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Bodyweight

Circuit Routine
A Quick Routine for
On-the-Go Training
GMB Bodyweight Circuit All rights reserved. Brief damages arising out of any
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CONTENTS

Contents 3
Introduction 4
The Routine 5
Squat 6
Bear Crawl 7
Push-Up 8
Frogger 9
Hollow Body Hold 10
Monkey 11
Programming 12
Strength Training Goal 12
Stamina Training Goal 13
Hypertrophy Training Goal 14
Skill Development Training Goal 14
Recommendations 16
INTRODUCTION

Circuit training is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck. When
youre short on time (lets face it we all are) you can set aside half an
hour or less for a solid circuit training session, and youll be able to pack
a big punch in that time.

Even better than circuit training in your local gym, though, is using a
bodyweight-only circuit routine. Not only will it save you time moving
from machine to machine, you can do it in the comfort of your own home,
which will save you quite a bit of effort, time, and money.

Below, Im going to share a bodyweight circuit routine that incorporates


fundamental bodyweight exercises such as squats and push-ups,
exercises you may be practicing pretty regularly as well as some
locomotive movements, that give the added benefit of improving your
ability to move well.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 4


THE ROUTINE

The routine Im about to describe is actually four routines in one, since


you can vary the rest period, duration, and other factors depending on
your goals. The actual exercises will remain the same in each variation,
but depending on your current fitness aspirations, those other variables
will change, as Ill describe below.

But first, the circuit.

In the video that accompanies this guide, I demonstrate each of the


movements included in this circuit, as well as variations of each move.
Below, youll find a detailed explanation of each movement and its
variations.

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Squat

The first exercise in the circuit is


the squat. You may be very
familiar with the regular,
bodyweight squat, and if youre
comfortable with that, feel free to
stick with the basic version.
However, I want you to feel free to
explore different variations as
well. Here are some variations
you can play around with:

Bodyweight Squat

With your feet shoulder width apart and pointed out slightly, squat down,
keeping your knees pointed out. Squat down only as low as you can
comfortably go.

Regular Jump

The regular jump is just like it sounds. Youll jump in place, keeping your
legs straight under you.

Star Jump

For this variation, youll open your arms and legs (like a star) as you
jump. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Tuck Jump

In this variation, tuck your legs in front of you as you jump up.

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Bear Crawl

The bear crawl is the first animal


movement of the circuit. As with
the squat, you can play around
with a couple variations.

The important thing to bear in


mind (terrible pun, I know) is to
move reciprocally. This means
youll move your opposite arm and
leg at the same time. As you lift
your right arm to move it forward, make sure youre moving your left leg,
and vice versa. This is actually how we normally walk. Here are the
variations you can play around with:

Bear Crawl with Straight Arms

Keep your arms and legs straight as you move your limbs reciprocally.

Bear Crawl with Bent Arms

In this variation, youll add a little more difficulty by bending the arms as
you move.

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Push-Up

The push-up is probably the most commonly practiced bodyweight


movement, but believe it or not, most people get one fundamental thing
wrong. No matter what variation you practice, make sure to keep your
elbows screwed in close to your sides throughout the movement. Here
are some variations you can practice:

Knee Push-Up

Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly beneath your
shoulders. Tighten your whole body (screw your elbow-pits forward,
squeeze your torso and quads, and push your heels back), then slowly
lower your chest, while keeping your elbow pits pointed forward. Slowly
push your chest back up to starting position.

Full Push-Up

The cues for the full push-up are exactly like the knee push-up, but
youll start from a plank position. Make sure to keep your entire body
tight throughout the movement, and dont forget about those elbows!

Hollow Body Push-Up

Begin in the regular plank position, with your elbow pits screwed
forward, your quads and torso tight, and your heels push back. Squeeze
your glutes as you tilt your pelvis posteriorly, and squeeze your abs as
you drive your hands into the floor, separating your shoulder blades and
rounding your upper back. Keeping this nice rounded position, with your
elbows locked out and screwed forward, slowly lower your chest to the
ground, then slowly push yourself back up to the hollow body plank
position.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 8


Frogger

The frogger, as I like to call it, is a lot like the frog hop kids like to play
with, but its not just a fun little move for kids. There are a lot of great
benefits from the frogger as well. For instance, if you have any interest in
improving your hand balancing skills, the frogger is a great transitional
move to build the strength and coordination necessary for handstands.
Itll also help you loosen up your hips if flexibility is a concern for you.
Here are some variations to play around with:

Standard Frogger

With the standard frogger, youll start in a deep squat position, then
place your hands about a foot in front of you. Hop your feet forward, so
that they land just outside your hands. Continue traveling forward this
way.

Frogger with Arm Raise

This variation just adds a little pause between each hop. So, hop
forward and pause as you raise your arms above your head. You should
be back in that deep squat in this paused position. Then, drop your
hands back to the ground and repeat.

Frogger with Hip Elevation

The frogger with hip elevation is the same as the standard frogger,
except youll try to bring your hips higher at the top of the hop. This is a
variation I use to help my clients work on their handstand skills.
Eventually, youll be able to bring your hips high enough that you are in a
handstand at the top of the hop, as I demonstrate in the video.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 9


Hollow Body Hold

The hollow body position is probably one of the best core strengthening
exercises youll ever encounter, and trust me, its about as far from a
crunch as you can get. In this position, youll lie on your back and press
your lower back into the ground. Youll automatically feel a tightening in
your abs, especially as you work on extending your arms and legs. Here
are some variations to work on:

90-Degree Hollow Body Hold

While lying on your back with your lower back pressed into the floor,
bend your knees to a 90-degree angle with your feet off the ground. Tuck
your chin and lift your head off the ground, and keep your arms straight.
You can point your arms in whatever direction is most comfortable for
you, but just make sure to keep them off the ground.

Mid-Level Hollow Body Hold

For the next variation, youll straighten your legs, which increases the
length of the lever. Youll also widen the angle between your torso and
your thighs, from 90 degrees in the previous variation, to about 135-
degrees in this variation.

Full Hollow Body Hold

In the full hollow body hold, your arms will be fully extended behind your
head, and your legs will be fully extended in front of you. Your arms, legs,
and head will be just slightly above the floor, but otherwise, your body is
basically straight. Remember to keep your lower back in contact with the
floor the entire time.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 10


Monkey

The monkey is a lot like the frogger, but instead of traveling forward,
youll travel sideways. Were not used to moving in this plane, so it might
be a little unsettling at first, but once you get the hang of it, youll have a
lot of fun with it. Plus, itll open up your hips, and get you more
comfortable with new ways of moving your body.

Standard Monkey

In the standard monkey, start in a deep squat, then place your hands on
the ground in front of your body, and to one side. Then, jump your hips
and legs to meet your hands. So, if youre traveling to the right, youll
start in a deep squat, then place your hands so that your left hand is in
front of your right foot, and your right hand is shoulder-width apart from
your left hand. Jump sideways so that your right foot lands behind your
right hand, and your left foot lands behind your left hand. Repeat so that
you are traveling sideways, then go the other direction.

Monkey with Hip Elevation

This variation, much like the elevated frogger position, is all about
bringing your hips as high as you can at the top of the jump. Again, this
will help you work on your hand balancing skills. In the beginning, your
hips may not come up very high, but over time youll get more
comfortable in that position so that you can bring them higher.

Cartwheel

The cartwheel is a natural progression from the monkey, as it involves


the same sideways movement, just with a full turn added. In the video
above, I demonstrate three progressions to work on the full cartwheel.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 11


PROGRAMMING

So now that you know which exercises youll use for this circuit, how do
you put them into practice? Well, as I mentioned above, there are really
four ways to approach this circuit, depending on what your current goals
are.

This circuit routine can be modified to focus on strength, stamina,


hypertrophy, or skill development. Heres how:

Strength Training Goal

If your current goal is to get stronger, what youll do is incorporate


longer rest periods between exercises, focusing on a higher level for
each movement. So, for instance, with the push-up, youll perform a
hollow body push-up, rather than a full push-up, and rest for a minute,
rather than 30 seconds, between exercises.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 12


Perform each exercise for 30-45
seconds, doing as many reps as
possible in that time frame for
dynamic exercises, and holding
for that amount of time for static
exercises. Rest for 1-2 minutes
between each exercise. Do a total
of 3-5 rounds of the circuit.

For strength-based
programming, perform the
routine 2x/week on a Monday/
Thursday or Tuesday/Friday split.

Stamina Training Goal

To use this circuit to build stamina, youll perform the exercises at a


faster pace, with shorter breaks between exercises. Spend less time on
each exercise and increase the number of rounds you perform.

Perform each exercise for 1-2 minutes, doing as many reps as possible
in that time frame for dynamic exercises, and holding for that amount of
time for static exercises. Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise. Do
a total of 5-10 rounds of the circuit.

For a stamina goal, perform the routine 3x/week.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 13


Hypertrophy Training Goal

If your training goal is hypertrophy, or packing on muscle, the


important thing is to increase the time under tension. What that means
is doing each exercise more slowly, and taking shorter rest periods
between each exercise.

Perform each exercise for 1 minute, doing as many reps as possible in


that time frame for dynamic exercises, and holding for that amount of
time for static exercises.

For hypertrophy, pay special attention to reaching muscular failure with


each exercise. Rest for 1 minute between each exercise. Do a total of 3-5
rounds of the circuit.

For hypertrophy, perform this routine 3x/week.

Skill Development Training Goal

All of the movements included in this circuit are great for skill training
as well, if thats something youre interested in. For skill development,
spend more time on each exercise, slowing down the movements to
focus on quality, not quantity. Increase your rest time between exercises,
as well as the number of rounds you complete.

Perform each exercise for 1 minute, but rather than trying to do as many
reps as possible, only do as many reps as you can with perfect form in
that time. This means youll perform each exercise slower and with more
concentration.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 14


Make sure not to go to fatigue for skill development. Rest for 2 minutes
between each exercise. Do a total of 3-5 rounds of the circuit.

For skill work, you can practice this routine up to 4x/week.

Training Goal Programming Recommendations


30-45 seconds per exercise, with 1-2 minutes of rest
between each exercise. 3-5 rounds total.
Strength
Perform 2x per week.

1-2 minutes per exercise, with 30 seconds of rest between


each exercise. 5-10 rounds total.
Stamina
Perform 3x per week.

1 minute per exercise, with 1 minute of rest between each


exercise. 3-5 rounds total.
Hypertrophy
Perform 3x per week.

1 minute per exercise, with 2 minutes of rest between each


exercise. 3-5 rounds total.
Skill Development
Perform up to 4x per week.

Bodyweight Circuit Routine 15


RECOMMENDATIONS

This circuit routine is a great one


to have in your back pocket for
when youre short on time but still
want to work toward your goals.

For a more complete program


that also incorporates a circuit
training approach with a step by
step structured plan for several
bodyweight moves, our foundational program, Integral Strength, is our
recommended next step.

It helps build progressive strength through training cycles, and includes


logical metrics to help you keep track of your progress.

Click here to learn more about Integral Strength.

If you have any questions about this circuit routine, or any other training
questions, dont hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks for being here!

The GMB Team

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