Shape Studio: 40-Minute Resistance Band HIIT Circuit

Turns out, the key to endorphin-surging bliss is a yoga mat, a few resistance bands, a pair of dumbbells, and two top-notch trainers leading the way.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Time and time again, science has reiterated that, unequivocally, exercising makes you healthier and happier. In one 2018 study from The Lancet, for example, participants were asked how often they had felt "mentally unwell" within the past 30 days. Those who exercised regularly, overwhelmingly, felt less down than more sedentary subjects. And most interestingly, the exerciser's happiness levels were on par with those who earned roughly $25,000 more per year.

Another study from the Journal of Happiness Studies noted that exercising was the third most effective happiness-boosting strategy behind bonding with friends and family and joining a club. But why? Movement can often make people more aware of their mental state — which can, in turn, help them find ways of boosting their mood more generally, one of the study coauthors, Ruut Veenhoven, Ph.D., previously told Shape. (Related: Why You Should Exercise Even If You're Not In the Mood)

But if you can't muster the motivation to lace up your sneakers and are dreading the sweat sesh ahead of you, you're probably just doing the wrong workout.

The secret sauce? Find a workout that's equally energizing as it is fun — one that you'll be looking forward to doing all day. Because no matter how effective or convenient a particular exercise modality is, if you're not enjoying yourself, you won't stay committed.

Enter: This challenging (but exhilarating and fun) 40-minute HIIT circuit from trainers Lucy Sexton and Tracy Carlinsky, founders of Bonded by the Burn.

What's About to Go Down in Your 40-Minute Shape Studio HIIT Blast

For this workout, you'll need: space to move around (think: a patch of grass in a park or your driveway), a yoga mat (Buy It, $78, shop.lululemon.com), a sturdy pair of sneakers, a heavy-tension circle resistance band (Buy It, $9, amazon.com), dumbbells ranging in weight from three to 20 pounds (Buy It, $20 - $50, amazon.com), and an outdoor bench, chair, ledge or elevated surface to do lunges.

Expect to hit all major muscle groups (oftentimes in just a single exercise!) in this total-body blast, including moves such as split squat variations with punches and scissor jumps with overhead presses. Or, in other words, this Shape Studio workout is really just an adult P.E. class on steroids.

And while having a series of complex, intricate moves ahead of you might seem super intimidating, it's not — Carlinsky and Sexton exercise alongside you throughout the video, offering up verbal cues and modifications. Plus, you won't be executing a move for longer than 30 to 45 seconds at a time before you're on to the next one, keeping your mind and muscles occupied (and your heart rate high). (Related: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT))

"And by doing timed sets that vary in intensity and pace, you combine toning and cardio in one complete workout," explains Sexton. And once you're ready to take your workout indoors, give this 30-minute cardio-and-strength plan a try.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles