How to Work Out at Home: 6 Simple Cardio Exercises

How to Work Out at Home: 6 Simple Cardio Exercises

How to Work Out at Home: 6 Simple Cardio Exercises

Written By: SportsShoes

Sometimes in life it’s just not possible to get to the gym; flat tyre, working late, the weather (!). But if you ever find yourself stuck indoors and craving a workout, try these simple exercises. They incorporate own-body-weight training with strengthening and conditioning, making you feels good even if you miss the gym.

1. Jumping Jacks: A simple cardio exercise that will primarily work your glutes, quads and hip flexors, but also strengthen your shoulders and abs. It doesn’t need much space and it will raise your heart rate.

How to do them

1. Start by standing with your hands by your sides

2. Jump off the ground a couple of inches and bring both your arms out and up (to around shoulder level) and legs out (wider than shoulders width) before landing on your toes

3. Spring quickly back in the air a couple of inches and bring the arms and legs back into the start position before landing on your toes again

4. Repeat at a relatively quick pace for 30 seconds

5. Do a 30 sec blast at least four times throughout your workout to keep your heart rate up

Photo by Jonathan Borba

2. Abdominal Crunches: Crunches specifically target the rectus abdominis muscles – those muscles that make the six-pack!

How to do them

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor

2. Contract your abs, flatten your lower back against the floor and slowly lift your shoulders one or two inches off the floor – exhale as you lift, keep your neck straight and chin up (try and keep a fist-sized space between chin and chest)

3. Slowly lower while keeping your abs tensed

4. Repeat 10 – 12 times for one set. Incorporate at least three sets in your work out

3. Wall Sits: A great isometric exercise (i.e. one where you hold a position and your muscles stay tensed) which will really grow strength in your quads, glutes and calves.

How to do it

1. Start with your back against a wall. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, and about two feet away from the wall

2. Slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground – a 90 degree angle from the knee

3. Adjust your feet to make sure your knees are directly above your ankles

4. Keep your back flat against the wall and hold for 20 to 60 seconds (depending on your quad strength)

5. Rest 30 seconds, and repeat the exercise three times

6. Increase your hold time by five seconds as you increase your strength

7. Your quads will feel burn in this exercise, but stop if you feel any paid in your knee or kneecap


Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

4. Squats: A lower body exercise for developing strength in practically all muscle groups of the legs - hamstrings, quads, calves and even the glutes.

How to do them

1. Place your feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing forwards

2. Keeping your back in a neutral position (i.e. slightly arched), drop your hips back and lower your bum down as if you were about to sit down. As you drop back keep your chest pushed forwards, arms extended out in front and hips rotated down to keep good back form

3. Squat down low enough so the thighs are parallel to the ground, but keep the heels firmly planted

4. Drive back into a standing position, driving back up fast and keeping the weight on your heels

5. Repeat eight times for one set. Incorporate four sets in to your workout.

5. Lunges: A fantastic exercise that will build strength and balance. As well as improving strength in your quads, hamstrings and calves, this exercise will also improve your cardiovascular condition – a must for any workout!

How to do them

1. Stand with your feet together and place your hands either on your hips, out wide or behind your head (the latter called a ‘prisoner lunge’)

2. Take one foot back a step and then bend and lower the rear knee towards the floor, at the same time bending the front knee (making sure it doesn’t go over your ankle)

3. When the rear knee is almost to the floor (hovering an inch above it) both the back and front knees should be almost at 90 degrees. If this is not the case adjust the distance the next time you lunge

4. Now come back to stand by driving through the front foot and stepping the rear foot forward

5. Repeat with the other leg. Do 10 lunges in a set (five on each leg). Repeat the set three times during your workout


Photo by Olivia Bauso on Unsplash

6. Plank: Another isometric holding exercise that helps develop strength in the abs, shoulders, mid-back, glutes and (most importantly) your core muscles.

How to do it

1. Starting in a push-up position, drop down to rest on your forearms with elbows directly below shoulders and fists meeting in front

2. Hold a straight posture (think of a straight line from shoulders, hips and ankles), taking care to keep the core activated by drawing the navel to the spine. Also ensure the neck and head are in line – you should be looking straight to the floor

3. Engage your glutes to keep you in the right form

4. Holding your plank for two minutes is a great time to aim for. Hold your plank as long as you can, adding on more time each workout to get to this goal

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