Beginner Circuit Workout

This is a beginner-friendly circuit workout you can do at home or at the gym. It’s perfect if you’re just getting started in the fitness game or returning to working out after an injury. As always, talk with your doctor before making any fitness changes. Honor your body and modify as needed.

Hey hey from beautiful San Diego! I’m in town for the IDEA conference and so excited to soak up fitness knowledge, take classes, and check out new products from my favorite brands. I’ll be sure to report back with all the details!

In the meantime, how about a workout?

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This one is for my beginner friends, or those who may be getting back in the game following an injury. It’s a circuit workout to work your entire body; all you need is a pair of dumbbells.

Some tips:

– As always, make sure you’re cleared by your doctor to resume, start, or change your exercise routine. Honor your body. If something doesn’t work for you, change it so that it feels good!

– Make sure you execute the movements with proper form. I have lots of form cue tips below, but it’s very helpful to meet with a certified personal trainer in real life to ensure your executing the moves properly and safely.

– Adjust your weights as needed. You may need super light weights or no weights, and that’s ok! If you haven’t been strength training consistently, you’ll definitely feel it! Remember that it’s safer to add on weights than to start ridiculously heavy.

Here’s what the workout looks like:

Total body workout for beginners

Form cues and tips for this beginner circuit workout:

Warm up with 5-7 minutes of moderate cardio. Complete the following exercises in a huge circuit, moving quickly from one exercise to the next. Rest for 1 minute, then complete the circuit up to 2 more times through. Focus on quality of the exercises. It’s better to move slowly and complete two rounds than to rush through it for three rounds.

Inchworm x 30 seconds: Start from standing and bend down in a forward fold, then walk out into plank position – wrists under your shoulders. Walk your hands back towards your feet and come back to standing. For more of a challenge, move as quickly as possible.

Dumbbell hammer curl x 15: Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides, palms facing in. Bend your elbows as you lift them to your shoulders and return to start. 

Triceps dips x 15: Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Place your hands on the floor behind you and under your shoulders. Lift your butt off the ground (or keep it down for less resistance), then bend your elbows straight back behind you. Make sure you don’t move your hips, just your elbows. Exhale as you straighten your arms. 

Wall sit x 30 seconds: Stand against a wall and slide your back down it until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes—you may need to walk your feet out a little—and spread your weight evenly throughout your feet. Hold for 30 seconds.

Wall push-ups x 15: Face a wall and place your hands on it at shoulder height, shoulder-width apart. You want to walk your feet out a little further than arms length so you’re at a slight angle. Bend your elbows to lower towards the wall, exhale as your straighten your arms. Keep your core engaged and your body in line.

Wall pushup

Reverse lunge with twist x 8 each: Hold a dumbbell with both hands at your chest. and stand with your legs hip width apart. Take a big step back to come into a lunge position. Watch your alignment and make sure your front knee is stacked over your front ankle, and your chest is lifted with a tight core. Twist your body towards the front knee, then straighten back out and step the back leg in to start position. Repeat to the other side. 

Spinal balance (alternating) x 1 minute: Come onto hands and knees (hands under your shoulders and knees under your hip bones). Extend one arm and the opposite leg, keeping your hips parallel to the floor.  Squeeze your glute to lift your leg and keep your core engaged. Lower down and repeat on the opposite side. 

Circuit workout for beginners

Please let me know if you give it a try! If you’re just getting into the fitness game, I’m cheering for you!!!

My workout OG friends: when you first got started in the fitness game, what did you do? I started with step aerobics and spin classes, then started to strength train. 



Photos: Lindsay Colson

Wearing: Lorna Jane tank // Fabletics tights // Nikes 

More total body workouts can be found here.

Psssst. Last chance to order the Blue Apron giveaway!

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  1. Emily H on June 28, 2018 at 8:01 am

    When I first started working out I was alllllll cardio. Eventually, I added yoga and strength training to my routine.

  2. Mary on June 28, 2018 at 10:33 am

    When I started with regular fitness it was with an Xbox fitness game called YourSelf Fitness. LOL

  3. Maribeth on June 28, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Was supposed to go for a run, but thunderstorms… Did this instead and broke a nice little sweat 🙂 I added a few things here and there – extra reps, holding positions a little longer, and pulses for the balance. Thanks!

  4. Ali G on June 29, 2018 at 7:27 am

    I was a step girl through and through. As many times a week as I could manage. Now I do a lot more strength than cardio thanks to your Fit Guide!

  5. Edy on July 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for this!

    I’ve just been getting back into my fitness routine after a long break and not ready for the harder HIIT sessions yet, so this workout was the perfect level for me to ease back in.

  6. Simon Watson on July 11, 2018 at 9:07 am

    The beginner circuit workout post has given me some fantastic ideas. So, I thank you heaps. Although, I do however have a question for you? As I am a male (Last time I checked lol) Will it, therefore, be any good for men as well as women? I am curious matey.

  7. Jennifer on July 16, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Just tried this workout! I’ve been mostly a cardio/yoga girl. I’ve been struggling to keep a consistent workout routine and still trying to find a way to keep constant. It’s hard. But I only did one rep of the workout today. Tomorrow I’ll go for two. I did break a sweat in the one round and I was surprised I got more than one inch worm in in those 30 seconds. Maybe some of my yogi muscles stuck with me a bit! Surprisingly, the wall sit was the hardest for me.

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