At Home Cardio Exercises For Days You Can’t Run
While many people dread cardio, us runners live for it! We savor miles spent outside with our music, thoughts, or run groups, and rely on these workouts for our sanity. No matter how much we love and are committed to running, there’s those days a run is just not in the cards.
There are a variety of reasons you may not be able to run. Maybe you strained a hamstring and don’t want to push it (smart!) or your kid is home sick and you can’t leave the house or it’s dark, sleeting, and icy (no thank you!), or you’re on vacation in an area unsafe for a solo run. Whatever your reason, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great cardio session in!
Here are my 3 favorite ways to get a solid cardio workout in at home:
The most glorious thing about bodyweight training is you already own all the equipment needed for a total body workout and – better yet – it’s ALWAYS with you! This means you can save money on a gym, weights, and machines, as well as time by not commuting or setting anything up.
Since you’re using your entire body, you use more muscles than isolation exercises like on machines at the gym. This can give you a more effective workout in less time since you work multiple muscle groups at once, which can raise your heart rate giving you a great cardio workout in a small amount of space.
Chose 5-8 plyometric exercises and perform each for :30-:60 seconds (depending on your ability level and time), resting for :5-:15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Cycling through all of the exercises equals one round, for a full workout complete 3-5 rounds. Here are some plyometric exercises to chose from:
Stairs (use the stairs in your home or building, run up as fast as you can, walk back down and repeat)
Bodyweight Timed Sets
For this type of workout you’ll use the timer on your phone or a stop watch, and perform each exercise for a certain number of repetitions. The workout is structured into 3 rounds with 3 exercises each, using whichever exercises you enjoy. Do 6-12 repetitions of each exercise depending on how many you feel would be a challenge to you.
Your structure may look like this:
12 jumping jacks
12 mountain climbers
12 high knees
6 tuck jumps
8 squat jacks
8 lunge jumps
6 mule kicks
Set a timer for 5 minutes and cycle through your 3 chosen exercises for round 1 until the timer goes off. In the above example, you would do 8 burpees, 12 jumping jacks, 12 mountain climbers, then start over with the burpees, and so on for the entire 5 minutes. Rest for 2 minutes and move on to round 2 for 5 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then finish the workout with 5 minutes of the round 3 exercises. This workout takes just under 20 minutes but spikes your heart rate as much or more than a run!
A big appeal of running is the mindlessness of it. Other than when you’re doing intervals, there isn’t much thinking of how many more, how long, how intense. Even as a personal trainer, I enjoy following someone else’s instructions, letting them come up with what to do next. You can get this same experience at home thanks to videos. There are a lot of options FREE options out there, here are a few to check out!
Yes, you can get a heart pumping, kick butt workout without leaving your house! Get creative and have fun with these bodyweight workouts when you can’t run but want that cardio fix.