Add This 5-Minute EMOM Circuit to the End of Your Next Strength Workout
When the countdown clock hits that last five minutes, it can be tough to keep your head in the game of a strength workout — raise your hand if you've ended a session with an Instagram scroll rather than one final push. EMOM finishers are the perfect solution, helping you to top off your workout on a high (and supersweaty!) note.
"Every minute on the minute — aka EMOM — workouts challenge you to complete an exercise for a certain number of reps in less than 60 seconds. The remaining time within the minute serves as your recovery," Sophie Folts-Mercure, the creator of Ballet Fit Theory at Fit Atelier and NASM-certified personal trainer, explained.
EMOM workouts allow you to log in a lot of quality work quickly and efficiently, Folts-Mercure said. The resting and working periods during an EMOM workout are also programmed with a purpose — to keep you moving and to prevent your heart rate from falling too much in between sets.
"These workouts are excellent for metabolic conditioning and are an awesome way to end a training session, especially one that has been mostly strength or toning."
Wrap up your next strength workout with this five-minute cardio EMOM finisher curated by Folts-Mercure. While all of the rest intervals are listed next to each move, remember to listen to your body and take breaks as you need to prevent any injuries. Each move should be performed using proper form, so think quality over quantity. If you need to drop reps in order to keep your form, that's OK! And don't skip your cooldown, either. "A proper cooldown, especially after all this cardio, should consist of five to 10 mins walking or cycling, starting off with a brisk pace and gradually decreasing the speed every 30 seconds to a minute so your heart rate can come down slowly," Folts-Mercure said. "This should be followed by light, easy stretching of the calves and quads."
Move 1: Criss-Cross Passe Crunch
Folts-Mercure said this is an all-in-one move that hits cardio, core and the inner thighs! Do each move for 15 reps on each side while maintaining good form in less than 60 seconds. Rest the remainder of the 60 seconds, or as needed.
- Jump, crossing your legs and ankles and your squeezing inner thighs as you do.
- Jump your legs back out to the starting position and twist your opposite knee to elbow.
- Exhale on the Passe crunch as you bring the knee up, helping to engage your core.
Move 2: Squat Jump (x2) to Twisted Battement/High Kick
Do each move for five reps on each side while maintaining good form in less than 60 seconds. Rest the remainder of the 60 seconds, or as needed.
- Make sure your knees are in line with your toes at the base of your squat.
- Lower into a squat and jump up.
- Lower into a second squat and jump up again.
- Lower into a third squat, stand, and twist to touch your toe with with the opposite-side hand. Keep your back as straight as possible as you lift your leg and twist to reach toward your opposite toes, lengthening long out of the top of your spine.
- Alternate your side twist/battement.
- Modification: exhale on the twist to further activate your core.
Move 3: Weighted Jumping Jacks
Do each move for 50 reps while maintaining good form in less than 60 seconds. Rest the remainder of the 60 seconds, or as needed.
Folts-Mercure said to choose a very light weight — no more than three pounds. You can also modify this move by performing it without weights. "This is a cardio finisher, so you should feel a shoulder burn by the end of the set, but the burn should mostly come from the stamina component."
- Jump out to a jumping jack and push up a with wide grip with your arms for an overhead military press.
- Keep your elbows lifted to shoulder height as you lower out of the jumping jack.
- Make sure you are keeping your elbows slightly in front of your shoulder to help protect your rotator cuff and shoulder joint.
Move 4: Alternating Drop Lunges
"Hello, legs! This move is a killer quad, glute, calf, and cardio challenge! A great one for athletes and people working on balance and leg-strength goals," Folts-Mercure said.
Do each move for 15 to 20 reps on each side while maintaining good form in less than 60 seconds. Rest the remainder of the 60 seconds, or as needed. You can use just your bodyweight, or you can add light five-pound weights for an advanced version.
- Hop your right leg back and your left leg forward into a lunge, making sure your back knee lines up directly under your hip, making a 90-degree angle with your front knee over your ankle and parallel to the ground, tracking with your first three toes.
- Press up from each lunge bracing your core, ribs closed, with a big exhale, and pushing through your front heel to activate your posterior chain.
Move 5: Renegade Rows With Shoulder Twist
"This exercise works three muscles groups and stability all in one! This move engages your abdominals, latissimus dorsi, and arms in general!" Folts-Mercure said.
Do each move up to seven reps on each side while maintaining good form in less than 60 seconds. Rest the remainder of the 60 seconds, or as needed.
- Begin in a high plank with a light-to-medium weight in one hand. Folts-Mercure suggested five-pound weights.
- Keep your ribs corseted together, core engaged, and shoulders square.
- Row the weight.
- Shift to twist into your side plank, making sure you are aligning both your hips and your shoulders, stacking one on top of the other.
- Open your chest to lift the weight up, out of the side plank.
- Lower the weight back into the row and back to the mat.
- Repeat seven reps on the same side and alternate to the other side to repeat.