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Try These Cardio Workouts at Home When You Can’t Get to the Gym

04/03/2020
By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS

At some point in your life, you’re going to run into trouble getting to the gym. If you have included cardio workouts at home into your regular routine, this won’t be a problem.

Going to the gym sometimes feels redundant. Don’t get me wrong, I love the gym. The equipment, the classes, the people; none of those things are at my house. When I am at home, I don’t have any distractions and I can focus on my relationship with my body, and I find that deeply meaningful.

When I exercise at home, the Lifeline Jungle Gym XT is one of my favorite ways to simulate the gym experience. Because it is compact and portable, it helps me meet my goals with a minimum of fuss. And it’s so easy to use I often prefer it to using other equipment.

Lots of things can disrupt your access to the gym. Traveling for work or vacations and business closures are some of the most common, but sometimes it’s as simple as not having enough time. Doing cardio at home can be fun and rewarding, and I’ve collected some of my favorite exercises here for you.

Indoor Cardio Exercises

I love home HIIT workouts early in the morning. When I struggle to get out of bed, HIIT is my go-to. It really gets my blood pumping and wakes me up. It’s also a powerful addition to your routine that will burn fat and elevate heart-health.

A woman doing cardio workout at home in her living room.
Do Cardio As Part Of Your Morning Routine To Keep Your Blood Pumping (Image source: Shutterstock)

Virtual training platforms are versatile and accommodating, no matter what kind of workout I need. The classes are never too full, and there’s always an option available for me when I know what I want. If I’m not certain, there are enough options to inspire me to try something new. When I’m isolated or on my own, virtual training platforms are among the best ways to plug into a cardio workout at home. They are a convenient and easy way to reconnect with people and feel included.

Equipment Not Required

Bodyweight exercises are an elegant alternative to bulky free weights. They don’t have to be as complicated as this:

Whatever your skill level, using your own body as your source of resistance is a great way to push your limits and get to know yourself better while you improve your fitness and health.

Not only do they strengthen and tone, but they also improve your body coordination. I love how much more aware I am of my body after working out, and these exercises are some of the best.

Even when you’re at home, stress reducers can not only boost your mood, they can help you discover new ways to be productive and happy. If you have more time on your hands than you know what to do with, having an elevated mood will help keep you inquisitive and exploratory so you don’t get bored or morose. They will come in handy not just now, but when life gets back to normal, as well.

Try These Exercises for Your Cardio Workout At Home

Here are some great options that don’t require anything but you:

Squat jumps

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees and sink into a squat.
  3. Jump up with an explosive motion.
How to Do a Squat Jump | Boot Camp Workout – Howcast

Repeat ten to twelve times per set, and do four to six sets per workout.

Burpees Workout

  1. Start in a neutral, standing position.
  2. Drop to squat with your palms flat on the ground.
  3. Kick your feet out into plank position.
  4. Return to squat.
  5. Jump as high as you can
How to Do a Burpee – XHIT Daily

Repeat twelve to fifteen times per set, and try to complete a set in thirty seconds. Do four to six sets per workout.

Jumping Jacks Workout

  1. Stand with your hands at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2.  Jump and extend your arms and legs so that when you land, your body makes an ex. 
  3. Jump again and reverse your motion until you are back in the starting position.
A woman doing jumping jacks in her living room.
Do Jumping Jacks To Burn Calories (Image source: Shutterstock)

Do fifteen to twenty-five jumping jacks per set, and four to six sets per workout.

Jumping jacks are a great way to burn calories, but how many calories do jumping jacks burn? The answer is surprisingly good, but different for everyone. On average though, you can burn about 150 calories in half an hour.

Jogging in Place

You don’t need a treadmill or a gym to do indoor jogging. Find a clear, unobstructed place for this workout. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes suitable for jogging. Practice jogging in place at a slow speed until you are comfortable with the motions and unlikely to injure yourself. Once you are comfortable with the motions, increase to a moderate speed and continue for five minutes.

A man jogging in place in his living room.
No Need A Treadmill If You Have An Unobstructed Living Room (Image source: Shutterstock)

Adjust your jogging time to suit your needs and comfort level. When you are done with your jogging exercise, walk around for a few minutes to cool down.

Jump Rope as Cardio

While technically requiring one piece of equipment, I included jumping rope because the rope is so minimal, and it fits perfectly into this set of routines.

A man doing jumping jacks on his living room.
Jumping Rope Is Another Way To Burn Calories (Image source: Shutterstock)

Jumping rope is an excellent supplement to your home HIIT workout, and a great way to improve your coordination while you burn calories.

To jump rope, be sure to wear shoes and have a rope long enough for your height.

  1. Place the rope behind your feet, holding one handle in each hand. 
  2. Flip the rope over your head.
  3. Jump over the rope as it comes down and repeat for thirty seconds.

If you are a beginner, practice jumping rope until you can do it smoothly for thirty seconds. Once you are comfortable with the routine, you can increase your speed.

If you want to include jump rope in your HIIT workouts, thirty seconds of jump rope at your fastest safe speed followed by a ten-second rest is ideal. A plastic speed rope is recommended for HIIT workouts instead of the slower, cotton ropes.

Staircase Workout at Home

When you don’t have equipment for your workout, a staircase can be turned into an impromptu HIIT gym.

Make Cardio Workouts at Home Part of Your Daily Routine

Are you already doing workouts at home? I hope you will be able to incorporate some of these exercises into your routine and do a little more at home. The best part is that you don’t need any equipment for many of these workouts. However, when you’re ready to step it up, you can start investing in simple, home workout equipment like the Sanddune Power Stepper or 4Kor fitness bands.

Working out at home is convenient and easy, and these comfortable, familiar exercises give me a boost to my day without disrupting my schedule. When was the last time you got in a bonus round at home?

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