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10 Ways for a Great Cardio Workout at Home

By Surabhi Agrawal October 07, 2021

Cardio Exercise at Home

Do you want a great cardio workout? You can get one by doing some simple exercises at home! This blog post will give you 10 ways to have a great cardio workout, at home. 

These are easy exercises that anyone can do anytime and anywhere, with little or no equipment needed.

##10 Easy to do Cardio Exercises

 1. Jumping Jacks

How: Stand with your feet together, and raise your arms over your head. Jump up while spreading your legs apart, and quickly bring them back to the starting position as you lower your hands to chest level. Then jump again, bringing both feet together as you swing arms above your head.

This is a great cardio exercise that works out almost every part of the body.

Explanation: This is a great cardio exercise that works out almost every part of the body. It's easy to do, and it gets your heart rate up quickly.

Duration: 30 seconds x number of repetitions (try 20 reps)

Repetition: As many as you can in one minute! Or hold for 15 to 30 seconds for as long as you can.

Variation: Jumping jacks with knees raised, or jump rope.

Safety Tips: Take breaks if needed and keep hydrated! Be careful jumping up from a kneeling position so that your kneecaps don't slam down on the floor.

Warm-up/Cool-down: Not necessary

Muscles worked: Entire body. This is a great warm-up and cool-down exercise as well.

Equipment needed: None! But you can use light weights to make it more challenging if desired. 

Benefits: This exercise will make you stronger and more toned while burning calories.

Precautions: Make sure your knees are not locked when jumping back into the starting position.

Cardio Exercise at Home

2. Running in Place

How: Stand with your feet together, and place weight on the balls of both feet. Keep knees slightly bent as you lift your arms to chest level in front of you. Lift right knee up toward hip height while raising the left arm above the head; then quickly switch sides so that your left knee is lifted and your right arm is raised. Repeat for a continuous minute.

Explanation: This is an aerobic exercise that will get your heart rate up quickly, and it's easy to do at home! It also strengthens the calves and thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings).

Duration: One-minute x number of repetitions (try 20 reps).

Repetition: As many as you can in one minute! Or hold for 15 to 30 seconds for as long as you can.

Muscles Worked: Entire body, especially the quadriceps, calves, thighs, and triceps.

Equipment needed: None! But you can use light weights to make it more challenging if desired.

Warm-up/Cool-down: Not necessary for this exercise.

Tip: Try to increase your speed or number of reps as you get stronger!

Note: If it's too hard, just slow down a bit and use light weights instead. If it's too easy, try holding the toe-raise position for several seconds before switching sides. Always keep your abs engaged; don't let them sag toward the floor.

Running in place is a good way to start any cardio workout because it's easy and quick! It also works almost all of the muscles in your body.

Running in place is a good way to start any cardio workout because it's easy and quick! It also works almost all of the muscles in your body.

This exercise strengthens many different muscle groups, especially calves and thighs. You can try 20 reps for one minute or hold for 15 to 30 seconds as long as you can.

Running in place is a good way to start any cardio workout because it's easy and quick! It also works almost all of the muscles in your body.

If you find this exercise too difficult, just slow down a bit and use light weights instead. If it's too easy for you then try holding the toe raise position for several seconds before switching sides. Don't let your abs sag towards the floor as you do it!

Jump Rope Exercises

3. High Knees

How: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bring one knee up toward your chest at a time. Keep going as fast as you can while keeping good form. Switch legs after 30 seconds or so.

Why: Hiking up the knees strengthens the muscles around your hips and thighs—two areas that are hard to tone without weights.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Reps:  Do as many reps in 30 seconds as you can. Rest for the same amount of time, and repeat three times per day.

Tip: Don't let your feet touch down between each rep—that's one count. Keep your upper body straight with no arching in your back! Try to make it as smooth as possible.

Equipment needed: none.

Warm-up/Cool-down: no warm-up or cool-down is needed.

Body Part: lower body.

Target Muscle Group(s): thighs and butt.

Start/End Time: anytime, anywhere. Right now even! :).

Additional Info: If you can't lift your legs very high at first, don't worry—just try to go as fast as possible.

Buy Skipping Rope

4. Butt Kicks

How: Start in a runner's stance, and then sprint as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Then take that same intensity and kick your feet up behind you while crouching into a ball (hips tucked under) with both arms protecting the face; this will leave an intense burn in your glutes and hamstrings!

Exercises: Butt kicks, glute bridge. Duration: Butt kicks: 20 seconds on/20 seconds off; Glute Bridge: 30 reps (15 on each side). Reps: 40 butt kick repetitions, 60 glute bridge repetitions.

Intensity Level: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at a full effort for both exercises. You can do this workout as many times as you want.

Rest between intervals: no rest during exercises unless needed for safety reasons. Rest at least one minute in between circuits.

Altitude: At home or at the gym. Equipment Needed: None! This can be done anywhere anytime you have 20 seconds and a floor to do it on!

Warm-up/Cool-down: Warm-up with a cardio activity for five minutes, and then stretch. Cool down with some light stretching as well!

Muscles Worked: Butt, glutes (gluteus Maximus of, medius and minimus), hamstrings (semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris), quadriceps.

Benefits: This exercise is great because it not only works your butt muscles but also the hamstring muscles in the back of your legs! This workout is also great because it helps with weight loss and overall cardio endurance.

5. Air Squats

How: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides. You can hold dumbbells in each hand, which is a good way to add resistance if you want more of an upper-body workout as well.

Maintain the natural arch in your back (the spine should be slightly curved) and push your hips backward until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Lower your body until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, keeping your back in its natural alignment and abs tight so you don’t feel it in the lower back.

Stand up by pushing through your heels as if you were jumping straight up off of the floor while exhaling.

Keep going for 30-60 seconds, then take a quick break and repeat.

Why: This exercise works your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and abs as you balance on one leg while strengthening your core muscles to keep from tipping over.

Duration: 30-60 seconds each side.

Reps/Sets: Do two or three sets.

Equipment Needed: None.

Muscles Worked: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Tips:  Keep your back straight to avoid putting too much pressure on the lower back. Keep your abs tight so you don’t feel it in your low back or neck! If this is too difficult start by bending both knees slightly—as long as you can maintain a straight back and abs pulled up, it’s fine to bend the knees.

Safety: Keep your eyes looking forward – don’t look down at your foot or allow your head/neck to drop backward. You want to keep that natural curve in your low back throughout this exercise—don't flatten it. If you feel any pain in your neck or lower back, stop and stretch out those areas before continuing!

Variations:  Hold a medicine ball for added resistance during the exercise. You can also add this to a HIIT circuit by doing 20-30 seconds of each one after another with no break between exercises.

What You Need: A mat or towel to lie on. Benefits: This is a great way to work your legs, hips, and glutes without requiring any equipment.

Jump Rope Benefits

6. Walking Lunges

How: Place a towel on the floor and place one foot on top of it. Then, with your hands placed firmly on your hips, step forward into a lunge position with that same leg. Keep going until you have done at least 30 steps in this exercise to see some results!

Duration: 30-60 seconds.

Reps: 30 steps per leg, for a total of 60 steps in the exercise.

NOTE*: This is not an easy workout so you may want to try it at first with no weight on your back or simply use only one dumbbell. Afterward, when you are more comfortable with this cardio exercise, add some weight to your back.

Walking lunges are similar to regular lunges, but they target different muscles in the legs and burn more calories per minute because you keep moving throughout the exercise! If you want a great cardio workout at home that will tone your entire body, this is it!

Remember: A weight on your shoulders might be too heavy, to begin with, so start off light and work your way up.

Benefits: This exercise helps tone your legs, butt, back, and shoulder muscles.

Walking lunges are an easy cardio workout you can do at home anywhere! It is also a great way to burn some calories even while watching TV or listening to music! Try it out the next time you want something different than walking on the treadmill for cardio exercises!

Equipment Needed: A towel and a dumbbell.

Other Tips: You can do this exercise without ankle weights or with only one if you feel the weight is too heavy on your shoulders for now.

If you find walking lunges easy but want to challenge yourself, even more, try doing them backward! This way not only will you tone muscles in your legs and butt, but you will also strengthen your core.

Targeted Muscles: Hamstrings (back of the legs), quads (front of the thighs) and glutes (butt).

7. Burpees

How: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and place both hands on the floor in front of you, slightly wider than your shoulders. Jump or step back to a plank position, keeping abs engaged and body straight from shoulders to heels. Bring one foot in between your hands while simultaneously reaching forward with that same hand (think: jumping lunge). Return to plank position. Do not let your hips drop or hike upward as you move from one movement to the next.

Repeat on the opposite side when returning to starting position for a total of three reps per leg. If this is too challenging, start in a standing push-up position and work your way down toward the floor until you can perform a proper burpee.

Benefits: The Burpee is a great cardio exercise because it works your arms, legs, and chest all at once. It also engages your abs as you hold the plank position for each rep. This move is particularly good for those who are looking to lose belly fat. If this version feels too difficult, start with the standing push-up version and work your way down toward the floor until you can do a full burpee.

Duration: 30 seconds to a minute.

Reps: Complete three sets of burpees with 30-45 second rest in between. You can increase or decrease the number of reps depending on your fitness level and goals, but always make sure you're pushing yourself!

Level: Advanced Beginner/Intermediate.

8. Mountain Climbers

How: Start in a high plank position, on your hands with feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your core tight and jump each knee to the opposite elbow at a quick pace. Once you’ve completed one set of minute-long sets or two minutes straight, take a break for 30 seconds before starting again!

Benefits: This cardio exercise is one of the most effective because it works your arms, core, thighs, and butt! This high-intensity interval training (HIIT) move also increases the heart rate for a quick calorie burn.

Notes: Only jump as wide as you can with control so that your shoulders stay over your hands. If you need to modify, you can drop down onto your knees until the move becomes easier.

Time: 30 seconds.

Equipment Needed: none.

Reps: 12 reps per side, or two minutes of continuous jumping.

Progression: Advanced athletes can add a jump rope to increase the speed and intensity.

Muscles Worked: triceps, core work, glutes, and thighs.

9. Kickboxing

How: You can do this anywhere with just a pair of shoes, but it’s not recommended to do these at home because you could break something. :)

Start by standing in front of your opponent and throwing quick jabs. When he or she is within arm's length quickly kick him or her in the chest followed immediately by two hard punches to the face.

This can be modified by going to a corner of the room and doing steps/kicks or jabs followed immediately by punches. Repeat this two more times before moving on to reverse hooks, uppercuts, crescent kicks (roundhouse), front kicks, side thrusts, and finally roundhouses.

Benefits: This cardio exercise will get the blood pumping and increase your heart rate.

Time: 20 minutes; Try to aim for 20 minutes of cardio every day!

Difficulty: Moderate.

Equipment Needed: Shoes, enough space to move around.

Muscles Worked: Entire body.

Tip: Try to do this cardio exercise using a heavy bag if you have one. Otherwise, try it in your living room or wherever there’s enough space!

Possible Modifications: This is an advanced kickboxing routine so make sure that you are physically fit before attempting any of these exercises at home. If doing any of these exercises hurts, stop and consult a medical professional.

10. Jog, Walk, or Dance

Go for a walk or jog around the block, take a dance class at home to music without any equipment. 

You can also go for a walk or jog around the block, with your dog, or on an adventure to explore new places! 

 How long: 30 minutes of light cardio is great for your heart and mind!

Why: "One study found that people who walked about two miles daily had better memory function than those who didn't get out much." (Source: Harvard Health Publications).

(Source: Harvard Health Publications) Benefits: A great cardio workout that can be done anytime. 

 Time: 30 minutes.

##Final Thoughts

Cardio exercise is a great way to burn calories and lose weight. It's also an effective way for people who are new to working out or don't like the gym, to get in shape. But sometimes it can be hard to find the time and motivation to make it happen!  

Luckily, there are a number of exercises that can be done at home to get your heart pumping and make you feel more energized throughout the day. 

These cardio workouts require no equipment! All you need is some floor space in a room with plenty of ventilation. These exercises can also help relieve stress and tension which both contribute towards weight gain.

The above 10 easy cardio exercises you can do anytime, anywhere. Just start today!

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