Friday, June 1, 2012

Freestyle 20 Minute Cardio

We regularly think of cardio exercises as running, spinning, walking, and basically anything that can be simulated on one of the machines at the gym. Well, if you have to time to head to the gym, you're on the road, or the machines at the gym are full for some reason, there is another approach.

I have this theory that the best way to get yourself moving is to create a circuit of exercises you want to do, and do each exercise for one minute. Say you had four cardio exercises. If you created a circuit of these four exercises, did each for a minute with a 15 second rest between each, you would have five minutes. Rotate these five minutes four times and you have a 20 minute cardio session.

So your next question probably is "What cardio exercises can I include in my freestyle cardio session?". Here are a few suggestions of high power cardio:

Jumping Jacks: This is a very popular exercise, and is also referred to as star jumps sometimes. If you haven't heard of jumping jacks, here is a basic description. Stand with your arms at your sides and your legs closed. Jump up. As you jump, move your arms over your head and land with your legs open wide. Repeat the jump and land with your arms back at your side and your legs closed. Continue the jumps with the open and close movement.

Jump rope: Skipping is an amazing way to burn calories. The trick is just that you have to be consistent for the full minute. Just like swimming, people forget that it's not just the act of holding the rope that burns calories, but the consistency and effort you put into it. Don't have a rope? Buy one! They are really cheap! But seriously, if you don't have one, you can simulate the motion without actually using a rope.

Mountain climbers: You can either simulate the motion of climbing or jump back and forth (I like to call it donkey jumps) while on your hands in the upper pushup position. Luckily, I have a video! See how to do this exercise below.

Jump lunges: Lower into a lunge position with your right foot in front, and then jump back into the lunge with your left foot in front. So rather than step into it, you jump into it. Here is a great video showing how to do a perfect jump lunge.

There you have it! You can try these four in-home cardio exercises and make up your own 20 minute cardio circuit.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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