Julianne Hough is an endless source of fitness inspiration. Thanks to her years as a professional dancer, physical activity is just a part of her lifestyle. But even more importantly, she knows how to keep her gym sessions fun. And although her days are packed between acting, dancing, and spearheading an athleisure line for MPG Sport, she always manages to make time for fitness.
This week, Hough shared a full at-home workout on Instagram Stories. From what he could gather from the sped-up video, her routine included glutes work, a cardio circuit, and a cool-down—and a pause to dance on her husband Brooks Laich and play with her pup.
In the video, Hough alternates between three cardio machines: a rower, an indoor skiing machine called a SkiErg, and an air bike (a type of stationary bike that pits air resistance against you to challenge you as you pedal). We asked CeCe Marizu, certified personal trainer at Daily Burn, to help us break down this segment into a quick cardio circuit you can try at home.
"To spice up your cardio workout, a circuit is always fun," Marizu tells SELF. If you're just looking to get some steady-state cardio in, she recommends spending 15 minutes on each piece of equipment, for a total of 45 minutes. Not only do the multiple machines help break up the boredom of a basic cardio workout, but they also "work your cardiovascular system and fire up different muscle groups."
You can also treat a cardio machine circuit like a specific version of high-intensity interval training by alternating sets of short, intense bursts of effort on each machine with periods of rest. "Like all interval training, cardio circuits allow you to get maximum results in minimal time," says Ben Wegman, NASM-certified trainer and chief curriculum officer at Fhitting Room NYC and Sweat Sessions instructor. Getting your heart rate high for a short period of time is a really efficient way to challenge your cardiovascular system when you're short on time; resting in between lets you recover enough to go hard again in the next burst of intensity.
Cardio circuits in general are also great because they give you a chance to gauge your own endurance and understand exactly how far your body can go, Marizu says—which helps you keep track of your progress. And by using these pieces of equipment, you can get just as good of a cardio workout with lower impact than you would if you were running.
Here, Marizu suggests an interval workout you can do on the rower, SkiErg, and air bike (or regular stationary bike if that's what you have in your gym):
- 3 minutes on the rower
- 60 seconds of rest
- 2 minutes on the SkiErg
- 60 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds to 1 minute on the air bike
Repeat the circuit 2 to 4 times based on "how hard you want to push yourself that day," says Marizu. "Listen to your body!" Cardio circuits "train your endurance," she says, so the more you practice, the closer you'll get to being able to speed through even more reps.
As Hough has explained to SELF before, she's a big fan of getting your workout in whenever, wherever—while keeping fitness fun. Hence the dancing on her workout buddy, which, of course, we wholeheartedly endorse.