A Full-Body Workout With Just 6 Exercises

Feel the burn while you build strength and endurance

This moderate to advanced circuit workout routine can give you a full body workout that gets your heart pounding and your muscles burning. You'll need a bit of floor space, a few dumbbells, an exercise ball, a pull-up bar, and a timer.

Start with a short warm-up, and then do 60-second intervals of each exercise with a 10-second gap for transitioning to the next exercise. Aim for a 20-minute workout for beginners and then ramp it up to 30 or more minutes as you get more fit. 

For the more ambitious, add a 30- to 60-second round of rope jumping between each exercise and you will keep your heart rate elevated the whole time and boost your endurance.

Finish with a nice relaxed foam roller session, and you will have a complete workout in little time.


Plank on an Exercise Ball

Plank on Exercise Ball

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

The plank on an exercise ball will not only help your body continue to warm up, but you'll work your core muscles and build core stabilization. You can keep it basic by holding one position, or make it far more difficult by doing small rolling circles, rolling left and right, or rolling forward and back. To make it a bit easier, you can spread your feet wider, and to make it more challenging, move your feet together or try one foot at a time. 


Pull Ups

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

The pull up is a great complement to the push-up. It builds back and arm muscles and a few variations can help you engage the core as well. For beginners, start with a basic hang – use assistance (a chair or strap to get to the top) and try to keep your chin at the bar for as long as you can and slowly lower yourself to start building strength. ​

As you get stronger, you can vary your hand position from wider to narrower, and hand grip from overhand to underhand. 


Box Jumps

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

This is a higher intensity move that requires a bit of fitness and coordination. Beginners should start with a very low box, or basic squat jumps with no box to prevent mishaps. As you get fitter and more comfortable, raise the box height, and change the pace of your jumps. You can jump up, then step down and repeat. Or you can jump up, and rebound back to the ground and right back up again. It all depends on your ability, so do what works for you. Progress over time.


Dumbbell Rows

One Arm Roe

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

The one arm dumbbell row is an easy way to isolate the lats and get a good back workout that targets the back, shoulders, and arms. Doing one arm at a time also helps better balance the right and left side. Try to use the same pace and do 30 seconds on each side during your one-minute interval.


V Sits

V Sit

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Work the abs and core with this unique leg lift and sit up combination. Beginners can do short repetitions and try to lift up and hold for a quick touch. As you get stronger, you can attempt to hold the position longer. Holding the position also requires balance and stability. Practice controlling the movement in a slow, steady pace and avoid bouncing or jerking up and down.


Side Plank

Side Plank

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Finish the routine with side planks. This really counts as two exercises, because you'll need to hold the position for up to 60 seconds on both sides. Beginners may need to take little breaks to fill the whole minute, but as you get stronger, hold the position longer until you can do 60 seconds. You can also make this harder by holding the position while on your elbow rather than on your hand.

Circuit Workout Take-aways

This workout routine, like any circuit workout, can be modified to increase the intensity and the variation of the routine. You can increase the weight used, the number of repetitions you complete, the speed that you perform each exercise and a variety of other factors.

The key to getting a good circuit workout is to maintain your form throughout the workout and always lean to a 'safety first' mentality. This means that if you get fatigued, you get sloppy and if you get sloppy you are more likely to get injured. Stay sharp and stay engaged in your workout and once your form fails, take a break and save it for the next workout.

By Elizabeth Quinn, MS
Elizabeth Quinn is an exercise physiologist, sports medicine writer, and fitness consultant for corporate wellness and rehabilitation clinics.