Years of Army workouts with little to no equipment prepared First Lt. Eleanor Baranofsky well for quarantine. Now, over a year into COVID restrictions, she still finds herself getting in several bodyweight workouts each week, whether she has access to a gym or not.
This week’s multi-circuit workout routine is perfect for anyone who’s still not back to the gym. Whether you have resistance bands, dumbbells, or a weighted vest, the best piece of home gym equipment, according to Baranofsky, is a little creativity and a solid music playlist.
Featured Trainer: First Lieutenant Eleanor Baranofsky is an engineer officer and environmental protection specialist in the Connecticut Army National Guard. Since running the Seattle Marathon in 2016 and injuring her knee on the hilly pavement, she has turned to strength training and low-impact workouts in to build up strength while keeping her endurance. She is also a Brava Sierra athlete.
She focuses much of her training on the Army’s new combat fitness test, which includes deadlifting, a strenuous sprint-drag-carry, and a two-mile run, among the six events. Her current workout schedule includes two to three full-body strength days a week, one to two runs, and another one to two circuit-style workouts.
Equipment Needed: A sturdy chair, bench, or step for box jumps and step-ups, and a dumbbell, kettlebell, or resistance band for one-arm rows.
Time Commitment: Around 30 minutes.
Workout Overview: Baranofsky’s mini-circuits keep the heart rate up while challenging functional fitness and strength through classic calisthenic moves like jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, and push-ups. You’ll also get a good dose of lower body work through lunges, jump squats, and step-ups, plus core training with windmills and sit-ups.
Baranofsky does a version of this workout at least once a week, between strength training sessions, as a means of improving conditioning as well as the body’s ability to jump, move, and endure.
First Lt. Eleanor Baranofsky’s Multicircuit Workout
This workout consists of a warm-up circuit to get the heart rate going, followed by three mini-circuits. Repeat each circuit 3-5 times (including the warm-up circuit) before moving onto the next one.
Multi-Circuit Workout Routine Warmup
- Jumping Jacks – 30 sec.
- Jump Squat – 10 reps
- Lying Side Leg Raise – 10 reps
- High Knees – 30 sec.
Multi-Circuit Workout Routine
- Squat Jack – 30 sec.
- Box Jump (or Tuck Jump) – 10 reps
- Single-arm Row – 10 reps per side
- Butt Kick – 30 sec.
- Lunge – 20 reps (alternating)
- Mountain Climber– 30 sec.
- Windmill (or Side Bend) – 10 reps per side
- No-Jump Burpees – 12 reps
- Straight-Leg Situp – 12 reps
- Stepup (on chair or stairs) – 20 reps (alternating)
- Superman Row – 12 reps
- Hand-Release Pushup – 12 reps
Cooldown: After the final circuit, Baranofsky recommends stretching “to get the maximum benefit from getting the blood pumping through the whole body,” she says. “Be sure to set time aside to cool down properly and ensure adequate hydration and fueling so you can approach your next strength session fully recovered.”
Exercise Tips for Selected Moves
- High Knees – Perform high knees in place or over a distance of yardage, depending on your space available.
- Squat Jacks – Similar in-and-out leg movement as regular jumping jacks, only with the knees bent 45-90 degrees throughout to keep tension on the lower body. The arms don’t have to move overhead as with jumping jacks; keep them up in front of you for stability.
- Single-arm Row – Use whatever equipment you have available for – a dumbbell, kettlebell, resistance band, or household object like a water jug.
- Butt Kick – Perform butt kicks in place or over a distance of yardage, depending on your space available.
- Windmill – With your legs spread, arms in a straight line perpendicular with the floor, and torso twisted to one side, slowly lower your trunk toward the floor and lift back up.
- Superman Row – In the up position of a Superman, pull your hands down toward your chest then back to full extension, mimicking a lat pulldown motion.