Ladies, are you still searching for a simple but effective workout to blitz that stubborn body fat? You often feel like no matter how hard you've worked to shift those few extra pounds, all eyes are on you for the wrong reasons. Sound familiar?
If like me you’ve tried just about every workout out there and still have that annoying ‘problem area’ (bum & thighs, anyone?). Then read on because I have the solution.
Get ready to strip body fat while getting a leaner, stronger and fitter body in a simple 5 minute all-over body blast circuit. The best thing is, you only need to do this workout 3 times a week to see guaranteed results.
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Why Circuit Training Melts Body Fat
Celebrity trainers like Jillian Michaels include circuits as part of their training program and for good reason, they burn 30 percent more calories than weight training alone!
This particular circuit is great because you use your own body weight as resistance, minimizing the need for equipment. It combines strength training exercises like push ups, squats and tricep dips with cardiovascular exercises like box jumps, step ups and high knee stationary running.
This 5 minute workout is an ideal way to burn fat while toning all the major muscle groups at the same time.
Each of the 10 exercises in the sequence are either 30 seconds in length or are for a set 30 repetitions. To show you how to perform each exercise correctly I’ve drafted in the help of my good friend Nikki Addis from City Fit Malaga.
In each of the 10 videos Nikki and I show you exactly how the exercise is done with a modified and advanced version, we have also included an introduction, warm up and cool down video.
It’s really important you watch them all and don’t skip any to get the absolute best out of this workout and kick start that fat loss.
There’s no age or ability limit with this exercise plan, it will 100% work for you if you can relate to any of the following:
- You want to lose weight
- You want to tone up
- You want to improve your level of cardiovascular fitness
- You want to drop a dress size
- You’re short on time
- You want to increase your metabolism
- You can’t afford a gym membership
- You like to work out at your own pace
- You want to combat stress
- You want to have a clearer mind
- You want to boost your confidence
- You want to increase energy levels
- You want to sleep better at night
- You want to live longer
In the videos below you’ll see Nikki and I are at our local park, we’re lucky enough to live on the sunny Costa del Sol and can take advantage of the great year round climate.
But as long as you have access to a bench or sturdy chair on a flat surface, the great thing is, you can do this exercise plan just about anywhere.
The Total Body Workout: Overview
10 simple and effective exercises with a warm up and cool down and a minute or so rest in between each one. The whole circuit should take no more than 30 minutes depending on your fitness level.
This is great if you’re a busy working mum like me or you’re a little short on time, you get a good cardio burn and an all over body workout in super fast time.
The workout has been designed to exercise all of your core muscles and includes both cardio intervals with strength training, proven to maximize fat loss and burn calories whilst toning and strengthening your body.
Regardless of how much weight you want to lose or maybe you just want to tone up and get fit, this will work for just about any age and fitness level and Nikki does a great job of showing beginner, intermediate and advanced moves on each exercise in the videos.
Ideally you should aim to do the circuit 3 times a week to get the best results or combine it with your existing workout plan to ensure you are exercising every single muscle.
Training with Nikki
But what sets this apart from any other circuit training routine out there I hear you ask?
I asked my friend Nikki to compile a total body workout for women using her top 10 exercises for burning fat and toning the whole body.
With 20 years experience in the fitness industry Nikki has a driving passion to help as many women transform their bodies as possible and this circuit is the ultimate, Nikki assured me.
- Pilates instructor
- Personal trainer
- Chore strength & balance trainer
- Zumba instructor
- Organises zumba masterclasses and events
As well as her long list of qualifications, she is also endorsed by UK TV star Lorraine Kelly who is an avid go-er of Nikki’s energetic Zumba classes every time she visits the Costa del Sol.
I'm indebted to delightful ball of energy Nikki Addis for making me sweat buckets in her fitness classes while I've been away on holiday.
It might sound slightly mad to do a Zumba class in the sweltering Costa del Sol, but doing a tough, hour-long workout each morning with Nikki meant I could happily over indulge in the tapas and sangria in the evenings.
Let’s Get Started
The only equipment you’ll need is a mat, a bench or a sturdy chair, a bottle of water and a get fit attitude!
Reminder: Complete every exercise in the order they follow then repeat the circuit twice more. Take a short 1 minute break if you need to after every circuit and stay hydrated.
Tip: To increase your heart rate further and burn more calories, do a lap of the park after every circuit. If you need to, take a 10 to 20 second rest between each exercise until you reach a level where you feel you can complete each one without resting.
It’s crucial to warm up the body before doing any form of exercise, so don’t be tempted to skip this video! Warming up your body prevents injury and prepares your muscles for what’s ahead.
Nikki's warm up lasts around 8 minutes focusing on the muscles specific to this circuit.
Circuit 1: Box jumps – 30 seconds
Excellent fat blaster, box jumps will make your legs super strong and lean but you must choose a bench that is no higher than your knee height to start with.
You will use not only your legs but your abs and your arms to propel yourself onto the box with two feet then step down, this is actually a fun exercise believe it or not.
Circuit 2: Single leg bench lunges – 15 reps on each leg
Fantastic for bums and thighs, but also works the entire leg, leg lunges can be performed in may ways, we’ve chosen to use the bench.
Start with one leg on the bench, lunge being careful not to allow your knee to go over your foot. Do 15 reps then swap legs, to make this a little bit harder for yourself you can add hand weights if you have them.
Circuit 3: Sitting Bicycle – 30 seconds
Sitting bicycle is the perfect exercise for toning abs and blasting away that stubborn belly fat as well as strengthening your entire core.
Hold onto the bench for support, raise your legs and cycle for 30 seconds, check out the modified move for beginners.
Circuit 4: Single leg step up’s – 30 seconds
Standing in front of the bench, step up using alternate legs, great fat burner whilst strengthening and toning your thighs, bum and quads at the same time.
Circuit 5: Tricep dips – 30 seconds
Triceps are a troublesome area for most women lovingly known as bingo wings. The problem is as women age, we produce less estrogen which means an increase in body fat, unfortunately for lots of us the women fat is distributed to the upper arms.
This exercise is perfect for toning and strengthening the tricep muscle.
Circuit 6: Side step knee raises – 15 each leg
With your left foot stationary on the bench, lift your right leg out to the side and back down to the floor. Control the movement and your balance by keeping your abdominals tight and tap your right foot to the floor before repeating the leg lift.
This exercise works the outer thigh of the raised leg and the quads and hamstrings of the stationary leg while raising your heart rate.
Circuit 7: Plyo press ups – 30 repetitions
Not many women do press ups but they are a great exercise for toning the upper body, an area many of us tend to forget about.
Nikki shows three variations of press ups to suit individual ability levels, especially important of you have never done press-ups before as otherwise you won’t be able to do the 30. Great for building core strength as they work the chest, arms, shoulders, back and triceps.
Circuit 8: High knees (run in place) – 30 seconds
Excellent cardio exercise to get the heart racing, when done properly high knees improve flexibility and strength and are great for toning butt and thighs.
Do as many as you can in 30 seconds and raise your legs high off the floor to get maximum cardio benefit.
Circuit 9:Plank side arm raises – 30 seconds
The plank is a fantastic exercise for improving balance, posture and strength especially in your core. Your abs, back and forearms as well as your hamstrings and shoulders are all getting a work out and that’s just in a basic plank.
Add in a side arm raise and you’re really testing your balance, Nikki shows 3 modifications of the plank in this sequence, start on the most basic of you lack core strength.
Circuit 10:Squats – 30 repetitions
Many personal trainers will tell you that squats are one of the best exercises for toning and strengthening the legs, in our example were showing you two variations of squats.
The first one is a basic squat where you sit back into your bottom, the second variation incorporates a jump. If you can, do the one with the jump as this not only tones your butt, hamstrings and quads but ads a little bit of cardio into the exercise too.
Cool down (video)
The cool down is just as important as the warm up to avoid injury or soreness. Follow this 5 minute cool down to keep the blood circulating and stretch out those legs which have taken the brunt of the exercises, especially the quads and hamstrings.
To compliment this high level circuit you can download a FREE checklist containing 10 Tips to improve performance, recovery and help you get fitter, stronger and sexy!
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Nikki and I would love to hear what you think about our total body workout, please add a comment below and tell us what you liked about the post.
Let me know in the comments if you would like me to write up a nutrition guide to accompany this workout plan?
Keep me up to date with your progress, that's an order!