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OT - Tone-up Tuesday

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Are you doing your cardio?

Cardiovascular exercise (Cardio), also known as aerobic exercise, is anything that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe heavily. Carido helps increase the strength of your heart and lungs and can also help you improve your endurance during workouts. Cardio helps you burn fat and calories for weight loss and makes your heart stronger so it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood. It increases your lung capacity and helps reduce your risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and improves mental health.

Cardio doesn’t mean just running, biking, doing aerobics, or swimming. You can make your weight training program a cardio workout.

Here are a few ways to add a cardio element to your weightlifting routine:

  • Get creative. Multijoint exercise and combination exercises are a great way to be time efficient because they work multiple muscle groups at one time and increase your heart rate, giving you a cardio effect during weightlifting. For example, you can squat into an overhead press, or do a front raise directly into a lateral raise.
  • Add plyometrics between sets. Plyometrics are quick bursts of movement that increase your heart rate and tire you out. Several great plyometric exercises are jump squats, mountain climbers and burpees.
  • Take less rest time between repetitions. If you’re usually doing 10 pushups with one minute of rest between sets, change to a 15 second rest to get and keep your heart rate up.
  • Change it up. A cardio effect is most likely to occur whenever the body has to adjust to new stressors. Rotate between doing more repetitions of a lighter weight (if you usually do 10 sets of one exercise before taking a rest, try doing 20) and doing fewer repetitions of a higher weight (if you usually do 10 sets of 10 pounds, consider doing five sets of 20 pounds).


Not everyone is comfortable going to the gym, sweating like crazy with wobbly bits jiggling. Here are some cardio exercises you can do in the privacy of your own home.

Burpees might be the dread of CrossFit pros, but they do provide a killer cardio workout in a short period of time. You do not need any equipment or a lot of space, making them a great cardio workout at home. To do a burpee, alternate between a plank position and jumping forward in the air. Make sure that your hands are flat on the ground and your back straight. In just 10 minutes, you can burn more than 100 calories. We recommend starting slow and working your way up to 10 minutes or more to avoid injury.

Do you have fond memories of jumping rope as a kid? Well, you can bring that into your workouts by jumping rope at home. Jumping rope is often considered the best cardio workout and is used for cross training by many athletes. You can do it almost anywhere with just a simple jump rope you can buy in many locations, which is why it is a great cardio workout at home. If you jump rope for only 20 minutes, you can burn about 220 calories. Although you might have memories of jumping for long periods of time as a kid with no problem, you also want to work your way up to the full 20 minutes.

Another cardio workout at home that might bring you back to your childhood is jumping jacks. Similar to burpees, doing jumping jacks for 10 minutes straight can burn around 100 calories. You can easily integrate jumping jacks into a circuit training that includes some of the other exercises on this page, such as burpees, jumping rope and squat jumps. With no equipment necessary, you can perform jumping jacks anywhere at any time.

Another great cardio exercise that you can do alone or as part of a cardio circuit is squat jumps. As their name implies, you start out in a squat and then jump up, trying to get as high as possible, and then land back in the squat. It is high impact, especially on your knees, so care is needed when you are a beginner or if you are suffering a knee injury.

Want to feel the burn in a more organized cardio session? Then try kickboxing, the best cardio workout to do at home. Kickboxing is a combination of karate and boxing which is excellent for not only cardio but also strength straining. You can use some equipment, such as a punching bag and exercise video, or you can do it on your own if you already have some skills. In addition to burning around 100 calories per 10 minutes of working out, you also can get rid of your stress and aggression.

Looking to have some fun with your cardio workout at home? Then put on some music and do some dancing. Anything that gets your heart pumping exercises your cardiovascular system, and certain dance moves also help to build muscle. If you want a more structured lesson, look online (or buy a DVD) for free dance exercise videos.

Another cardio workout at home is stair running, as long as you have some stairs nearby. Stair workouts help you build strength and power in your lower body and gets the heart rate pumping. Challenge yourself with mini intervals by alternating between a regular stair run and sideways stair run to burn more calories even after your workout.

You do not need to head outside or hit the treadmill to get the benefits of running; simply jogging in place in your home provides many of the same benefits. Of course, you might find it boring to run in place for an extensive length of time. That is why most people incorporate jogging in place with other exercises, such as burpees, jump ropes or strength training for a complete workout.


For an excellent exercise program, mix it up. Include several rounds of some of the above workouts for a solid 20 – 30-minute session that will also burn fat and build muscle. You can find online videos for cardio routines that incorporate many of these exercises to make it easier for you to build your own cardio workout at home.


Wanna have better sex? Cardio!



Siemprematahari's picture

Hola Amiga!

Burpees kick @ss but they are so beneficial. It is truly an awesome strength training exercise and you get to work out your chest, arms abs, glues, and hamstrings. A few of these and I'm dead Yes 3

I want to take up kickboxing, hopefully in the next few months I'll schedule a few classes and kick butt.



Cover1W's picture

I used to do kickboxing when I had a good gym near me.  It was SO FUN!

And I also now know how to deliver a good right hook.


Aniki-Moderator's picture

Hola, Siempre!

Burpees are great! Unless you have bad knees, LOL! 

I've never tried kickboxing, but am definitely intrigued by it (I studied martial arts for a few years). 

Cover1W's picture

I started jogging in the mornings on my work from home days. My walks were no longer getting me enough cardio. So I'm jogging for a good 30 min straight now (it's a hilly, hilly area) and need better jogging shoes. DH is getting inspired to start jogging again.  I already ride a bike 4 days a week for 1.5 hours a day, but I needed to get different muscles activated. It's all coming back to me again, esp. once I found my pace.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Good for you, Cover! Now go get the proper shoes so you don't injure yourself. xo

Br1ghterS1de's picture

I run and I spin and when I'm not slacking (like the last three weeks) I feel sooooooooooooooo much better mentally.

Br1ghterS1de's picture

I wish it felt that easy! I invested in a Peloton bike for my den because spin studio hours can be dumb and limiting. I'm so happy I did, I love spinning but I do go in jags of taking a few weeks off when shit is cray cray.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

I know some people who watch a show. I've always preferred to "switch it up" and watching different tv shows is NOT how to do it. LOL