With the closure of the gyms, more and more people have discovered that it is also great to train at home. However, if you don’t have a good cardio machine like e.g. bicycle, elliptical, or treadmill, then reaching the movement and aerobic training necessary for weight loss is more difficult to solve. To solve this, we give you some ideas on how you can do fat-burning cardio workouts at home and without tools!
What is cardio workout?
Many people equate cardio training with running, but it’s not that simple. Cardio is a form of exercise that raises heart and respiratory rates, and improves heart, lung and circulatory system functions.
You can burn the most calories over a period of time with cardio training, so if you want to lose weight, it’s a great idea to use it as a workout.
Typically, this type of training moves larger muscle groups, especially the lower body.
There are several forms of cardio workouts available, some with constant intensity throughout the training, while there are others where periods of high and low intensity alternate according to different methods. Such is the case with HIIT training, which is extremely effective in burning calories. There are also many calculation options to determine your heart rate, but if you are a healthy adult, try to keep your heart rate above 120 (you can set a higher limit depending on your health conditions).
For more intense cardio workouts, it is important to have a healthy cardiovascular system and it is recommended to seek the advice of your doctor before putting the body through such intensity.
Let’s see how much energy is used in 30 minutes for certain sports (of course, it also depends a lot on how hard you work and what your abilities are, so these are just averages):
Dance: 165 calories
Walking: 140 calories
Running 295 calories
Spinning: 295 calories
Swimming: 255 calories
Is 30 minutes of cardio workout a day enough?
Researchers say that 30 minutes of exercise a day can already have a beneficial effect if the goal is to lose weight. With half an hour of training in the morning, the body’s energy levels stay high during the day and more calories are burned during normal activities. Research has shown that those who exercised for 60 minutes consumed more calories during the day to compensate for the need of energy.
Those with moderate overweight lost an average of 4 kg in 3 months thanks to 30 minutes of exercise per day, compared to 3 kg for those who exercised for 60 minutes.
People who exercised for 30 minutes during the program burned more calories in one day than those who exercised for 60 minutes. So the extra 30 minutes of training was not an advantage in terms of weight loss.
The 8 best home cardio workouts
Let’s see what exercises you can do to keep your 30-minute cardio workout at home every day! You can perform the following 8 tasks, either sequentially or in small groups, with multiple repetitions.
1. Jumping jack:
A very simple movement, known from every Physical Education class. Start in a standing position, arms on your sides close to your body, and then jump out opening your legs and raising your arms, clapping over your head. Then jump back to the starting position. You can perform this exercise either for a total number of repetitions, or for time, and it will surely increase your heart rate! Jumping jacks work on the whole body and, the faster you do the movements, the more you’ll raise your heart rate.
This exercise is a total body strengthening movement. It starts from a standing position, then squats down and puts both hands on the ground with the arms outstretched, then jumps back with the legs to reach a plank position and, from there, it is followed with a push-up. To start the way up, the legs jump back into a squat position and then do explosive jump up, clapping over your head and finishing in the initial position. Many people don’t like this exercise because it’s very tiring, but of course this means it is working and it is very effective! Do 10-15 reps or you can even practice this for a period specific period of time!
3. Mountain climber:
In this exercise you are in a plank position with straight arms, and you pull your knees alternately towards your chest (you can also perform it in cross motion, trying to reach the opposite side of your chest with your knee). It is most often done for a period of time, so 20-30 seconds are enough for beginners, or up to a minute for advanced people. The intensity can be increased if you do the exercise faster!
4. Jumping from a squat:
It is very important that you can squat correctly for this exercise. First, perform the squat motion slowly, with your legs in a position slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and the feet facing outward. Keep your knees following the line of your foot as you lower your pelvis. Pressing your heels into the ground, do an explosive jump up and rise back to your starting position. You can do this with a number of repetitions, which can be up to 15-20 repetitions per set, or you can do it for determined period of time!
5. Jump to box:
If you are in a gym, you will have a stable bench with a hard surface or a box made for this purpose, and at home you can jump on a hard surface stool, bench or some kind of wooden platform, but make sure it is safe! Choose the height according to your abilities. Jump on this platform or box lading with both of your feet at the same time. You can go down jumping back to the floor, but it’s safer if you just step back down to the starting position.
6. Outburst jump with leg change:
It is one of the roughest cardio exercises because it not only affects your circulation and speeds up your heart rate, but also puts quite a strain on your thighs and buttocks. It is a very tiring, hard exercise. Jump up from a lunging position, switch legs in the air and arrive back to a lunging position, but with your feet in the opposite direction from where they started. It is important that the jump itself goes perfectly, with a jump strong enough for your legs to change position and with enough time to place them stably on the ground.
7. Toe contact:
Place a thicker book, a larger pillow, or any platform in front of you on the ground. You can even use the bottom of the stairs. Initially, and for a low-intensity target, just tap the object in front of you with your toes, using one foot at a time. Later, if you want to increase the intensity, do faster touches jumping with your legs.
8. Skipping rope:
This is one of the most helpful, instrumental cardio exercises you can do even at home, as long as you have a room spacious enough. Compete with yourself! Try it for 20 seconds on the first day and set a goal to last for two minutes in 1 month, for example! How far can you go? Can a ten-minute jump rope come in half a year?