Body weight Cardio Exercises to Try at Your Next Workout

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cardio exercises

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cardio exercises? Chances are that when it comes time for you to get your daily cardio exercise done, your mind immediately goes to spending half an hour or more on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. While we definitely love getting great workouts in on these machines, there’s no denying that it can get boring when these exercises are all that you do for your cardio.

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When you’re bored or feeling boxed in, there’s also a higher chance of you bailing out on your workout earlier or even skipping it altogether. Now, what if we told you that this doesn’t have to be the case?

Hating your work out is the world’s worst way to stay committed to your fitness regimen. So, when it comes to your cardio, an integral part of your workout routine, it’s best to do something that will keep you on your toes.

The good news is that there are many ways to get cardio workouts in without having to get on a cardio machine or even without having to leave your home. If you want to get a fun, challenging and far-from-boring cardio workout in, pick 3 to 4 moves from our list below and get cracking.

Just to make it extra simple for you, we’re giving great cardio-based bodyweight exercises for different levels, so you can choose workouts that will suit you and workouts that you can progress to.

Inchworm

Fitness Level: Beginner

Simple yet effective, inchworms are most effective when you perform them with an engaged core. Stand with your feet at a hip’s width distance to start, then bend at your waist and place your hands firmly on the ground and walk them forward. As you walk your hands forward, make sure to keep your legs straight. Keep going until you get to a high plank, then walk your hands back to your feet quickly and stand back up. That’s one rep.

Uppercut

Fitness Level: Beginner

If you’re a fan of boxing, then this cardio-based exercise should be right up your alley. Assume a split stance, the boxing stance which requires you to stand with your lead foot forward and hips squared and hold your hands up by your face. Then start punching up in a scooping movement, quickly repeating with alternating hands.

While you punch, keep your knees loose and your core tight. Switch your stance to the opposite leg halfway through. Try keeping this up for 30-second intervals with 10 seconds of rest in between. Even if you’re not a beginner, we highly recommend adding uppercuts to your cardio routine.

Long Jump with Jog Back

Fitness Level: Intermediate

If you want to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing, there are few exercises better than jumps – any kind of jumps. However, for people who have an intermediate level of fitness, long jumps are great especially when you couple them with jog backs.

It’s as simple and bending and swinging your arms back before jumping forward as far as you can manage. Land on the balls of your feet and jog backwards to your starting point to do it again. Try your best to land as lightly as possible when performing your long jumps. To give the workout an extra boost of cardio, make sure to jog back as quickly as possible, keeping your knees high all throughout.

Tuck Jump

Fitness Level: Intermediate

We really meant it when we said that jumps are great cardio exercises. Another awesome one for intermediate level exercisers is the tuck jump. This jump is all about catching some hang time in the air. Begin by standing with your knees slightly bent. When you’re ready, jump up with enough momentum to bring your knees up to your chest while extending your arms straight out in front of you.

Your arms should go down as you land on the floor. Remember to land with your knees bent and try to land as lightly as possible so as to protect yourself from injuries. Plus, you’ll feel pretty darn cool if you land as quietly as possible.

Plyometric Push-Up

Fitness Level: Advanced

Man, push-ups are hard enough to do normally, much less when you add plyometric movements to the mix. To do a plyometric push, you’ll need to start by performing a proper push-up with perfect form. The difference is that as you push up, you need to push hard enough so that both of your hands come off the ground long enough to allow you to clap your hands together before you land again.

We love plyometric exercises because they’re excellent at helping you develop power and strength. Just remember that you should master the perfect push up before you try any kind of plyometric variation. We don’t want any injuries happening after all. If this version of the plyometric push-up is a piece of cake for you, you can try double clap versions or modify it to a tricep push-up. We guarantee that you’ll feel the burn there.

Box Jump

Fitness Level: Advanced

Got a sturdy box or bench around the house or at the gym? If you do and if you’re comfortable that your fit enough to tackle them, then you really ought to give box jumps a try. For first timers, try starting with a box that mid-calf height.

Once that height becomes easy to you, you can begin to progress to taller boxes. Proper completion of a box jump starts by standing in front of the box with your feet about a shoulder’s width apart. When you’re comfortable, bend your knees while sending your hips back. Then swing your arms back and forward explosively to propel you up and onto the box. Remember that you should be landing on the box lightly.

No louds thuds aloud for this exercise! Afterwards, step down from the box one foot at a time and get ready to go one more time.