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40-Minute Full Body Circuit Workout

Strengthen and shred at home with this efficient full body circuit workout. Each circuit contains four dumbbell exercises: upper body, lower body, cardio and core. This popular shred format both builds strength and burns calories at home, using just a set of dumbbells.



 

Build strength, increase endurance and improve cardiovascular conditioning with this full body circuit workout.

Circuit workouts combine different exercises back-to-back, with minimal rest time between exercises. This fan-favorite total body “shred” format combines an upper body exercise, lower body exercise, core exercise and cardio exercise within each circuit.

Alternating the muscular focus area of each exercise is an effective way to both lift heavy weights and increase endurance.

Timed intervals of work make this full body circuit workout at home scalable for all fitness levels. Take each exercise at your pace, performing as many reps as possible while maintaining good form.

three women performing a side plank as part of full body circuit workout

Circuit Workout FAQs

What Is A Circuit Workout?

A circuit workout is a type of training that combines cardio, strength and endurance in one workout. It involves performing a series of exercises consecutively, with minimal rest between exercises (typically, 15-20 seconds). During circuit workouts, you move from one exercise to the next until the circuit is completed, then repeat the circuit.

What Makes A Good Circuit Workout?

Circuits can be muscle-group specific (such as a leg circuit workout or ab circuit workout) or full body focused. Ideally, each circuit will alternate exercises to target opposing muscle groups. This allows you to move quickly through each circuit with little to no rest time while still maintaining proper form.

Are Circuits Good for Weight Loss?

Circuit workouts are an effective type of training for anyone with a weight loss goal because they combine the benefits of both strength training and cardio. This is an effective way to boost metabolism, which can contribute to weight loss. Looking for more challenging circuit workouts? Try this 30-Minute HIIT Circuit or this 30-Minute Strength and Cardio Circuit.

three women performing a shoulder press as part of full body circuit workout

Shred, sculpt and strengthen with this full body circuit workout.

Each circuit combines four compound dumbbell exercises, targeting the arms, legs, core and cardio endurance.

Add full body circuit training workouts like this one to your workout routine 1-2 times a week to build muscle mass and increase endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells. I’m using 15-25 lbs. Optional mini loop resistance band (discount code: NML).

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woman performing a bicep curl as part of circuit workout

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Full Body Circuit Workout video on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 3 Circuits
  • 4 Exercises Per Circuit (upper body, lower body, core and cardio)
  • Timed Intervals (perform each exercise for 40 seconds of work, then rest 20 seconds)
  • Repeat Each Circuit x2 Sets

Workout Outline

CIRCUIT ONE:

  1. Arms: Two Hammer Curls and Two Shoulder Presses
  2. Legs: Deadlift and Two Lateral Step Squats
  3. Core: Two Plank Jacks to Two Bear Shoulder Taps
  4. Cardio: Surfer Quick Hits

CIRCUIT TWO:

  1. Arms: Two Back Flys and Two Straight Arm Pullbacks
  2. Legs: Alternating Reverse Lunge and Front Calf Raise
  3. Core: Two Skull Crushers and Two Reverse Knee Tucks
  4. Cardio: Towel Slams

CIRCUIT THREE:

  1. Arms: Push Up and Plank Walk
  2. Legs: Banded Fire Hydrant Kicks
  3. Core: Side Plank and Dumbbell Pull Overhead
  4. Cardio: Burpee and Lateral Hop
three women smiling promoting full body circuit workout

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Circuit Workout

4 Full Body Circuit Exercises

Hammer Curl and Shoulder Press

Targets: The biceps brachii (the front of your arms), shoulders, triceps, rear delts and upper back muscles.

three women performing hammer curls and shoulder presses as part of circuit workout

How To Do Two Hammer Curls and Two Shoulder Presses

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart and core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in towards each other (hammer curl).
  2. Exhale as you squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height. Think about keeping elbows tucked into your sides and shoulder blades pulled down. Repeat, performing two hammer curls.
  3. Then, push the dumbbells overhead until your arms are fully extended, performing a narrow overhead press. Biceps finish the movement near your ears. Repeat, performing two shoulder presses.
  4. Slowly and with control, lower the dumbbells down to the starting position at shoulder level before lowering the dumbbells down to your sides.

Deadlift and Lateral Step Squat

Targets: Lower body (glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads, calves), lower back, abs and core.

three women performing deadlifts and lateral squats as part of full body circuit workout

How To Do Deadlifts and Two Lateral Step Squats

  1. Start standing, feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips to perform a deadlift, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbells down along the front of your body. Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Then drive through your heels to push your hips forward, squeezing your glutes as you return to a standing position, dumbbells outside of thighs.
  4. Then, step out to the right as you bend your knees, lowering into a squat. Push your knees out towards your outer three toes as your hips lower. Repeat twice, performing two lateral squats to the right.
  5. Then repeat, this time performing a deadlift and two lateral squats to the left side.

Plank Jack to Bear Hold Shoulder Tap

Targets: Deep transverse abs, lower abs, upper abs, obliques, glutes, outer glutes, hips, calves, back, and shoulders.

three women performing plank jacks and bear crawl shoulder taps as part of circuit workout

How To Do Two Plank Jacks to Two Bear Hold Shoulder Taps

  1. Start in a table top position on all fours, shoulders stacked over wrists and hips stacked over knees.
  2. Then, tuck your toes under and lift your knees slightly off the mat, finding a bear crawl position with abs engaged. Try to keep your knees close to the mat, maintaining a neutral, flat back and spine.
  3. Hold bear crawl, then perform two shoulder taps, first bringing your right hand to tap left shoulder. Then bring left hand to tap the right shoulder.
  4. Reset, returning to bear crawl hold position, both hands planted on the ground.
  5. Then, step or hop your feet back to find a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged.
  6. Step or jump your feet out to the sides, performing two plank “jacks” with your lower body.
  7. Then, step or hop your feet back into bear crawl, returning to starting position.

Modification: Perform alternating goblet marches.

Surfer Quick Hits

Targets: Obliques, upper abs, lower abs, quads, glutes and thighs.

three women performing surfer quick hits as part of full body circuit workout

How To Do Surfer Quick Hits

  1. Start standing, feet hip width apart, core engaged.
  2. Bend your knees, lowering into a squat. Both knees are bent at 90 degree angles, thighs parallel to the floor.
  3. Then, drive through your heels to explode up, rotating your hips, knees and ankles towards the right while keeping your shoulders facing forward.
  4. Softly jump your feet back to center, returning to starting position. Knees, hips and shoulders all face forward.
  5. Bend your knees and sit your hips back to perform another squat.
  6. Then, drive through your heels to explode up, this time rotating your lower body towards the left. Upper body remains stable.

Modification: Alternate a squat with a front heel tap.

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2 comments
  1. Thanks for this awesome new workout! Challenging but do-able. I love that you invited an NML community member to join in the workout and share her success story with us – so inspiring! Keep up the great work!

    • Sarah! So glad you loved this workout and seeing Alyssa join us and share her story — such an incredible story! Thanks so much for sweating with us and keep up the great work! -Lindsey