Cardio Exercise You Can Do at Home
Who says you need fancy gym machines to get a great workout? There are plenty of exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere. As long as you take your Cardio exercise workouts seriously, the results will follow.
Bodyweight exercises—the ones that use your body weight as resistance–can be just as good as traditional gym workouts. According to experts, progressive bodyweight training results in greater flexibility and range of motion, faster metabolism, and fat loss and improves cardio. The key is to be consistent and work your way to a fitter body.
Ready to get started? Here are five cardio exercises you can do at home:
Who remembers doing these as a kid?
Back then, they probably didn’t seem as difficult as they do now. With that said, jumping jacks don’t need to be intimidating as long as they’re done with the right movements.
This simple bodyweight move will tone your muscles and torch fat. If you’re performing a jumping jack properly, it engages your core, quads, glutes, shoulders, and arms, offering a full body workout.
To do a jumping jack, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing forward, with your arms hanging at your sides. Next, you’ll want to jump outwards—bringing your feet and arms into a starfish position. Be mindful of your posture during a jumping jack. Always keep your chest upright, your back straight, and bend your knees slightly when you jump the outwards position to the beginning position.
Due to its intense nature, jumping jacks raise your heart rate and your metabolism. Moreover, the jumping jack increases muscle strength and endurance, keeps your bones strong, and boosts cardio health. See how many you can do in a minute!
Another great cardio choice is the mountain climber. This bodyweight exercise targets your abs, legs, and shoulders. If you’re a beginner, do it at a slower pace. As you progress, increase workout intensity. The faster you move, the more calories you’ll burn.
To do a mountain climber, you need to start in a plank position. To do this, start on your knees, place your hands on the floor just ahead of you, and keep your arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Next, bring your legs and feet out behind you, making them straight, and allowing the tips of your feet to dig into the floor. A proper plank will see a straight line between the head and the legs, engaging your core.
To change into a mountain climber from the plank, you literally need to picture yourself climbing up a mountain. Begin by pulling one knee up to your chest (not touching the floor doing this), bringing the other leg back into the plank position, and allowing the bent leg to tap a foot to the ground. This needs to be repeated the same for the other knee.
Now, mountain climbers will be done quite fast to get your muscles and heart rate working, but if you need to take a little bit more time, that’s okay too! Once you master the basics, try more advanced variations, such as kickboxing mountain climbers and plank jack mountain climbers. For best results, include this exercise in your HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) routine.
Blast your legs with the squat jump! This exercise will get your heart rate through the roof and send your metabolism into overdrive. It’s a great way to tone your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core muscles.
To get yourself to a squat jump, first, you need to master a squat. For a proper squat, you need to stand with feet a little further than shoulder width apart. The perform a squat, you need to imagine sitting down on a chair, making sure to keep your chest up and spine straight, while bending your knees and pushing your bum and hips out a bit. Make sure to push the weight of your squat into the back of your foot and the ball of your foot, and don’t let your knees go beyond your ankles—otherwise, you risk injuring yourself.
The next part to this is the jump! During your squat, you’ll be gaining momentum from the ball of your foot, so be sure to push off from there, jump as high as possible. If you’re doing it right, you’ll feel it in your thighs. As you jump up, exhale, and as you resume a squat position on landing, breathe inwards. This exercise can take a bit of practice to get the form correct.
For a more challenging workout, wear ankle weights or keep a medicine ball in your hands.
The plank jack will tone your abs and increase arm strength. It also targets your quads, glutes, and shoulders. The key is to use your core muscles to control the movement.
Start by revisiting the plank position discussed for the mountain climber. This time, instead of bringing your knees up to your chest and alternating, you’ll be mimicking the leg motion of a jumping jack (there’s a reason I started this post by explaining these two moves!). When moving your legs into the outwards position for the jack, be sure to keep your core strong and your pelvis from tilting to aid in the movement.
In the long run, plank jacks may help relieve back pain and boost your mobility. Due to its dynamic nature, it speeds up your metabolism and burns massive calories. It’s best to work up to doing a plank jack because of its difficulty. So make sure you have the planking basics down!
For a strong, lean body, try plyometric push-ups! This exercise is perfect for both aerobic and resistance training, leading to greater strength, explosive power, and increased overall endurance. When done regularly, it improves athletic performance and vertical jumping ability.
The form for a plyometric push up is similar to a regular push up. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your arms next to your chest, bent at a 90-degree position. Feet should be firmly planed behind your extended legs (much like the leg positioning for a plank).
Now for the plyometric push-up part—build momentum when coming up from the bent arms position. This will get your arms to straighten and your hands to lift off the floor, propelling your upper body into the air while still keeping your toes planted. When your body comes back down, get back into the first position and keep repeating! If you want an added difficulty to this exercise, clap your hands together when you push off the ground, and safely return to the starting position.
When To Do Cardio At Home
Perform these five exercises as part of your cardio routine or after lifting weights. For instance, you can do them on the days when you can’t make it to the gym. This way, you’ll keep your muscles strong and burn fat.
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