Cardio is amazing for your body and your mind. But do you dread logging miles on the bike or on the treadmill? Did you know you can reap all the same benefits of cardio just doing simple bodyweight exercises at home? Here are some of the best cardio exercises. Pick 3 or 4 moves and add them to your workout or just do a bunch and complete several rounds of each. You get to choose!
Here are some beginner moves for unexperienced exercisers:
- Start standing up with your feet hip width apart and your core tight (tighten your core for all of these!). Bend from the waist (don’t stress your lower back) and then place your hands on the ground, walk hands forward and keep your legs straight. You’ll arrive in a high plank. You can plank for a while for more of a challenge or simply walk your hands back to your feet and stand back up. Repeat!
- Power skip. Again, stand with your feet hip width apart and keep your core tight. Raise your right knee up, bring your left arm forward and hop on your left foot. Repeat on the other side and remember to focus on height, not speed.
- Practice your boxing skills (another great cardio workout to try) and stand with your right foot one step ahead of your left and hips squared. With your right hand, punch up and to the left. Quickly repeat on the other side by switching feet and hands. Continue to alternate.
- Mountain climber twist. Start in a high plank position (I will keep reminding you… keep that core tight!), move your left knee in towards your right elbow. Then switch sides. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible.
- Jumping Jack. This is a classic move you probably already know. Start with your feet together and hands at your side. Jump your legs apart and bring your arms over your head, clapping at the top. Repeat!
Here are some intermediate moves when beginner moves prove to be too easy:
- Long jump with jog back. Stand with your feet hip width apart and keep your knees slightly bent. Swing both arms back and bend deeper, then swing your arms back forward and jump forward. Try to land on the balls of your feet. Jog backwards and keep jumping forward.
- Start in a high plank position and keep that core tight. Shift your weight to your left hand, lift your right hand off the ground and rotate towards the right and kick your left foot out to the right. Tap your left foot with your right hand. Repeat on the other side. Try to move as quickly as possible.
- Invisible jump rope (or use one if you have it). Use a jump rope or simulate using one!
- That one exercise we all love to hate, but face it, it gives you results! Stand with your feet hip width apart. Jump up and then immediately go into a high plank position. Do a push up and then jump back up quickly. Repeat as many times as you can.
When you’re ready for more advanced moves, try these cardio moves:
- Squat jump. Do a squat and then jump up. Make sure to extend your legs fully and push your arms down. Land lightly and then do another squat. Remember to keep your posture straight.
- Triceps push up with mountain climber. Start in a high plank position. Lower onto both forearms at the same time and remember to keep your core tight and your hips level. Push back up to starting position and finish by drawing one knee into your chest and then switching knees.
- Jumping lunges. Master the basic lunge before trying this one. Put your right foot ahead of your left and drop into a low lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Then jump up, switch feet midair and drop to another lunge. Keep going!
Did you know how many cardio moves you could do that don’t involve jogging or spinning? Which ones will you try? Share w