A lot of people are intimidated by the prospect of getting a full body cardio workout at home, fearing they don’t have the right equipment or that it will take too much time to get in and out of the house (not to mention putting on their workout clothes). Here are 10 no-excuse ways to get the full body cardio workout you want, complete with videos and some optional pre-workout stretches, that won’t take more than 30 minutes and will barely get you out of your living room!
To get the most out of your workout and avoid injury, it’s important to do some light exercises before you go into more intense movements. Start by taking some time to stretch and warm up your muscles with light cardio exercises like jumping jacks. Jog in place, jump rope, or lift weights for about five minutes before starting your 30 minute routine for an even better workout.
Activities for Each Muscle Group
*Chest – Pushups, bench press, floor press, incline chest fly
*Back – Pull ups, wide grip pull ups, dumbbell row
*Legs – Squats with weights, lunges with weights (L-Squats), hip thrusts
*Arms – Deadlifts with weights, overhead press with weights
Do it Everyday, Even on Rest Days!
It’s hard to find time in our busy schedules for both strength and cardio training, so instead of neglecting one or the other, make it your goal to work out every day. Your body will thank you for it. Try this simple workout (it takes just 15 minutes): Run in place for 1 minute; do 20 pushups; jog in place for 1 minute; do 15 squats; repeat cycle until you reach 30 minutes.
Use the Treadmill
The treadmill is a great way to work on your endurance and strengthen your legs. For those with joint issues, it’s also an excellent way of building up muscle in areas that have lost muscle due to injury or illness.
Use the Stairs
Hit the stairs for a quick 30-second jog up and down one or two flights. It’s easy, has no equipment requirements, and you get the added bonus of using your stairs! If you live in an apartment building with no stairwells or if your stairwell is inaccessible, invest in a set of light dumbbells for arm toning as you sprint up the steps.
The benefits of rowing are well documented and include weight loss, muscle building and toning. It strengthens all your core muscles while also working out the arms, back, hips, thighs, calves and abs. And the best part is that you can do it right in your own home! All you need is an oar for optimal comfort during this cardio workout. But if not available in your area or budget, a standard medicine ball will work just as well as long as you can create the same movement.
Dance Party – Turn on your Favorite Music and move!!
Don’t feel like running on the treadmill? Have no fear, this workout is for you! You only need two things – music and space. Dance your way through three songs (no more than 30 minutes), mix up dance moves and make it fun. Switch out any movements that start to get too easy, or change the order of your routine so you don’t get bored! It’s time to turn up the volume and burn some calories as you groove around your living room.
Jumping Rope (or using a jump rope app)
Jumping rope is one of the best cardio workouts you can do because it’s both low impact and fast. Jumping rope for 30 minutes will burn up to 500 calories and make your heart work really hard. Here are the benefits of jumping rope: • It’s low-impact: no sore knees or ankles after jumping for a few minutes. • It works your body from head to toe: with each jump, your body becomes more agile and flexible.
Weighted Vest or Sling Shot
When looking for workout equipment, try to look for one that will challenge you in ways you didn’t know were possible. For example, the weighted vest or sling shot are excellent ways to bring intensity and variety into your workouts. A weighted vest can be used during all sorts of exercises; it’s essentially like wearing an extra twenty pounds on top of your current weight and is sometimes called a 20% increase in resistance. The sling shot is essentially a long band that stretches across two weight discs with adjustable handles.
For an added challenge, try kettlebell swings! Hold your kettle bell with both hands in front of you. Keeping your core tight and back straight, bend your hips and knees slightly, then push up with your legs as you use your core and arms to lift the weight overhead. As you bring it back down, do a reverse lunge until the kettlebell is level with the floor on either side of you.