9 Cardio Home Exercises That Don’t Involve RunningArticle posted in: Fitness
You’re. Still. Home. So how do you keep on keeping on? Keep things fun and interesting by changing up your workout routine! Get your legs moving and your heart pumping with these nine cardio exercises that don’t require leaving the house.
There are so many health benefits of cardio exercise. According to Cleveland Clinic, the entire body is impacted by cardiovascular activities. The increase in blood flow and circulation helps to provide necessary oxygen to your brain, skin and muscles. It can also improve lung, muscle, pancreas and bone health, decreasing shortness of breath and the risk of developing osteoporosis and diabetes. It can also contribute to your mood and energy levels by releasing endorphins and feel-good hormones that decrease your risk of stress and anxiety.
You don’t have to run for miles or go to the gym to get your heart rate up. We put together this list of nine cardio exercises that you can do right in your house. By combining your cardio exercises with a delicious meal delivery service like South Beach Diet, you can get healthy and fit without stepping foot outside.
Obviously, the faster you go, the harder you’ll work. Most of these workouts can be incorporated into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). “Although there are many different ways to perform HIIT, all of the programs are characterized by periods of very heavy effort combined with periods of either complete rest or low intensity recovery,” says the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. Click here to learn more about HIIT workouts. >
Ready to begin? Be sure to read the instructions and practice the movements before starting your workout. Go slowly until you’re comfortable and then pick up your pace. Proper form is more important (and more effective) than speed. Be sure to always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Here are nine cardio home exercises that don’t involve running:
1. Jumping Jacks
- Stand up straight with your feet together and abs engaged.
- Jump your feet out to the sides and bring your arms up over your head simultaneously.
- Jump again, lowering your hands and bringing your feet together. As you land, keep your weight in your toes, eventually landing on the heels. (This reduces the impact on your ankles, hips and knees.)
- Keep your knees relaxed throughout, never locked.
Burpees are several exercises in one: a plank, push-up, knee tuck and jump-up. So let’s break this exercise down into four parts:
- Plank: Start by putting your hands down and jumping back into a plank, keeping your arms straight and body stiff and flat like a board. Your butt shouldn’t be sticking up in the air. If you have a full-length mirror you can turn sideways, it can really help with your alignment.
- Push-up: If you’re able to do a push-up, do so—keeping your body nice and straight. Look slightly ahead, not down at the floor to avoid straining your neck. If you have to rest your body on the floor, no shame in that. Just push yourself back up.
- Knee Tuck: Jump your feet up to your hands and stand.
- Jump-Up: Keep your weight in your toes, which will help with balance and prepare you for a small jump in the air, while stretching your arms up high to the sky.
3. Stair Jumps/Step Ups
Have an aerobic step and all the risers? Awesome. Have a front porch step? That’ll do!
- Option 1: Start by just stepping up and down off a step, leading with your right leg: Right up, left up, right down, left down. Repeat as many times as desired and then lead with the left. To increase the intensity, go faster.
- Option 2: Work one leg at a time. Stand with your right foot on the step and your knee bent slightly, loading all your weight into that leg. Tap your left foot on the floor behind you and then on the step. Your left foot should barely make a sound as it hits the ground. Repeat and then switch legs.
- Option 3: Jump up and step down off the step. Use your arms to help you balance and generate momentum. Add risers to increase the level of difficulty.
Have access to a few stairs? Try these exercises:
- Option 1: Walk, jog, run or sprint up and down the stairs.
- Option 2: Walk or run leading with the same foot on each step. Repeat on the other foot.
- Option 3: Skip one step. Skip two steps.
- Option 4: Try jumping from one stair to the next. Use both feet or alternate one foot at a time. Try to land softly, knees slightly bent.
4. High Knees
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, abs engaged.
- Start marching, bringing your knees as high up in the air as you can.
- Pick up the pace so you’re hopping on each foot, using your abs to pull your knees up.
- Pumping the arms increases your heart rate and also helps you maintain your balance.
5. Jumping Lunge
- Plant your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Step forward with your right leg and squat down until your right thigh is parallel to the floor, bent 90 degrees. (Your right knee should not extend out over your right toe and your left knee should not touch the floor.)
- Jump up, pushing off your front leg, switch feet in the air, and land with your left leg forward and right leg back.
- Repeat, keeping the knees bent and soft, never locked when landing.
6. Jump Rope
The faster you go, the harder you’ll work. Don’t have a jump rope? Fake it.
- Option 1: Skip over the rope.
- Option 2: Jump and then double jump. Alternate.
- Option 3: Jump on one foot or alternate feet.
7. Mountain Climbers
- Get into a plank position, hands evenly spaced apart, right under the shoulders.
- Pump your right knee up towards your chest and back down. Follow with the left knee and alternate.
- Try and keep your butt down throughout the exercise and drive your knees as far forward as possible.
- Change it up: Get an oblique workout by driving your right knee to your left shoulder and left knee to right shoulder.
- Crouch down on your left leg and cross your right leg behind you.
- Jump to the right, landing on your right foot (keep the knee bent) and crossing your left leg behind you. Repeat on each side.
- Your arms should follow your motions, right arm forward (when the right leg is back) and left arm forward when the left leg is back.
9. Squat Jump
- Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your weight in your heels.
- Bend your knees and squat (pushing your hips back as though you were sitting on a chair) down and up twice.
- On the third squat, use your butt and core muscles to explosively jump up in the air, returning to a stand.
- As you land, quickly drop back down into the initial squat position. Repeat.