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35 Cardio-Based Bodyweight Exercises

09/04/14 9:18 pm

35 Cardio-Based Bodyweight Exercises


Submitted by Laura Schwecherl on November 26, 2012 - 6:18am

Who said itd be impossible to


get in a great cardio workout on
the gym (or living room!) floor?
Performing higher-intensity
bodyweight exercises [2] can
be effective way to build
strength while also raising the
heart rate. To kill two birds with
one stone, leave the running
sneaks and swimming goggles
behind, and give these 35
cardio-based strength exercises
a go!
Warm-up

1. Power skip. Skipping isnt just


for kids. Raise the right knee up
towards the hip while reaching
your left arm overhead. Land on
the ball of your left foot, and then
alternate the skipping motion
with the opposite arm and leg.
Shoot for 10-15 skips as high as
you can go.

Illustrations by Shannon Orcutt

2. Stair climb. Think of stairs as


the cardio equipment in any
building. For a great way to get
the heart rate up, briskly walk up
and down a stairway until you
start to sweat. To avoid any dizzy
spells, make sure to travel the
whole stairwell to limit the
amount of turn-arounds. Pro-tip:
Skip the elevator when going to
work and sneak in a workout
before getting into the office!

3. Inchworm. It really is a Bugs Life [3]. Stand tall, and bend over until
your fingertips are on the floor. Next, walk the hands [4] forward while
keeping the legs straight until youve reached a traditional push-up
position. Finish off the move by taking tiny steps to get your feet back up
to your hands. Repeat for 4-6 reps.
4. High knees. Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Raise up your
right knee as high as itll go [5], and then place the leg back down.
Alternate legs and start picking up the pace. Try this jig for 30 seconds
straight.
5. Butt kicks. These will literally kick your butt in a good way. Jog in
place while kicking your heels back towards your glutes [6]. Make sure the
movement is being driven from your hamstrings (not just your feet kicking
up dust). Keep it up for a minute straight while picking up the pace!
6. Alternate leg bounding. Find a flat straightaway (like a hallway or a
track) for some space to move forward. Standing tall, reach your right
knee forward and lift your hip, jumping off the left leg [7] as far forward as
possible. Land on the right leg and continue this movement, alternating legs. Try to jump forward for 10 hops total.
7. Jumping Jacks. This classic cardio move [8] is a great way to warm up. Start with your feet together and hands
at your sides, keeping the core engaged. Next, jump both legs out to the side (wider than your hips) while raising
your arms overhead. Keep your knees bent as you jump again to bring your feet back together and arms down.
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35 Cardio-Based Bodyweight Exercises

09/04/14 9:18 pm

Thats one. Now see what 20-30 feels like!


8. Foot fires. Things are really heating up now. In a quick, shuffle motion, lift the heels off the ground [9] (only about
an inch tops) while keeping the upper body relaxed. You can shuffle in place or move back in forth your call!
Full body

9. Tuck jump. Its time to catch some air. Stand up tall with the knees
slightly bent and jump up [10] bringing the knees into the chest and
extending the arms straight out in front of the body. Lower the arms when
you hit the floor. Aim for 8-10 reps.
10. Basic burpee. This move is something we all love to hate. Start in a
low squat position [11] with your hands on the floor. Then, kick your feet
back [12] to a push-up position and quickly return to the squat position.
Last step? Jump up as high as possible before squatting down again and
jumping back into the next push-up position. Shoot for 10 strong reps.
11. Push-up burpee. This move is just like the basic burpee thats a bit
more advanced. Begin like normal, but once you reach the push-up
position, actually do the push-up [13] before coming back up to the squat.
Shoot for 8-10 of these bad boys.
12. Plyometric push-up. Think of this as a push-up thatll impress
anyone at the gym. At the top of a traditional push-up [14], push up with
force to lift the body off the floor (for just a sec!) before coming back
down and going straight into the next push-up. Just remember: If youre still struggling with the basic push-up, best
to stick to the basics!
13. Mountain climber. Were not going up any real mountains, but these are a close second. Start down on your
hands and knees, and bring the right foot forward to the chest while the left leg remains straight. Engaging the core,
quickly switch legs [15], and keep this rhythm going for 15-20 reps.
14. Plank to push-up. Begin in a plank position [16] with your forearms on the ground. Then, lift into a push-up
position [17] (one hand at a time, of course!) and quickly move back down into a plank position. Continue for 10-15
reps, while remembering to alternate the arm that makes the first move.
15. One-leg burpee. Mastered the basic burpee? Then try this fancy (and doable!) move. What it entails:
Completing a normal burpee but using one leg [18] at a time. Dont forget to switch sides to feel the burn on both
legs.
16. Vertical jump. The goal here is simple enough: Try to jump up as high as possible. (And no, you dont have to
be a Pro baller [19] to do so!). Stand up straight with a slight bend in the knees. Then, using your arms to propel you
upwards, bend the knees and jump up [20] while extending the arms towards the ceiling. Repeat for 10 reps.
17. Long jump. This move isnt just a track and field event. Similar to the alternate leg bounding, jump forward [21] in
a continuous motion, but reach forward with both legs and have both feet land on the floor at the same time. Try for
10 in a row.
18. Invisible jump rope. Hop over an invisible rope [22] (no need to jump more than an inch or two off the ground)
by staying on your toes and pushing off with the balls of your feet. Make quick, small movements with your wrists as
if youre holding a rope, and go crazy for 60 seconds.
19. Divers push-up. Begin in a down-dog position with your arms firmly on the ground and gaze toward the floor.
In a controlled and fluid motion, swoop the hips towards the floor [23] while your chest rises. Keep moving until your
back is arched and your gaze is towards the ceiling. Then swoop back down, continuing this motion for 10-15 reps.
Legs

20. Lateral step over. Find a bench and stand to its side with the right
leg closer to the bench. Lift your right knee up [24] and bring the leg over
the bench, not stepping on it. Then lift your left leg to meet the right,
bringing the feet together before moving back left leg first this time. Go
to step city for 15-20 reps.
21. Lunge jump. The only thing more fun than a lunge [25] is catching
some air in between. Start standing with the feet together and lunge the
right foot forward, bending the knee about 90-degrees. Then it gets fun:
Jump straight up [26], and while in the air, switch legs and land in a lunge
with the left foot forward. Try for 8-10 reps (or as many as you can do
with good form).
22. Squat jump. Perform a normal bodyweight squat [11] (keeping the
heels on the ground while bending the hips and knees until the thighs are
parallel to the floor). Jump up immediately at the bottom of the squat and
extend your arms overhead. Aim for 10-15 reps.
23. Box jump. Stand in front of a sturdy box thats just high enough so
you can land on top with enough effort (but without missing your target!). With feet shoulder-width apart, bend the
knees and then explode up onto the box [27]. Secure your landing and then step back down and repeat for 6-10 reps.
24. Single-leg box jump. Is the two-legged box jump childs play? Then try the same move, but explode onto the
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box one leg at a time. (Note: Be sure to start with a lower-raised box to make sure youve got the coordination
down!)
25. Step up. The film [28] was great, but the move may be even better. Find an elevated, sturdy surface (like a
bench) and step the right foot on it. Rise up until the left leg is straight, making sure the power is coming from the
right hamstring and glute. Return back down. Continue for 10 reps, then switch.
26. Single leg hop. Embrace that inner Roger Rabbit and get hopping. Standing on one leg, jump forward and land
on the same leg [29]. Switch legs with every jump as you move forward, leaping 10-15 times in total per rep.
27. Skaters lunge. Begin with your legs a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Lowering into
an athletic stance, slide to the left [30] into a side lunge with your hands on the left knee. Then move quickly over to
the right side, repeating the motion. Go back and forth for 45-60 seconds like youre a skating on thin ice. (Lose the
kicks and go socks-only to help you slide!)
28. Frog jump. This is no easy task, even for Kermit. Begin by squatting down and touching the ground with both
your hands, while keeping your arms straight. Then jump into the air [31], raising your knees as high as possible
before coming back down. Shoot for 10-12 reps.
Arms and Core

29. Jumping Jack planks. There are planks [16], and then there are planks
with pop! Start in a traditional plank (shoulders over the wrists and the body
in one straight line), but keep the feet together. Then, simply do jumping
jacks with the legs [32], moving them out to the sides, then back together.
Aim for 12-15 hops (out and in is one!).
30. Flutter kick. Time to kick up the cardio literally. Lie down on your
back with your arms at your sides and legs extended. Then, lift your heels
off the floor (about six inches) and begin kicking up and down. Try to keep
this up for a minute, and remember to keep the core engaged!
31. Bicycle. Lie down on your back with knees in towards your chest and
hands behind your head. Bring your right elbow towards the left knee [33]
while the right leg simultaneously straightens. Alternate sides just like
youre pedaling on a bike and pedal out for 30 reps.
32. Tabata crunch. Who says a crunch cant get the heart rate up? Do
these crunches cardio-style with a 4-minute ab session (thats 20 seconds
on, 10 seconds off, 8 times through). And for form? [34] Keep your knees bent, feet on the floor, and peel the head
and shoulders off the ground until the upper back is lifted. Hold for a second before lowering slowly back down.
33. Sprinter sit-up. It turns out theres a way to gain some speed while staying on the ground. Lie down on your
back with the legs extended, arms by your side, and elbows bent at 90-degrees. Now, sit up and bring the right
knee towards the left elbow [35]. Continue to alternate sides to really feel the heat. Be a speed demon for 15-20 reps.
34. Power punch. Its time to bring the boxing-ring a little closer to home. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart,
and the right leg a few inches in front of the left. Raise the fists up and keep the elbows in. Punch the fist [36] closest
to your body in front of you, while rotating the torso. Give a good 10 punches before switching arms and leg stance.
35. Upper cut. Need another boxing move? Get into the same stance with one leg slightly in front of the other, but
punch the back fist upward, as if youre aiming for the sky. Keep this motion going for 30 seconds, or switch it up
and add the power punch for a one-two combo move!
Ready to get moving? Combine your favorite moves and create a 30-minute circuit to meet the American Heart
Association's [37] recommended amount of daily cardiovascular exercise.
Have a favorite cardio move we missed? Tell us your routine in the comments below or tweet the author @lschwech [38].

Source URL: http://greatist.com/fitness/cardio-bodyweight-exercises


Links:
[1] http://greatist.com/p/laura-schwecherl
[2] http://greatist.com/fitness/50-bodyweight-exercises-you-can-do-anywhere-030612/
[3] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120623/
[4] http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/254/inchworms
[5] http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/high-knees-0
[6] http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/running/training-schedules/race-warm-up-drills/?page=7
[7] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUIsmLrtVpk
[8] http://www.realbeauty.com/health/fitness/jumping-jacks-exercise
[9] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-8aoQsmKjk
[10] http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/knee-tuck-jump
[11] http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/135/bodyweight-squat
[12] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/rossboxing2.htm
[13] http://artofmanliness.com/2010/01/27/the-burpee-the-one-exercise-to-rule-them-all/
[14] http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/41/
[15] http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/258/mountain-climbers
[16] http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/plank-1
[17] http://www.dailynews.com/food/ci_15074853
[18] http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2012/06/19/tuesday-10-badass-burpee-variations/
[19] http://greatist.com/fitness/2012-2-9-live-like-a-pro-with-the-nbas-jeremy-lin/
[20] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drsquat18.htm

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[21] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TgXNRFK3jg
[22] http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/06/learn-how-to-jump-rope-like-a-pro-7-tips/
[23] http://fitnessblackandwhite.com/hindu-pushups/
[24] http://www.menshealth.com/workout-center/e/lateral-stepover/25873
[25] http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/94/
[26] http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/lunge-jumps
[27] http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/115/box-jumps
[28] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462590/
[29] http://www.basketballhq.com/single-leg-hops/
[30] http://www.fitsugar.com/Ice-Skating-Move-Tone-Legs-13331244
[31] http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/olympic-fitness-secrets
[32] http://www.fitsugar.com/Equipment-Necessary-Plank-Jumping-Jacks-2917679
[33] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqoD0Bdggto
[34] http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/52/
[35] http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/quick-full-body-workout/sprinter-situp.php
[36] http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/power-punch?workout=30178
[37] http://www.google.com/url?
sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CEgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.heart.org%2FHEARTORG%2FGetting
Heart-AssociationGuidelines_UCM_307976_Article.jsp&ei=RxehUOG7EYeu9ATj5oHwBg&usg=AFQjCNH_twJnNcbbVAb_wAAvKDvIidAM3Q
[38] https://twitter.com/lschwech

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