Are you looking for an easy solution to do your cardio at home so you don’t have to go out and buy a treadmill or stationary bike?
If you don’t have the means nor the desire to go and drop few hundred dollars worth of workout equipment, I’m gonna to share a few easy-fixes to make sure your workout program stays in the positive for keeping you lean.
[Disclaimer - While this isn't me in the photo, I do know a couple sweet moves. I actually found it pretty damn hard to take a pic of myself doing any type of old-school break dancing. Besides, I used to be much better... like when I was around 8-years-old and didn't care if I broke my neck or not.]
Here Are 8 Ideas For Doing Cardio At Home
#1 — Get Dancing
Well, since I led with a picture of a pretty impressive break dancing move, the first way to doing your cardio from home is to start shaking your moneymaker from the comfort of your living room.
Dancing works well at burning the calories.
I have memories of those Sweatn’ to the Oldies VHS tapes (I’m dating myself here). I know they’re there. Deep down in my subconscious. Really deep. And I’ve worked hard to keep them buried there. Real hard. So, falling short of suggesting you go out and buy a workout DVD (flashing forward to the present) you can also turn up some music and simply start moving.
#2 — Do Bodyweight Cardio Circuits
Resistance training is one of my favorite ways to burn fat. It works. Actually, it works great. So if your working to get a leaner physique by doing your cardio at home I recommend getting your muscles fired-up and not only rely on low-intensity training to make your body a fat-burning machine. Instead of loading up a bar and hammering out some lifts, opt for using your own bodyweight as resistance.
Even better: Why not try a bodyweight cardio circuit?
This approach works like a charm if you’re pretty strapped for time. Actually, it helps bust unhealthy belly fat in record time. The magic of the method is to super set 5-10 exercises, and complete them in non-competing fashion in a single go. This represents a single round.
The typical layout would be to rotate between upper and lower body movements, with an ab exercise sprinkled in to make sure each muscle group isn’t left behind. Conclude each round with a minute rest and do as many rounds as possible.
#3 — Jumping Jacks
It’s pretty common to take regular old jumping jacks for granted. If they conjure memories of gym-class anxieties and being uncoordinated, don’t sweat it. If you’re working out in the comfort and safety of your own living room, then no one’s going to catch you jumping and flailing all over the place.
If you master the jumping jack you’re pretty much set on always being able to do your cardio pretty much where ever you are.
Cardio at home? Check!
Cardio while traveling? Check!
What about doing your cardio in the backyard, park or, if you’re extra lucky, at the beach? Triple Check!
You have Jumping Jacks as a mainstay in your Bodyweight Cardio Circuits, however they work well as a standalone effort.
Cheesy Tip: If you want to take these to the max, slap on a headband, crank some 80s Pop Music and feel that burn.
#4 — Using a Jump Rope
I’ve already shared my love for blasting fat off my body with a jump rope. This simple but effective piece of exercise equipment, is never far from my reach in my main training area at home.
(Click here to read my jump rope workout post.)
For some, it can be a challenge to make each skip a successful one. The worst is when you’ve just found your groove and then end up snagging your foot with the rope. But use this as motivation. How many jumps can you do in a row without messing up? Try and beat than number. In just a little time you’ll be a jump rope pro.
#5 — Sprinting in Place
If you have a big enough yard (front or back) try sprints to get your heart pumping.
For those of you who are visually inclined and are looking for an example to do your cardio at home…yes—there is a video teaching you how to run in place.
If you were to stick with the tempo demonstrated in the video 20-30 minutes would be a good amount of time to really burn through some significant amounts of calories. If you want to keep up on some daytime T.V. this will help you in your fat loss cause.
One tip to speed up your efforts, if you’re not keen on spending all the time in one place doing the same exact thing, is to do some intervals. An example is to jog-in-place at a slow tempo for 20 seconds, and then bolt your way to all-out knee highs.
Listening to some killer tunes is allowed in my book. It’s a great way to keep yourself pumped and engaged in the middle of a session. I use Pandora Radio in all most all of my routines. If not, I’ll just be me and my interval timer to keep track of the effort.
#6 — Taking the Dogs Out For a Run
Ok, while this one isn’t exactly designed to get you doing your cardio at home, it’s proof you don’t need a gym to keep your progress alive and well.
But it’s pretty easy to get started. All you really need to do is strap on your favorite pair of trainers, grab the leashes, conceal your poop bags in your pockets, and head out the door.
If you’ve got a nice trail or park near by then you can get a bit of a warm up in before working at full hilt. This helps both human and canine to get off the couch, and burn off a few inches in the process.
#7 — Let Your the Kids You Out For a Run
This is bit of a reverse on the #6 method.
My kids know how to play: They play hard. They play rough. They play to exhaustion.
In general, kids model great fitness habits. Or at least from my experience with them.
Children have a natural tendency to turn everything into a game. If it’s fun then my girls are game. It’s not about doing cardio at home. They love to run because it’s fun. They love to climb because they get a thrill out of it. They love to jump because it makes them happy.
These are just a few examples the most grownups are missing from their daily routines.
Other areas that most adults should be taking a cue for the kids is they to get enough sleep and crave some playtime.
Sleep is important in all stages of life. However, I know quite a few adults who seem to think it’s cool to brag about being able to function on enough hours of sleep that can counted on one hand.
And “craving playtime”? Frankly, as we grow older the coveted playtime somehow becomes a chore, or a bore. I blame discovering girls in my case.
Even though the fun of playing until you’re about to drop gets lost on some, it doesn’t have to stay that way. My suggestion is if you don’t like running, hell, don’t do that. Pick something that actually drives you wild.
I know there’s something in this world that will put a smile on your face. It might take a little bit of discovery and experimenting, but once you find it, you’ll know it. After that, it’ll be hard to let anything get in the way of feeling that sweet mix of excitement and nervousness rushing through your body.
#8 — Do Some Kettlebell Swings
That’s right. You can get some pretty fruitful results by simply doing Kettlebell Swings. Your posterior chain (a collection of core, glute, hamstring, lower back and shoulders muscles) is really put to the test. And that means you’ll see a bonus in your jumping and sprinting results.
KB Swings lend themselves well for doing straight steady-state cardio at home. Yet, I’m keen on pairing them with HIIT.
If you haven’t realized by now I like to focus most of my cardio with HIIT in mind.
This isn’t to say I only use intervals to ramp up my training. I habitually use both steady-state and HIIT together: starting up with a warm up, then heading into intervals and finishing off with steady-state running. It’s a simple plan that seems to work well for me.
What works well for you when doing cardio at home? I’d love to hear how you annihilate the calories in the comments section below.