Finals week is finally here! It seems like it was just yesterday that this semester began. While most of your time may be spent hitting the books and studying up for your big exams this week, take a moment to relieve some stress by hitting the gym. Studying for long periods of time can also mean SITTING for long periods of time. Do yourself a favor and take a break to get up and move every now and then.
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There are SO MANY health benefits from regular exercise, including stress relief. Finals week can be a pretty stressful time for students, so taking a break from studying to squeeze in a quick workout is the perfect way to give yourself that extra refreshing boost of motivation to finish the semester strong. Regular exercise has been shown to boost your self confidence, improve your mood, and help you sleep better (all important things to feel as we head into finals!)
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Try this Full Body Circuit Workout on a study break this week. Complete each circuit, resting for 60 seconds between each section. This workout requires minimal equipment, and can be completed without access to a gym; all you need is a set of 15-20 pound dumbbells and an exercise mat! Run through the workout twice and feel the accomplishment of completing a good, hard sweat session. NOW you're ready to take on finals!
*Please note: all of the fitness tips I share are suggestions only. Before implementing them into your workout routine, consult with your physician to make sure they are right for you.*
CLICK HERE to view: Tone It in 10: Legs
Circuit 1: Cardio
50 high knees
Stand with legs hip width apart and alternate driving your knees up towards your chest. Arms should follow this motion.
Begin in a standing position. Drop to a squat position and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Extend your legs back to a plank position, do a push up, and jump your feet back into a squat position. Jump into the air and repeat.
30 jumping jacks
Begin in a standing position with feet together. Jump legs apart and raise arms over your head. Jump and return to original position and repeat.
25 mountain climbers
Begin in a push up position. Alternate driving your knees into your chest and returning them back to the extended position.
REST for 60 seconds
Circuit 2: Legs
15 squat jumps
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Lower in to a squat position, keeping your knees in line with your feet. Quickly explode in to the air and jump as high as you can. Land back down in a normal standing position.
20 lunges (10 on each side)
Step forward with one foot. Lower yourself down (not too far - do not touch your knee to the ground to avoid injury!) so that your front knee is in line with your front foot and your back leg is extended behind you, bent slightly. Bring your back leg forward to meet your front foot and repeat, completing 10 reps on each side.
15 sumo squats (holding weight)
Stand with your feet about twice as wide as shoulder width apart with your toes pointing out. Hold weight (if you choose to use one) infant of your waist and slowly lower, engaging your abs, inner thighs, and glutes to pull yourself back up to the original position.
1 minute wall sit
Stand with your back against a wall with your feet about 2 feet in front of you. Lower your back down the wall until your knees are at a 90 degree angle and hold for 60 seconds.
REST for 60 seconds
Circuit 3: Abs
Begin lying flat on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles as you draw your feet up in the air and pull your torso towards your legs, reaching for your toes with your arms and creating a "V" shape with your body. Lower back down to a straight position, keeping arms and legs off of the floor until all sets are completed.
20 sitting twists
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your toes lifted off the ground. Keep your back at a 45 degree angle, not rounded. Twist back and forth from side-to-side across your body, holding weight if desired. Complete 10 reps on each side, 20 reps total.
50 flutter kicks
Start lying flat on your back with your arms straight down by your side, palms facing the floor. Raise your legs 6-12 inches off the ground and alternate raising one foot at a time, making a rapid "kicking" motion.
1 minute forward plank
Begin in a push up position. Lower your weight onto your forearms and engage your abdominal muscles to maintain a steady state. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to ankles, and your belly button is pulled in towards your spine. Hold for 60 seconds.
REST for 60 seconds
Circuit 4: Arms
10 push ups
Place hands on the floor so that they are slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Extend your legs and put all of your weight on your hands and feet. Bend your arms to a 90 degree angle, and push back up into starting position. Engage your abdominal muscles to keep your body in a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
15 tricep bench dips
Place a bench behind your back, perpendicular to your body. Extend your legs straight out in front of you and grip the edge of the bench with your hands, about shoulder width apart. Keep your elbows pulled in and slowly lower your body until your arms form a 90 degree angle with the bench. Engage your triceps to push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
20 plank rows
Grab two 15-20 pound dumbbells and place them under your hands while in a plank position. Pull one dumbbell up to your chest and lower it back down to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
10 bicep curls
Grab two 15-20 pound dumbbells and stand up straight with one dumbbell in each hand, beginning with your arms extended straight down. Keep your elbows pulled in close to your torso and make sure your palms remain facing up. Contract your biceps to pull the weights up towards your chest. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position and repeat.
CLICK HERE to view: Tone It in 10: Abs
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