People are increasingly looking for ways to do cardio at home. There’s no reason to assume that “limitations” like a lack of space or access to gym equipment should stop you from enjoying a satisfying, energy-boosting workout from home. Knowing just a few tricks for doing cardio training at home can help you to create your own, personal, workout for burning calories and kicking it into high gear. Let’s cover the basics of getting in that cardio workout from anywhere!
Understanding What We’re Trying to Achieve Through Cardio Workout
It’s important to outline the goals of a “cardio” workout before discussing how to design breezy, satisfying at-home workouts. Most people assume that cardio exercises involve long, drawn-out physical exertion. Some people might not realize that jogging and running long distances aren’t the only forms of cardio out there. A cardio workout is any workout that raises your heart rate and breathing rate. The goal of cardio is always going to be improving the way your lungs, heart and circulatory system function regardless of which form of cardio you choose to do.
A Quick Word on Intensity
One of the first questions you might have about doing cardio at home is how elevated your heart rate should get during a workout. That’s going to depend on workout intensity. We can use some information provided by the American Heart Association to unpack what that means. For those trying to achieve moderate activity, aim for 50 percent to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Aim for 70 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate if your goal is vigorous intensity. It’s smart to aim for the lower end of the intensity scale if you’re just beginning an at-home cardio routine for the first time. You can gradually work your way up based on your goals, preferences and personal health picture!
Easy, Effective Ways to Do Cardio Training at Home
It’s almost like having built-in gym equipment if your home has a staircase. Generally, you’re going to burn about 1.5 calories for every 10 steps you run upwards. That doesn’t sound like much. However, you can get up and down a set of stairs pretty quickly once you start building momentum.
No stairs in your home? That’s no problem at all! You can still give your legs a real cardio powerhouse workout using zero equipment or props. There’s a reason why trainers and cardio enthusiasts are all such big fans of air squats. This intense workout burns calories, gets your heart pumping and creates a really beautiful form. Here’s how you do it:
- Stand with your feet just a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Turn your toes outward just a bit.
- Clasp your hands in front of your chest.
- Next, drop into the squat position with your hips rolling back.
- Muster your strength as you straighten your legs back into the standing position.
- Keep your chest lifted.
- Don’t round your back.
You can repeat this a few times until you feel that sweet burn radiating from your shoulders and glutes. This is a great workout for getting a strong, cut look in the arms and legs. Generally, 25 minutes of squats will burn between 100 calories and 222 calories.
Almost everyone has done a mountain climber at some point. These are a favourite among gym teachers and coaches. The fact that these are not highly technical or complex at all makes them the perfect at-home cardio tools! Here’s how to do the easy, frills-free mountain climber:
- Get into a high “plank” position.
- Place your hands beneath your shoulders.
- Your body should now be in a perfectly straight line.
- Next, drive your right knee toward your chest.
- Quickly alternate by driving the left knee toward your chest as soon as your right leg returns to position.
- Keep doing these alternating moves as quickly as you can without stopping.
You may be surprised by just how quickly you feel your heart going after just a few minutes of what looks like a very simple workout. You’ll specifically feel those muscles in your abs and the upper portion of your body getting the burn! You can expect to burn at least 10 calories for every minute of mountain climbers you do!
Burpees are considered to be fat-burning, muscle-burning powerhouses. They’re slightly more advanced than some of the other moves mentioned in this article. However, they’re still perfectly ideal to do at home. Here’s how to do burpees:
- Get your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Make sure your arms are at your sides with your weight being placed in your heels.
- Next, push your hips back.
- Bend your knees.
- Get the lower part of your body into a squat position.
- Put your hands on the floor right in front of you.
- Check your position to make sure your hands are just inside of your feet.
- You’ll now need to shift your weight to your hands.
- Jump your feet back in such a way that you land on the balls of your feet.
- You should find yourself in a plank position.
- Jump your feet back to allow them to land just beyond your hands.
- Next, reach your arms over your head to jump up in the air.
- Let yourself land before lowering into a squat position.
Yes, burpees are intense. It can also take a little practice to really get the hang of how to do them. You can expect to burn between 10 and 15 calories per minute. Of course, the fast-paced movements and intense focus needed actually make the reps fly by with this workout.
Super-Charged Combo Workout
The workouts mentioned above allow you to get into a groove using a single technique. Next, let’s explore how fun it can be to combine several muscle-testing, calorie-burning moves to build a cardio medley you can do from anywhere! I’ll even twist in some of the moves I just covered. Here’s your cardio medley:
- Jumping jacks.
- Air squats.
- High knees.
- Mountain climbers.
Get in 30 seconds of each move before moving on to the next one. Make sure to give yourself about 10 seconds of recovery time before leaping into the next thing. Doing the complete circuit three times in a row should have you feeling the burn! Don’t worry if you’ve never done a high knee before. They are simple to learn. Stand in place with your feet hip-width apart to prepare to bring in your right knee toward your chest before planting it back on the ground. Next, drive your left knee toward your chest.
Yes, You Really Can Have the Best Workout of Your Life From Home
The key is to focus on opportunities instead of limitations when looking for ways to do cardio workouts from home. In fact, you may be surprised by just how satisfying it is to use strength and resistance generated from your own body to burn calories and build intensity if you’ve been relying on gym equipment.
Just a few words of caution. Never begin a new cardio routine without discussing your fitness level with your doctor. Also, ensure that you’re researching proper form on all moves used in your workout to prevent injury.