Top 5 Best Cardio Exercises for a Killer Workout From Home!
Quality always beats quantity. If you're training efficiently, you're going to see more progress than someone who's just going through the motions. That's why it's so important to have a great cardio workout that you love, no matter how much time you have. This will also help you say motivated for the long run and maintain a proper routine!
It doesn't matter if you have heaps of equipment or not, there are plenty of workouts for every fitness level that can be done without leaving your house. This exercise routine will still give you a killer workout and make it easy to stay in shape with little time investment.
Here are the 5 best cardio workouts we've found for staying fit while training at home!
Before we jump in...
We're assuming your goal ultimate goal with a cardio workout is to burn calories, and lose weight. With that in mind, it's important to view these exercises as a whole. Performing one of these exercises on their own won't be enough to see drastic changes. But adding them to a cardio circuit that involves movement of both the lower body and upper body is where you'll see the most calories burned!
Circuit training is so effective because it allows you to get a complete cardio workout in such a short amount of time! It's:
- Considered a form of high intensity interval training
- When done properly, involves a total body workout
- Very effective at burning fat
- Allows you to train at your own pace, with the cardio workouts you love most!
Even if you're not the most athletic person out there, these are great because they work with your body's natural movements. They also train coordination, general fitness and stamina. No matter what level you're at, this cardio workout will definitely get you sweating!
These workouts should be considered supplementary, and simply used as an add-on to your usual routine. Still, if you're trying to stay fit while short on time, they can help keep things interesting and provide a lot of variety. We've found that these workouts included in a cardio circuit are great for when you want to squeeze in a training session before or after work! Just pick your exercises (like the ones outlined in this article), and perform as many reps as you can handle. You know your own physical limitations and should choose your rep count accordingly. Just made sure you include enough seconds of rest in between the exercises and you'll be golden!
Anyway, let's get into it.
Our Top 5 Cardio Exercises
1) Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a fun, simple exercise that can be done anywhere. You start in a standing position, and jump out with your feet hip width apart (or just beyond!) They're one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts because they involve the entire body. This helps you burn more calories overall. They're a kind of plyometric exercise, which means they involve the fast-twitch muscle fibres that are responsible for increasing oxygen intake, metabolism and burning calories.
Jumping jacks will also improve your coordination, agility, balance and stamina! If you find yourself without any equipment at home, this is a great cardio exercise to do. If you're looking to up the intensity a little, you can add a weighted vest! We guarantee you'll be sweating bullets.
2) High Knees
These are an absolute killer. High knees are an intense exercise that involves running in place with your knees at chest level. They're great for training power, speed and agility while also increasing stamina and weight loss! It's considered high intensity because your movements are explosive and require a lot of energy.
Explosive movements like the one in this exercise improve oxygen intake and can help you burn more calories. This is a tried-and-tested workout that will leave you gasping for air! The best part about it is how simple it is. With proper form, you'll also be building your leg muscles in the process.
They're popular because they can be done anywhere, and don't require any equipment or weights. If it's too easy for you, add some form of resistance. A weighted vest would also be a great choice for this workouts.
3) Mountain Climbers
Dropping down on the floor for this great cardio exercise. Mountain climbers involve movement of the the arms, legs and glutes, which makes it workout that involves the whole body! They're especially good for training the abdominal muscles because they involve rotation and crunching of the torso. It's considered a high intensity exercise because it requires a lot of energy and power to do, but it can be done by anyone!
To perform mountain climbers, just start in a plank position, and bring your right knee to your chest. Then, switch legs and keep switching back and forth as if you were running! This cardio exercise is perfect if you want a quick routine that's easy to remember, but will burn fat fast. If you want to target your core even more, you can balance on something like an exercise ball instead of having your hands on the floor. This will make the exercise so much more difficult! Just remember to keep your core tight, and focus on smooth movements.
4) Skipping with a Jump Rope
Okay, for this one you need a jumping rope. The good news, is you can pick up an Elite Ball Bearing Speed Rope for only $15 - and the health benefits are huge! Definitely worth the small investment. If you can't get your hands on one, you can mimic the movements of a skipping rope with your hands until you can!
Jumping with a jump rope is so effective because it really targets your abs and upper body. The main benefit of doing it is to tone and strengthen the core muscles and increase metabolism.
And that's why we love jump roping so much - you can work the entire body with one small piece of equipment. It's also good for coordination, agility and balance because you need to maintain your rhythm. If it starts getting too easy, try doing double-unders (Jump once, twice) instead. It's easy to get carried away with the many jump rope exercises out there. But even the simple jump rope workout is incredibly effective at burning fat.
5) Butt Kicks
Despite being low impact, this one is harder than it sounds. Butt kicks involve running on the spot, and bringing your heels up to your butt.
It's considered a low intensity cardio exercise because it doesn't demand a lot of energy. However, you'll quickly find that it's great for toning your lower body, and building muscle endurance. Keep your core tight and add some forward motion arm movements (similar to jumping rope) if you want to add more intensity!
When you do this exercise, make sure you keep your head up and maintain good posture. This will help you engage the muscles in your body that you're looking to target. It's also good for working the hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors. But don't worry if you think they're too simple - it's one of the easiest cardio exercises out there, but that doesn't make it any less effective!
The Best Cardio Accessories
If you're looking to increase the intensity of your workout, and perhaps add some strength training into the mix - take a look at these items! They will help you build muscle during your high intensity interval training while promoting further weight loss.
Holding a medicine ball adds intensity because you're using your muscles to stabilize the weight, and it adds variety because you can use it for just about every single exercise. It's also incredibly versatile - if you really want to work your core, try holding one in front of you while doing crunches!
This is similar to a medicine ball but will allow you to perform other exercises like kettlebell swings. If you want to add some strength workouts to your cardio routine, a kettlebell might be your best bet.
This thing will help you burn calories faster than ever before. Weighted vests add so much intensity because they add weight to your body-weighted workout and require you to work your muscles harder to maintain balance and stability. With a high quality vest, you'll be able to burn fat more efficiently and smash your weight loss goals.
The Best Cardio Machines
Investing in some cardio gear will expand your cardio exercises dramatically. Maybe you want a machine specifically to walk on, or a rowing machine to add some variety. Whatever it is, make sure you invest in something that will allow you variety and the chance to work other muscles while your main focus is still working off that stubborn fat! Here are our top picks:
Rowers are so effective because they are a low impact way of working every major muscle group. You'll be training your quads and calves like crazy, while also targeting your arms and shoulders, and of course - core! The rowing movement is incredibly efficient and allows you to combine strength and cardio for a total body workout. Plus, it's going to give you a great looking back!
Ellipticals are similar to rowing machines because they target all the major muscle groups, but they can also be used as an alternative if you're recovering from an injury and need low impact exercise. They are really easy on the joints but still give you a sweat-inducing experience. It'll be like performing stair climber exercises, but at an elite level!
Depending on your riding style, an exercise bike can be an incredibly effective way to build endurance and increase speed. It's also very low impact, so it's great for those with delicate joints or recovering from injury (so anyone - everyone should use this as their primary way of staying in shape!)
There are plenty of other cardio machines out there that are fantastic, but these three are our top picks.
What type of cardio burns the most belly fat?
HIIT workouts within a cardio circuit. It's that simple! HIIT training involves short bursts of super intense exercise, followed by short seconds of rest. The benefits are immense - you burn more calories during the workout itself, and after you've burned all that extra energy your metabolism stays elevated for longer (up to 48 hours). You need to take full advantage of this if you want to lose weight fast!
When implemented within a cardio circuit, you'll be engaging in an array of high intensity exercises that target different muscle groups. All super conducive to burning that stubborn belly fat!
If you're looking for fast, effective ways to stay in shape - we hope this collection of exercises helped you! You can perform them anywhere, with or without any strength training accessories. The sky is the limit - get creative and start thinking outside of the box! You can switch up your cardio routine every single day, so it's always fun to keep things fresh. We look forward to seeing you achieve all of your weight loss goals in no time flat!
Remember to tag @gym_direct on Instagram with the hashtag #GDFITFAM for a chance to get featured. We care about your fitness journey and want to celebrate with you!
Good luck, stay strong and remember that fitness is for everyone!
About the author:
We write all of our blog posts as a group - consulting members of our sales, marketing and customer service teams to give you the content that you deserve. At Gym Direct, we know how important it is to stay informed when it comes to the equipment you invest in - so we've made it a top priority to write content periodically to assist you in doing so. Happy training!
Written by Gym Direct