Jose Castillo

When it comes to cardio workouts, your mind probably goes to memories of sprinting on the treadmill or relentlessly biking. Cardio gets a bad rap because it’s often paired with long, painful bouts of running or cycling to reap all the amazing benefits of aerobic exercise. But not all cardio is created equal, and you can increase your heart rate with a number of cardio moves from home.

“Cardio training, also known as aerobic training, refers to any rhythmic physical exercise that increases your heart rate,” says Kym Nolden, CPT, precision nutrition coach and FRC-certified mobility specialist. A spike in heart rate delivers oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and organs, which then use it to perform their specific functions. “Aerobic exercise is something you can do while creating most of your energy to do that exercise with oxygen. This can include things like walking, hiking, jogging, biking, swimming , gardening, cleaning, agricultural work and dancing.

Why do cardio?

As you increase your cardio, your body’s ability to work harder increases and your body becomes more efficient at transporting oxygen to the bloodstream. “It’s also why cardio is so important for overall health, but also for goals like building strength and losing weight,” says Nolden.

Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week, or a combination of both. And Nolden says the benefits make it worth adding cardio to your fitness routine.

For one thing, cardio workouts help lower blood pressure, decrease stress, build strength and improve sleep, Nolden says. And it also works wonders for mental health. “When we panic or cry too hard, we often hiccup or gasp. Adding cardio can boost your body’s stress response by strengthening your respiratory system,” she says. “Breathing can invigorate and calm your body.”

If you want to do more cardio but dread the treadmill, don’t worry. Below, Nolden offers 15 cardio moves to try at home. All you need is a yoga mat or towel, a set of lightweight dumbbells, and a jump rope!

Advertising – Continue Reading Below

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a squat with your hands behind your head and your elbows out. Step your right foot back and kneel down, followed by your left leg back so that you are in a kneeling posture resting on your knees. Next, step your right foot back, followed by your left foot to return to a squat. Alternate sides.

Representatives: 30 seconds, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start in a low lunge. Jump while your switch legs are in the air, then quickly kick them back as ground. Stay on one side for 30 seconds, followed by the other. Aim to land with your knees bent to protect your joints.

3

Changing jumps with front kick

Representatives: 30 seconds, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start with a low lunge with your left knee forward. Jump up in the air with your legs alternated, then land with your opposite leg forward in a low lunge. Return to the starting position, then kick your right leg forward for one repetition. Repeat on both sides for 30 seconds.

Representatives: 30 seconds, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Squat back and keep your knees above your ankles as you place your weight on your heels. As you stand up, kick your left leg across your body and tap your left toe with your right hand.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Take two light dumbbells and rest them on your shoulders with your thumbs inward. Squat down and keep your knees above your ankles as you place your weight on your heels. When you stand up, press your arms overhead for an overhead shoulder press.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Squat down and keep your knees above your ankles as you place your weight on your heels. Jump up to bring your knees to your chest and clap your hands on your knees. Land with knees bent in a squat position.

seven

Single arm RDL position

Representatives: 30 seconds, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start standing straight with your right foot one step back. Lift your right heel and press the ball mound with your right foot. With a dumbbell in your right hand and palms facing inward, squat down to lower the dumbbell toward the floor while keeping it close to your right leg. Straighten your right arm when standing and press the dumbbell skyward for an overhead shoulder press. Repeat on the other side after 30 seconds.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Place a medicine ball on the ground in front of you. Jump up to tap the bottom of your right foot on the ball, and quickly pass to tap your left foot as your right foot returns to the start.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Begin in a wide squat with the toes pointing slightly outward. Jump up to bring your legs into a low squat, then return to a wide squat. Keep your weight in your heels and stay low.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in plank with shoulders stacked over wrists and feet hip-width apart. Spread out on your 10 fingers and keep a slight bend in your elbows. As you step off the mat, jump up to bring your feet to the outer sides of your mat, then step them back onto the neutral board.

11

Knee-to-elbow reverse lunge

Representatives: 30 seconds, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start in a standing position with your feet about hip-width apart. Place both hands around the neck with elbows apart. Step straight back into a low lunge with your knee at about 90 degrees. Press down on the ball of your right foot as you twist your torso and bring your left elbow to brush your right knee.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a table top position with shoulders stacked over wrists and knees under hips. Tuck your toes in and, with your knees bent, kick them skyward. Rest in a neutral table top.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a table top position with shoulders stacked over wrists and knees under hips. Tuck your toes in and, with your knees bent, kick them skyward. Rest in a neutral table top.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Grab a jump rope with two hands. Spin the jump rope while jumping on it for 30 seconds or more. For an extra challenge, play around with different variations, like jumping on one foot at a time, high knees, butt kicks, or crossing your arms.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Bend down to plant each palm under the shoulders as you jump your feet back to land in a plank. To increase the intensity, you can lower your belly to the floor or land in push-ups. Then, jump your legs forward off your mat and come back up for one rep.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on piano.io

Advertising – Continue Reading Below