Circuit #2 Chest, Back, Hamstrings


This 20-minute circuit is just like circuit #1 but works on different muscles.  This circuit can be done with a resistance band (can be found at Target or any sporting goods store) or with a pair of 8-12 lb. dumbbells.  When buying a resistance band, make sure to get one with enough resistance (around 10 lbs.)  You will also want a yoga mat or towel for the abdominal exercises.  Remember, do all of these exercises back-to-back with no rest in between.  What makes a 20-minute circuit effective is that you are getting your cardio and strength in at the same time.  If you don’t have a set of stairs available, jog in place or do step-ups on a curb or stable bench during the 2 minute cardio sets.

2 minute warmup jogging up and down stairs
15 reverse flyes (click here to see example with dumbbells)
15 dead lifts (can do same exercise with resistance band by placing both feet on the band, cross band in front of body, hold just below the handles and pull band tight.  Keeping back flat and knees soft, bend forward at hips until you feel a tug in your hamstrings.  Push back up through your heels and squeeze the glutes.  Make sure to keep resistance in your band throughout the exercise)
15 wide pushups (hands place out wide.  Beginners can start on knees if appropriate)
45 seconds abdominal crunches (don’t pull on neck, look toward the ceiling)
2 minutes running stairs
15 reps behind neck band pull-apart (if you only have dumbbells, do another set of reverse flyes as above)
15 bridges
15 narrow pushups (hands in narrow stance under shoulders. Beginners can start on knees if appropriate)
45 seconds reverse crunches
2 minutes running stairs
15 scapular pushups
15 reps single-leg bridge (15 each leg)
15 flyes (lying on floor with dumbbells) (standing with band)
45 seconds double crunches (combine a crunch with a reverse crunch)
2 minutes running stairs

I have been getting some very positive feedback from Circuit #1.  Please let me know what you think about Circuit #2!
  • Angela October 11, 2010 at 3:12 am

    hey, i just found your blog and having a great time scrolling through your posts! i definitely need to work on my strength training. running, sure, it's my first love, but strength training requires some much needed motivation. thanks for the ideas! šŸ™‚

  • Loretta March 1, 2011 at 1:37 am

    I know I am behind the game but I started doing your circuit workouts and I love them! They are perfect when I need a quick workout and they definitely get my heart pumping šŸ™‚ Thanks for posting these.

  • Alysa March 1, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Thanks for the comments Angela and Loretta. I love circuits for fast and intense workout sessions šŸ™‚