11 Best At Home Cardio Workouts
There are times when we all eat a little extra and gain a little weight. Sure, dieting is one way to get rid of it, but who can resist a good meal? Cardio exercises at home are a great way to keep your calories in check without the hassle of running to a gym. You can do it at your convenience, pace, and needs! In this post, we have written about 11 Best at home cardio workouts (1).
What is Cardio?
Cardio is essentially any exercise that raises your heart rate. Cardio exercises are short and intense. There are alternate periods of rest and extreme workout (2). This is very good for lowering your calories and improving general bodily aspects like stamina and flexibility. These are also best exercises to lose belly fat fast.
Warm-Up Before Cardio
Warming up before Cardio is a good idea. Stretching your muscles is very important. You can do a few stretches like touching your toes, shoulder stretches, hamstring stretches, etc. This will open up your muscles and make them more flexible and open to the movement (3). It will reduce chances of injury and any pain that you might experience while working out. You can also do some jogging before you begin (4). Never miss out on Pre Workout foods before starting your exercise at home or at the gym.
11 Best At-Home Cardio Workouts
The following are 7 of the Best Cardio Workouts that you can do at home:
You have probably seen a lunge- or something close to it, at some point in your life. Kneeling to tie your shoelace or even proposing to someone encompasses a physical movement followed by a lunge. A lunge works on several parts of your body (5). It is a single-leg bodyweight exercise that puts to work your Quads, Core, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hips, and the muscles in your inner thigh that are hard to reach.
Lunges aid in developing your lower body endurance and strength and are very effective in evening out imbalances in muscles. Since lunges are similar to our walking pattern, they are easy to do and great for beginners. Lunges are one of the best at-home cardio workouts.
So, how do you do the perfect lunge? Here are the steps:
- Keep your feet hip-width apart and stand tall. Engage your core.
- Then, take a large step forward with your right leg and begin shifting weight forwards so that the heel hits the floor first.
- Lower your body till your right thigh is parallel to the floor while your right shin is vertical. Make sure that your knee does not pass your toe. If you are mobile enough, gently tap your left knee to the ground but keeping weight in your right heel.
- Press into your right heel to go back up in your original position.
- Do this with your other leg.
Once you have managed to perfect the simple lunge, you can move on to lunges with weights such as kettlebells, dumbbells, or barbells. This is slightly more challenging but even more rewarding. You can also try variations of the lunge like a Reverse lunge and Kick, Lateral Lunge, Reverse Lunge, etc.
Squats are one of the most effective exercises that you can do. It is a full-body exercise that emphasizes on working the muscles of your Buttocks, Hips, Thighs, Hamstrings, and Quadriceps. It also develops your core strength and strengthens your bones. Overall, it is a pretty useful exercise to know. However, you need to do them perfectly in order to ensure that you do not get injured and maximum effectiveness is reached. Squats are one of the best at home cardio workouts.
Here are the steps to a Perfect Squat:
- Stand with your chest held up and out and your head facing forward.
- Place your feet apart at shoulder-width or perhaps a little wider. To help you keep balance, extend your hands forward. You may also clasp your fingers or bend your elbows.
- Sit as though you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Make sure that your head keeps facing forward and that your upper body bends forward a bit. Allow your lower back to arch just a little as you go down.
- With your knees over your ankles, lower down your body in such a way that your thighs are as parallel to the floor as is possible.
- To return to the original position, keep your body tight and push from your heels.
- You can begin with 3 sets of 10 squats each with a 30-second break between every set.
It is important to remember that the most important thing, in the beginning, is to get your form correct. Without the correct posture, you may end up injuring yourself. After you have successfully done this, you can move on to more difficult forms of the squat like pistol squat, wide-stance barbell squat, braced squat, etc.
3. On-Spot Jogging
On spot jogging is a very fast and adequate way of burning calories, thus losing weight. It is important to do it in the right intensity. If done properly, you can end up losing 500 calories in 1 hour. It is very good at toning muscles and works your Calves, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Hip Flexors. On-Spot Jogging is one of the best at home cardio workouts. You can also try aerobic exercises to lose weight.
Here is how to do on Spot Jogging:
- For your warm-up, begin with a light jog. Hop from foot to foot by lifting your feet only an inch or two off the ground.
- Try moving your arms as you jog. You will lose more calories by moving your upper body. Using your arms for this purpose is very useful.
- To increase your heart rate, lift your knees. To get your heart pumping really hard, bring your knees up very high while keeping your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Increase your speed. Do alternate periods of heavy jogging with recovery. While it may be difficult to sustain high-intensity jogs, you should still do it.
Keep doing this every day. You can wear a heart rate monitor to keep a check on your heart rate.
Along with a healthy diet, you can lose a substantial amount of weight.
4. Body Bridge
The body bridge is an exercise that builds flexibility and increases strength throughout the body, but especially in the spine and back. It stretches out your body and can reduce back pain. Body bridge is a very good core body stability exercise and for isolating and strengthening the butt and hamstrings.
Here are the steps to do a Body Bridge:
- With your hands by your side, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lie on your back.
- Tighten your abs and butt by pressing your feet into the floor. Lift your hips up to create a straight line from shoulders to knees.
- Keeping your form, hold this position.
- Lower yourself back onto the floor.
You can try various other body bridge exercises like Straight Bridges, Short Bridges, Full Bridges, Elevated Bridges, etc.
One-legged bridge, bridge walk-ups, and bridge walk-downs are advanced bridges.
Burpees are a very good form of a full-body workout. It builds endurance and strength, raises your heart rate, and burns a lot of calories while testing your coordination and balance. The number of muscles and movements involved shows the benefits of burpees in your daily life.
How to do a classic 4-point move Burpee?
- Drop into a squat from your standing position with your hands on the ground right in front of your feet.
- Kick your feet behind you and extend your arms so that you are in a raised plank position.
- To ramp up the difficulty, you can do a press-up in between.
- Remain in the plank position and jump your feet back towards your hands.
- Finish it off by jumping into the air with your arms straight above you.
- Do it again.
You can begin with 3 sets and gradually increase. As you progress, you can make it more difficult. You can incorporate Circuit Training, try the 100 Burpee Challenge, do the Burpee Ladder, and do something like the 30-day burpee challenge. A good challenge is a max workout which builds your tolerance so that the lactic acid floods your legs and increases your anaerobic performance.
6. Jump and Squat
Jump squats are plyometric, high-intensity exercises that are very good for conditioning the joints and muscles of your lower body, building explosive power, and increasing the height of your vertical jump. Due to its difficulty and intensity, it is necessary to do it properly so that you do not hurt yourself. Knowing the correct jumping techniques, landing and takeoff positions, mechanics of absorbing force, and correct jumping technique is immensely important.
Performing the Squat:
- Stand normally and make your feet parallel. Make sure your body faces forward. Your feet must be right beneath your shoulders. This will be your base to take off and land.
- Get into the squat position. Lower your hips down and back while bending your knees.
- Maintain your posture and get into a deep squat. Place your arms on your side or hold them out in front of you.
- Jump. In one fast, explosive motion, reverse your position. As you get out of the squat, drive hard with your legs. Keep your torso and head upright and straight and lift your arms to chest level.
- Jump as high as you can. The last part of your body to touch the ground should be the balls of your feet. Throw your arms straight above your head. The momentum will carry you higher by extending your body.
- At the height of your jump, you will need to begin preparing for the landing. Keep your core tight. Bring your arms back down. Make sure that your legs are completely extended when you touch the ground.
- Point your toes down so that the balls of your feet touch the ground first. Your feet should be in about the same place it was during takeoff, with toes outward and slightly wider than your shoulder width.
- To absorb the impact, bend your knees. Try to land as swiftly and softly as possible. This is imperative so that you do not get hurt.
- Get ready for the next one!
Start with 3 sets of 10 with a 30-second breather between each set. To increase the intensity, do it faster, do more, tuck your knees in while in the air or add weights. You can also jump into a box or get mobile with frog jumps.
This is one of the best locomotive exercises that there is. It will help build your coordination, block more complex movements, and burn those calories. It is an all-encompassing activity that is really good for you! Skipping is one of the best at home cardio workouts
How to do Skipping?
- The first step to skipping is choosing the right rope. Find a rope that reaches your shoulders when it is folded into half. This will make sure that you do not trip on it but will also give you room to jump.
- Hold the rope properly. Make sure that your forearms and hands are a foot away from your body and that they are at a 45-degree angle. This will make a bigger arc that you can jump through.
- Put the rope behind you in a manner that the middle of the rope touches the back of your feet.
- Use your wrists and hands to swing the rope above your head. Try and keep the motion only to your wrists. Do not use your hands.
- Hop over the rope when it is coming in front of your feet. Push off from the balls of your feet.
- Create a pace that you can work with. Keep doing it at this pace.
This is the simplest way of skipping. To make it more challenging, you can do it in reverse, criss-cross it and do it, side-swing it, or mix up the tricks. This is a very easy exercise that is really good for you in all ways.
8. Stair Climbing
Stair climbing is a very easy and simple cardio exercise which involves a lot of muscles. It can be made effective by climbing the stairs quickly. If you want to make it more intense, you can add squats at the end of one round. You will sweat profusely after 10 to 20 rounds.
9. Squat Kicks
Squat Kicks are an effective version of Squats. While doing squat kicks, you have to perform a basic squat and then kick forward or sideways with left leg. Then again squat and kick forward or sideways with the right one. Repeat this 20 times with each leg at a time. This works out your lower body muscles. Squat kicks, when done at a faster pace, works as an excellent cardio exercise.
Who doesn’t like to dance? Dancing is an excellent cardio workout for your entire body. However, if you dance with properly designed steps, it would help you burn calories and enjoy at the same time. Dancing is not only an exercise but also an excellent stress buster(6). It is also excellent for people of age group more than 45 years of age (7).
11. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are very well known and effective cardio exercise. It is very simple to do. As you jump widen your legs till your shoulder width and take your hands from the sides, join them above your head. Return to the initial position, repeat for 10 times and relax. Do 3 such sets. You can increase the number of repetitions as per your ease.
Tips for At-Home Cardio Workouts
- Since you are not going to the gym, you will not have a trainer who will nag you to do the exercises. So, be disciplined and do it every day. Regular workout is the only way to lose calories!
- Make your own routine! See which exercises work for you and how you like to be challenged. Build your routine in a manner that you enjoy doing it.
- Make sure that your postures are correct. Watch youtube videos, talk to people. Figure out whether or not what you are doing is absolutely correct. This is very important to ensure that you do not get injured.
- Maintain a healthy diet alongside your workout. Exercise alone will not shed those calories. Maintain a healthy diet to aid you in the process.
Thus, cardio exercises at home are a great way to stay healthy and fit. They are easy to do and do not require any machines and is definitely easier in the pocket! Make your schedule and begin today.