Circuit Training Exercises for Beginners

November 12, 2012

Circuit Training Exercises for Beginners

Circuit training was developed at the University of Leeds in the early 1950s. It aims to be a quick yet effective way of working out the entire body through a combination of aerobic exercises, such as running and resistance training, such as lifting weights. Ideally, circuit training exercises should first be performed with an instructor in a class setting so that the participant learns how to safely perform the exercises without overexertion.

Instructors can also help the individual write circuit training exercises specifically for just one person. Workout routines or circuits are done first at 45 minutes and then built up to an hour. Before beginning circuit training or performing circuit training exercises, check with your doctor to be sure you are healthy enough to work out for 45 minutes or however long your circuit training class happens to be.

Making Circuit Stations

It’s much easier to safely follow a circuit when all of the exercises are written down on index cards. It’s also good to write down where you can rest in between exercises so that you do not pull muscles. Cards and any appropriate equipment can be placed about the gymnasium in areas called exercise stations. Nine stations are more than enough for beginners. The students move from station to station as they complete the circuit training exercises.

Stations should be divided into three phases – warming up, exercises and cooling down. Instructors can help add exercises in order to vary the routine. Many people prefer to perform circuit training in classes because they not only get the expertise of the instructor but the friendly competition from other class members.

Instructors may vary how people take a circuit – whether individually, in pairs or in a large bunch. Instructors or volunteers can help start competitive exercises like a sprint or help a student count off repetitions for each exercise. When a person gets fatigued, even counting to ten can be difficult.

Classes often include lively music to help students keep a steady pace. Tapes of CDs can be made to include slower music for warming up and cooling down with much livelier music in the middle.

Types of Exercises

Warm up exercises should be five or ten minutes long in order to gently wake the muscles up. These could include arm circles, heel walking or bouncing lightly in place. Many people have their own warm-up routine, but beginners should ask an instructor for specific exercises catered to their own individual circumstances.

The main exercise portion should take about 20 minutes of the circuit. These stations need exercise mats, weights or any other equipment needed to successfully perform the exercise. There is no limit to what these exercises could be – lifting a small weight; shadow boxing, jumping jacks, running over a small series of jumps; or running. The rest of the circuit should consist of cooling down exercises, which can be the warm-up exercises.

Circuit training exercises should be a couple of minutes long, depending on how agile the participants are. As the participants gain strength and endurance, their exercise time can become longer or they may do more difficult versions of exercises – such as doing one-arm push-ups instead of normal push-ups.

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