If the thought of going to the gym sends chills up your spine, relax. You can still get a good cardio workout at home. You don’t need any fitness equipment to do them, either!
1. High Knee Pushes
This is a good beginner exercise for everyone. Start with your feet together, and your hands raised up by your armpits, palms facing forward. Lift one knee up so that it’s level with the floor. At the same time, thrust your arms out in front of you so that they are also parallel with the floor. Alternate by lifting each leg one at a time, pushing with each lift. Really push those arms! You want the feeling of resistance. Remember to keep your core tight, and to exhale as you push and lift your legs.
2. Squat Kicks
This is another good exercise for beginners. It’s low-impact, and is a good way to train yourself up to squat jumps. Start with your feet together, and your hands raised in fists in front of your chest. Keep your elbows close to your ribs. Raise one leg in a high kick out in front of you, keeping your hands in front of your chest. Bring the leg back down so that your feet are shoulder-width apart and sink straight into a squat. Remember to keep your weight on the backs of your heels, not on your toes. Stand back up and kick with the other leg.
3. Bear Crawls
This exercise is a little tougher, and requires a modicum of upper-arm strength. If you don’t have much now, incorporate some bear crawls into your cardio routine, and you’ll have plenty in no time. Begin in a squat. Plant your hands on the floor in front of you. Walk them forward until you are in full push-up position, with your legs straight behind you and your hands below your shoulders. Do a push-up. Walk your way back to a squat.
4. Mountain Climbers
Doing mountain climbers is no picnic. The good thing about this exercise is that it strengthens your wrists, your arms, your shoulders, and your core, as well as elevating your heart rate. Begin in a push-up position. With your hands planted firmly on the ground, and your legs balanced on your toes behind you, hop up. Bring one of your knees forward in the hop so that it is nestled beneath your chest, and you look like you lunged forward all the way. Hop again, and switch legs.
Burpees are notoriously difficult. Thankfully, you can try a modified burpee as well. But we’ll tell you about the hard one first. Start by standing with your feet together. Now, do a squat, place your hands on the floor, and kick your legs out behind you so you land on your toes in plank position. To get back up, jump your legs back into squat position, and stand. Ugh! Make sure you have strong shoes, strong arms, and a strong mind. Modified burpees let you walk your legs out instead of kicking them, and will also get your heart pumping.
A good beginner routine might look like this:
• 60 seconds of High Knee Pushes
• 60 seconds of Squat Kicks
• 30 seconds of Bear Crawls
• 30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
• 30 seconds of modified Burpees
Don’t forget to warm-up before exercising, and stretch afterwards.
What are your favourite cardio exercises?