The 10-Minute Total-Body Toning Circuit

Rucuss staffJanuary 5, 2014

People who are short for time need a workout plan that can get the job done quick.

These specific individuals don’t have two hours to lift weights and do a cardio workout. So its important that they find a routine that works multiple muscle groups at once.

Amy Roberts, NASM-CPT, believes she has the perfect 10-minute total body toning circuit. She claims her routine works multiple muscle groups for an efficient total-body routine, with some extra emphasis on the upper thighs, an area some people want to give a little more love.

Roberts said to increase the cardio burn, do as many reps as you can with good form in 30 seconds, and shift gears quickly from one exercise to the next. Aim to complete three circuits (with one minute of rest in between) in 10 minutes. You’ll be slipping into those skinny jeans in no time!

Check out the workout via Women’s Health.

MOVE 1Squat With One-Arm Shoulder Press

The off-center weight here forces your core to work harder while you get the lower-body benefits of the squat and the shoulder work of the press. Hold a 10-pound dumbbell in one hand, just over your shoulder. Squat down as low as you can, sticking your butt back with your weight in your heels (A). On the way up to stand, press the dumbbell hand straight up, keeping your elbow facing forward (your arm should be in line with your ear at the top) (B). Squat down again, and at the bottom pass the dumbbell to the opposite hand (C), so you can do the press with that arm. Continue alternating arms.

MOVE 2Yoga Pushup

This move hits your chest and shoulders as usual, but the close placement of the hands makes the triceps kick in even more. Start in a high plank position with your hands flat just under your shoulders (A). As you lower down, bend your elbows so they graze your sides and then press back up (B). This move can also be done as an incline pushup on a box or bench.

MOVE 3Pendulum Lunge

Get the leg-and-butt toning benefits of both a forward and reverse lunge. Start with your feet together, holding 5- to 8-pound dumbbells down by your sides (A). Step forward into a lunge (B). Press up and back from your front leg, and bring it straight back you into a reverse lunge. Try not to touch your foot down in between (C). (For an added challenge, add a bicep curl as you lunge forward and back. If that’s too hard, you can do the curl once you’re securely in the lunge position, and let your moving foot tap the ground.)

MOVE 4Hovering Bent-Over Shoulder Fly

You have to engage your core muscles just to hold the starting position of this one—before you’ve even begun the upper-back work. Holding 5- to 8-pound dumbbells, put a micro bend in your knees and hinge your body at the hips, so that your back is flat, your weight is in your heels, and your butt is sticking way out behind you. Actively hold this position—you should feel it from shoulders to tush. Curve your arms as if you’re hugging a tree (A), then open them out to the sides, pinching your shoulder blades together and keeping a slight bend in your elbows (B). Resist the weights as you slowly bring your hands back together. (If you need a little more support starting out, you can do this move with a staggered stance, one foot a step in front of the other.)

MOVE 5Low Side-Plank Leg Lift


The extra effort needed to prop yourself up adds a waist-whittling bonus to this strength move for the outer thighs. Lie on your side, with your forearm perpendicular to your chest under your shoulder. Bend your bottom leg and tighten your core to hold a modified side plank (A). Angle your top leg slightly behind you then flex your foot and raise the leg so it’s parallel to the floor (not any higher) (B). Lower down so your foot just hovers over the floor; repeat. (To lessen the intensity on your oblique muscles, elevate your forearm on a low bench.)


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