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Simple, Butt-Kicking 4 Exercise Strength and Cardio Circuit

As the title of this post reads, this workout is simple, requires little to no equipment and is designed to kick your butt (you’re welcome!) through a simple, four exercise cardio/strength circuit that focuses mostly on lower body. You can modify it to make it harder or easier by following the cues next to the move.

It should take you about 15-20 minutes depending on how many times you repeat it- if you feel like you have extra energy- repeat, repeat repeat!

What you need:

  • Stopwatch (optional- or use your phone)
  • Sneakers
  • Water
  • Mat
  • Light dumb bells (optional- to modify exercises to make them harder)

Warm up

Take three to five minutes to warm up your body. The warm up is perhaps the most important part of the workout because it allows your muscles to get warm, limber and ready for action; working out with cold, unwarmed-up muscles can lead to injury.


Jog 2 minutes, 30 seconds of high knees, 30 seconds of slow squats to warm up the hips


Simply jog for 2-3 minutes then gently stretch any muscles that you feel need stretching prior to starting your workout.


Exercise 1: 50 star jacks

TO MODIFY: For anyone with knee issues– do regular jumping jacks, with or without jumping- if you want to do walking jumping jacks, simply take the jump out and move your legs and arms in and out as you otherwise would.

Exercise 2: 50 reverse lunges (25 each leg)- start standing on both feet, then one at a time alternate reverse lunges, make sure to keep the most weight on the front leg and knee staying as close to a 90 degree angle as possible.

TO MODIFY: Grab some light or heavy dumb bells and add weight to this movement, or if you want two rounds of plyolunges you can make this move into 75, body weight plyo-lunges.

For anyone with knee troubles– To modify exercise #2 you have two options: 1) 50 toe touches- lie on your back feet straight up in the air- reach for your toes 50 times, or 2) 50 pushups (knees on the ground is totally ok!).

Reverse lunges: Weight on front leg, back leg steps back- alternate legs

Exercise 3: 50 squat jumps: Start in a squat and explode upward then land softly back in your squat, repeat

TO MODIFY: Remove the jump to lessen the impact, or to make the move harder work on increasing speed of the jumps while maintaining good form.

Squat: Butt back, legs as close to 90 degree angle as possible, chest up

Exercise 4: 50 plyo-lunges: These can be tough with any type of knee injury, so see suggested modifications below.

TO MODIFY: To make it harder, jump higher and lunge deeper. For anyone with knee issues–  instead of doing any jumping, you’ll do 25 plank walk-outs to pushup (we’re working your upper here!)- you’ll start standing and walk your way out to a plank (on your hands) then do a full pushup- on your knees is totally ok, then back up in plank, and on your hands walk your way back up to standing. Repeat.

Alternatively, if you need to sit this one out and make the circuit 3 exercises that’s just fine!

REPEAT the circuit at least 2-3 times, if not more. If you’ve got the energy- use it!

 When you’re done…

Remember to drink your water and stretch!

Great work and stay tuned for more workouts like it coming your way on ISN (Isabel Smith Nutrition)!