If you’re looking for the greatest method to exercise, it seems like there are new findings out every week. The way you go to the gym will vary greatly depending on your aim; for example, someone preparing for a triathlon would use a different approach from someone seeking to develop muscular bulk.
There have been a few recent trends in general fitness training, particularly on how to elicit the best metabolic response – the “afterburn” impact of continuous calorie intake for up to 48 hours after a session; i.e., the largest hit for your effort and time.
There is a common thread across the studies: a circuit method to resistance training that involves exercising various muscle groups in succession while resting little or no time in between. It turns out to be a scientifically proven approach.
1. Front Squats using Dumbbells
Your feet should be spaced hip-to-shoulder width apart when standing. In a squat, inhale while maintaining your chest high while holding dumbbells above your shoulders with your elbows bent and near to your sides. Stand up by exhaling and pressing the floor away from your feet.
2. Dumbbell Presses of the Shoulders
Assume a starting position with your hands on the dumbbells and your fingers pointing forward. Relax your knees. Press the ‘bells over your head together, but not touching, while you inhale and exhale. When you pull them back down, resist the weight.
3. Bent Over Rows with a Barbell
As you lower yourself, begin by moving your hips back and softly bending your knees. The barbell should be hung in front of your legs, with your fingers facing them, but keep your shoulders erect.
Your shoulders should come together at the peak of your rows, and you’ll inhale and exhale as you do so. Return it to the starting position gradually.
4. Split Squats with Dumbbells (each side)
Elevate one of your feet on a bench while holding dumbbells at your sides. Inhale while bending your front leg to a 90-degree angle or near while maintaining a slight forward tilt (you may need to move your foot forward or backward). Straighten your leg while exhaling and pushing onto the front foot.
5. Swiss Ball Dumbbell Chest Presses
Sit on a Swiss ball with the dumbbells resting on your thighs and perform the exercise. Step forward slowly until your upper back and feet are level with your knees, which have been bent at a 90-degree angle.
Do a chest press with the dumbbells, with your elbows slightly extended outward. Inhale, then exhale, and press the dumbbells up, so your arms are straight over your chest without allowing your hips to drop. As you bring the weights back to the starting position, take a deep breath in and exhale slowly.
6. Pullups with a Wide Grip (assisted if needed)
Place your hands 8 inches above your shoulder level, fingers pointing away from you, on a bar or aided pullup machine. Breathe in and then exhale as you raise your body, chin over the bar, in a single motion. Take a deep breath in and slowly drop yourself to the ground.
7. Step-Ups Using Dumbbells
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, place your palms facing each other and perform a side plank. Using a box or bench, take a deep breath in and then exhale as you rise to a standing position on the platform.
Return to the ground on the same foot as you came upon. Do it again, but this time with the other foot in the lead. That’s a single repetition.
8. Floor Slams with a Medicine Ball
Try to hoist a large, soft medicine ball above your head while standing shoulder-width apart with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath, then smack that ball to the ground with all your might. Repeat the process by catching it as it comes back to you (or by picking it up).
9. Hip thrusts with a barbell
Lay on the ground with a barbell lying in your hip crease and your back parallel to a weight bench. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, with your shoulders resting against the bench.
Perform each workout for 10 to 15 repetitions, using weights that cause exhaustion but not failure, and continue without stopping from one motion to the next. Willardson recommends doing the circuit one to three times every other day. Keep this in mind since it is proven as the finest exercise of all time.
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