How To Do The Circle Of Death Properly

It is not too often you come across exercises with names such as the circle of death. However, it is at least an indication of what to expect when you embark on the exercise.

As the name suggests, the circle of death refers to a cycle of high-impact exercises that involve always moving in a circle even when resting.


The circle of death doesn’t just consist of one exercise. In fact, it can vary depending on what you want to achieve.

However, there are certain basic principles that we’re going to cover, to help you have a solid understanding of how you can tailor yours.

Your goal while doing the circle of death should be hitting all the major and minor muscle groups.

This is incorporated by doing the high-impact exercises coupled with regulated periods of rest in between.


In order to complete the circle of death. These four exercises should cover the right bases in order to achieve what you desire.


  • Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart and ensure your feet are parallel.
  • Lift up your arms and place both of your hands behind your head.
  • Pull back your elbows until your chest is lifted.
  • From here, bend from your hips and knees, until you are in a sitting position. Straighten back up and repeat.

After d0ing this exercise for a specific period of time i.e 20 seconds keep moving in a circle with your legs benched.

After 20 seconds start the push-up


  • Get on the floor on all fours, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and extend your legs back
  • Contract your abs and tighten your core hereby pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  • Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself to the floor, until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Exhale while contracting your chest muscles and pushing back up through your hands, returning to the start position.

Yet again after doing this exercise for a specific period of time i.e 20 seconds, keep moving in a circle with your legs benched.

After that period has elapsed, switch into something different. This time, the renegade row


  • Position two weights on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
  • Get into a push-up position. The handles of the kettlebell should be used to support your upper body.
  • Push one of the weights into the floor, while rowing the other kettlebell. Pull back with your shoulder on the side you are working on and flex your elbow to pull the weights to your side.
  • Lower the weights to the floor and repeat the steps with the weights in your other hand.
  • Complete for the desired reps.

These exercises should complete a circle of death. After completing all workouts, you can stretch in order to warm down.



When you do the prisoner squat, the primary target area is the glutes. This is because in order to complete a rep, the glutes are engaged to help provide balance while squatting.

The glutes are also forced to hold the strain and weight generated from the pull of gravity while squatting.

In the end, this strain is what makes the glutes stronger.


Push ups primarily involve pushing against your own body weight and therefore lifting yourself up against the pull of gravity.

In order to do this, your arms and elbows have to rely heavily on your shoulders to facilitate handling the strain the exercise puts them under.


Chest muscles work closely with the shoulders to handle the distributed strain. For instance when you lower your body to the lowest point, it’s the chest that carries the weight load.

It is also engaged when you need to push yourself back up off the ground. As such for every motion whether going up or down, the chest muscles are engaged.


While doing exercises such as pushups or renegade rows the back muscles work with the core to help you stabilize yourself.

This is especially so when you’re in an unstabilized environment i.e., midair. The back muscles specifically the lats, therefore, provide a pivoting role literally as you hoist yourself up and down.



The circle of death involves a lot of core centered exercises that thoroughly engage this area. For instance, the renegade row requires abdominal stability and control during the plank position.

Whilst it might take some time to develop said stability and control, each rep acts as practice. So much so that it gets to a point where core stability becomes second nature to you.

As such, the majority of exercises in the circle of death build core stability which is a great functional trait to have.


As mentioned above, the circle of death engages all muscle groups both major and minor. Engaging in a cycle of exercises that work all these areas compounds into uniform growth.

For instance, it cements unilateral muscle activation, hypertrophy, and mobility.



In the process of doing prison squats, there are instances where your knees end up excessively bending forwards.

This is what is known as ‘overhang’. Overhang is particularly dangerous for the joints as it exposes them to excessive amounts of strain.

Consequently, this could result in knee injuries. It could also limit your ability to achieve maximum efficiency while doing an exercise.


The circle of death is a circuit based around bursts of high-impact workouts regulated by short breaks.

Therefore, if your breaks are irregular you fail to achieve the goal of the cycle in the first place.

This is because you end up either underutilizing the necessary muscle groups or excessively fatiguing yourself.


Before you immerse yourself in the experience, the circle of death is likely to make you feel just that – like you’ll die.

However, it is a very healthy collection of exercises that if regulated and done right should get you to elite levels of fitness

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