Sometimes, travelling to the gym, or having to set up a weight machine in order to start exercising can be more of a deterrent than anything else. In cases like these, we can actually begin to consider workouts or exercises that do not require us to put in the kind of money into an expensive exercise equipment or the amount of travelling time it takes to get to the gym.
When you do not have the burden of gyms or bulky equipment, that actually allows you to execute a tried-and-tested training system called circuit training. With circuit training, you get to enjoy the following benefits:
1. You don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment in order to keep fit.
2. You never have to travel anywhere. Almost any place is good enough to start a circuit training.
3. Most of the best abdominal exercises rely on your body weight anyway, so if abs are your focus, then you’re set.
4. Without the ‘safety’ that dumbbells and barbells provide, we are made to become more coherent and creative during the workout.
Here’s a sample workout for you to try. Remember, you can mix and match, or add in your own favourite exercises to vary or intensify the workout.
Start with 5 to 10 minutes of continuous activity that involves large muscle groups—such as doing running stairs, or skipping rope. Then do each exercise on your circuit list in succession, pausing only long enough to get ready for the next one.
Start with 12 repetitions of each exercise, eventually working your way up to 20.
When you’ve completed the circuit—that is, when you’ve done all the exercises on your list—cool down for several minutes or engage in another 3 to 5 minutes of cardio work. Then go through the circuit a second time.
Support your body with the balls of your feet and with your hands, positioning the latter slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, palms flat on the floor. Straighten
Start: Stand with one leg 3 to 4 feet in front of the other, with your toes pointed forward. Your front foot should be flat on the floor, but only the ball of your back foot should be planted. To help yourself balance, line up each foot with its corresponding buttock, not with the other foot. Keep your torso erect. Rest your hands behind your head.
Finish: Bend both knees to lower your body straight down until your back knee is a few inches off the floor and your front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle—that is, with the thigh parallel to the floor and the lower leg perpendicular to the floor. Your torso and rear thigh should form a straight line. Return to the starting position. Finish the set, then switch your front and back legs and repeat.
Start: Stand leaning against a wall with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and about 2 feet in front of you. Put an unfolded towel behind you so that your back presses against it rather than directly on the wall.
Finish: Bend your knees and let your back slide down the wall along with the towel until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up.
Start: Lie facedown with your legs straight and your arms stretched straight in front of you, with your hands on the floor.
Finish: Lift your arms, head, chest, and lower legs off the floor simultaneously. Hold this position for 1 to 5 seconds, keeping your head and neck at the same height as your shoulders throughout the movement. Return to the starting position.
Start: Hold on to the seat of a sturdy chair behind you, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor—as if you were seated in another, invisible chair.
Finish: Keep your back arched and close to the chair as you slowly lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Your torso should remain straight. Pause, then press back up to the starting position.
Lie with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place a rolled-up towel under your lower back. This adds to your range of motion, forcing your abs to work harder. Same movement here as the regular crunch. Pause at the top, then slowly return to the starting
Start: Get down on your hands and knees, keeping your back flat.
Finish: Take a deep breath, allowing your belly to pooch out. Then forcibly exhale and round your back like an angry cat as you lift your navel up toward your spine. When you can exhale no more, keep your back rounded and your navel in as you purse your lips and take shallow breaths through your nose for several seconds. That’s 1 repetition; it should take 20 to 30 seconds. Inhale as you flatten your back to the