“I don’t exercise because I hate the gym.”
Sounds like something you’d say? Then try this cardio workout to get fit at home — no gym or equipment needed.
The cardio circuit in this video has five moves, and for each move there’s an easy exercise option and a hard exercise option — choose the one that suits your fitness ability.
After you’ve warmed up do each exercise for 40 seconds, take a 20-second break, then move onto the next one. Once you’ve finished all five, take a 60-second break (if needed), then repeat the whole circuit at least four times. Download an interval timer app on your phone to keep track on the timing.
Easy: Toe taps — step. Standing with your feet about hip-width apart, reach down with your right hand as you pull up with your left foot. Drop your foot to the ground, then repeat on the other side. Follow that pattern for the whole set.
Hard: Toe taps. A similar set-up as above, but with a higher tempo. Try to hold the same pace through the whole 40-second interval, but if needed, drop back to the easier version of the exercise.
Easy: Alternating lunge. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Imagine you’re standing with each foot on parallel train tracks — take a big step forward, keeping your front foot on that train track (not in front of your other foot, as if you’re walking a tightrope). Lower yourself until your back knee is almost touching the floor. Keep your chest up and your weight on the front foot as you drive off the floor. Alternate legs throughout the set.
Hard: Jumping lunge. Keep your weight on the front foot and jump from leg to leg, using your arms to gain momentum. If this gets tough, drop back to the alternating lunge rather than stopping.
Easy: Jumping jack. This is an exercise classic. Two pointers: First, work at a tempo you can maintain the whole 40 seconds, and try not to slow down (and definitely don’t stop). Second, keep the movements sharp — no sloppy jacks! If the jumping jack is a bit too high impact to you, keep the arm movement but step out to the side instead of jumping, one foot at a time.
Hard: Star jump with squat. Add a squat into the movement. By the end of this set, your legs should buuuuurn.
Easy: Seal jack — step side-to-side. Start standing upright and step out to the side with your left leg, bending your right knee as you do. Step back in and stand upright, then repeat on the other side. As you step in and out, your arms open and close in front of you — keep them straight and level with your shoulders.
Hard: Seal jack. This is similar to a traditional jumping jack, but your arms come in front of you instead of overhead. Keep your arms straight and level with your shoulders to hold the tension in them, and make each movement short and sharp. (No sloppy seal jacks!)
Easy: Low-impact burpee. Start in a standing position and squat down, bring your hands to the floor and step each of your feet back until you’re in a high push-up position. (You can also jump both feet back together, for slightly added difficulty.) Depending on your ability level, add in a push-up here — do it from your knees to make it easier, if you need to. Step each of your feet back in between your hands (or jump them back together), then stand up. That’s one burpee.
Hard: Burpee. Aah, the dreaded burpee. Start in a standing position and squat down, bring your hands to the floor and jumping back with your feet at the same time. You’re now in a high push-up position — the perfect place to do a push-up. (You can lower your knees to the floor to make the push-up easier, if need be.) Reverse the movement pattern to come back to standing — that’s one burpee. Count how many you do in the first 40-second set, then try to beat it each set.