Fitness, Workout Programs

Great Cardio Workouts That You Can Do At Home

great cardio workouts

There is a common assumption that to do cardio, one will need to go out for a run, walk or swim. If they’re indoors, they’ll need a treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike. This is NOT true.

An activity is considered cardio in nature when it raises your heart rate for a prolonged period of time. As long as you’re breathing more rapidly and your heart rate goes up due to constant activity, the training takes on a cardio nature.

So, even if you did bodyweight exercises such as squats, pushups, mountain climbers, etc. one after another with minimal rest, it would be a cardio workout. But isn’t it also resistance training?

You bet it is! That’s what makes these workouts so effective. They strengthen your muscles and also give your heart a workout. Once you understand this, you’ll realize that cardio can be done at home without any equipment.

Great Cardio Workouts!

In this article, we’ll look at several effective bodyweight training exercises that will not only tone and strengthen your muscles, but will also help you lose fat. The following exercises are the best cardio for weight loss at home:

  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Reverse lunges
  • Jumping squats
  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Bridges
  • Planks with shoulder touches
  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Wall sit
  • High knees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Bicycle crunches

These different exercises will target the entire body and are highly effective!

great cardio workouts

Cardio Program

Do I expect you to do all those variations I listed above in one workout? Absolutely NOT! But here’s how to structure a workout.

A sample workout could look like this:

  • Burpees (45 seconds)
  • Rest (15 seconds)
  • Pushups (45 seconds)
  • Rest (15 seconds)
  • Squats (45 seconds)
  • Rest (15 seconds)
  • Bicycle crunches (45 seconds)
  • Rest (15 seconds)
  • High knees (45 seconds)
  • Rest (2 minutes)

The 15-second rest intervals are just enough time for you to catch your breath before moving on to the next exercise. If this is too tough for you, you can switch to a 1:2 ratio where the exercise is performed for 30 seconds and the rest is a minute long.

The key point to note here is that you must challenge yourself. It’s ok to be tired and panting. That’s how you turn this workout into a cardio workout. If you rested 3 minutes between each exercise, it would just be a strength training one because your heart rate will not really increase that much.

There are many other bodyweight exercises that you can do. The list above is just a small selection that is great for the beginner or even intermediate. As long as you do them back to back with minimal rest, it will be a cardio workout.

most effective squat challenge

Cardio Drills Add-Ons

You can increase the effectiveness of your workout by using dumbbells or ankle weights. Resistance bands, pullup bars, medicine balls, stability balls and other equipment that gives you the freedom to do more varied exercises will be very useful.

You do not need to have fancy machines at home like they do at the gym. But these extra pieces of equipment will help to make your workouts more challenging and interesting. Your strength will increase and your progress will not plateau when you have variety in your workouts.

Last but not least, you must be consistent in your training. Aim for at least 2 or 3 sessions a week. Consistency is of paramount importance to seeing positive results. One cardio workout every two weeks is just not going to cut it. Form a plan and stick to it. Fitness is not a seasonal hobby but a lifestyle.

Healthy eating along with your fitness plan goes hand-in-hand in order for you to get results. See my other posts on healthy eating here. You may also want to signup for my Clean Eating eCourse which will take you step-by-step towards a lifestyle of healthy eating. Click here to signup absolutely free!

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