Workout Routines

Fat Burning, Floor-based Beatdown

Short on time? Try this mini circuit to target your shoulders, chest, triceps, lower abs and core.

Fat Burning, Floor-based Beatdown

Circuit routines are a great way to infuse your normal bodypart work with a little cardio flavor. But you don’t always need additional resistance to get a quick sweat on – oftentimes, your bodyweight is sufficient. All you have to do is choose the right exercises.

These three exercises, which are all done from the same starting position, can absolutely hammer your chest, shoulders, triceps, lower abs and deep transverse abdominis in literally seconds at a time.

The multiple movements should be performed quickly in sequence to keep your heart rate elevated. You will want to perform 10 of each exercise with minimal rest in between. Repeat the sequence a total of 3-4 times, resting 30-60 seconds between circuits. Your total time investment? 7-8 minutes tops.

This routine is great because we are able to target multiple muscle groups while staying in one position.

You will want to position yourself in a push-up position with your feet and hands about shoulder width. We will begin with mountain climbers, progress to knee-to-elbow touches and finish with pushups.

1 Mountain Climbers

While your hands remain stationary, quickly bring your right knee toward your chest and return to the starting position. Alternate legs and bring your left knee toward your chest and return to the starting position. Switch legs at a brisk pace moving your feet front to back like you are climbing a mountain. You will perform 10 repetitions on each foot, 20 total.

>> TIP: Be sure to keep your hips down to keep your lower abs dynamically engaged. As you fatigue, the tendency is for the hips to raise, making clearance of your knee easier. When done right, you’re bringing your knee in low to the floor and well past your hips on each rep.

2 Knee-to-Elbow Touches

As soon as you have finished with mountain climbers, stay in the push-up position and perform 10 repetitions of knee-to-elbow touches, five on each side. If it is too difficult from this position, you can go to your knees and perform this exercise.

>> TIP: Something of a cousin to mountain climbers, this exercises calls for you to draw your knee up toward your same-side elbow. Again, keep your hips low and flat. Don’t allow your hips to “twist” to get your knee where it needs to go.

3: Pushups

As soon as you have finished with knee-to-elbow touches, perform the last part of the exercise, which is a push-up. Remain in the pushup position and lower your torso to the ground until your elbows are in a 90-degree angle. Perform 10 repetitions. If you cannot complete all 10, drop to your knees and finish the remaining.

>> TIP: If you can complete more than 10 reps easily, try making the first five reps plyometric, with your hands leaving the floor on each rep. Still have more in the tank? Slow your reps down a bit, taking a full 5-7 seconds to lower your body and another 5-7 to raise it back to the starting point.

If you can perform 3-4 runs through this circuit 3-4 days a week, you will quickly improve your overall fitness level while strengthening key muscle groups. As your body, heart and lungs become accustomed to the demands, you can add additional circuits (one per week), add reps (1-2 to each exercise per week) and/or reduce rest in between each exercise. A key to performing these exercises is keeping your core engaged throughout each movement.