For optimal health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week (5). But what if you don’t have a gym membership or access to equipment? No problem! There are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping and sweat flowing without any equipment at all. Here are 10 of the best cardio workouts you can do at home:
Jumping jacks are a classic cardio movement that gets your whole body moving. It’s also a great way to warm up your muscles before a more intense workout.
To do a jumping jack:
High knees is a cardio movement that will get your heart rate up in no time. It’s also a great way to strengthen your legs and improve your coordination.
To do high knees:
Butt kicks are another great cardio move that will get your legs moving. They’re also a good way to stretch out your hamstrings and glutes.
To do butt kicks:
Mountain climbers are a challenging cardio move that works your whole body. They’re also a great way to build strength in your arms, legs, and core.
To do mountain climbers:
Squat jumps are a plyometric move that will get your heart rate up in no time. They’re also a great way to build lower-body strength and power.
To do a squat jump:
Burpees are a full-body movement that combines a push-up with a jump. They’re an excellent way to get your heart rate up and build strength in your arms, legs, and core.
To do a burpee:
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The standing alternating toe touch is a great cardio exercise to get your heart rate up and improve your balance. It’s also good for stretching out your hamstrings while strengthening your core.
To do standing alternating toe touches:
Box jumps are a plyometric movement that will really get your heart rate up. They’re also a great way to build lower-body power and explosiveness.
To do box jumps:
Plank jacks are a great cardio move that will also work your arms, legs, and core. They’re similar to regular jumping jacks, but instead of starting in a standing position, you start in a plank position.
To do plank jacks:
The inchworm crawl is a great cardio movement that will also work your arms, legs, and core. It’s similar to a bear crawl, but instead of crawling on all fours, you start in a standing position.
To do an inchworm crawl:
Cardio workouts at home can be just as effective as those done at the gym, if not more so. The key is to choose exercises that are challenging enough to get your heart rate up and to keep moving for the entire duration of your workout.
So, which cardio burns the most fat?
Any cardio workout that gets your heart rate up and has you moving for an extended period of time will help you burn fat. However, some exercises are better than others when it comes to burning fat.
Interval training, for example, is a great way to burn fat because it alternates between periods of high-intensity and low-intensity exercise.
This type of training has been shown to be more effective at burning fat than a steady-state cardio, like jogging or biking, because it helps you burn more calories both during and after your workout.
If you’re wondering what is a good 20 minute workout, here’s an example of a 20-minute interval training workout that you can do at home (you can use any form of cardio that you like):
Remember to cool down for 5 minutes at the end of your workout by walking or light jogging in place. You can increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you get in better shape.
Another great way to burn fat is to include strength training in your workouts. Strength-training not only helps you build muscle, but it also helps you burn more calories both during and after your workout (3).
You don’t need weights to do strength-training, at first. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and squats are all great options. As you get stronger, you can add weights to these exercises to make them even more challenging.
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Low to moderate intensity cardio is generally safe for most people. However, if you have any health concerns, please consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. This is especially necessary if you have (4):
Additionally, if you experience any pain or discomfort while exercising, stop and consult with your doctor. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.
Some risks are associated with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of training can be hard on your joints and muscles, so it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.
The following tips will help you stay safe while doing HIIT workouts at home:
While you can do most at-home workouts without equipment, you’ll still need protective gear if you’re doing HIIT workouts that involve impact, like running or jumping. Good shoes are a must, and you might also want to invest in a quality yoga mat to protect your joints.
It’s important to warm up before any type of workout, but it’s especially important before HIIT workouts. A good warm-up will increase your heart rate and supply your muscles with blood and oxygen. This will help reduce your risk of injury and make your workout more effective.
Dynamic stretches are a great way to warm up your muscles before a workout. They help improve range of motion and increase blood flow to your muscles (2).
Dynamic stretches are different from static stretches, which you should do after your workout.
Some examples of dynamic stretches include:
If you’re new to HIIT, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Jumping into an intense HIIT workout without preparing your body first can lead to injury.
Just as it’s important to warm up before a workout, it’s just as important to cool down afterwards. A cool-down helps your body recover from the intense exercise and prevents blood pooling in your muscles, which can lead to cramping and pain.
Static stretches are a great way to cool down your muscles after a workout. They reduce the soreness you might feel later and improve your range of motion.
Some examples of static stretches include:
Dehydration and heat exhaustion are common risks during HIIT workouts. These conditions are more likely to occur in hot weather or if you’re not properly hydrated.
To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. You might also want to consider investing in a portable water bottle or hydrating pack to keep with you during your workout.
Watch out for warning signs of dehydration, such as (1):
It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and rest.
There you have it! These are 10 of the best cardio workouts you can do at home with no equipment needed. They can help you get your heart rate up, burn calories, and improve your overall fitness level.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!