simple cardio exercises to do at home
Stand with feet hip width and core tight. Bend from the waist, place hands on the ground, and walk hands forward, keeping legs straight. When you arrive in a high plank, quickly walk hands back toward feet and stand.
Make it harder: Add a push-up when you are in the high plank position.
2. Power Skip
Stand with feet hip width and core tight. Raise right knee up as you bring left arm forward and hop off left foot. Land on the ball of your left foot then immediately bring right foot down and repeat on the other side. Focus on height not speed.
Stand in a split stance with right foot one step ahead of left foot and hips squared (facing forward). With right hand, punch up and to the left with a scooping motion. Quickly repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible while maintaining loose knees and a tight core. Halfway through, switch stance to the other side.
4. Mountain Climber Twist
From a high plank position with core tight, run left knee in toward right elbow, then right knee in toward left elbow. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible without hiking hips.
Make it easier: Run knees straight in toward chest rather than twisting.
5. High Knees
Stand with your feet hip width and run in place by pulling right knee up toward chest, then left knee up toward chest. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible.
Make it easier: If running isn't part of your game plan, perform this move as a march, using your core to pull your knee toward your chest.
Start in the same split stance that you used for uppercuts, with right foot one step ahead of left foot. Raise both fists up, keeping elbows pulled in to rib cage. Punch forward with left hand, slightly rotating torso as you do. Punch as quickly as possible for half of your time, then switch your stance and punch on the other side.
7. Plank Jacks
From a high plank position, with core tight, jump feet apart then jump them back together. Repeat as quickly as possible while trying to maintain level hips.
8. Butt Kick
Run in place kicking heels toward glutes. Swing arms at side or allow them to rest against butt so that heels kick palms. Make sure the movement is being driven from your hamstrings (not your feet kicking up dust).
9. Fast Feet Shuffle
With feet wider than hip width, bend knees slightly, sending hips back and keeping core tight. Shuffle feet to the right for 4 paces (or for as much space as you have), then shuffle back the other way. Stay low and make your feet move as quickly as possible to get the most out of this exercise.
10. Plank-to-Knee Tap
From a high plank position with core engaged, shift back and pike hips as you lift right hand to tap left shin (or ankle if you're extra flexible!). Return to high plank position and repeat on the other side. Move through the exercise as quickly as possible while maintaining good form.
11. Jumping Jack
This classic cardio move is a great way to warm up or do active rest between more difficult moves. Start with feet together, hands at sides, core engaged. Now jump legs apart and bring arms overhead, clapping at the top. Keep knees bent as you jump feet back together and bring arms down. Repeat as quickly as possible.
12. Vertical Jump
The goal here is simple: Try to jump as high as possible. Stand with a slight bend in the knees and feet hip width. Swing both arms back as you bend a little deeper. Then, as you swing arms forward, jump up, extending arms overhead. Land lightly and repeat.
Stand with feet hip width and a slight bend in knees. Jump to the right with right foot, landing lightly on the ball of your right foot and sweeping left foot behind right leg. Do not put weight on left foot if you can help it! Immediately jump to the left with left foot, allowing right foot to sweep behind left leg. Continue to alternate sides.
14. Long Jump With Jog Back
Stand with feet hip width and a slight bend in knees. Swing both arms back and bend a little deeper, then swing arms forward and jump forward as far as possible with both feet, landing lightly on the balls of your feet. Now, as quickly as possible, jog backward to starting place and repeat.
15. Tuck Jump
It's time to catch some air. Stand with knees slightly bent and jump up, bringing knees to chest and extending arms out straight in front of chest. Lower arms as you land lightly on the floor.
From a high plank position with core tight, shift weight onto left hand, lift right hand off ground, then rotate to the right and kick left foot out to the right. Tap left foot with right hand. Repeat on the other side moving as quickly as possible.
17. Diver’s Push-Up
If you've been to yoga before, you'll recognize this as a near chaturanga—but a little faster. Start in a down dog position with hands on the ground, hips high in the air, and feet on the ground so you form a triangle shape. In a fluid motion, dive head toward the floor, coming into a low push-up position, and then swoop chest forward and up so you end in an upward dog position. From there, push hips up to return to starting position.
18. Wide Mountain Climbers
From a high plank position with core tight, bring right foot forward to the outside of right hand so you are in a low lunge position. Jump and switch feet in midair so that you land with your left foot to the outside of your left hand with your right foot straight back. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible.
Make it easier: Skip the hop. Instead, step right foot back then quickly step left foot forward.
19. Invisible Jump Rope
Hop over an invisible rope (no need to jump more than 1 or 2 inches off the ground) by staying on your toes and pushing off with the balls of your feet. Make quick, small movements with your wrists as if you’re holding a rope.
20. 3 Hops to Push-Up
Stand on right foot with left foot elevated and core tight. Hop 3 times then bend down and quickly walk hands out so you are in a high plank position with left foot still off ground. Do 3 push-ups, never putting left foot down. Walk hands back and stand up to return to starting position. Repeat for half the time on one side only, then switch sides.
You'll need a bench or sturdy chair for this move. Place right foot on the bench and, using glutes, push up so right leg is straight and left foot is off the ground. Slowly lower, allowing left foot then right foot to come down to the ground. Repeat, focusing on using only your right glutes (do not push off with left foot).