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Buckle Up For This Advanced 12-Minute Circuit

Danyele Wilson
(Image credit: Mike Tittel / Tone & Sculpt)

Personal trainer Danyele Wilson pitched this six-move circuit as a workout finisher – and if this is how she wraps up a session, we’d dread to think what the bulk of her workout looks like. It might only last 12 minutes, but it is not for the faint of heart. 

The workout alternates between advanced compound lifts and bodyweight exercises with minimal rest. It will get your heart rate up and keep it there. “This 12-minute full-body finisher will test your power, speed and stamina,” says Wilson (opens in new tab), who’s part of the global training team at fitness app Tone & Sculpt (opens in new tab).

“In true HIIT style, your muscles will feel the burn but you should finish it feeling energised too as you improve your fitness, strength and endurance, all in just 12 minutes,” says Wilson. “Push yourself to complete all three rounds with good form.” Then, presumably, you can spend the rest of the hour peeling yourself off the floor. 

The Workout 

The workout is made up of six exercises: three challenging dumbbell exercises and three bodyweight moves. Perform each move for 30 seconds with no rest between exercises. Once you’ve completed one round, rest for one minute, then go again, completing three rounds in total. 

It might take only 12 minutes, but because of the technical nature of some of the exercises, you need a comprehensive warm-up before you attempt it. Spend a couple of minutes on each exercise, familiarising yourself with the technique and building up to your working weight gradually. 

Once you’re confident you can perform each move correctly, get set, start a stopwatch and be thankful this is just a finisher, and not one of Wilson’s full workouts.

1 Dumbbell thruster

Time 30sec Rest 0sec

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with dumbbells racked on your shoulders. Keep your knees wide and chest up as you lower into a squat, then push through your heels as you power up to stand, using the momentum to press the weights overhead. Lower the weights to your shoulders and repeat. 

2 High knees

Time 30sec Rest 0sec

Put the dumbbells down and start running on the spot, lifting your knees high towards your chest with each stride. Use your arms to generate momentum and try to control your breathing and steady your heart rate.

3 Alternating single-arm snatch

Time 30sec Rest 0sec

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing out slightly. Place one dumbbell between your feet. Lower into a squat to keep your back straight as you grab the weight with one hand. As you stand, drive your hips forwards to generate power, and raise the weight overhead, keeping it close to your body as you lift it. Finish with your arm straight and the weight overhead, then lower the dumbbell back to the floor. Switch arms and repeat. 

4 Hand-release burpee

Danyele Wilson

(Image credit: Mike Tittel / Tone & Sculpt)

Time 30sec Rest 0sec

From standing, place your hands on the floor and jump your feet back to a high plank position. Lower your body flat onto the floor and lift your hands just off the ground as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Put your hands back down and press your body up into a high plank position. Jump your feet forwards to your hands and jump straight up, clapping your hands behind your head to ensure your body is fully extended. Land and repeat. 

5 Dumbbell loaded speed skater

Time 30sec Rest 0sec

Hold one dumbbell in both hands and use it as a counter-balance with this move. With a slight bend in your knees, jump from side to side, bringing the dumbbell across your body with each rep. When jumping to your left, bring the weight to your left side and bring your right leg behind and past your left, keeping it off the floor. Jump across to land on your right foot, bring the weight to your right side and float your left foot past your right leg. If this is too difficult, try reverse lunges instead, holding the weight in front of your chest like a goblet. 

6 V-up 

Time 30sec  Rest 1min

Lie on your back with arms extended behind your head. Engage your core as you bring your left leg and right arm to meet above you, then lower under control and repeat with your right leg and left arm. Next bring both legs and arms up together to meet above you – or as close as you can together – then lower under control. Continue repeating this pattern. 


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Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix (opens in new tab). Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.