Sometimes life gets busy, and we find ourselves neglecting workouts and healthy food. However, there is always time to squeeze daily movement into your schedule. Whether it is 10 minutes or an hour, you will notice a difference if you consistently show up for yourself.
Cardio exercises are amazing for the heart and impact all areas of the body positively. Your arms, hips and joints will thank you!
Here are six highly effective exercises that will get your heart pumping.
ALL TIME TIP: Do each exercise back to back for 45 seconds with a 15-second rest in between. After three rounds, you will have completed a great 18-minute workout!
Start with skaters to get your heart pumping fast. Although the skaters don’t include jumps, you still do some good work here that makes you sweat!
- With both legs bent, you move into a curtsy lunge position, with your right leg behind and across your body.
- Your left arm is straight down, and your right arm is bent up at the right side to give balance.
- You then stand up, pushing off your left leg.
- Now bring your right leg forward and swing your left leg backward and across your body.
- Keep switching arms as you move swiftly back and forth.
5. Oblique Standing Crunch
You should always add some core work for good measure. Control your movements for maximum effect and focus on engaging your core the entire time.
- Get moving by standing with your feet apart at shoulder-width and your arms bent. Now put your hands at the back of your head, with your elbows opening out side-ways.
- Bend to the right side to begin the movements. Bring your right elbow down as you simultaneously bring your left knee up to touch it.
- Then return to your position and continue the same movements on the left leg.
4. The Lateral Shuffle
Doing both frontal and sagittal movements helps to achieve maximum effect for more balanced muscular strength. Be sure to work both legs equally, so shuffle to the right for the same time as the left.
- Get moving by standing with your feet apart at shoulder-width.
- Bend your knees slightly, with your hips pushed back, maintaining a forward stance. Keep your arms comfortably in front of you.
- Transfer your weight to your right and lift your right foot, pushing off your left to move your body right. Do this quickly as you maintain your form.
- You then bring your feet back together and repeat the movement going in the opposite direction.
3. Bear Crawl
This full-body exercise is harder than you’d think. It takes a lot of focus but works wonders when done correctly.
- Start in a pushup position.
- Keep your knees off the ground and bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Crawl forward by alternating leg and arm movements four times and then reverse.
- Repeat while keeping your back flat and core engaged.
If you are familiar with burpees, you probably have a love-hate relationship with them. This exercise is quite difficult but extremely effective.
- Begin in a pushup position.
- Push off the balls of your feet and bring your knees into your chest, landing in a squat position.
- Jump up and explode out of the squat into the air before landing softly back into the squat.
- Place your hands on the floor and kick back out into the pushup position to do it all again.
1. Squat Jabs
Fight through the end of the last exercise by punching it out. The squat and jab is a great finisher because it pushes you to hold that squat position while simultaneously working your arm muscles.
- Start with your feet slightly more open than shoulder-width apart, with arms down your sides.
- You now do the squat, keeping your chest up, your knees out and your butt back as if you are sitting in a chair. The lower you squat, the harder it is.
- Now throw a cross-body punch across your chest, alternating fists.
Always Warm Up First!
Failing to warm up before your workout can set you back with muscle strains and tears. Injuries occur quite often when people try to do too much too quickly. If you skip your warm-up, it may nullify the health and fitness goals you want to achieve.
The above routines are mostly low-impact but still very effective. They are also easy to do in the comfort of your home! Along with working out, be sure to eat a balanced diet that will fuel you.
It is important to incorporate cardio routines into your weekly workout schedule. If you are someone who hates running, there are plenty of other ways to do cardio. Give this workout a try!