glute burn!). If you want it to be harder, you can place your feet on an elevated surface or place a weight across your hips. In the video for this workout, I talk a bit about form in hip bridge exercises and if you’re new to working out, it’s definitely worth watching. Scroll up to the embedded video and fast forward to 20:05 for form tips.

Hip Bridge Lifts | Start laying on your back with knees bent, feet hip’s width apart, heels under knees, arms by side. Pressing into your heels and squeezing into your glutes, lift your hips up to a bridge position. Lower back down to hover your hips over the floor (try not to rest them)

Hip Bridge Pulses Out + Up | Hold the top of your bridge and pulse your knees out wide against the resistance band then pulse your hips up an inch higher to the ceiling. Continue pulsing out and up.

Hip Bridge March | Holding the top of your bridge, you’re going to lift one foot at a time, crunching the knee in towards your chest like a march. Try to keep your hips level as you do this (both hip bones same distance from the ceiling). If your resistance band rides up during this, don’t sweat it, just keep on marching.

FINISHER (30 sec): Hip Bridge Hold | Hold the top of your bridge.

25-Minute Circuit Workout with Cardio Blasts: Butt & Legs25-Minute Circuit Workout with Cardio Blasts: Butt & Legs

WEARING | (outfit c/o of adidas) leggings / tank / sports bra / sneakers

I know that last picture of my outfit has nothing to do with the workout, I just think it’s cute. [insert sassy girl emoji] Speaking of cute …

Activewear Sale Alert!

Now until 10/29 you can take 20% off your *first* order from Carbon38 with the code CARBON20. I pretty much want every single piece of activewear on their site, but if you’re looking for specific suggestions, almost everything in this fall style roundup post I did last month is from Carbon38. Shop the site HERE.



Links to equipment and outfit details are affiliate.