Plank and burn bodyweight circuit

Oh friends. I’ve definitely had my share of awkward fitness instructor moments, but this past weekend was pretty high on the recent list. I was SO excited to film a new video for you guys, so I decided to venture out to Sabino Canyon for some nice background scenery. 

I rolled up my yoga mat and carried it out to the canyon with me, and by the reactions I got, yoga in the wild desert isn’t a common thing. 

“Whoa, you’re going to do yoga out here?”

“Yeah!” (easier than “No, I’m using it to film a video for my blog!”)

“Whoaaaa, coooooool.”

Kid walking past me to his friend,”That girl brought a yoga mat. That’s weird.”

So I got some strange looks on my journey, NBD, and I found a nice spot away from the main trail. I set up the mat and backpack-grill-tripod, and was really stoked about the beautiful scenery:

Scenery  1 of 1

I figured it would be a good spot to film this circuit blast… until I pressed “record.”

Some things I quickly realized:

#1: It’s REALLY quiet. Like, every word you say with intention echoes into the wilderness. “Hi everyone! (everyone! everyone!) Today we’re going to do a full-body circuit (circuit! circuit!)”

#2: No matter where you are in Sabino Canyon, other people will run past you. This is obviously my fault, not theirs, but something I didn’t really think about. During one try, 3 different sets of sneakers ran past and you could hear the crinkle of their shoes in the gravel. During the last effort, a couple stopped to watch and see what I was doing (which looked like I was working out and talking to myself… totally normal).

Fail whale city, haha.

I decided to do a printable instead of the sad video:

Plank and burn circuit

and will be finding another filming location for now on, haha. It looks great for pics, though!

Onto the workout:

You complete the moves in a circuit moving quickly from one exercise to the next. You only really have to remember two numbers: 10 and 45. If it’s a strength movement, do 10 (on each side, if applicable) and for cardio blasts, it’s 45 seconds. Since it involves keeping your weight on your hands, with many in the plank position, feel free to modify by coming down to your knees:

Modify  1 of 1

Modify  1 of 1 2

or dropping onto your forearms.

Here’s a text version and form cues, too:

-Squat (10); Basic bodyweight squat, keeping your chest up, core engaged and weight back in your heels. Go down as far as you feel comfortable.

-Squat jumps (45 seconds): Spring up as high as you can, and reach for the ceiling. Low impact option: touch the floor, and then raise your arms as you come up onto your toes instead of jumping.

-Tricep pushup to side plank (10 on each side): For the pushup, keep your arms close to your body and your hips in line (as I like to say, “It’s a pushup, not a TUSHup). Rotate into your side plank and as a challenge, lift the top leg and keep it lifted as you pushup.

-Knee tuck (10 each side): Using your core, exhale as you bring your knee into your chest and your elbow towards your knee. Rotate and complete 10 on the other side.

-Toe tap and leg lift (10 each side): While in plank, lift one leg to tap your toe out to the side, then, using your glutes, lift that same leg to hip level. Lower down to plank position and repeat on the other side. For this one, really think about engaging your glutes– use your booty instead of momentum to lift your leg.

-Mountain climbers (45 seconds): Make sure to use your core to draw one knee into your chest. Hop to switch and move as quickly as possible! 

-Side hops (45 seconds): Keeping your legs glued together, hop to move both legs up and to the side. For low impact “walk” your legs side to side instead of hopping.

-Bridge (45 seconds): Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips as high as possible. If you want a challenge, lift up one leg for the first half and switch for the second half.

Complete this circuit up to 3 times total! It will work your core, blast your heart rate and strengthen your entire body 🙂

Make sure to warm up and cool down, and as always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes.

If you give it a try, please let me know how it goes!

Toe tap  1 of 1

Off to work for this girl! It’s a DJ and Zumba day.

Enjoy your Thursday! <3



New on the Fashion page: some Italy finds

When was the last time you embarrassed yourself or felt suuuuper awkward? Don’t worry, I won’t tell 😉

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  1. Jenny on September 20, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I did the no impact moves this morning after my bike ride (I have been sidelined with a stress fracture in my heel). Thanks for the pics! Love the burn!

  2. Captain Competition on September 20, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Circuit looks pretty challenging, I love body weight workouts lately. Too bad your video didn’t turn out.

  3. Anna on September 20, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Hey! I know this is not relevant to this post, but I had a question for you. I am pregnant with baby #2, and am in desparate need of some maternity workout clothes. Any recommendations on where I can find some good ones? I am not having any luck. Thank you so much!!

    • Becca on September 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Just as another reference, the blogger Blonde Ponytail was recently pregnant and also wrote about the workout clothes she used. (

      • Jess @ Blonde Ponytail on September 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm

        Thanks for the rec! It’s tricky finding (cute) threads for sure! Great workout as always Gina!

  4. Shira on September 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Great circuit!! I did 3 rounds following 20 mins of steady elliptical and holy. smokes. I was sweaty for sure!! Love bodyweight stuff, I’m not a big weight fan 😉
    One time I had done about 20 mins on the Elliptical at the gym, and went to do about 10 on the stepper, and a personal trainer tapped me (I had earphones in) to ask me why I was doing “so much cardio” and do I know cardio can make me Gain weight, and I need strength moves to tone?? Then handed me a pamphlet about all of the above..It was sooo awkward and I was like, uhhmm, yes I also do strength exercises.. thank for caring?!? Lol!

  5. Becca on September 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I might try this tonight! Thanks! I really really hope you make a DVD of this type of workout someday, too. I’m not much of a Zumba-er/dancer. 🙂

    As for my embarrassing moment, yesterday I was going over an exercise with my 30 high school students when I suddenly had a coughing attack. I’m getting over the flu, and my throat had gone dry from all the talking. Whenever that happens, I inevitably turn an incredible shade of red, cough non-stop and can’t talk or breathe, and my eyes wáter. So that’s what happened in front of the whole class, and I could hear the students whispering, Oh my god, look how red she is!

    Today went by without incident, but one of them asked me, Miss, what was wrong with you yesterday? Haha!

  6. Kristin on September 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I just did this workout & it was awesome! I could barely get through it. That’s pretty funny about the video! Last time I felt really stupid was when I was doing the stair machine at the gym & missed a step & almost ate it but I caught myself. I felt like such an idiot I didn’t even look around to see who saw that.

  7. Colleen on September 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    The workout is great. I looked it over and thought I’d probably add a couple sets of curls and pull ups afterwards, but my arms were JELLY when I was done with 3 rounds! Great, as always! =)

    • Fitnessista on September 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      hahah YES! so happy you liked it 🙂 xo

  8. Anita on September 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    The pictures are great and totally worth the awkward moments. 🙂 Love your shirt, too! I will definitely take this with me to my next workout.

  9. Abby on September 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Holy jello arms! I did this after about 20 minutes of running and was trying not to swear through the last 15 seconds of each round. It’s the 45 seconds versus just 30 that’s killer! And stealthy. Just looking at the circuit makes it seem much easier than it is.

    • Fitnessista on September 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      BOOM!!! great job!

  10. Sara on November 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Just did this circuit…OMG! On paper it looks like “OK, I can do this no problem” Reality was it was killer!!!! Thank you so much…I will be doing this again soon 🙂

  11. Madison (Pointy Toe Shoe Crew) on March 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I’m seriously lacking the motivation to make the 30 min drive to my gym, so I thought I’d give this at-home-friendly workout a try! It looks do-able, but after reading other peoples’ comments…I’m a little scared! I’ll be tackling it after lunch for sure 🙂

  12. Debbie P. on April 2, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I can only get to the gym every other week due to my custody schedule. Anyway, I didn’t have a ton of time and was at home and did about one set of each of the exercises to get a feel for it and I can already tell that doing it 3 times will kick my butt! Anyway, here’s my issue and question – I injured my left wrist playing volleyball years ago and can’t bend it at a 90 degree angle without major pain. So, for the push ups and some of the plank moves, can I use a “push up bar” and grab it instead of having palm on the floor? I realize it may change the pressure on my arms, but I’m trying to see what all I can do.

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